Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Zippy Zappy Pack War, Part I

Lots of pictures of cards and a little commentary for scoring purposes. Zippy Zappy is famous for his Zappings and they always provide some tremendous cards which always fit right into my collection.

Here are the contestants: The Zippy Zappy pack is on the left and a pack of 2012 Panini Triple Play is on the right.

I finished my master set of 2012 PTP earlier this year so these will all be duplicates, which puts the ZZ pack up early: 1-0.

Round 1

 Ahh, Kris Bryant in a quadi-Reds jersey top versus a disheveled Dan Uggla. Kris has nice blue eyes. Uggla has an logo-less blue hat.  Point to Bryant.

Z Pack = 2
'12 PTP = 0

Round 2
 Addison versus Joe Mauer. I think Mauer's contract is going to be an albatross for the Twins before too much longer.  Russell?  Yeah, keep doing your thing at the league minimum.

Z Pack = 3
'12 PTP = 0

Round 3
 David Ross!  Fake eye black?  Sheesh.  Remind me why I chase the master set?

Z Pack = 4
'12 PTP = 0

Round 4
 Woo-Hoo!  Jorgie!  I don't know if likes being called Jorgie, but that's what I've been doing lately since hearing Maddon refer to him that way.  I like the FOCUS cards, but I like Jorgie more.

Z Pack = 5
'12 PTP = 0

Round 5
 Shazzam!  That's my second Chrome Update card and it's a beauty!  The sticker is, um, bright.  Again, no contest.

Z Pack = 6
'12 PTP = 0

Round 6
 Look, it's a purple parallel of Jon Lester against a puzzle piece containing Justin Upton's right ear.  I didn't know there were purple parallels, but I did know Upton had a right ear.  1 point for learning something new!

Z Pack = 7
'12 PTP = 0

Round 7
 Chromey numbered Addison versus Matt Holiday's left ear.  Hmmmm...  Two ear cards in a row. Weird. Just plain weird.

Final Score:
Z Pack = 8
'12 PTP = 0

Zippy Zappy has won every pack war on this blog, so it's not exactly a stretch to say a win was expected.  But, it's always nice to pad the shutout column in the stat ledger.

Thanks for the cards, Zippy!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday = Zippy Zapping

I received a package from Zippy Zappy about a week ago and at the time I debated whether or not I should rip into right then and there. I was still thinking about doing some Black Friday shopping on COMC, but I have since scratched that idea for the time being. Maybe next year?

Rather, I've saved Zippy's package for today! Going out and literally wrestling with the crowds of shoppers is overrated.  So why not some cards instead?

There were three cards in top loaders and three packs of 2015 Topps Update in the package, but you and I both know better!  The packs are surely Zippy Zappings!

Let's take a look at the three cards:
I am EXCITED about Billy McKinney. McKinney, a left handed bat, has good on-base skills,a solid stroke and he should fit well in left field in a year or so. I'm still not sure what Billy Beane was thinking when he traded the Cubs Addison Russell and Billy McKinney (plus a AAA pitcher) for two months of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. I guess if the A's would have won the World Series it would have been a different story.  

Did you know that I have nearly thirty different Kris Bryant cards and of the thirty only six came into my collection WITHOUT the help of the blogosphere?
 Heck, I didn't even know this existed!  What a hellacious helping of alliteration.  For the record, Bryant started his professional career with the Boise Hawks of the Northwest League.

I made it! I told myself I wouldn't purchase one of those holiday boxes at the local box store and now it's safe to say that particular "need" has passed.  It's my first look at the Chrome Update cards and they are SHARP!  I love the sparkles in the background.  Excellent execution, Topps.

Zippy, I'm working on a return package for you, but I have exactly one card sitting in your stack. Be patient, my friend! In the meantime please be satisfied knowing you've made me one very happy blogger. Thank you for the cards!

The packs will give me some blogging fodder for the next week.  So, make sure everyone checks back soon!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Best Binder Page

Consider me fashionably late to the party.  The Junior Junkie posted the idea of the Best Binder Page nearly a week ago and it has spread around the blogosphere like a brush fire. 

It's the first day of fall break and I spent the morning looking through my collection to find my favorite nine cards. As far as I'm concerned, this break can already be put into the "win" column!  I love having a legitimate reasons to flip through my collection!

Top Left: 1988 Topps Glossy All-Star - Ryne Sandberg
 I was introduced to baseball cards at a friend's 10th birthday party and one of the party favors was a rack pack of 1988 Topps. One glossy all-star card was on the front of each of those packs back in the day and this was mine, thus effectively making it my first baseball card. Now I'm approaching 800 different Ryne Sandberg cards!

Top Middle: 2005 Topps Fan Favorites - Theo Epstein
It's no secret around here that I have a man crush on Theo and he only helped strengthen the bond when he returned my only through the mail autograph request.  Thank you, Theo!

