December 30, 2016

On the 7th Day of Trade Posts...

...another two PWEs! Let's take a look at a few Rays that came to me from Stealing Home.

The Longos are pretty nice, but I really like the rainbow foil Odorizzi. Others have said this, but the Future Stars tag is a bit off the mark. It's still a nice card to add to the collection of former Durham Bulls.

Next up is the most recent PWE from Brian over at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary.

I was thrilled to see the black border retail parallel of Blake Snell! The Boggs hails from one of the 'ultra premium' sets of the mid-90's, Leaf Limited. Rounding out the highlights of this envelope was the awesome dual-rookie Johnny Barbato/Ben Gamel rainbow foil. These guys may not be household names, but I've had fun watching Gamel several times when the Scranton Railriders have come to Durham.

Thanks for the great cardboard guys! I'll definitely be putting together return packages for you both early in 2017. Thanks for reading.

December 28, 2016

Time to Hit the Reset Button

It's been an up and down few days since Christmas. I fully intended to just keep plugging along writing the 12 Days of Trade Posts, but then I considered writing about the lack of cardboard I received as gifts. I began that draft and then Carrie Fisher passed away... I immediately began a draft of a tribute post. As I fought with how to express my thoughts/feelings about the loss of my first boyhood celebrity crush, I just stopped. That is when I wandered into Target for the first time since a few days before the holiday. I halfheartedly searched for some cards to purchase figuring that I wouldn't find anything terribly exciting and geared myself up for deciding what to settle on. Then I saw these hanging on a peg:

I knew these were going to be released, but had no idea they were out or that they would be available at the local Target. I figured that posting about this set would be a nice break and an effective way to get me back on track. I hadn't read much about what to expect from this set, so I just dove in.

Let's start with a few goal keepers and some of the more mundane pics of the pack. My first impression is that I need to work on putting this set together. It uses the same design as the MLB set from this season. It's clean and perfect to put the focus on great photography.

Two more rather boring pics of the guys fromEverton, but the Borini and Martial show quite a bit more action. I love the goal celebration shot and the RC designation on the Martial. It is by far my favorite base card of the pack.

The Kane is the final base card of the pack and is back to a boring shot, but he was the top scorer last season. The Vardy is a gold foil parallel. To close out the pack contents, I pulled two cards from the Golazo insert set.

Overall, the base set is relatively small at 100 cards. Hobby boxes sport 16 packs with 8 cards per and promise 2 autos and a handful of inserts and parallels. Therefore, even with good collation it would take a hobby box plus in order to complete the set. Judging from this retail jumbo pack, it would be a fun break. I just might have to jump on in. Thanks for reading.

December 25, 2016

I Wish You a Merry Cards-mas!!!

Ho, ho, ho...Merry Cards-mas! This marks my third annual Christmas Day recap of the new cardboard Santas in my collection. This year, the additions are few, but I definitely feel like it is quality over quantity.

First up, we have this mini insert from 2010 Allen &Ginter. Creatures of Legend, Myth, and Joy were relative tough pulls at 1:128 packs(from the info I could find).

I like the mini history lesson on the back. Apparently Topps produced relics of a few of the cards from this set. Sadly, a Santa relic for this set was not produced by Topps. No, for 'game used' Santa gear, I chose to go all the way back to 1998.

This oversized gem comes courtesy of Upper Deck. This is the size of two regulation cards side-by-side and is complete with a sizeable swatch of Santa's red suit! I love that he design borrows directly from the early 'game-worn jersey cards that UD was known for. It's not the only Santa relic available, but for now it'll have to be he only one that has a permanent residence in my collection. I was able to add these two for a little over the cost of a blaster and hey definitely fill me with more holiday cheer than rolling the dice on another retail box!

I hope you all have a safe and Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading.

December 24, 2016

Let Me Breakdown the Sixth Day of Trade Posts

Like so many others around the cardsphere, I was fortunate enough to receive a trade package from Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown just in time for the holidays. I didn't realize until I read his recap of the cardboard I sent his way that this was actually our first trade of 2016. Seemed hard to believe, but it was definitely true. It was a package that certainly made up for lost trading time.

A pair of new-to-me Bernies lead things off. Of course I have that Collector's Choice, but this is the silver signature parallel(though it's a bit hard to see). Then we move on to a few former Durham Bulls, beginning with Lee. He was all,set to join the big club as their starting SS a few seasons ago, since he was tearing up Triple A. Unfortunately, his season was cut short when he tore up his knee and his career hasn't quite been the same since.

Here's a great new Longo and a pair of Kiermaier inserts that I hadn't picked up yet. As great as these additions were, the highlights of the package were the first of Gavin's awesome customs that I could call my own.

