Tuesday, July 16, 2019

While I wait for Ginter...

As I'm anxiously awaiting my first look at the 2019 Allen & Ginter Tino Martinez, that didn't stop me from bringing in a new Tino to my collection. Although it's 17 years old, indeed it's one I needed.

Fleer slash Skybox put out a few interesting sets, and one of those was the EX brand. I always sort of liked them, as they had an acetate-type feel for them, and often had all or a portion of the card as clear cut. I love clear cuts.

While I have several copies of the base card, this is an instance where I had no idea that a relic existed. Truth be told, it looks like Fleer had some leftover bat pieces laying around, and essentially just cut out a weird shape on the base card and found a place to stick a bat relic. It's not integrated into the card particularly well.
I had never seen it until it popped up on eBay, and with just 43 copies made, that's not surprising. While perhaps not low by today's standards, during this time it was low.

Now I'm ready for some 2019 Ginter.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Tino is in 2019 A&G!

Yesterday, I took a quick peek at the 2019 Allen & Ginter checklist that was released by Topps. A&G is by far my least favorite set each year, even more than Big League, but I did want to see what Yankees were in the set. I was glad to see that Adam Ottavino is included, for example. And equally happy to see that there was no Jacoby Ellsbury card. For some reason, Topps still seems to think Yankee fans want Ellsbury cards. I can assure you that, even for the season he was healthy, no one did.

But I was shocked, and I say SHOCKED, when I saw card #300 on the 2019 checklist: TINO MARTINEZ - NY YANKEES.

I don't know if this is certain, but my hunch is that Tino didn't have a Topps contract for awhile, but that has changed. For starters, he was left out of 2017 Topps Home Run Derby Champs insert set. How else can you leave out the undisputed 1997 Derby champ?!

I'm sure many non-Yankee fans will gripe. Why do we need to keep seeing El Duque and Paul O'Neill in our sets?! Because Topps makes money from old dudes buying cards, and including more Yankees = more sales. Simple really. Tino isn't a star, and is probably better reserved if another "Fan Favorites" set ever comes out. Regardless, I don't care what others will think, especially with some of the garbage that is usually included in the A&G checklist. If Tino takes the place of a base card of a hot dog eater or an entrepreneur, then I am for it. Many find those cards charming. I find them annoying.

Side note - I do enjoy the look of A&G. That's never my issue. And they look great signed! They serve as excellent TTM fodder. Like this:
Anyways, I'm wondering if this will start a run of Tino being included in various Topps sets. He was a redemption in 2019 Bowman for the 30th anniversary buyback autos, and now has a base card in A&G. It wouldn't surprise me to see him start popping up in Archives and the likes.

Will it make me buy more Ginter? Well, I'll probably buy a blaster because it'll be fun to pull a Tino from a pack in 2019. So, in short, yes. But I won't go overboard, as I'm sure a few copies will find their way to me even if I didn't buy a single pack.

But at least this did one thing: got me excited about a 2019 release, which is saying something.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Put me in, Coach Tom

Our resident hobby high school baseball coach, P-Town Tom, hit me up with a nice care package the other day. Tom is a very thoughtful guy, and tends to always check off multiple boxes when sending a package. This one was no different, as he hit three areas of my collection in one swoop:
  • Tino Martinez
  • Phil Rizzuto
  • HOFers for my son
Let's start with the Tinos. I needed this Flair! It's a pretty awesome card, even though this set was confusing with the Class/Row/Seat designation. Just a fancy way to say "parallel."
I also enjoyed this SPx Power Explosion card, even if it is a dupe for me.

Next up, the Rizzutos! This TCMA is awesome, and I love the classic top-step-of-the-dugout shot.
I also thought this Topps Gallery was very classy looking, and even thought the scripted font design element looked a bit like this:
While I've been bad about showcasing and keeping up with my son's HOF binder, I do still actively add to it, and will make sure these cards are added:
While certainly not known for his time with the Mets, the Ashburn is a great addition to the binder!

Tom threw in a few other Yanks for me, highlighted by this UC3 Mattingly. Great shot of Donnie hustling and playing the game hard, as he always did.
Thanks for thinking of me, Coach!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Blue Chips

No, I'm not talking about this when I say Blue Chips, although it was a great movie and a very awesome card set.
I'm talking about Topps Finest Blue Chips. I never had any of the originals back from 1997 - they were one of those fancy sets I saw images of in Beckett, but never would be able to add to my collection.

