Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rolling the Dice on a Tribute Box Break ... and Winning!

I participated in Nachos Grande's 2013 Topps Tribute box break.  Normally, I don't go much for the high end products, because the odds of pulling something you'd actually desire just aren't that strong.  Rather than rolling the dice you might as well save the cash and purchase the few singles you're dying to add to your collection. I don't think I'm alone on this, especially for those of us on a cardboard budget like myself.

Yet, I was feeling frisky and decided to ante up.  Naturally, I snagged the Cubs and after a trade I also had the New York Mets to also tie my hopes to.

For those not in the know, a box of Tribute contains six packs and each pack possesses five cards.  That's only thirty cards in the entire box!   Since there's thirty teams in baseball that meant each time a team pulled a second card from the box another team would be shut out.  Yikes!  That's cut throat!

No Mets in the entire box?  No worries.

Man, was I feeling the crunch. I was almost shut out! The last card of the last pack was mine: 

Hello, Fergie!

What a slick looking card.  Nice picture, solid on card autograph, thick card stock, and it's shiny!  My first Fergie Jenkins auto!  Score!

Here's the back for those of you that are curious:

I know groups breaks can be a hassle to manage, so I'd just like to thank Chris, from Nachos Grande, for all of his efforts.  Fergie and I very happy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The joy of a completed set: '13 Opening Day

I received two 2013 Topps Opening Day cards in the mail today from Bryan at Golden Rainbow Cards and my base set is officially complete.  While mainly buying loose packs last summer I worked on the 2012 version for a little over three months.  This time around I purchased one box, a blaster, and received a generous offering from Bryan and I'm done in less than a third of the time!  Score!
 I have a nice stack of doubles and about forty inserts if anyone needs a little help.  Just drop me a line and I'm sure we can work something out rather quickly.

Thanks for the help Bryan!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baseball Card Coasters

A while back I won a Listia auction that featured a handful of 2012 Topps mini base cards.  I had some epoxy left over from my coffee table project and decided that I could improve upon my first and second batches of baseball card coasters.   The team-colored felt backing from the previous batch is a nice addition, but now I've added glitter!

That's right, folks!  Is your man room or den lacking in the glitter department?  Well, I may have your answer in the form of a manly beverage resting apparatus!

A standard sized card is slightly too big and in previous editions I had to cut the corners of the card off.  It looked a tad on the tacky side if you ask me.  These Topps minis work really well for my coasters, which have a diameter of 4.25 inches.

Including the backing, the coasters are about 3/8 of an inch thick.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but there's a raised edge around the circumference of the coaster.  You know, just in case your beverage is sweating and what not.
Side view of the coaster
The newest feature: The glitter adds a little bit of shiny to the coaster.  We all know how I feel about shiny!  No worries, the glitter lies behind the cards.

What do you guys think?  All of the pictured coasters are up for grabs.  Well, except Mr. Kemp, because he's already on his way to Minnesota in a trade package. 

I'll also take requests if anyone is interested, but please understand it takes about a week or so for the epoxy to cure to point where I feel comfortable breaking the coaster free from its mold.  Also, I'd ask that you provide the card.  (FYI: glossy minis work the best.) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Watching less baseball... already waiting 'til next year.

Yep, my Cubs are not very good right now.  We're not talking about them being Miami Marlins bad, but they aren't playing well.  Currently they stand at 5 wins and 12 losses, and they're on pace for a season record of 48 and 114.  They'll get things righted before too long and reel off a few wins, but I'm seriously starting to wonder if I'm staring at back-to-back 100+ loss seasons.


I can't just sit in the corner and wait for "next year" to arrive so I've found a few odds and ends to keep me occupied.

Exhibit A: Chainsawing with the family!  Last summer's heat was rough and it left four dead pine trees on my parents' property.  Poof!  They're gone now.

Exhibit B:  Yep, I wrestled with the sump pump and won.  It made for an interested evening and early morning in my basement. But, no worries though folks, the Man Room is dry!

