Topps Series 1…The Sequel

The second part of the blog posts from my Jumbo box brings the hits and nice little slices of hobby cards that i’m happy about.  I’ve never been a guy that gets the great hits in a box, this is the main reason for me not typically buying a pack or box just to open.  I typically only buy boxes when i plan to put the set together and I rarely do any type of insert set building.  In the past, i’ve found ways of passing the parallels or minor hits off to eBay or sending them to someone in dire need.  That said all but one of these cards are up for trade if you likey…

I’m going to start with my favorite sub set/insert from this years production.

The Gallery of the Greats.  I think these cards are fantastic.  I love the smooth texture on the border and the recessed metallic foil photo of a great.  Now one of the guys i got from the box is hands down one of the greatest of all time, if not the single greatest player ever.  I understand that’s a huge can of worms to open up, but if i’m looking at top to bottom best of all time i have to put Willie Mays at the top of my list.  I’m loving this image of a young kid rockin’ the New York Baseball Giants cap.

15 T1 Willie Mays Gallery of Greats

The next guy though, maybe isn’t so great…or maybe he is in your opinion?

Steroid era or not, McGwire was a slugger and a respectable hitter…but far from a legendary baseball player.  I like my ball players to be more rounded in their game than donkin’ the ball over the fence…but again, that’s just me.

15 T1 Mark McGwire Gallery of Greats

Topps did the buyback thing again with the ‘Original’ foil stamp on a vintage-y card.  I’m not so opposed to this, kinda like it actually as i don’t see it ruining the cards since most of them are commons.  If they did this to a Mantle or Mays card, my words may take a different route.  Here are the two kids i pulled from the packs.

15 T1 Claudell Washington buyback 15 T1 Bob Moose buyback

I received one variation card…at least that i immediately noticed.  It’s a pretty cool one too.  I was a huge fan of Hayward when he came up with the Braves and thought he would be one of those guys that spent their career in the same town and won a championship or two the Bravos…but baseball being a business and teams wanting to move in different directions when things don’t work out, he’s a Cardinal.

15 T1 Jason Heyward

When i saw the next card on other bloggers sites i was crazy excited to see it in person.  Great young talent from a really fun team that I enjoyed watching make it to 90′ of tying game 7 of the World Series.

Yordano Ventura!

The only problem is that this card is hella grainy…or noisy as the camera people may say…plus it’s not TACK sharp, which is another thing they would say.  Complete shame because that pose on a card is fantastic.  Why isn’t this guy a Future Star card, especially if Gattis is?

I pulled a few first pitch cards and as i mentioned in the previous post, the Eddie Vedder was the one I really wanted.  Side note, Eddie will be making his way to work at some point this week and chillin’ with two mini RGIII’s and a Ganesh.  Back to the first pitches.  This one made my scratch my head a bit.  As i’ve mentioned here multiple times, i’m a huge fan of the rap music…i grew up on it.  But you see, I grew up on the greats like EPMD, Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Big Daddy Kane (my personal favorite) and the Biz Markie!  Now, Biz is from Long Island but is tossing out the first pitch at an A’s game…I understand Oakland has had some legendary Hip-Hop acts (Too Short, Hieroglyphics, E-40) but other than that i can’t really see the connection, unless of course he lives in the Bay area?

15 T1 Biz Markie 1st Pitch

Some of you may love Biz for Just a Friend and that’s cool, to each his own, but for my money his best song is Vapors.  Also, not really sure about that form…seriously

Keeping in the Hip-Hop frame of mind, i love the B-Boy poses captured in this card.  So old school.

15 T1 Pittsburgh Pirates

Now for the hits.  One isn’t quite a hit to you maybe, but it is to me.  It’s a Rickey “hit”

15 T1 Rickey Henderson Archetypes

Ok, now to the real hits from the box.  I got your standard 1 auto and 2 relics but have seen some others get a bonus hit with the silver bordered cards…lucky bastards.  My hits were ok, but nothing to shout about.  Like this Kinsler…in a Rangers jersey.

15 T1 Ian Kinsler Career High Jersey

I also pulled this Brett Cecil auto.  This, i believe is the 4th Cecil auto i’ve pulled from various boxes in my rebirth of collecting.  If i was a Cecil collector i would be crazy happy…but i’m just eh about it.  Not really feeling that tattoo, but his ERA is nice.

