Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pack Wars: Special New Year's Eve Edition

Yesterday I showed off the contents from my latest Zippy Zappying, save the ten card pack.  Now, it's time to take Mr. Zippy Zappy's latest custom pack and pit it against . . . a 2011 Topps Series 2 pack!
I think Zippy zappy has been striving for a Pack Wars shut-out and he has come close in previous attempts.  Will his fifth attempt pack enough of a wallop?  Let's break in a see!

Round 1:
Playing to your judge is never a bad idea, and Mr. Zippy Zappy has done his research as we can see by card #1: ROCK SHOULDERS!!!!  Oddly enough, I believe Big Hirok is a favorite of Zippy Zappy.  I'll give bonus points to Kuroda for throwing a pitch with his eyes closed, but he's going to need more than bonus points to take down ROCK SHOUDLERS!  Did you know ROCK SHOULDERS has a diary?  Yep, it's called the Guiness Book of World Records.

Zippy Zappy = 1
2011 Topps S2 = 0 

Round 2:
Jacoby Ellsbury is sticking his tongue out because he doesn't like getting matched up with a ROCK SHOULDERS mini.  Who would?  ROCK SHOULDERS is so talented he can do a wheelie on a unicycle.  

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 2
2011 Topps S2 = 0

Round 3:
Josh Rodriguez isn't going to pout like Jacoby did in Round #2, he's just going to grin and bear it.  ROCK SHOULDERS is the man! Rumor has it that the sound of thunder is actually created when ROCK SHOULDERS rubs the stubble on his chin. How can ROCK SHOULDERS not win this match up?

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 3
2011 Topps S2 = 0

Round 4:

AHHHHHH!  It's an x-fractor die cut numbered to 99 of ROCK SHOULDERS!  I need to get this bad boy in a top loader before it melts through my desk! ROCK SHOULDERS is "part of a one-two power punch with" the Vogelmonster. Well, duh.  Speaking of punches, I heard that ROCK SHOULDERS once gave an uppercut punch to a horse and that's how the giraffe came to be. 

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 4
2011 Topps S2 = 0

Round 5:
Whew, let's tone it down a notch and take a look at a rookie of Greg Maddux, one of the craftiest pitchers who ever toed the rubber, and Juan Rivera who simply can't hold a candle to The Professor.

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 5
2011 Topps S2 = 0

We're halfway home and Zippy Zappy's pack is completely dominating the field.

Round 6:
Topps throws out an expired insert to unlock prizes?  Lame.  Meanwhile, all we have here is my first wood card from Panini featuring Hall of Fame member Joe Tinker.  This card is about as bad a$$ as a baseball card can actually get.  The front actually feels like wood.  Crazy!  Another point to Zippy Zappy!

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 6
2011 Topps S2 = 0

Round 7:
The aforementioned Vogelmonster makes an appearance!  Woo-Hoo!  I really like the Kimball Champions minis, but we're talking about a green parallel of the Vogelmonster numbered to 399.  This is my 19th unique Volgelmonster card, which means I get to add a new page to the binder!  Sorry, Mel Ott, you didn't have a fighting chance.

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 7
2011 Topps S2 = 0

Round 8:
 I know there are a few bloggers out there who would award a point to Topps because of the nice double-dip shot at second base.  Yes, I agree, it's a nice shot . . . and Elvis Andrus is one of my favorite shortstops, but mostly because of the way he tortures Adrian Beltre.  But, Kris Bryant is a beast.  End. Of. Story.

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 8
2011 Topps S2 = 0

Round 9:
Daric Barton actually played in Peoria as a catcher for the Chiefs back when they were affiliated with the Cardinals  in 2004. He owned the Midwest League that year as he sported a 0.956 OPS.  Kris Bryant? Um, yeah. He owned minor league baseball last year, as evident by Baseball America naming him player of the year in 2014. Besides, it's a horizontal card AND a mini!  I don't want to jinx it, but Zippy Zappy is one round away from capturing his coveted shut-out!

Updated Score:
Zippy Zappy = 9
2011 Topps S2 = 0

And here is the last cards from their respective packs...

Round 10:
 Taylor Teagarden?  Yes, I've heard of you.  Sheckard?  Sheckard who?  Is he like Prince or Madonna and he just goes by the one name?  I've never seen a mini penny sleeve or a mini top loader before.  This is very interesting.  . . . (flips over the card) . . .  (nearly falls out of desk chair) . . .
Holy cow!  This is one of those tobacco cards I read about in Mint Condition!  It's a T206 and over one hundred years old!  My first one!  Jimmy Sheckard was a starting outfielder for the Cubs on the World Series Champion teams of 1907 and 1908.  Woo-Hoo!  Taylor, you can go play in your Tea Garden all you want, because you aren't winning this round.
Final Score:
Zippy Zappy = 10
2011 Topps S2 = 0
Cue the music, folks!  We have out first shut-out in my Pack Wars series and it comes from a Zippy Zappying!