As part of 2019 Finest, Topps rolled Blue Chips back out, and I sprung for the Gleyber Torres:
Beautiful card.

Napkin Doon and I were just chatting the other day on how Gleyber Torres seems a bit underpriced right now. In the world of young players like Acuna and Vlad Jr and Wander Franco, Gleyber seems a little forgotten as an "older player." And by older, he's 22. 22! And hitting .295 and is on pace for 35-40 HRs as a middle infielder...who is 22!

I'm not quite sure what it is. He's still collectible and I wouldn't say his cards are cheap, but on his own team falls second to Judge, and perhaps the fact that he isn't as homegrown of a Yankee holds some back since he was acquired in a trade. Or the fact that his name is Gleyber, which is pretty unusual sounding? I don't know. All I know is he's a star, he's getting better, and he's twenty-freakin-two.

Regardless, his RCs are very affordable right now, as are sweet cards like this. And he deserves to be an elite player in this hobby, just as he is on the field.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The mysterious pancake stacker

I got home from vacation a couple days ago, and the only card-related mail I had was a single plain white envelope.

The envelope was mysterious. First off, there was no return address listed. Second, it was post-marked from Tennessee. Third, it wasn't addressed to my name, just "Lost Collector."

Hmmm. Not many clues there.

Inside, more mystery.

There wasn't a note saying who it was from. Just a business card that said that I've been stacked by the pancake king.
But who is the pancake king?!?
Oh yes, the card that was in the envelope was this Phil Linz Upper Deck Yankees Classic, #'d 88/99. Linz is famous for his harmonica incident on the Yankees bus, of course.

The card is much appreciated, as is the mystery surroundng the card. A few others on Twitter also mentioned they were stacked by the king of flapjacks. Some even speculated that it might be JBF, who isn't too far from Nashville. I'm not ready to concede there though. Not enough clues!

Thanks, Pancake King!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Walgreens yellow parallels

A month or so ago, there was rage around 2019 Topps Walgreens yellow parallels. Collectors were driving all over and visiting various Walgreens stores in hope of finding these mysterious $9.99 hanger boxes that made no mention of yellow parallels, yet contained six of them in each box.

I think the buzz around these has cooled down considerably, but it was an exciting chase for a while. Larry from Twitter was kind enough to offer up a few extras he has pulled, and sent a couple my way:
The Chance Adams is cool, and as a great TTM signer, I may need to send his way for an autograph. Plus, any card with Judge on it is awesome!

He was also kind enough to send along a few Yankees that came from these boxes.
Gleyber Torres is a phenomenal player. He really is. This 35th anniversary card of him looks great!
Speaking of "great", I missed these "Greatness Returns" inserts when Topps first game out. Overall, I think they are one of the better looking insert cards found in Topps flagship this year. Stanton has sort of been forgotten this year, but I think he'll play an important part for the Yanks over the summer.

Larry, thanks for your generosity! Make sure to give him a follow here if you haven't yet.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

1 PWE. 2 new Tinos.

A few weeks back, Paul of Scribbled Ink was kind enough to shoot me a 4-card PWE.

The highlights for me were two Tino Martinez cards that were new to my collection. Cards like this show me while I'll always have Tino cards to collect. There were just so many of them made from 1996-1999. It's easy for ones to slip past without even knowing.

I would have definitely thought I had this Score Dugout Collection, and I'm right, I do. However, this is an Artist's Proof, which I definitely didn't have.
The next is from Donruss Collections, which is like a glossy, embossed version of regular Donruss/Pinnacle cards. But I needed this one too!
There were also two Aroldis Chapman cards, including this Panini that is numbered to 99. The refractor-like shine and pattern make it look great!
Thanks for thinking of me, Paul!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Not to be glossed over

I don't pay much attention to the Topps TBT online exclusives. Just not really in my wheelhouse. But recently, Jason of The Writer's Journey wanted to grab the 6-card release, as long as he could share the purchase with a few team collectors.

After a little but of deliberation, I decided to chip in for the Luke Voit, as I don't have many cards of him.
The card itself is pretty cool looking, based off of 1970 Topps Glossy football, which I had never heard of. The actual release had rounded corners, which would have been a cool touch, but I'm guessing Topps On-Demand couldn't do something like this quickly.
Image result for 1970 topps glossy football
It was nice to add another card of Voit, who is now popping up in regular releases, like Heritage and Topps Series 2. At least he is a Yankee card I enjoy pulling, unlike a guy like Chapman (who is in every set and I've never seen anyone actually want to pull one of his cards), or Ellsbury, which is a joke that Topps is still including him in sets. He's not liked and hasn't played since he was a pinch runner in 2017. Enough.

