Monday, May 31, 2021

Breaking a Bowman Blaster

Well, indeed it has been an awful start to the summer. It literally rained from Friday evening right up through last night. Plus, temperatures were in the high 40s. What a mess! I did use some time to organize my disaster of a card area, including deciding to order a BCW card bin to house my Tino collection. I am saying goodbye to binders.

Yesterday I needed a pick me up, and got it while watching the Indy 500. I got an email ping on my phone that a blaster of 2021 that I had ordered from Target had been delivered. I went outside and quickly rescued the box, which was getting poured on. Luckily, the box held up and the cards were fine.

I know it's fun around these parts to crap on Bowman, but I am not one of these people. I like Bowman more than most. In fact, I would rather open Bowman than:
  • Allen & Ginter
  • Gypsy Queen
  • Heritage
  • Stadium Club
  • Big League
  • Opening Day
  • Donruss
I like the mix of current players, rookies, and prospects, including a draftee's first Bowman card. I like the inserts, which usually are very shiny. I like the chance at a prospect autograph.

Let's start with the RCs. I was glad to get Clarke Schmidt, as well as a few others like Alec Bohm and Jo Adell. Schmidt just started a throwing program in hopes of coming back later this year. He's got a world of talent, but it is starting to feel like he'll never be one who is healthy. I hope I am wrong.
I did land one parallel as well, a blue pApEr of Rockies catching prospect Drew Romo.
On to the Chromes, where the highlight was Blaze Jordan of the Red Sox. Sweet name. Not sweet team. I hope he doesn't torment the Yankees for years. This card alone will pay for at least half the price of the blaster.
I did ok with the inserts, although in pack 2 my day was made when I pulled a Jasson Dominguez Scouts Top 100. I have a couple Dominguez cards already, but this is the first time I pulled one for myself from a pack.
Here's the rest of my inserts. They always pack a lot of shine.
The weather looks better today to salvage some of the weekend, but overall, I'm happy with my blaster, as it helped save a rainy day.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Staying Melo on Memorial Day Weekend

Man, what a shitty Memorial Day Weekend.

The forecast calls for rain all weekend, as well as record low temps here in New Jersey. This is a very 2020 thing to happen...not 2021! It's especially disappointing after last weekend was in the '90s. The town pool opens today, but no one will be there.

I'm especially bummed because I really needed a nice, relaxing long weekend after a tiring few weeks at work. I guess nothing will stop it from being relaxing, but there's not much to do other than sit inside. I'd rather be out on the patio with a drink and enjoying the weather.

Regardless, I can't control the weather. But I can control my mood. And I hope to stay mellow. Or Melo. Just like my newest basketball card.
I totally missed collecting during Carmelo Anthony's prime, as I not only stopped collecting during many of those years, but stopped buying basketball cards. However, I do like to pick up Carmelo cards here and there, and an autographed card by him is high up on my want list.

For now, I'll grab singles here and there. I especially liked the shiny foil look of this one, plus it shows him in a Syracuse uniform.

I hope your weather is better than mine this weekend. But most importantly, I hope you all can relax and stay Melo.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Mantle lives on

A recent development in the trading card industry is that Mickey Mantle (or rather his estate), is once again part of the Topps family.

From the '90s right up through the last few years, Mantle was a staple in Topps products. Whether it was constant dedicated insert sets that no one was asking for, or inclusion into base sets, Mantle was always there. And he was there basically to the point where it wasn't special to get a Mantle card in a pack, which is sort of a weird feeling. He was just another guy in a pack.

But then his estate's Topps deal expired and he became a Panini guy. And while Panini didn't bash us over the head with Mantle, he was included in most sets, such as Diamond Kings and Optic.

In the last few weeks, Topps has brought Mantle back into the family, and he made his return in the Topps Living set. I haven't bought a Living Set card in a few years, and don't pay much attention to it, but I thought this card was really nice looking, so I snagged a pre-order on eBay for a few bucks and it arrived yesterday:
I think it's just a simple, classy looking card.

I'm sure Mantle will once again be shoved down our throats, but for now, it's nice to see him back.

Monday, May 24, 2021

I'm basically Mel Kiper

Around the time fo the NFL Draft last month, Elliptical Man of View from the Third Floor held a contest. All you had to do was select five players who you thought a particular team would draft. To make it a little tricker, you could not choose one of the projected first three players since they were fairly set in stone.

Being a Bengals fan and keeping an eye on mock drafts, I decided to roll the dice. I only got one out of five players right, but the one was Ja'Marr Chase, their 5th overall pick. I felt like everything was trending toward the Bengals choosing him, and luckily I was right and victory as mine.

The Elliptical Man sent me a PWE full of football cards. Here are a few highlights:
Thanks for the contest!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A buck buck buck for #1,100

I'm ripping off Collecting Cutch's post today, where he won a sweet Andrew McCutchen Panini relic /5 for just a buck.

I too won a cool card for just a buck, and it has the double bonus of being unique Tino #1,100 for me! 
Last August, I hit 1,000 Tino cards, so it took me about 9 months to secure 100 more. Not too bad at all.

Anyhow, the card is from 2000 Stadium Club Chrome, and is the Refractor. I wouldn't say this is an overly rare card. It's not numbered to /5 or anything. However, I don't recall seeing it pop up on eBay, so I quickly snagged it for $.99 plus $.99 shipping.

This was actually a pretty sweet Stadium Club design. Fairly minimalist with a lot of room for the photo. Name within a pennant with the team logo just to the right. Very sound design and very baseball-y. I also like how Tino is seen rounding second base after what appears to be a homer.

I was glad to get this card for a buck, and nice to have another round number for my Tino collection.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Gold borders 27 years apart

I had two Tino Martinez cards come in this past week. They couldn't have been more different, yet they shared one common trait.