Exhibit C: I'm the faculty sponsor of my high school's local chapter of the National Honor Society.  Our annual service project was to make fleece pull-tie blankets for the patients of the nearby cancer center.  We knocked out sixty blankets in about 90 minutes!

Oh, and I'm not the only one who's been working hard.  Gus has been spending a lot of time in his new box as of late.  He's slowly been tearing it apart, as only a narcoleptic-like cat can.

Fun times for all!  Well, except for poor Dale Sveum.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013 Panini Triple Play

I had to run to Target the other day to pick up some rubber cement and I just can't seem to get past that darned card aisle on the way to the checkout.  (Side note: I got carded buying the rubber cement. Crazy.)

I'm still working on my master set of 2012 Panini Triple Play, but that didn't discourage me from picking up a 28 card rack pack! 

Let's rip in!

Triple Play is a low-end product targeted toward your collectors and guys with thin wallets, like myself.

Hey look! Now you, too, can be a Rated Rookie!  Sweet!   And . . . Tattoos! I've been pulling all kinds of Trout stuff lately.  This one definitely is not like the others. 

 Blue and Red stickers this year.  Nice.

I really like the All-Star cards.   GCRL also busted a rack pack and pulled a Miggy Cabrera All-Star.  I'm not sure just exactly what it is, but I find them very attractive.

 Panini brought back the Baseball 101 insert set for another tour.  This is a fun card.

Here's a Craig Kimbrel sporting rose colored cheeks and also a shot of one of the back of the cards.  It looks like there is a game you can play and Big Papi's card is a homer.  I'll have to see if I can track down the rules.

 How about a couple of stud pitchers?  Plain red background for Strasburg.  Boring.  Blue stripes for Yu.  Less boring.

Purple stripes for Tulo.  Hey!  Mountains, snow flakes, and something I can't discern for CarGo.  That's better!

 Hmmmm...  Manny Machado looks about 75 and Eric Hosmer appears as though he should invest in a larger hat.  I kid, but I do really enjoy the graphics.

And last, but not least, my only Cubs from the pack.  Soriano with the Chicago skyline in the background.  Nice touch, Panini.

 I don't know if I'm I'm going to try to knock out the Triple Play set this year.  I think the computerized vector art of the cards would be the driving force if I decided to finish off the 100-card base set.  Hopefully, just a few more rack packs and I'll have it!  Only time will tell if I pull the trigger.  Maybe my wife will send me out on another errand to Target?  A guy can hope!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Pack of Panini Prizm

I stopped by the local card shop yesterday and picked up a pack of 2012-2013 Panini Prizm.  Five dollars a pack for six cards. But they're shiny cards, so I couldn't resist. 

First thing I noticed when looking at the card pack was Mike Trout.  Man, he gets a TON of love these days.  Secondly, there's no year on the front of the pack.  This is supposed to be one of Panini's higher end products for 2012, but it's just now reaching the shelves in spring of 2013.  Confused much?  I am.

To quickly sum up the product, it has all the bells and whistles that Topps likes to throw in their packs: different colored parallels, autographs, & insert sets.  No minis though.  No MLB logos either.  Oh well.

The cards are on a chromium-like card stock and have a decent enough weight to them.  As I've been told the cards are done in the same style as Panini's football and basketball Prizm sets that were released earlier. 

Here's are the cards in the order they appeared to me out of the pack.  Sorry about the reflections of the camera and fingers in the background of each card.  Man, these things are shiny and very reflective!

#60 - Jered Weaver

Card No. EEE4 - Max Fried Extra Edition Prospects Card
 Mr. Fried was the #1 draft pick of the Padres in 2012.  There are twenty packs in a box, and the chances of pulling one of these prospect cards are 1:20 packs.  So, I guess it was a box hit!  I just recently looked at the checklist and found there are only 10 prospects in the insert set and one of them is a Cub. If anyone pulls the Albert Almora give me a shout!

#66 - Joe Mauer
Great shot of Maurer dawning the so-called "Tools of Ignorance".