Thanks to Jason for the chance to add a new, unique Voit to the collection!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Signed!

Yesterday, the Yankees signed their 2019 MLB Draft First Round Pick, SS Anthony Volpe from Delbarton School in nearby Morristown, NJ.

Volpe is someone who comes with great makeup, although reports were divided on if he was worthy of the 30th overall pick. Obviously the Yankees have had a chance to see him up close and personal in their own backyard, plus were doing double duty scouting his teammate, Jack Leiter.

He was committed to Vanderbilt, but I'm sure the Yankees had an idea they'd be able to sign up before committing their first pick for him. The Yanks have a bit of a history with reaching for high schoolers in Round 1, so hopefully Volpe turns out to be a franchise cornerstone.
On Draft night, I was able to snag this autograph of Volpe. I think I actually got it before the pick was official, as the Yankees connection to Volpe was really heating up. As Zippy Zappy's excellent post showed, a lot of these first round picks already have cards by the time their names are called. An on-card autograph of a Yankees first rounder was just too hard to pass up.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

A unicorn is spotted in Michigan

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Ty Hensley was no longer on the roster of the Evansville Otters. There was a press release over the winter that stated he was returning this year, so I was concerned he was once again injured.

A few weeks went by, and it finally popped up in my newsfeed that Ty had signed on with a new independent league team, this time the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League.

I was unaware that Utica, NY had a professional baseball team, as that was the only Utica I know. A quick browse of their website shows that I'm incorrect, as this team is based in Utica, MICHIGAN, just outside of Detroit.

Here's Ty in his new duds, courtesy of the Unicorns' website:
Image result for ty hensley unicorns
Pretty cool logo. Fairly Rumble Ponies-esque.

I wish Ty nothing but the best this year, and hopefully he has a successful season. I'll be sending some cards his way to Utica to distribute to his new teammates and local fans, although I think with independent ball it's quite hit or miss as to whether or not mail is actually delivered to players. Hopefully he gets it!

So far this season, Ty has appeared in four games, with a save and 16 Ks in 10 IP. Nice numbers there! Maybe he'll dominate out of the pen and an organization will give him another shot!
Just yesterday, my 116th different Hensley arrived, yet another 1/1. This is a 2012 Leaf Memories yellow plate, with a sticker autograph obviously attached.

Good luck, Ty!




Monday, June 3, 2019

Draftin'

As many know, tonight is the first part of the 2019 MLB Draft.

It's a pretty weird event. In the NFL, Kyler Murray went #1. Most interested fans had seen him play at Oklahoma, taking home the Heisman. In the NBA Draft in two weeks, Zion Williamson will go #1. Again, a household name after his larger-than-life season at Duke.

The MLB Draft, while much more mainstream than in the past, is 40 rounds of guys you've mostly never heard of. There are times when that's not quite the case, like when Bryce Harper and Strasburg were drafted. But for the most part, it's a lot of unknowns to a more casual viewer.

The first pick tonight is owned by the tanktastic Orioles, and most believe they'll take Adley Rutschman, a catcher from Oregon State. By all accounts he's an excellent player, but outside of a few appearances on ESPN over the last couple weeks, I doubt most have heard of him.

One cool thing about the MLB Draft: bloodlines! In the first round alone, we'll see Bobby Witt Jr taken, and possibly Jack Leiter, son of Al.

Regardless, I'll still likely tune in around the time the Yankees are on the clock at #30, and hopefully one of the highly ranked players find a way to fall to them. And just a side note, #30 is where Ty Hensley was picked in 2012!

All this rambling just to show a card of the Yankees 2017 first rounder, Clarke Schmidt:
Schmidt has been good to very good when healthy, but finds himself on the IL for the second time this season. I can't seem to find an explanation. The first time wasn't arm related, as he was sick. Still, his last outing showed why he was a highly touted player, firing 6 innings, allowing three hits, and striking out nine back on May 20. If he can stay healthy and put together a few solid outings in a row, he should find his way up to AA later in the summer.