Gold borders.

The first was was Allan Kaye's Sports Card News and Price Guides. It's uncommon when a Tino from 1992 I hadn't seen pops up, but sure enough, this one did. I was unfamiliar with it, which is definitely surprising since I have a sound grasp on most of Tino's early stuff. But sure enough, I didn't have it, and it was a quick and easy eBay win.
I was surprised to see gold foil borders on this card, as that was still fairly rare for 1992 and generally oddballs were made fairly cheaply. I appreciate the effort, as well as the nice, clean design.
The other was from 2019 Archives Snapshots, a set I have little use for. But when a low-numbered Tino is available, I'll snag it if the price is right. In this instance, the card is hand-numbered 04/10. Weirdly, I also own the gold autograph numbered 04/10.

These two Tino cards put me at 1,099. Just one away from another round number!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Too many Tinos

One of the nice gestures in the hobby is when someone is at a card shop, card show, or just flipping through their collection and they come across a card that they think you might like.

I recently got a Twitter DM from Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders. He was at a card show, and said he picked this up at a show and wanted to check if I needed it.
Indeed, I did! As I did not have this particular card numbered to 350. 

Within a few days, the card arrived safely in a PWE.

I'm still surprised when people do this. It has happened many times over my decade of blogging, but it still strikes me by surprise that someone was at card show, flipping through cards, and snagged one with the intention of sending it to me if I needed it.

Great gesture by Dennis, and an excellent addition to my Tino collection.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Orange you a pretty card

Sometimes, I look at a card and think 'that's just a pretty card right there.'

I don't think I could describe what a pretty card is. It differs for everyone. Some might base a card's beauty on shine. Some might base it on rarity or perceived value. But when you see it, you know it.

A recent eBay purchase of mine was for an Orange Sapphire parallel from 2020 Update Chrome. Regular Sapphire cards can often be described as pretty. The bright blue and cracked ice design that dance off the surface of the card. They are pretty cards.

But the orange? Wooo. The orange is all sorts of pretty:
When I opened it and looked at it for the first time, that was my reaction. My, this is a pretty card.

It has the shine. It has a unique color. It has the texture. It has scarcity, numbered to just 25. And it has my favorite player of all time.

Pretty for many reasons, indeed. And now one of the favorite cards in my Tino Martinez collection.

Friday, May 7, 2021

The rest of the Bru-haha

A few days ago I showed off a Tino Martinez A&G mini that Bru sent in a "fancy little holder."

That card was actually a throw-in within a TCDB trade we made. TCDB is a great place to trade if you're into that sort of thing.

Bru is always down to take Astros off my hand, and thank god. That team really is hated. The Yanks just took two of the three from them, which I appreciate. But losing the last game, one pitched by Gerrit Cole, and letting that little shell of himself turd Altuve beat them with a homer leaves a sour taste despite winning the series.

The two actual cards in the trade were those two unlicensed beauties. The Cole is very cool and colorful, while the Torres has a nice, embossed glove in the background. His glove work has actually been very good the last few weeks at short. Now if he could remember how to hit for power.
Now for a few of the extras. I almost missed that this is an Artist's Proof. I can effectively say I've never opened a pack of Gallery, so I always appreciate when I get some in a trade.
Giancarlo Stanton is the hottest hitter on the planet right now, which means I refuse to check Twitter because I know the Tweet that "he's experiencing soreness" or "he's being sent for an MRI" is coming. It's sad, but you have to know it's coming. I am a big fan of his, I hate the unnecessary expectations, and he seems like a good dude. I'd love for him to stay on the field and have a massive season.
I do appreciate this relic, with a nice pinstripe.

Topps Stickers have been pretty nice lately. I have no desire to have an album and put the stickers inside. But treating them as cards, they are nice looking, albeit flimsy.
Lastly, I'm not quite sure where this comes from, and my Google search is coming too empty, but it looks like a custom set from GOAT cards using the Rookies app card templates. The Ruth artwork is pretty cool, although I hope used with permission. The painting is a neat balance of realism with almost of hint of cartoon in Ruth's face. The card is glossy as well, which was never an option when I previously used the Rookies app. Perhaps this person printed these himself.
Bru also threw in some nice Heritage cards from the last two years.

Good trade. I've already got a stack of Astros building up for you, Bru.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

My first Project 70 card

I made a decision I wasn't going to chase Project 70 cards.

I don't have anything against them. I think many have been more inspiring than their Project 2020 predecessors, in fact. Although I agree there are way too many Yankees and Dodgers. I've liked many of the ones I've seen, especially from the Alien Guy. If he does a Yankee, I'll probably buy one.

And if there ends up being a Tino, I'll be all over it. Although I doubt we'll get one based on the fact that it's been mostly the expected subject matter, with a few exceptions.

One of those exceptions was a few weeks back, when Dock Ellis graced a card designed by Ermsy. I'm not going to re-hash why Ellis was awesome. There's been plenty of pieces written about his unique career.
Instead, I wanted it because I have a connection to Dock Ellis. For several years, I played in a softball game named after him. One of those years, his son even threw out the first pitch, and then hung out with us for a bit.

That was always one of my favorite days, playing in the Dock Ellis game against a rival company. It was no small production, either. Little expense was spared. Uniforms, hot dog cart, announcer, umps, national anthem, and guest of honor. Dock Ellis' son, Dock III, was a great sport, and I think enjoyed that the game was played in his father's honor.

I was glad to see this card hit the project. I have no strong issues with the set. I was just a little tuckered out after completing the run of Jeter Project 2020 cards. It was going to take a special card to get me to dive back in.

It came in the form of Dock Ellis. Play ball!