#24 - Miguel Cabrera
The guy wins the Triple Crown while playing an "adequate" third base.  Yet, here he is captured on cardboard making a routine throw.  Picture selection = Boo.  I would have liked to have seen a shot of him mashing.

#112 - James Loney
I really liked this pack up until this point: 
1. Weaver is a stud.
2. You can't go wrong with a pitching prospect, at least not in my book. 
3. Maurer has been one of the pivotal pieces in a couple of my fantasy baseball teams.
4. 2012 AL MVP
 and ... and... a first baseman who had an OPS of 0.630 in 2012?     How does Loney make it into a 200 card base set.  Do the math: we're looking at 6 or 7 base cards of each team.  For the Rays I'm thinking Longoria, Zobrist, Price, Matt Moore, Fernando Rodney... and, um, Desmond Jennings... and um... yeah...  Okay, moving on. 

Either way, I'm sure there aren't an equal number of cards distributed to every team. Maybe the could have given Astors fans another card to chase? Only Jose Altuve represents the Astros in the base set.  Or maybe throw in another retired player, as there already 30 in the base set.
Hmmmm...  Loney?  There are curious forces at work here for sure.

Good thing this wasn't the last card in the pack otherwise it would have left an terrible aftertaste.  Here's the closing card:

#182 - Andrelton Simmons (Rookie Card)
Nice!  A rookie card of smooth fielding shortstop.

I like what Panini Prizm's 2012-2013 set brings to the table.  I'm not sure I like it enough at $5 a pack though.  So, all of the cards are up for trade if you see anything that catches your eye.

No worries folks, I'll find a set to build this summer!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Can you "Bip" yourself?

I participated in a break Thorzul's Repack Box Spring Break and the cards came this week.  I've done a couple of the repack boxes that Thorzul somehow tracks down and I find they are a great way to go if you're a team collector.  So, I jumped in and crossed my fingers that I would hit a Chicago Cub jackpot!

But, back to my question.  Can you "bip" yourself?  I always thought of the definition to read something like this:

bip - \'bip\ - verb - to be receive an inordinate number of the same card from another individual, often times in spite or jest

Why "Bip"?  Well it has to do with the insane amount of over produced Bip Roberts cards that are floating around the card universe.  I'm guessing some unsuspecting collector was once gifted a healthy stack of Bip Roberts' 1987 Topps card.  The rest is history.

See, I can even use the word in a sentence: Thorzul bipped me with a twenty-one card stack of Brooks Kieschnick cards in his recent Spring Break.

But wait, I gave him MONEY to participate in the break.  So, perhaps I brought this bipping on myself?

To be fair, the highest quantity of any given Kieschnick card in the break was only eight.

But still, for a guy who doesn't even own an '87 Bip Roberts, eight Brooks Kieschnicks is kind of a big deal.  Especially, when the bipping was self-inflicted. 

Random note of coincidence: I typed "bipping" into Google and the sixth suggestion was this blog entry from Thorzul.  And yes, now we've come full circle with this post.  Weird.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teams should pay me to stay away.

I've been to four professional baseball games so far on the young season.  In fact, in the right margin you'll find where I'm documenting the games that I take in this summer.  In summary, two Opening Day losses, one at Wrigley and one at the Peoria Chiefs, another loss this past weekend in Chicago, and a loss by the Kane County Cougars the weekend before. 

Yep, the home team and I are 0 and 4 on the young season.  I took in about twenty games last year at different levels.  How long do you think it takes before they pay me to stay away?  

There hasn't been a ton of well played ball on either side, but I have enjoyed my outings and I've been able to snag a few nice pieces of memorabilia during the process.

Item A: Verification that I visited Wrigley on Opening Day!  No, it wasn't my first visit to Wrigley, but still pretty cool.  I feel bad for the girl that had to hand write these certificates all game long.  Ugh!

Item B:  How about a scorecard of the Low-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs that doesn't quite fit a thirteen inning game?  I continue to become more infatuated with Dan Vogelbach. His walk-up music is currently "Jump Around" by House Pain.  One of my favorites from the '90s!