Big IF when it comes to Yanks draft picks though.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Player collectors looking out for one another

There are a few player collectors on the blogs who are dominant in their respective field. P Town Tom with Vogelmonster. Zippy with Torrens. Junior Junkie with Griffey. Collecting Cutch with McCutchen. There are countless others I'm not mentioning, but we all know the plight to try and track down all cards of one's chosen player.

My favorite player retired 14 years ago, and it's still incredibly hard to track down his cards. However, often it's my fellow player collectors who help me out the most.

Recently, Brian of Collecting Cutch sent me a few cards out of the blue. Included in the package were these:
True, I did have the '89 Redemption, but I did redeem it to receive a second Tino buyback auto (still no update there). But the 2016 Panini Prime Cuts auto, numbered to just 10? One I needed and really appreciate!

Brian is always looking out for me, and he mentioned to me that when he buys a few Cutch cards from a seller, he'll often take a peek at what else the seller has, and usually searched for Tino as one of the guys he looks for.

I found that to be a very touching gesture, and really appreciate that Brian goes out of his way to do that. He's sent me far more Tino cards than I have sent him of Cutch, and I hope one day to pull or stumble across a very rare McCutchen so that I can properly thank him.

Brian also sent me a few Cutch cards (always appreciated), and a cool Giancarlo Stanton custom from the World Baseball Classic. The design looks like it's from the Rookies App.
Last but not least, a sweet RC Red Refractor of Dellin Betances. The card is amazing looking in person, as the scan didn't do it justice.
Player collecting is a bond of sorts, and guys like Brian really help make the battle worth it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

TTM Success: MLB Draft prospect Bryant Packard

Earlier in the spring, I bought one lonely fat pack of Donruss. I think it was one of the 50-card packs, actually. It was a confusing pack, with a lot of card variations, the black rookie cards, and a few inserts. It felt all over the place.

One of the inserts was a very shiny card called "American Pride," which is a set that depicts the Team USA Collegiate National Team. The subject of this card, Bryant Packard, is a junior OFer at East Carolina University.

Upon a bit of googling, turns out Packard is a very impressive player. He hit over .400 last year, ranking sixth in the nation. He followed it up with another performance year this year, leading ECU to a #10 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Packard is currently ranked as the #106 Draft Prospect according to MLB.com, which would put him in consideration for a pick around the 3rd round. Although, you never really know with the Draft and team's strategies in rounds 4-10ish.

Anyhow, I thought it would be cool to try a TTM request to Packard, and sent the card to ECU's baseball facility. He was kind enough to sign and return the card in about 2 weeks time.

Now I just need the Yanks to draft him!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Blake of the Year

Yesterday, I received a TTM success from Blake Snell.

While he's obviously not a Yankee, this is one of the times I don't mind sending a TTM to a player on another team. Snell is a guy who I respect from a team within the AL East. He's a bit of a quiet star, but I remember him making his debut against the Yankees, looking like a 12-year-year-old on the mound. I figured he'd be a force for the Yanks to deal with for years, and thus far that's looking accurate.

In just his third season in the Majors, Snell won the AL Cy Young. He went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA. Pretty damn awesome for a dude who pitched the entire season at age 25.

While the Rays are a very pesky team, there's not much to dislike about Snell...except when he's on the mound against your team.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Just Anthony

Over the past few months, I've seen Yankees 2018 first rounder change his signature from "Anthony Seigler" to just "Anthony."

I don't have a strong opinion on such a matter, I just thought it was interesting. A player can sign his name however he sees fit, from very neat to very messy to very abbreviated. As someone who has long gone by initials instead of a given first name, I'm not one to judge an abbreviated signature.

I just found it interesting, and wonder if it was the result of signing so many autographs that he couldn't bear writing out his last name, or if it just naturally shortened over time and eventually ended up in its current state.

The first time I saw his signature, it was on this TTM autograph I received from him:
Here is Seigler's autograph on a recent Bowman's Best purchase I made.
And here is his autograph on some Leaf set I don't know anything about but bought it because it was a dollar and numbered to /99.
Looks like it's just Anthony moving forward. Or maybe he'll be Tony one day. Or Tone. Or Big Tone. As long as just Anthony/Ant/Tony/Tone hits and catches well and plays in the Bronx someday, he can go by whatever he wants in my book.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

TTM Success: Mark Teixeira

My TTM conquests over the last year have really slowed down. I don't have as much desire to send out the cards as I once did. Part of it is working long hours, and when I get home from the day, I don't feel like writing letters and addressing envelopes.