Top Right: 2011 Bowman Draft and Prospects Gold Parallel - Dan Vogelbach
The Vogelmonster is my favorite active professional baseball player, even if he is behind Anthony Rizzo on the Cubs' organizational depth chart. I drove up to Kane County to get this in person autograph at a Cougars game. That was an awesome experience for me.

Middle Left: 1989 Topps KMart Dream Team - Mark Grace
 Grace was a very good player, but he isn't one of my favorites. Yet, he was my Grandma O.'s favorite player. My mom baked cookies and my dad took the cookie and a few cards to the P-town airport, which is where he used to work. Gracie was flying in to be honored by the Chiefs in the early 1990's and my dad was able to somehow deliver the cookies and secure the autographs for his two kids. Yes, my parents are awesome.

Middle Middle: 1988 Peoria Chiefs Team Set - Pete & Harry
Pete Vonachen, rest his soul, is considered to be the father of baseball in Peoria.  He and Harry were great friends.  I've written about this card before and it receives Middle Middle treatment because it is the most cherished card in my collection.

Middle Right: 2012 Randy Hundley Camp - Jim Angell
Jim is one of my best friends and he's actually kind of like an older brother.  We both eat, sleep, and breath Cubs baseball. This card commemorates one of his trips down to Mesa to participate in Randy Hundley's fantasy camp.

Bottom Left: 1909 T206 Sweet Caporal Cigarettes - Jimmy Sheckard
I love this card for a few reasons:
1). It's over a century old and it's easily the oldest in my collection
2). Sheckard was a starting outfielder the last time the Cubs won the World Series 
3). It came into my collection through a Zippy Zapping
I became a part of the much heralded T206 club when this fell out of a Zippy Zappy pack. More importantly, this card reminds me of our little card collecting corner of the internet and all of the friendships I've slowly developed.

 Bottom Middle: 2012 dayf Sketch Card - Ron Santo
 Before I started my own blog dayf was churning out 900 posts a year on Cardboard Junk.  He's an excellent and witty writer, a great trader of cardboard, and a wonderful artist. His work gave me confidence to start my own blog. He doesn't post nearly as much anymore, but I make sure to read each time he does. Plus, Ron Santo!

Bottom Right: 2014 Panini Classics, Classic Lineups Relic Card - Herman, Klein, and Hartnett
I read the sell sheet for this product and was enticed by the hobby's first official Gabby Hartnett relic card. I bought a few packs at my LCS and this fell out of one of them. I've never had much luck pulling relics or autos of Chicago Cubs, but somehow I lucked into his one. This card represents the best pull I've ever had.

There were a couple of cards that just missed the cut and I'll show them here:
 Both of these cards have blogger ties, with the Jaybarkerfan card having the most obvious. Wes is the most generous blogger out there and for reasons unbeknownst to me he attacked me monster package after monster package.  What a blast! There are many bloggers I would like to share a beer with, but I'd love to someday have a drink AND catch a Braves game with this cardboard legend. I wish card pages were configured for ten cards, because it was very difficult for me to leave this one out of my Best Binder Page.

The Kris Bryant card also misses the cut, but it's a VERY distant #11. It receives mention only because it has blogger ties (acquired through a Nachos Grande group break) and is the most expensive card in my collection by a wide margin.  Plus, you know, it's Kris Bryant.

I'm really proud of this binder page, because I think I've picked a really solid page highlighted by collecting firsts as well as family, friend and blogosphere ties.  

Thanks for taking the time to scroll though another blog post! Have a great holiday!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Can Someone Explain COMC to Me?

If history repeats itself, then in about a week my blogroll will be filled with posts about hauls from Check Out My Cards' Black Friday Sale. I've read COMC's blog post about their sale event, which includes millions of marked down cards, free shipping on orders over twenty cards and scratch-and-win cards for COMC credit. It sounds like a good deal!

But, I feel like I'm missing something. You see, I'm in the market for a Joe Maddon card in a Cubs uniform So I typed in ":Maddon" and here's the first three cards which showed up in the search.

I honestly don't understand those prices. The 2010 Heritage card is a short print, so I can see where the sellers are coming from on that one. But the other two cards are commons and can be had on Sportlots for 18 cents each. Yes, even the 2007 Topps Gold parallel is listed for $0.18 on Sportlots.

I checked out one of the million of the marked down cards and it's confusing. 55% off a Carlos Correa autograph!  Cool!

I like Correa as a player and he has a bright future.  I clicked on the "Sale --55% OFF SRP" and it led me to the seller's page.

 The price makes my wallet cry, but it's an on card auto, graded, and numbered to 25.  I get it.  $400 is probably a fair price.  What I don't understand is the 20%.  Where did the 55% go?

Last example.  I collect Kerry Wood cards and this one was the 5th card listed in my search:

 All four cards were listed by the same seller. They are each marked down 5% and all four are the non-glossy version of Wood's 2000 Fleer Tradition card.  I can pick that up on Ebay for $3.49 and on Sportlots for under a dollar (including shipping). $40 for a card which I could find in a dime bin at a card show? What gives? I realize the Kerry Wood example may be an outlier, but it's a quite egregious one at that.