15 T1 Brett Cecil Career High Auto

This last hit is quite cool.  It’s face value is 26cents, but i think it may have more value than that on the black market.  The stamp of Mt. Rainier is pretty cool, especially with the moon looming over the shy mountain.  Rainier is a stratovolcano for all you volcano enthusiasts out there and can often be seen from downtown Portland, but not this time of year.  It’s gray.  The card also has a penny which i flipped for the fun of it and it’s numbered 9 of 50.  I really like it and one of the better hits for me in a while.  Again, not outstanding, but i’m quite happy with it.  Bumgarner kinda looks like Eddie Vedder, no?

15 T1 Madison Bumgarner Penny Stamp

Topps Series 1…in 2 parts

Once again i’m late to the party, but that’s cool.  I’ve always lagged a little in life but always seem to finish ok.  I like hanging in the background a bit to see what else is out there before i really develop my own opinions or thoughts on something.  Especially baseball cards and extra especially the annual Topps flagship.  As most of the other folks out there have noted, Topps really busted out some nice new graphical elements with this years set.  The colored border with a gradient base and texturing is something that typically appears on higher end sets or short print inserts.  Topps took the opportunity to add a much more visually appealing card this year…and finally got rid of the white border…the freakin’ boring white border is gone…for this year at least.  The backs of the cards are fantastic and i’m in agreement with Night Owl on the left justified alignment of the player description text.  The player stats and personal information both align, but the couple of sentences about the player are centered…so close!  Graphically though, the card backs are wonderful and are the best i’ve seen in a while.

15 T1 Jordan Zimmerman Back

The first card of the year bit that Keith Olbermann is kinda cool.  It’s something that i’m sure a lot of folks do, but they don’t have a sports show on ESPN so maybe it’s not very original, but it’s cool right?  What was the first card of the year for the Cardboard Hogs?

15 T1 Brian Duensing

In the past i’ve opened a pack or two and wrote a post about it, pack or two write post, pack or two write post, but like Topps I wanted to change it up a bit and break outta the box.  So I’m gonna jump around and show some hits and show some base, and yes, I am all about that base.  Another thing that i’m all about is jumping around and ANOTHER thing that i’m about is Derek Jeter and the card that every blogger has posted.  It’s hard to not post this card though, right?  It’s absolutely fantastic.  The child like exuberance.  Arms up in the air.  Having just won another regular season game in a 20 year career and this is how Derek Jeter acts.  It’s a brilliant card and deserves to be at the start of the set…although, doesn’t it seem that the #2 card would have been more appropriate?

15 T1 Derek Jeter

Along with the Jeter card, the first pitch cards have been getting a ton of buzz.  When i saw the list, i really wanted one of two cards.  The Jack White and the Eddie Vedder.  I’ve loved Pearl Jam since Ten.  I was a closet PJ fan since i loved hip hop so much and my friends didn’t get the whole grunge thing…not me though.  Eddie spoke to me.

Everyone remembers Jeremy from the first album, but Black

and Alive were the songs that hit home…like really hit home for me.

So pulling this card was fantastic and made the all the other First Pitch cards less significant.  I didn’t get a Jack White, but got a couple other interesting cards that made me smile…but not like Eddie rocking’ the Ron Santo t-shirt.

15 T1 Eddie Vedder 1st Pitch

So, there has been some debate about which card is the best card of the set.  Some of the action photos this year are fantastic and show a lot of passion and grit like the Mike Trout card…which is beautiful and a terrific action shot with the infield dirt kicking up in Trouty’s face.

15 T1 Mike Trout

But I gotta go with the Michael Taylor fully stretched out to catch a ball that is super intent on getting a glove on.  I love the tight crop on the card while managing to get the ball, glove and both feet in the shot, plus you get a nice perspective of his location on the field with the warning track just a few steps behind him.

15 T1 Michael Taylor

Speaking of the Nat’s.  The team cards are pretty dope again this year.  I loved the team celebration cards, but think the cropping could be a little better on this one right, maybe just a little?  I love to see the hands in the air like they just don’t…I think i care too much about cropping on cards…seems to be a recurring theme with most of my posts.  But man, look at Werth’s hair…so fabulous.

15 T1 Washington Nationals

This next card is fun on so many levels.  The digiflauge.  deGrom’s flowing locks.  D’Arnauds’ blue and orange chest protector amongst the camp and the excitement of winning!

15 T1 New York Mets

More to come tomorrow kids!  Enjoy!