But I do send out a few here and there, and I've been going after a few big fish. One of those paid off handsomely.

I sent a request to former Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira, and was thrilled to open up an envelope this past weekend to find this:
I had never gotten Tex before, so this was a thrilling TTM success. Despite injuries late in his career, Teixeira really was a great Yankee. In NY, he was an All-Star twice, MVP runner up, 3-time Gold Glover, and obviously was a big part of the 2009 World Series team.

I can't say enough how incredible these Turkey Red cards look signed too. I'm not trying to build a collection of them, but I definitely go out of my way to send one when trying to capture an autograph. Here are a few others I've gotten:


Friday, May 17, 2019

Saved!

This morning, on my way to grab the bus to work, I noticed a stray envelope on the ground next to my porch. My porch is slightly raised, up about 4 steps and made of bricks and stone. On both sides are those ugly green generic bushes that need to be trimmed once in a while, sitting about two feet in front of the house. My mailbox is attached to the house, to the left of the porch and above the bushes.

The envelope was laying behind the bush towards the house.

It was clearly a PWE, so it meant cards. Either an eBay purchase or a TTM.

As it turned out, it was an eBay purchase. The ground was a little damp, but luckily it didn't rain last night, and the card was A-okay.

So what card did I save? This beauty:
God, late '90s cards are so awesome. I think about this more every day. I like 1997/1998 cards so much more than today's uninspired crap, and even more than vintage. It's true.

This is a super shiny Artists Proof from 1998 Score Rookie Traded. Was surprised I didn't have it, but glad to now own it, and glad I didn't have to re-purchase it because of poor aim by my mailman.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Utz Utz Baby

In the past few weeks, I've seen a lot of card folks posting about 2019 Topps Utz promo cards. Essentially, this is a 100 card promo set inserted into snack pack bags of Utz chips. The cards look just like a 2019 Topps card, but with an unmistakable Utz logo on the front, similar to Topps Opening Day.

Also similar to Opening Day - no foil!
Mark Hoyle was kind enough to send me Didi Gregorius, the first card I've received from this promo. I'm all for food-issue and other oddballs, and given how few of them we get in modern times, this is a nice win for the card collecting community.

The rest of the Yankees checklist includes:

4 Aaron Judge
9 Johnathan Loaisiga RC
12 Gleyber Torres
37 Chance Adams RC
42 Aroldis Chapman
53 Didi Gregorius
54 Miguel Andujar
55 Luis Severino

And the complete checklist:

1 Buster Posey
2 Yadier Molina
3 Brandon Crawford
4 Aaron Judge
5 Lorenzo Cain
6 Aaron Nola
7 Whit Merrifield
8 Wade LeBlanc
9 Jonathan Loaisiga
10 Adam Jones
11 Dansby Swanson
12 Gleyber Torres
13 Javier Baez
14 Steven Duggar
15 Kyle Tucker
16 Shin-Soo Choo
17 Jesus Aguilar
18 Sean Reid-Foley
19 Nick Markakis
20 Kohl Stewart
21 Francisco Arcia
22 Khris Davis
23 Shohei Ohtani
24 Ryan Zimmerman
25 Nolan Arenado
26 Kris Bryant
27 J.D. Martinez
28 Ramon Laureano
29 Byron Buxton
30 Joey Votto
31 Blake Snell
32 Clayton Kershaw
33 Carlos Correa
34 Todd Frazier
35 Corey Dickerson
36 Ronald Acuna, Jr.
37 Chance Adams
38 Trea Turner
39 Mookie Betts
40 Paul DeJong
41 Austin Hedges
42 Aroldis Chapman
43 Josh Harrison
44 Rhys Hoskins
45 Max Scherzer
46 Willson Contreras
47 David Bote
48 Justin Turner
49 Miguel Cabrera
50 J.T. Realmuto
51 Robinson Cano
52 Starling Marte
53 Didi Gregorius
54 Miguel Andujar
55 Luis Severino
56 Jonathan Schoop
57 Jake Bauers
58 Trey Mancini
59 Kyle Schwarber
60 Salvador Perez
61 David Price
62 Dee Gordon
63 Nick Pivetta
64 Francisco Lindor
65 Joey Gallo
66 Corey Kluber
67 Jeff McNeil
68 Jake Arrieta
69 Freddie Freeman
70 Brad Keller
71 Jose Ramirez
72 Julio Teheran
73 Mike Clevinger
74 Cedric Mullins
75 Eric Hosmer
76 Matt Carpenter
77 Harrison Bader
78 Justin Verlander
79 Miles Mikolas
80 Mike Trout
81 Jacob deGrom
82 Corey Seager
83 Jose Altuve
84 Michael Conforto
85 Juan Soto
86 Charlie Blackmon
87 Johnny Cueto
88 George Springer
89 Marcus Stroman
90 Jose Quintana
91 Jake Lamb
92 Christian Yelich
93 Brian Anderson
94 Eddie Rosario
95 Matt Chapman
96 Edwin Diaz
97 Ryon Healy
98 Paul Goldschmidt
99 Ryan O'Hearn
100 Nicholas Castellanos

