Friday, July 30, 2021

2021 Topps Yankees Project entry...for now

While I no longer actively send TTM autograph requests, I don't want my Topps Yankees Project to go by the wayside. 

The Series One checklist offered no real opportunities to check off 2021 in my quest to have a signed Topps Yankees card from each year. Series Two offered some slightly better options.

The first, and easiest, was a card featuring third base coach Phil Nevin and Giancarlo Stanton. Of course, Stanton doesn't answer fan mail, but Nevin is an outstanding signer. So while I'd prefer a traditional card being my entry for the 2021 season, this will be a solid placeholder in the binder for now:
I certainly hope to upgrade, both this card, and hopefully from a rostered player. The signature bubbled pretty badly. I definitely ran an eraser over the card prior to sending, but must not have done it enough if the marker tried so badly to evaporate.

However, I do like the card itself. Stanton's HR handoff is a pretty cool celebration when he is rounding the bases. Sadly, it just doesn't happen much anymore. Apparently he started this isn Miami and brought it to NY.

As for the Project, there's still a couple of other guys who might return a card, so hopefully I'll have another addition to this collection.

If you're interested in seeing past entries to the project, check this out here.

Monday, July 26, 2021

200 TCDB trades!

Without realizing it, I just went past 200 completed trades on the Trading Card Database (TCDB). 

I was surprised the number was this high, actually. However, most trades are quick PWE swaps, so they tend to add up quickly if you have three or four going at once.

I don't spend a ton of time with the hobby these days, so it's also a testament to show that the site isn't as time consuming as some would like to think.

Additionally, I'm likely not the easiest trade partner on the site. I don't have a ton of cards available for trade. I usually add the extras from recent products, which is when most trades happen. For example, when I busted those two excellent Stadium Club blasters, all the cards I didn't want I added to TCDB. Then, team and set collectors usually reach out with a few offers, or vice versa.

My wantlists are fairly light, as well. I obviously have added all Tino's I don't have, but I've probably only traded for about 25 of his cards all-time on the site. Most trades have centered around guys like Gleyber Torres or Clarke Schmidt.

I actually have added all Gleyber cards I don't have to my wantlist. While I don't really want to pursue his cards as a player collection, it does help me trade match with more people. As a result, I've got nearly 200 Gleyber cards now.

Some of my recent trades have netted me some nice cards of his, in fact. These are the types that roll in a weekly basis:
200 trades without it feeling like it is pretty cool. The TCDB continues to be a great place to trade, if that's your sort of thing. It's been an excellent way to trade away commons of cards that might otherwise just sit in boxes. And as a result, I've really built up a solid collection of Torres card.

On to trades 201, 202, and 203...

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Breakin' with Colbey

While I'm not into the high end group breaking scene, I do really enjoy the Affordable Group Breaks that Colbey from Cardboard Collections runs. 

He's always busting a range of products, from some long-forgotten '90s releases to current day cards, and even throwing in some basketball or football here and there. While I've got large boxes of the stacks of cards I've accumulated from his breaks, I wanted to highlight a few that I just got from him, as I requested shipment since the poor guy is moving and has a ton of cards and toys to schlep with him.

Colbey busted a box of Series 2, so I got most of the Yankees I needed, with a nice Jeter insert to boot. The Florial RC is timely since he just hit his for big league HR. I was at the game but left before the homer. What a terrible fan.
One of the more unique products to have been broken was a 2003 Topps Shoe Box collection. Now, each box comes with the full set, so there are no surprises other than than four vintage cards that are included, but I struck out on that one.
Oh, and Colbey threw in some gum. He is trying to poison me.
Lastly, he busted some 2020-21 Donruss basketball. I snagged the Knicks, and somehow the Lakers weren't taken so I got them as well. The RJ Barrett is a very cool parallel:
As for the Lakers, I happened to get three LeBron cards, which feels like it's never a bad outcome.
Colbey, good luck with the move, and looking forward to breaking some more once you're settled into the new place.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Returning from Coors and opening some Stadium Club

Late last night, I returned home from Denver. I had a good trip, taking in the HR Derby, MLB All-Star Game, and everything in between. It was a busy few days, but I was happy to return home. I'm too old to gallivanting around a city during the work week.

A couple observations:
  • Literally don't care if it's BP. Guys hitting the ball 500 feet is awesome to see. It doesn't make sense seeing a ball go that far from where it started, even if it started 30 feet from him and was being thrown 40 MPH by an old guy.
  • The new HR Derby format is much better than any of the old formats. I hope it stays for a while and MLB doesn't tinker.
  • Coors Field has horrible concessions and had no idea how to handle a full capacity crowd. Their urinals are also small and close together.
  • MLB doesn't care if you don't like the jerseys. At all. A LOT of people were wearing them and spent good money on them. They were the most common piece of game merchandise for the thousands of people walking around. Your Twitter complaint means nothing. And no, I didn't buy one. I got my son a hat and my daughter a stuffed bear.
  • Once the game started, the jerseys were easy to forget about. Blue was away. White was home. Baseball was being played, despite what someone was wearing. It felt normal, especially because the AL once again won.
Moving on. One benefit to returning home - you know, besides seeing my wife and kids - is that my two blaster boxes of Stadium Club were waiting for me. It was super easy to order them from I don't mind ordering cards to open online at all. Saves me the trip of going to the store.