We'll start in the world of WWE. Historically, I've sent a few AJ Lee cards to Gavin and he was thoughtful enough to send this great custom of her my way. I've seen many of his customs on Gavin's blog and various others, but actually having one in hand gives me a whole new appreciation for his work. These are top notch!

This great Donnie Baseball was also included.

I totally dig it. All I can say is if you haven't been on the receiving end of one of Gavin's custom works of art, you should work out a trade or make a purchase for one. There was one last highlight in the envelope.

Yup, I was one of the lucky recipients of the Tony Gwynn Rip Card!

Mine was close to being an eBay 1/1 and for about a split second I considered leaving it intact...

That didn't last though! There you have it, I pulled a 1/1 custom mini magnet of The Commerce Comet! Thanks for an all around wonderfully entertaining trade package, Gavin. I'm already working on putting together the first envelope of 2017! Thanks for reading.

December 21, 2016

Pre-Christmas Secret Santa Gift

A short while back, the man behind Bob Walk the Plank coordinated a cardsphere Secret Santa. Last week, a small bubble mailer arrived lacking a return address. I didn't identify it as my Secret Santa gift because I've been receiving a few eBay wins, case break goods, and/or card for card trades from a few folks from various FB groups. However, when I opened said envelope, I immediately realized that the cards contained were not from any deals or purchases I had made. Then I read the cryptic note that's was included. It confirmed my assessment that it was from my BWTP Santa. It didn't reveal my gift giver and actually had a not so slightly veiled challenge to unravel the mystery. There were two items in a team bag, let's take a look.

These came from an unopened pack of 2001 Topps Post cereal cards. I've been slowly piecing together that set(on and off) since 2001. The 'Big Hurt' was the card showing. I opened the pack so quickly, I didn't even bother to take a picture for this write up. I was pretty happy to be able to cross the Thomas off my needs list, but I was even happier that the Gwynn was the second card since it was a need as well. That was a pretty great start to this gift package.

The second item was another card that has eluded me for a long time. At first glance, it may look like the base 1990 Bernie Williams RC. Though you can't tell from the scan, this is the Tiffany parallel. With this in hand, I believe I have all of the possible Bernie RCs. I may be wrong, but let me have just a moment to feel I've accomplished that goal. A huge thanks to Matt for organizing this and an equally huge thanks to my Santa. By the way, I'm 99% sure that I was able to identify my Santa, but I'll leave the air of mystery intact. Thanks for reading.

December 20, 2016

Five Golden Rings!

Okay, the post title is a bit of a stretch. For he fifth day of trade posts, I saved the goods from at least 4 separate packages that I received over the past few months from P-Town Tom. I honestly lost track of how many packages this awesome cardboard came out of, but the points are that I am far behind and Tom is an extremely generous trader. I tried to go big when I finally crafted a return package for him because I felt more than a bit guilty at having waited so long. I sent some decent Cubbies his way and was beginning to feel a little less in debt and sure enough a short while after he received what I sent, he hit me with another awesome package. Anyway, enough talk, let's dive right in.

There was an embarrassment of former and hopefully future Durham Bulls. With any luck at all, that Adames will be in IP auto card sometime after the season begins.

This mini is another reminder of how fun it was to watch Wil Myers play in Durham. One day, I'll write a post describing the environment at the DBAP while he was there. They had entire marketing plans centered around him, it was quite something.

There he is, my favorite former Bull and one of my favorite players in MLB today. When this arrived, I had only recently picked up this base RC so I was thrilled to see this silver parallel /149 in he trade package.

Early Josh Hamilton always makes me think of what could have been. Since he went to HS in Raleigh, most people in and around the Triangle knew about him and was anxiously awaiting his arrival in Durham. Well, as everyone now knows, it didn't quite end up that way. I am really glad that he was able to make a fairly solid career for himself despite the personal demons he has had to overcome. No matter what anyone thinks of him, I will always have a soft spot(and a spot in my collection) in my heart for Jose Canseco. He was the first player that I really loved to watch and cheer for. What's all the more awesome about this scan is the new DJ. I don't think I had ever even seen this one before I pulled it out of the envelope.

Another new Jeter and some awesome Yankees vintage highlighted the second package(I think). That Larsen/Stengel is incredible!

This package arrived shortly after National Baseball Card Day. These 6 set needs helped me get pretty close to completing the set. One of these days, I'll add this set to my set needs page.

I love everything about these Yankees. Until more recent days, I didn't have many of the E-XL cards. For those that have never seen them in person, they are like the father of the modern day GQ framed parallels. Each one has a matte finish frame with that large silver embossed stamp surrounding the shot of the player. The David Cone is another new-to-me card that commemorates his perfect game.

I dig the '80's oddballs. Get a load of that young Donnie Baseball!

