Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Jersey swatches from France

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see an international package arrive in my mailbox. Kevin from The Card Papoy was kind enough to send me a return package for a few cards I sent him earlier this spring.

The package and postage look so much different than what I'm used to, which makes it feel very exotic and special. Oh, what it must've seen on it's way to me!

Kevin was kind enough to send two cards featuring jersey swatches, both from 2002, and both featuring Jason Giambi.
Giambi joined the Yankees in '02, so both of these jersey pieces were of him with the A's. The gray one was a good choice for the dual-relic with Bernie, as it feels like a Yankees away jersey. It might have looked odd if a green one, like the card below, was included on there.
And man, Giambi was a monster his first year in pinstripes: .313/.435/.598 with 41 HRs and 122 RBIs. That was good for a 7.1 WAR. And that was considered a worse year than his previous two.
I very much appreciated this Stadium Club Gary Sanchez RC, which I didn't have. It's a little odd to see Stadium Club use a studio shot, although I guess they didn't have much to choose from for Sanchez. I expect a cooler shot in 2017.

Here are a few more cards I especially liked.
Thanks so much for the package, Kevin!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Settling on a pack of '17 Bowman

This past weekend, I was planning on stopping by Dollar Tree to pick up some of those 30-card repacks I've seen. Unfortunately, there were zero baseball cards. This Dollar Tree is historically bad with nearly empty shelves at all times, so I don't know why I excepted they'd have some new cards.

They had a few random packs of gaming cards, as well as a ton of packs from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. I'm a Potter fan and did see this movie on a recent cross-country flight, and I actually thought it was pretty good. However, I don't want cards from the film.

I ended up buying some bubble bath soap for the kids, and decided to walk next door to K-Mart in hopes of finding a few packs or a blaster. I would have been happy with some 2017 Series One given how crazy the RC prices are right now. I also stupidly realized that I don't have the Aaron Judge flagship RC. I sent it out for a TTM autograph in February and never bothered to replace it. Now it'll cost me at least $5, unless anyone here has one for trade.

The only baseball cards they had were a few value packs of 2017 Bowman. These are fat packs with 22 cards. Not wanting to go home empty-handed, I snagged one, hoping for a Blake Rutherford or Gleyber Torres. I didn't get any Yankees. Boo.

Overall, the pack was ok. There were some big name base cards, and a few nice rookies. I don't mind the design that much. The last few years of Bowman all felt very similar, so I like that this is a little different.
The highlight of the pack was a green paper parallel of Cody Sedlock, the Orioles' #2 prospect. It's numbered to 99. I hadn't heard of Sedlock, but seems like he has a decent arm. He's had a bit of a rough start at A+ ball this year with an ERA over 6.
I like these Rookie of the Year inserts a lot. The script is cool, and the Refractor shine looks great. I'm nearly certain that Arcia gave up his rookie status in 2016, as he had 216 plate appearances. So yeah, I think this card is inaccurate, as he cannot be deemed a Rookie of the Year favorite when he is not a rookie.
I can honestly say I watched zero World Baseball Classic. Not one out or at bat. It's not my thing. According to the stats on the back, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is a very powerful hitter. He hit 44 homers for Yokohama last year. According to the ever reliable wikipedia, he was the MVP of Pool B in the 2017 WBC. I have no idea what that means, but hey, congrats to him.
I know this guy. Apparently, the Yankees selected between Torres and Eloy Jimenez in the Aroldis Chapman trade. I'm glad Torres was the pick, but Jimenez is an elite prospect in his own right. He's tearing up A+ ball right now, and Double A shouldn't be far off. The Cubs have another good one.
I really hope this guys swings and hits bounce balls in the dirt.
I also got a few RCs, including one of the top prospect in baseball, Yoan Moncada. David Dahl had a nice Big League debut last year, but hasn't played yet due to a rib cage injury.

Overall, not bad. I still would have preferred a repack, but at least I got to tear open a pack this weekend and celebrate America.

Monday, May 29, 2017

TTM Success: Bill Virdon

I've been in a little TTM slump lately, although in fairness I haven't sent out a ton of requests.

I did get this one back last week. I've been meaning to send to Bill Virdon for some time, and finally shipped off this Yankees 1975 Topps team card in which Virdon is pictured as the manager.

He was kind enough to sign and personalize it to me, which was cool. He also signed a second copy for my son at my request.

Virdon was originally a Yankee, but never suited up for them until he managed them in 1974. While still in the minors, he was traded for Enos Slaughter. He had a solid career, amassing a 19.7 WAR in 12 seasons with the Cardinals and Pirates.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Baseball cards on cards

Yesterday, I showed some cool basketball cards Kerry fromCards on Cards sent me. Of course, the package also included a healthy amount of baseball cards too, because duh!