I actually crushed it with Yankees. My two boxes were packed from them, from inserts to base cards to parallels to special box toppers.

I don't have much to say about Stadium Club. They are excellent looking cards with a minimalist design and exciting photos. Although some of the photos are a bit dull featuring just running or swinging, they still look sharp and crisp.

The horizontal cards are my favorite, and I would be fine if the whole set was like these. They all seemed a bit more interesting than the verticals.
And of course, there's always a mixture of legends.
As for the aforementioned Yankees, it felt like every pack I opened had a card from my favorite team. The rarest was a Giancarlo Stanton Red Triumvirate, which fall 1:192. Not bad. What's disappointing about these is how flat they are. They need some color, shine, or texture!
Beyond that, three inserts I was lucky enough to get were Superstar Duos of Aaron Judge and Stanton, a reprint of Mariano Rivera, and a Virtual Reality of Luke Voit. According to the fancy metrics on the back, over 162 games Voit would have hit 59 homers. Sure.
Here are a few more Yanks base cards. I like the Mattingly quite a bit. I received THREE base card of Clint Frazier. And then also got a black parallel of Urhsela, but not showing it. Just imagine what it looks like with a black logo.
Speaking of parallels, I got several. I don't really get the point of just changing the foil color, but there they are.
The rarest card I got was a 30th Anniversary parallel of Kenta Maeda, a 1:318 pull! Always sad when you beat the odds and pull a dud. That's a Napkin Doon quote.
Here's a few more fancy cards.
Last but not least, each blaster comes with a loose Master Photo. I didn't even know this before purchasing, so that was cool to get them. I did well with a Bellinger and a Deivi Garcia RC,
I don't regret the $40 I spend on these at all. They were fun to open, and should provide me with some great fodder for TCDB. 

Oh, and go AL.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Derby Day

Greetings from Denver!

Today is the HR Derby, which is always a fun day during MLB All-Star festivities. I've always enjoyed the Derby, growing up watching guys like Griffey and McGwire showcase their power. I don't care that it's just BP. Watching a guy launch a ball 450 feet away is an impressive feat that most humans cannot do. 

I've seen one other Derby in person. I was there in 2008 when Josh Hamilton put on his epic display at old Yankee Stadium. While Morneau won that year, no one can forget what Hamilton did.

And of course, 1997 has always been a favorite of mine, when Tino Martinez won the event.
I will be in the crowd tonight, although not in HR landing territory. I think it's a trendy pick, but I think Joey Gallo is going to take it home.

What about you? Who is your pick to win tonight's HR Derby?

Friday, July 9, 2021

I've got a token to ride

Tokens used to be a normal thing to ride NYC's mass transit subway system.

The first time I rode the subway was in 2002, and by that time the current-day MetroCards were already in existence. Today, MetroCards are still the main method of payment to ride, although many turnstiles now have an area where you can tap your credit card, phone, or even watch. Here is the MetroCard that currently sits in my wallet:
Still, for many years there was still a small slot to insert a token, even though no one had any.

What happened to all the tokens? Apparently Topps bought a portion of them, and placed them in commemorative 2000 World Series Subway Series relic cards.

The Subway Series set was actually a 100-card set issues to highlight the series. However, there was one token card per set. It took me years, but I finally tracked down the Tino Martinez:
Very cool card! You actually cannot touch the token, as there is acetate on both side of the card. Tino is one of 36 players to be featured in the set.

I like the design very much, and think it was a unique relic set to add to the boxed sets. The back gives a little bit of a history on the subway token itself, as well as mentions these were an original token obtained for the NYC Transit Authority.
If we saw this in 2021, the back would likely read: Token is not from any specific rider, train, or subway station.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Friday, July 2, 2021

PWE Heat from Zippy Zappy

An unexpected PWE is still one of my favorite parts of this corner of the hobby.

I get a lot of PWEs, but most are from TCDB so I know what's inside. However, getting one in that familiar light blue pen, usually from the Luis Torrens Fan Club, is always something to get excited about. 

I'm talking about a Zippy Zappy PWE.

He has since apologized for not sending me one of his bombs, which is usually a flat rate box of goodies. Candidly, I'm relieved. Those are always very generous, but then I 1. Have to organize them and 2. Feel in debt. When the sender prefers not to get bulk in return, it always makes for tricky retribution. 

In this PWE, there were two cards. But both are <fire emoji>.
The first is a 2011 Bowman Sterling Refractor of soon-to-be-All-Star Gary Sanchez. It's numbered 057/199. Man, this card  is from 2011?! Gary has been around a long time. When he made his mark in 2016, this card would have fetched some serious cash. Gary is no longer a hobby darling and hasn't been in years, but I'm still a big fan of him despite his frustrating play. Look at how young Gary is here. He's got a whole lifetime of hitting .230 and playing bad defense in front of him.

It's also one of the nicest Bowman Sterling designs ever.
The next card is super cool. A 2016 Diamond Kings Elements of Royalty Game Used Bat card of Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri. Now that is cool! Solid design, and Lazzeri is a guy I don't have much of in my collection outside of a few Diamond Kings card. I had nothing like this though!

ZZ, thanks as always for thinking of me!