I've never bought anything from COMC. The main reason being is that I just don't understand it. Even with the sale prices and free shipping I don't think I'm receiving that good of a deal. 

If you have any experience with COMC I would love to hear how you make it worth your while. Perhaps if I can learn a few tricks from you guys/gals then I can find some deals and take advantage of their Black Friday Sale.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Waiting 'til Next Year Headquarters CELEBRATES!

The Rule V draft is quick approaching and the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster was today for all MLB teams.  The Cubs added four to the roster, which ultimately protects them from the draft.

In short, Vogelbach is a Cub for a little while longer.  If his name wasn't added to the 40-man roster, then he surely would have been taken by an American League team looking to fill a hole at first base.

I'm elated the Vogelmonster is still a Cub and that the organization won't lose him to the draft come early December.  I'd like to think the Vogelmonster is pretty stoked, too.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Pack of Heritage High Numbers to Scratch the Itch

I like to open cards.

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.  At least that's what I have been told.  I figure buying on $3 pack is better than buy a box at $60, right?

Well, let's see if I get luck and find the Dexter Fowler I need or maybe another David Ross?

Cards one and two:
 Jordy Mercer is no Carlos Correa.  Carlos stays in the collection and Jordy will Walk The Plank.

Cards number three and FIVE in the pack:
That's right, I'm skipping card number four and you can't do anything about it. The Scherzer is a short-print, so that's a win, right?

Cards six and seven:
 Meh.  NL West kids I don't know.  Moving on.

And the last two cards in the pack, eight and nine:
Yunel Escobar versus Justin Bour?  Bour is a former Peoria Chief.  Justin is easily the third best card in this pack after the Correa and Scherzer.

It's even better than card number four: 
It's a purple refractor and it's not numbered. It's really nice to look at, but I'm not an Asdrubel Cabrera fan and Rays are tough to get rid of within the blogosphere.  Sigh.  Any takers?

Thanks for stopping by today and ripping a pack with me.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dodger Fans Like Me - Part II

Welcome to the final installment of my mini series, Dodger Fans Like Me. Let's be honest here: there are more Dodger bloggers out there than any other team and the odds of me receiving cards from two Dodger fans in back-to-back days isn't all that outrageous.

I hosted a contest some time back and Night Owl won.  I sent a prize package of cards his way and I was genuinely surprised when a return package landed in my mailbox. 

Actually, when I saw the first item I about fell out of my chair.  No seriously, I almost did!  I have a new-to-me desk chair and I forgot that it can tilt backwards.
 I'm not sure if Greg picked this up from someone else, or how he came across this National Sports Collectors Convention corporate exhibitor pass, but it is sooooo sweet!  I'm going to find a Cubs lanyard and hang this on the wall in the man room!

If that weren't enough, there were cards in the package as well:
 I just blogged about this card yesterday.  Or did I?  I did not!
Night Owl sent me the gold version and garvey cey russell lopes sent me the silver.  It's funny how this hobby works, isn't it?  Before yesterday I didn't even know this card existed and now I have its parallel!

Here's Javy getting the First Home Run insert treatment.  Nice!  I actually remember listening to this game on the radio.
 More Topps Update!  With the addition of Russell and Bryant I think I'm getting close to the Update Cubs team set.
 Nope, check that.  I think I still need two or three of the Bryant cards.  Go figure. 
Matt Szczur is one of my favorite former Peoria Chiefs.  I wonder if he'll get a shot next year if the Cubs don't resign Dexter Fowler.  Is it me, or does Strop's hat alllllllmost look straight in that picture? 

Ooooooh!  It's a sparkly cognac refractor from 2011 Topps.  Sorry Gavin, this one's staying in my collection.

Ernie!  I'm a sucker for reprint cards even if they don't have the feel of actual vintage. Send them all to me!
 I wish the backs of modern cards would bring back cartoons and trivia.  Good stuff.
 Gary Scott and Casey McGehee.  McGehee put together a decent career, but third base was a revolving door until Aramis Ramirez came to town.  Hopefully Kris Bryant will carry the torch at the hot corner for the foreseeable future. 
 Did you know that 2014 Topps Heritage had gray back variations?  I didn't.
 Lastly, a card for my slowly growing Dillon Maples collection.  Seriously.  I have a Dillon Maples collection!
Mr. Night Owl, thank you so much for the cards and a BIG thank you for the National pass of Kerry Wood! The underlying reason for me holding the contest was for me to make room in my trade box, not to coerce another blogger into sending me cards. I honestly wasn't expecting cards in return, but I'm certainly not complaining.  Let me know if you're interested in any Donruss puzzle pieces, I think I could help you out some!

And, that concludes the Dodger Fans Like Me series . . . or does it?   Thanks for stopping by everyone!