I’ve seen Gary Sanchez cards come to a screeching halt in card packages, and Aaron Judge is headed for the same treatment. I don’t blame any of your guys, as their cards are fairly valuable right now, and can be moved to acquire things that fit your collection better. However, that didn’t phase Kerry, as he sent me a few of each of those guys:
I really like 2017 Gypsy Queen. Just a cool looking set, and very different from the past few years.
This is the first 2017 Topps Stickers card (err, sticker) that I’ve gotten. I always like the simplicity of the design, and wish Topps would make a full-sized set that looks like this.
I won’t lie, I literally LOL’d at this Robin Ventura card. It’s from Upper Deck Game Face, and that’s the best you could find of Ventura's "game face"? Hilarious.
Kerry was kind enough to turn these team-issed cards over so I knew they weren’t regular base cards. Much appreciated!
A few cards from some mid 2000s sets. Godzilla has always made for some fun cards.
I’ll close the post with a high-end basecard of CC. I can’t imagine how many of these get tossed because they aren’t juicy hits.
Kerry, thanks for another great package!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Basketball cards on cards

Kerry from Cards on Cards is one of the most generous bloggers out there. His mailings are always stuffed with cards he knows I’ll like. He must bust a ton of product too. Kerry, what are your secrets?!

I am the beneficiary of Kerry’s pack-busting in multiple ways. First, he sets aside Yankees for me. Second, he sets aside Knicks for me. I haven’t collected basketball cards since high school. I actually collected more basketball than baseball at that time, if you can believe that. However, I love getting Knicks cards now, not because of the guys on the team (since they suck), but it’s fun to see what products from other sports look like.
2016-17 Donruss used the same design as football and racing. Unlike baseball, they wisely used team colors on the cards. I thought this picture of Joakim Noah was hilarious, because that’s the exact same face all Knicks fans are making after his very forgettable first year in NY.
Ok, a card of a player I actually like. Porzingis is a stud. This is from Panini Complete, which I have no idea about. I assume it’s one of their lower end sets, sort of the Opening Day of NBA (keep me honest, hoops collectors). It’s a nice card though. Clean design. Simple, but nice.
I think I asked Kerry to set aside a Malachi Richardson card for me at some point. As a Syracuse alum, I appreciate getting cards of guys that wore the orange.  I’ll probably try and send this to Malachi TTM next season.
Some basketball cards look pretty cool horizontally, and this is definitely one. It allows for some great action shots. I love that NBA Hoops brand still exists, as those were a staple in my basketball-collecting days.
More Hoops, and another cool image. Swat Team! Get out of Kristaps’ face.
There have always been some cool Team USA basketball cards. I mean, these are pretty unforgettable from back in the day:
I like this Carmelo card a lot with the USA Basketball shield front and center.
While not new, these were some of the coolest cards of my childhood. While we all loved 1993 Upper Deck baseball, 1993-94 Upper Deck basketball were sweet too, and Skylights was a great, great subset. Love that the Twin Towers make an appearance here too.

I love the sampling of basketball. It’s so much fun to see what else is out there.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Aaron Judge: Topps NOW poster boy

I've been sucked into buying Aaron Judge Topps NOW cards to the point of feeling very guilty if I miss one. Ridiculous, right? I actually did miss one the other day, now I'm scrambling to find it.

While I did turn to Topps for one of them, I have gone to eBay for the others, as they are a bit more affordable.

I love the card from Fenway on April 26. Not only did Judge make a great catch (he's not just a masher), but his HR was special too. Everyone had been talking about Judge homering over the Green Monster. So what did he do?
He went opposite field to right for a HR. That was so freaking cool, and showed what a great hitter he is.
I do appreciate that Judge's catch is on the back, versus the usual write-up. This card had a print run of 2,151, and was the first time he was featured in '17.
The second isn't particularly interesting - Most HR by a Yankees player under 26 in April. Got all that? But it was in the middle of Judgemania and I got swept up. What can you say? This card sold 1,101 copies, which actually makes it his rarest Topps NOW not counting the 1/1s and special print runs.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Big. Fun. Game.

Several years ago, Napkin Doon started the Big Fun Game. Essentially, it was a White Elephant/Yankee Swap type of game where one randomly guesses what is behind closed doors, or steals a prize previously unearthed by a different participant.

It was always great fun when Napkin Doon ran the game, and I'm still bitter over losing out on a 1958 Roberto Clemente. I always liked to steal to stir the pot, and that was a bitter taste of my own medicine.

Well, the Big Fun Game antics were brought to another level recently by Wes over at Willinghammer Rising aka JBF. I believe he even sought the permission of Napkin Doon for the naming rights. Wes is more of a gentleman than the Doon, so that should surprise no one.

I picked mid-pack...not usually the best place for Big Fun Game placement. I made an early steal, snagging a Mookie Wilson signed jersey that I thought was super cool. But an item can only be stolen twice before it's frozen, and that was its first steal. I figured it wouldn't hold up, and it didn't. It was stolen from me quite quickly, bring back painful memories of that Clemente card. I gathered my composure and stole the prize I ended up winning:
Sure, I don't collect Mike Trout. But a jersey relic of the best player in the game? Pretty easy choice. It's not a card I would normally buy, and I wouldn't be lucky enough to pull it in a pack. The pick held up, and that was my prize. Success!

But like Wes would every stop there. Does he ever stop there? He padded the envelope with a team bag of Yankees. I gotta show off the Tinos first, because duh.
And a bunch of Jeters! I'm about to embark on a Jeter organization project to see how many I have. Most of these were new to my collection. How sweet is that Skybox Thunder?
Wes also threw in a cool Yogi managerial card, which will go in Joey's binder, as well as some other '90s releases.
Lastly, I'll show a very low numbered Andrew Miller refractor. Would look mighty nice with a signature on it...just sayin'.
JBF, thanks for your generosity and reviving the game.