I love the Yankees.  People give me a hard time about it and when they don’t, they are utterly confused…why in the hell would a boy raised in Texas and who has never ever been to New York City be a Yankee fan.



The Yankees?

The Evil Empire!

Well, I don’t have a great reason why other than when I was a very easily influenced 9 year old boy my favorite player became a Yankee.  He was an Athletic, and he became a Yankee.  Being a 9 year old confused little child I decided I would follow my player to the team.  Now, nearly 30 years later I am still a Yankee fan and love the history of the storied franchise.  I’m gonna miss the hell out of Jeet as i do Mo, Posada, Pettitte, Mattingly…etc…Over the past couple of years though, i’ve developed quite an attraction for the Washington Nationals.  Here’s my reasoning.  As you can tell, i’m a Redskins fan and i do everything I can to listen to Sports Talk radio from DC, and as one would expect they talk DC sports.  So, by default the past 6-8 years my affinity towards the Nationals has been building and building.  So much so that i am working all angles to get the kid to become a Nats fan.  They’re a lovable team, right?  Scrappy, hard working.  Dealt with tough losses in big games (looking at you Drew Storen…).  Built a strong organization from the ground up, albeit from many poor seasons and in turn drafting well with their high picks (hard to miss on Harper and Strasburg though, eh?).

I’m kinda old school in that i love it when players stay with a team their entire career.  I know this isn’t always the players fault, but i greatly appreciate it as a fan.  I also appreciate an organization that can draft, develop and lock up their talent for years to come.  You build a strong foundation with the kids in the minor leagues and infill with veteran leaders and role players as necessary.  You don’t chuck millions after millions for guys past their prime.  You take a chance on a kid that your program has developed and lock him up.  Make it so he doesn’t even want to look at another club.  Make him feel like he is a cornerstone to a strong future.  Now this is in total contradiction to what the Yankees have historically done…although, you can very easily argue that their last mini dynasty was due in part to the development and infill mentality rather than poach and overpay mindset.  So, i guess what i’m beating around the bush about here is that I will always love the Yankees, but i’m kinda diggin’ the Nats right now.  I’m sort of a baseball polygamist.

Albeit one American League Team and one National League Team.

I bought baseball cards.

Remember that part where I talked about wanting a player to stay with one team for the duration of his career?  Hanley is one of those guys that, well, he’s come full circle.  Red Sox, Marlins, Dodger, Red Sox.  Initially i was cool with the first Red Sox run because it was so insignificant in his career.  In my eyes he was a Marlin.  A Florida Marlin, not a freakin’ Miami Marlin.  He was a wonderful player on my fantasy baseball team for a couple of seasons and won me a really nice chunk of change one season.  I was cool when he became a Dodger.  I kinda like the Dodgers.  Great history.  Iconic Jerseys and who doesn’t love Vin Scully?


Vin Scully!

But now that he’s a Red Sock again.  I can’t do it.  I can’t collect his cards and feel good about myself, the Yankee fan inside me can’t handle it.  So, I’m only collecting him as a Marlin…Florida Marlin.

10 TT Hanley Ramirez Mini

Now to the Nats portion of the program.  Werth and Strasburg with some Game Worn Memorabilia on display below.  Other than Mariano Rivera, I don’t typically collect pitchers.  Too risky and their careers can be schizophrenic (is that not PC?).  I’ve always steered clear of them, but Stras is pretty special I guess.  So far he hasn’t lived up to the hype, but the hype was out of control that nobody ever could live up to that hype.  He’s still be very solid and hasn’t been overly fragile, maybe sensitive, but not fragile.  Now this Werth cat is something else.  His hair is amazing.  His beard is amazing, but the DUI isn’t really cool.  Maybe hit up the Uber app next time for a $900 ride home. #justsayin

24 TU Stephen Strasburg Jersey

14 TU Jayson Werth Jersey

Speaking of wonderful pitchers.  Jordan Zimmerman.  He has become the most important Zimmerman on the team the past couple of years and luckily isn’t related to the crazy Zimmerman in south Florida.  No, he’s a pitcher and a pitcher that will be an important piece to a potentially all time dominant starting rotation.  I have his autograph on a sticker on a card that has no logos.  I can imagine how annoying it would be to write Z I M M E R M A N every time you sign an autograph, but this is a little too much corner cutting for me.  Although I do appreciate the left justified approach.  Never know how long that squiggly line will need to extend at the end of Z I M M E R M A N.