Another vintage Yankee! That is great, however, even with the vintage and the Captain my favorite card of the scan is a toss up between the SF Seals Joe D. and the oddball Gehrig that talks about ALS. There is a shortage of cardboard depicting Joltin' Joe in his minor league days and I had never seen that Gehrig before. Great stuff!

Have I mentioned that I have a soft spot for Jose? I also have a soft spot for late career Wade Boggs. Oh, and hello Mr. Durham Bulls skipper!

It is always nice to add some new ink to the cardboard collection. I truthfully had no idea who Hall was. I had to look him up. Turns out he was a 2009 Yankees draft pick. He spent time with the Oakland A's Class A advanced affiliate this past season. He's still fairly young and he's a southpaw, so he may crack a major league roster yet.

The final card to highlight from these multiple packages is a really cool insert of the Captain. These employ some interesting printing technology. The 'card' seems to be some kind of pearlescent stock with the image and writing printed on a shimmery sheet. I know this because I aphid to do some delicate surgery to remove the card from the penny sleeve it was shipped in. Fortunately, I was smart enough to not just rip the card out when it stuck slightly. I dissected the penny sleeve and peeled it off carefully and the Jeter insert from 2001 is no worse for wear.

I am in awe of the generosity shown by the man from P-Town over the course of these packages. I suppose after the New Year, it'll be back to the drawing board for me trying to craft a worthy return trade package. Thanks for reading.

December 18, 2016

My Favorite Piece of 2016 Cardboard

I've got to admit that until I saw the post by P-Town Tom that announced the 'Favorite Card of 2016' contest, I hadn't really taken much time to think on that topic. As I commented on his post, two cards immediately popped into my mind. I have since thought quite a bit about it and actually slowed down to look over a bunch of the cards I have in my collection at have been released this year. I shouldn't have needed an excuse to do that, but I'm glad that the contest reminded me that I should be looking at and flipping through the cards in my collection more often.

I searched through Flagship(1&2), Opening Day, Donruss, Archives, some GQ, a little A&G, Heritage(regular and High Numbers), Bunt(physical), Bowman, Stadium Club, Bowman Platinum, Topps Chrome, Optic, and Topps Holiday. I've considered completed sets like Spring Fever and Marketside Pizza. I've even looked at handfuls of NFL, NHL, WWE, UFC, and even some Star Wars. Through all of that, I've was reminded of some really great cardboard that has been released this year. However, when the searching was over, my thoughts kept returning to those two that originally came to mind. It was a truly difficult decision as both cards clearly captured the emotions that make watching sports so great. After the dust settled, I decided to go with a card that was issued as a part of Panini's Father's Day promotional set.

For me, this card perfectly captures a pivotal moment early in the 'Big Game'. It's got it all: the Super Bowl 50 patch, a view of the fumble that Miller just forced, and the fire in his eyes. It helps that this card depicts a player from my favorite football team who just so happened to become Super Bowl MVP, but I would even find this to be a great card if I weren't a Broncos fan. I'm looking forward to reading about other folks' choices. Good luck to all in the contest and thanks for reading.

December 17, 2016

Happy Belated Blog-Aversary to Me

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and trying to get some posts actually published around these parts, I completely overlooked that exactly one week ago was my two-year blog-aversary. Despite the second half of the year bringing me unexpected reasons to not be able to post, I am thrilled to be a part of this community. I had planned to do a end of he year wrap up/recap after we make our way into the new year so not much to do in this one besides show off a few additions to the collection that have come my way from sources outside of the blogging community.

I won this in a razz a few weeks back. I rolled the dice on one spot for $6 and was fortunate to come up the winner! I was especially excited to receive this since it is my first auto of the former Wolfpack standout. Being an NC State guy, I think I'll focus on adding to my Turner collection in blog year three.

I snagged this in a auto/relic lot for less than $10. As I may have mentioned here before, I really enjoyed watching Shaffer play in Durham over the past few seasons. He was recently traded to Seatlle and then shortly thereafter he was designated for assignment. I suppose there is an outside chance he ends up back in the Rays system, but I just hope he catches on somewhere and gets a shot at the big league level. I'll continue to collect his cardboard wherever he lands.

Lastly, I won this Topps Vault 1/1 on eBay for the minimum bid. I was happy to add this since Motter is probably my favorite Durham Bulls player over the past few seasons. His cardboard appearances on non-minor league issues are rare so I am trying to find whatever parallels I can afford to add. Sadly, he too was traded to Seattle. I hope that he is able to find some regular playing time in the Pacific Northwest and I am anxiously awaiting his first card sporting a Mariners jersey.

What would a blog-aversary post be without announcing a contest/giveaway? If you're interested, simply leave a comment on this post. I'll leave it open until Christmas Day at midnight. I will run all of the names through the randomizer 9 times. Depending on the number of entries, I may award two prizes. Oh, the prizes? What are they, you ask? I'll be sure to customize it to the winner(s) collecting preferences.