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Very purpley

I've had a decent run of new Ty Hensley pickups lately, but this one is a definitely a highlight:
That's a 2012 Bowman Draft Purple Refractor autograph, numbered to just 10. Outside of the Superfractor, the only autographs I'm missing from this run of his cards are the gold (which I swear I have somewhere but it's not listed as a 'have', and the red). The red will be toughest to find. There I a gold on COMC for $100 right now. Noooope.

The purple popped up on eBay, and I won it for the minimum .99 bid. I tend to think sellers are still confused when I'm the only bidder on their YANKEES FIRST ROUND PICK LOW NUMBERED AUTOGRAPH OMG. But in all honestly, I'm really the only market for Hensley. I've tried to tell sellers this to get them to come down on prices, but it usually doesn't go well.

The purple refractors tend to be some of the nicer ones, so I'm very pleased to add this. And as it becomes harder and harder to find new cards of Ty, I am starting to appreciate adding a new one more than ever.


Monday, May 6, 2019

Sparkly Seigs

I know most current collectors are turned off by the lack of logos in Panini and Leaf products.

Sure, I wish there were logos too. But if you can see beyond that, you'd see some of the better looking products coming from some of these companies (minus 2019 Donruss).

Leaf is a confusing one to me. I have no idea where their products are sold or who opens them. However, I do know that they produce some semi-decent looking sets, many that include the game's top prospects. And this offers the chance to pick up some decent autographs if you don't feel like paying Bowman prices.
Take this card from Leaf. It's shiny and sparky and overall a very good looking card of 2018 Yankees first round pick Anthony Seigler. It set me back $5, or about 20% of the cost of his Bowman autograph.

And the seller, guessing I was a Yankees fan, threw this into the package as well. I'll take it!
Unless a guy makes it big, an autograph like this isn't a big investment that will turn into major cash one day. But it is a nice way to build up a collection of some prospects without breaking the bank.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Diamond Kings 16 years apart

The same day this brand new Tino Martinez card came in the mail, I picked up a fat pack of 2019 Panini Donruss Diamond Kings.
First off, the Tino is a framed black parallel #'d to 100. I'm a little "meh" on the card, likely because it's him as a Cardinal, but at the end of the day it's a low-numbered Tino that I needed. It's also #875 in my collection.

Onto the 2019 stuff, I was at Target, hoping to find some Bowman. There wasn't any, but I did see some blasters and packs of 2019 Diamond Kings. The fat pack was hanging under a 4.99 price tag.

Except it didn't ring up that way.

It came up as $9.99. Yuck! I did not want to pay that much for 20 Diamond King cards. But I was too lazy to get out of line and go put it back, so I sucked it up and paid for it. I guess the $5 was worth not having to return to the card aisle and start the checkout process over again.
Outside of the price tag, I think the set looks great. Team color designs, and outside of the whole no-logo thing, one of the sharpest sets this year.
I even pulled a Mantle, and felt good about it. It's nice not having Topps shove Mantle down our throats, and it's starting to feel special once again to pull a card of him. Yay, Mantle estate!
I don't care too much about manager cards in general, but it's cool to see some of the old times ones featured in this set.
The framed cards also look really nice.
Here are a couple of the non-base design cards I pulled. All look pretty good, although the Squires card seems out of place with the classic-looking design of the rest of the cards. Still, Jimenez cards are solid pulls these days and he'll go into my box of guys like Soto and Acuna. You know, the ones who are going to pay for my kids' college educations some day.

Outside of the price tag, a really nice set that probably won't get the love it deserves, but it does kick the crap out of 2019 Donruss.