Oh, Zippy Zappy, that was one high-end pack! You'll be at the top of my shopping list for some while!  Thank you so much! 

Thanks for stopping by today, and have a safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I've Been Zippy Zapped!

Seeing as we're so close to the end of the year I have to believe this is the last time I will be Zippy Zapped in the first half of the decade.  Whew!

Let's dive in!
Happy Holidays to you, too, Mr. Zippy Zappy.  But seriously, what is going on here?  This is the second one of these doctored mini frames I've seen on the blogosphere in as many weeks. I'd love to know where the mini is.  Or maybe Zippy Zappy knocked over a Topps truck and scored himself a case of empty mini frames?  I'm not ruling it out.  
 Booooooo!  I'm not sure how this one got in my picture file, this is not the best way to start off a package.  I am NOT a Milton Bradley fan.  Bleck.

 That's better, some Topps cards from my youth, and in the case of Bobby Mucer and Mike Tyson, before my youth!

Whoa, the catching duo for the 1969 Cubs.  Very nice!

Some minis, a Chris Coghlan, and a quartet of others which will fit nicely into my collection. 
 Normally, I don't have use for Indians, but I'll make an exception for Kerry Wood.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love the Upper Deck Masterpieces sets?  And who can refuse Mr. Cub or the possible rookie of the year in 2015?

Zippy Zappy might be the biggest prospector I know within the blogosphere, so I know it was tough for him to part with these baby Cubs, especially Baez, who still can make a name for himself.

A couple of nice horizontal cards and a VOGELMONSTER!
 I never used to type the VOGELMONSTER's name in all-caps, but now that ROCK SHOULDERS has moved on to the Texas Rangers I feel the VOGELMONSTER must now carry on the torch.

And lastly, the part of the mailer I'm the most excited about:
 Yep, look forward to another edition of Pack Wars, brought to you in part by your friendly blogger, Zippy Zappy.

Thanks for the package!  I think I have a few Torrens cards which should have found their way to your mail box by now.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Surprise from Nolan's Dugout

This package actually arrived on Christmas Eve, but I'm not a multi-post-a-day blogger so it's been stuck in queue for a few days now.  Sorry, Kyle!

Kyle seems to have a never ending supply of good ol' timey cards from the 80s and 90s.  I wonder what other cool things he has in Nolan's Dugout?  This time around he's surprised me with a generous helping of needs for the 1984 Topps set I've been working on. (Mental note: add Kyle to the shopping-for list.)

I've updated my wantlist for 1984 Topps and it can be found here. Only 150 more to go!  Kyle knocked off seventy-five cards from the list including Eddie Murray, Robin Yount, the Darryl Strawberry rookie, and Nolan Ryan!  Thanks, Kyle!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Catching up with a Trade Post

It's taken me a bit of time to get this one posted, but if you scroll through you'll definitely see some unique cards.  Jared, from the new-to-me blog named Catching Up With Collecting, contacted me and said he had a stack of cards  and he was glad he found a Cubs fan.

Jared, let me get straight to the point here: I'm glad you found me, too!  All but three of the cards were new to me, and Jared hit on a number of collecting fronts:
First up, we have some parallels from recent Topps product and a Castro mini die-cut insert.  The Dioner Navarro is my first camouflage parallel and is numbered 68/99. 

Another parallel?  Sure!  Here's my 103rd unique Kosuke Fukudome card!  The always popular cognac liquorfractor parallel!

Somehow this 2013 Archives All-Star card of Ryne Sandberg has dodged my collection until now.
 Honestly, the Archives All-Star on the left pretty much wraps up your typical mainstream card brands.  1993 Cardtoons?  Heck yeah!  These came out the year I got of out collecting and I'm sorry I missed them the first time around.  These two Ryno cards put me at 731 cards total, but that's not even the best part.  It's an oddball, it pays attention to detail (notice the 24K in the glove), and it is NOT licensed by MLB or the MLBPA.  Yet, I think Cardtoons really knocked the ball out of the park on this one!  Here's a few more:
 This is my second Harry Caray card this month and check out the arm on Shawon Dunston.  He was always known for having a cannon of an arm.  Fabulous!  The backs?  Check out Amazing Grace's:

Well, outside of the fact that he apparently plays for the "Scrubs", it's pretty cool.  Again, great attention to detail!  Some individual(s) obviously spent some time, energy, thought, and effort into creating these cards.  Topps, are you paying attention?