Hey, if you can't get enough of contests, want to enter one more, and are a fan of UFC, you should visit Sport Card Collectors blog here: The deadline for entry is tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who has read any of the content here over the past two years. It means a great deal.

December 16, 2016

On the 4th Day of Trade Posts, Shoebox Legends Gave to Me...

...a fully loaded PWE!

Yes, that was my lame attempt at sticking to the song. For real though, Shane recently sent me a really incredible PWE. Let's just dive right in, shall we?

These two cards combine my love for The Muppets and the history of one of my favorite teams in the NHL. The Carolina Hurricanes are my second favorite hockey team, mostly due to their proximity to where I live. For those that don't know, Hartford is where the 'Canes relocated from.

Here are three cards that prove it pays to have a great trading relationship with a BoSox fan. All three are new to me and welcome additions to my Yankees collection. The Sanchez is the gold parallel and the Captain is super sparkly!

I really like the design on these Bowman Heritage relics, plus it brings back memories of a time when Baldelli was going to be a superstar. The punch packed by this PWE didn't stop there.

I couldn't believe that three Bowman Chrome prospect autos fell out of this envelope! I was especially thrilled when I flipped to the Tyler Wade. It's not often I add three autos to the collection in one trade package, let alone courtesy of a PWE! I should have known to expect something like this from Mr. Shoebox Legends though, he always delivers a great trade package. Thanks Shane, there's more Sox ready to be packed and shipped your way. Thanks for reading.

December 14, 2016

It's the Third Day of Trade Posts!

Today's post highlights two separate packages that arrived from North of the border. Douglas from Sportscards From the Dollar Store was very kind to send two Supertraders packages over the past few months. Anytime I see an envelope with his name on it, I know I'm in for a hearty helping of NJ Devils and these packages didn't disappoint in that respect. Let's check the highlights from the first package.

New to me cards featuring Martin Brodeur will always be welcome in my collection. I especially like the UD that shows him taking the ice. The Bee Hives Gionta was the first card of that type that I had seen in person...very cool. I appreciate the Wil Myers Hometown Heroes RC as it reminds me of a time when I thought he was going to be the next great Rays player. Then injuries struck and he was sent to San Diego. I'm really glad that he put it all together this season and posted solid numbers. Lately I've been thinking of re-adding him to my PC player list. I did enjoy watching him play in Durham... The gold parallel Ronnie Hillman RC is a great Broncos addition, even if he's not with the team anymore.

My hockey relic collection continues to grow almost exclusively by Douglas' contributions. I'm happy that at least for my hockey team(s), the plain single color swatches can at least be red instead of the standard white, gray, or black.

Let's move on to highlights from the second package.

Hmmm, betcha already figured that there would be at least one Brodeur in the scan. I love the die-cut Crown Royale cards and how could I not show off a Devils card of one of the greatest players to lace up the skates?

The trend of adding to my NJ relics was taken up a notch in the second package. I'm digging the auto/relic RC. I'm always thrilled to add to my hockey collection, so thanks Douglas! I know it's been some time since I shipped something back Nort, but I do have a stack or two put together and you're on my list to ship to before the year is out. I can only hope you enjoy what I send your way as much as I appreciate what you've sent mine. Thanks for reading.

December 13, 2016

On the Second Day of Trade Posts...

On day two, I'm going for another quick trade post. A while back I received another package from the newest Supertrader, Andy of Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard. Welcome to the group, Andy! The package kind of fit his blog's name. It was comprised of primarily Bunt physical product 'loot pack' code cards that I could redeem for cards with the app. There were a few traditional cards as well, so let's start with those.

Highlights were these two Sevy cards that I need for set building purposes. I was also digging the Broncos RC from Prestige when I scanned these.

Digital Bernie! I was fortunate to pull this from one of the packs. I'm sure if you've read this blog before, you are aware of my fondness of any Bernie Williams cards.

Ditto for Kiermaier. In fact, he may well be my favorite player in MLB right now.

Though, I've gotta say that Trea gives Kiermaier a run for his money thanks to his time playing at NC State.

I also love Robbie Cano and it's a double bonus that this one shows him in a really cool Negro League throwback jersey.

This is probably the best pull of the digital lot. I like the novel design. It kinda reminds me of the late '90's or early '00's when Topps was inserting the Mystry a Finest inserts into products. However, the real reason this was at the top of the heap was because of this:

 If you look close, you'll see that there are only 42 copies of this one right now.

Overall, I know he digital cards aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoyed redeeming the dozen or so codes and opening these digital packs thanks to Andy's generosity. Thanks for the great trade package. I'll be sure to send something back your way soon. Thanks for reading.