Item B (different angle):  I really like the "old school" look to the front of the scorecard.  I can't wait to go back to see if they switch up the graphics on the cover during the season.

Item C:  How about the tickets from games at Wrigley?  I love that they feature baseball cards on them.  Banks is hands down the best to play shortstop in the history of the Cubs.  Here's to hoping that Castro turns it into a debate before too long!

Item D:  Awesome promotional giveaway alert!  Wrigley Wax already covered this one, so I'll just leave you with his summary.

Item E: Food!  Heck yeah!  The best so far was a barbecue pork chop sandwich from Kane County.

Can't forget my favorite treat at Wrigley:  The helmet Nachos!  I know these were just recently on the blog, but I've already made my way through two of these bad boys this season.  Thanks for the help, Jeff!

I can't wait to take in more games.  I'm just hoping that Mother Nature cheers up and realizes it's spring already!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Card Show Finds & First Dime Box

I ventured out of my little card collecting bubble the last two weekends and found two cards shows to attend in the Chicago suburbs.  Granted, the main reason for traveling northward was to catch a couple of games at Wrigley, but the Cubs aren't playing real well, so let's focus on the cards!

I found a binder that was labeled "6 for $5".  There appeared to be some vintage within.  Here's what piqued my interest:

 A pair from 1972.  If Killebrew would have played in a different market he would have been THE MAN.  Gibson was the man, and if you thought otherwise you had better watch out for a high and tight fastball!  Man, I wish I had an arm like his when I was pitching! 

I love me some Cubs!  A smilin' sweet-swinging' Billy Williams from 1973 and dinged up '67 Santo. 

 Three hall-of-fame pitchers on one card?  Heck yeah!  Not a baseball card, but I've always wanted one of those Michael Jordan UNC cards from back in the day.  Why not?
I would purchase vintage hall-of-famers at these prices any day!

I also found a milk crate of cards in "super saver" card sleeves.  The sign on the milk crate read, "5 for $1".  Cool.  Here's my five:
A Deckle Edge McCovey... and not one of those from 2012 Topps Archives.  Sweet find!
 I know Bo.  Bo knows awesome junk wax.  Twenty cents?  Yes, please.  May I have another?
 1980 Mike Schmidt.  A little faded on he front and off-centered, but it's still a pretty sweet card of perhaps the best all around third baseman ever.

A 1975 Boooooooog!  What an awesome shot!
 How about an '82 Mr. October?  I got Reggie home and flipped him over and learned a little about Lee Lacy.  Say what?
 Marvelous mis-cut! 

Last but not least, my first dime box!  I was really happy to find this little treasure, because there were only seven dealers at this particular show and I had some time to kill before making my trek to Wrigley.  I found 40 cards!  Four whole dollars!  I won't bore you with all of them, but I show off my favorite ten.  Be prepared for a bunch of Hall of Famers and one Cub!

A pair of Orioles!  An '82 Topps In Action and an '84 Ralston Purina Eddie Murray:
 A 1990 Bowman sweepstakes card of Nolan Ryan and a 1986 Rollie Fingers:
 '86 Wizard of Oz and and '85 Tony Gwynn:
 '83 Topps George Brett All-Star:
 Two sweet cards from the junk wax era!  The Kid from the '90 Upper Deck Mariners checklist and a '92 Score Dream team of the stolen base king:
 This whole time I've had that song, "One of these is not like the other" playing through my head.  Nine current or future members of Cooperstown and one 2004 Bowman Heritage card of Matt Clement.
Why Clement? Well, he's the guy that pitched the Cubs to a win that clinched a playoff spot in '03. I listened to that game on the radio as I drove 2.5 hours to Chicago to propose to my wife.  What a great day that was!  Laura's not a big fan of his facial hair, but he's a favorite in this house!

Others of note:  I found a '90 Ken Griffey, Jr. Donruss card.  Not his rookie, but his second issued card.  10 cents for arguably the best player of the 90's?  Were cards that over produced during the junk wax era?  My, oh my.

I wonder how Nick, from Dime Boxes, would rate my haul.  I think I did pretty well for a dime box rookie!