Here's one more Cardtoon, and a nice GQ card of Mr. Cub.

I have three official player collections, and Jared hit on all three. Here are the newest deposits into the Kerry Wood binder, which now stands at 356 cards.  Metal Universe?  Works for me!

Here are more cards which have evaded my collection during the past couple of decades.  The Ted Williams cards are from 1993 and 1994 and the cards on the right are from 2001 and produced by Upper Deck.  Not only are they glossy and brightly colored, but they feature some of the all-time great Cubs players.

 I'm still working on putting together my Cubs FankenSet, but these cards definitely have what it takes to unseat the cards sitting in their respective pockets.
 Lastly, here's a couple of Bruce Sutter cards.  UD Masterpieces is one of my favorite runs of sets which has ever been produced.  The cards in hand are beautiful.  I love the mustache, whether in action (left) or posing (right).

Jared, thank you for you generous offering!  What a great assortment of cards in terms of players and sets.  Jared, I dropped something in the mail the other day for you; hopefully it has reached you by now.  Thanks again!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Crackin' Wax Holiday Gift Exchange, Part IV

All good things must come to end and today is the last day of my 2014 Crackin' Wax Holiday Gift Exchange big reveal. 

I have three relatively thick 2.5" by 3.5" presents left to open.  Which one will be first?

Let's take the one wrapped with birds carrying ornaments.

Boo-Ya!  (I would never shout "Boo-Ya" when opening a present among family members, but I did just now and I startled the cat.  Hehehehe...)
 Arismendy Alcantara must have signed a thousand or so times for Topps in the past couple of years.  He had autographs in Bowman, Inception, Heritage, and Stadium Club to just name more than a few.

Yet, this is my first Alcantara autograph and I couldn't be more stoked!  Bowman Inception is too much of a high-end product for me to purchase and I was waiting for the prices to come down before I picked up this, but now I don't have to!

For what it's worth, I think Arismendy might surprise some in the baseball world once he gets comfortable at the big league level.  I know he didn't impress during his debut in 2014, but he really is a dynamic talent who might just be the Cubs' answer at the top of the lineup.

Up next, the snowmen:

Hey, we got a two-fer!     Ooooooh, Rich Hill...  Man, I so saw much potential in him, but he could never learn to spot that BIG breaking ball.  I once thought he would be an anchor in the rotation for years to come.  Yeah, that didn't work out.  But, he does have a fancy looking signature, no?

Sam Fuld!  I remember watching him when he played in Peoria.
I was at the September 22nd game the back of card mentions. The catch he made was phenommenal, but I didn't realize it was him until much later after the game, because I missed when the public address announcer mentioned that he was a defensive substitution. At the time Fuld was just another one of the September call-ups and nobody really knew him. Sam became a fan favorite after that game. 

Alright, here comes the last one from the gift exchange!  What'll it be?

 Man, this tape.  Fourth corner was the ticket!  It looks like another Leaf card, similar to what we saw yesterday...

Wrong!  It's two Leaf cards!  Here's the first and it's numbered to 50!

Jake Stinnett is the polished college arm that Theo and crew needed to draft in 2014.  I'm hoping I get to see him pitch if he is sent to South Bend of the Midwest League. I just read the back of his card... he has a permanent pin in his arm?  That's different!

Here's the last one and it's of Carson Sands!   Sweet deal!

Sands is a filthy lefty who I'm really big on.  Everything I've read on this kid says he has a future in The Show and I can't wait to see him pitch for myself.  I heard his curveball has some crazy break on it like the aforementioned Rich Hill's!

Wow, what a haul!  I was expecting three thicker cards, much like the Arismendy Alcantara earlier in the post, but instead I made out like an autograph bandit.

I can't thank Topher, from Crackin' Wax, enough for 1) setting up the gift exchange and 2) for his generosity.
Here's a quick recap for those of you who missed the goods:
A) A Crackin' Wax t-shirt helped pad the gifts inside the cardboard box
B) There are plenty of Cubs cards from the team bag which will undoubtedly fit into my FankenSet, and there was a '92 Sandberg Topps Gold parallel which goes into the player collection
C) Autographs, autographs and more autographs!  Including past Cubs Rich Hill and Sum Fuld, current Cub Arismendy Alcantara, and 2014 draft picks, Kyle Schwarber, Dylan Cease, Jake Stinnett, and Carson Sands.
D) I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the box everything came in, because it's serving as a new cat toy for the time being.  

I'm looking forward to the gift exchange next year.  It's always fun buying for someone else and nothing beats opening up unexpected gifts!  Thanks again, Topher!