13 PP Jordan Zimmerman Auto

HEY!  I snuck in a Redskin card!  But only because it reminded me of Rocket Pops.

Rocket Pops

This is a very patriotic, summer-y, popsicle-y card that I had to have.  This is one of those parallel cards that makes the rainbow collector happy…i’m assuming?

It’s Art Monk and I love Art Monk.

14 PP Art Monk Rainbow

Skins from Kim

… careful…

Now that football season is finally over, we can all start to focus on the upcoming baseball season.  Spring is my favorite season and we are getting a small taste of some phenomenal weather up here in the great northwest.  That light jacket and slight drizzle in the morning kinda weather that makes me happy that i live here and not some place that is buried in snow or is simply 80degrees year round.  There is something to be said about seasons and the changing of the weather and surrounding foliage (what other blogger uses foliage in a post?)  I love it all to pieces.  It’s wonderful.  You know what else is wonderful, football cards…i know, i know…i was leading you down the path to baseball cards and then dropped a steel hammer and made a lane change.  I LOVE baseball cards, i really do and i LOVE baseball, i really do, but my love for the Redskins far exceeds any sport…so please bear with me and another post football post.  Baseball will be on its way soon enough.

Kim’s table.  He’s my favorite dealer at the Portland shows.  Great guy with tons of great pieces of cardboard like this lovely Orakpo auto card.  ‘Rak has been a bit of a disappointment to most Redskin fans…but I still love him, as long as he’s wearing the Burgundy and Gold of course.  I don’t think he will be on the team next year, but i’ve enjoyed watching him play and i’ve been a fan of his autograph.  It’s super simple but with a nice variation of pen strokes that are appealing to the eye.

13 TM Brian Orakpo Auto

His pending replacement at LB is this kid, who as luck would have it is also a Longhorn.  Keenan Robinson.  This auto is what mine would look like if i was signing cards that you wanted to purchase.  3 Letters.  Boom.  Robinson is a minimalist.  De Stijl.  What’s up with the fleur-de-lis anyways?  Is Leaf a French Canadian company?  Do non French, French people like the fleur-de-lis?

12 LV Keenan Robinson Auto

Hey, does your football franchise need a solid QB?  The Redskins have a couple.  Cousins and RGIII will be duking it out next preseason, well, i assume they will.  The loser may end up finding a new franchise to sling it for on Sundays.  My bet is that Cousins makes his way to Cleveland or Buffalo next season…no reason other than pure guessing.

14 PP Kirk Cousins Signatures Auto 117:199

Refractor, shiny Prizm, wavy Griffin!  If this card were issued in 2012 it would have it’s own blog post but life comes at you fast when your knees explode.  I still believe in RGIII but am losing faith…i gotta have faith!

14 PP Robert Griffin III Refractor 99:99

This card is sexy.  Plus it’s a little intense.  Why is the ‘L’ so skinny?  That’s a mighty big gap between the ‘F’ and the ‘L’.

13 AM Jordan Reed Auto Jersey 88:299

Do you like Pizza?  Do you live in the DMV?  Well then, lemme tell you about Spinfire…actually I can’t really do that since i don’t live in the DMV.  I do love me some pizza though.  My wife has taken it upon herself to master the art of the homemade pizza from our oven and is killing it!  Seriously, there isn’t another pizza in town i would want over the ones the wifey makes for us.  I gotta give Topps some credit on this card.  The on-sticker auto is placed so precisely and over the integrated box in the card design that makes the sticker nearly disappear.  WOW!

14 TV Pierre Garcon Auto 12:50

This is the part of the blog where most bloggers post their biggest, baddest cards.  Me?  I’m going with some run of the mill running backs.  Jawan (not Japan, Jawan autocorrect!) Jamison and Silas Redd Jr.  Now, I had high hopes for JJ and thought he would have a nice impact on the team once he was healthy, but that day did not come for him and he’s seem to have bounced around the league a bit and i think he was on the Steelers practice squad at the end of the year, but could be wrong.

13 NT Jawan Jamison Auto 14:99

Silas Redd can be a nice little free agent find for next season.  Maybe even replacing Roy Helu as the 3rd down guy or someone that can be blended in with Morris on Sundays.

14 BC Silas Redd Auto

Rickey goes to a card show!

It’s been a very long week over here.  I’ve been fighting this sinus infection and dealing with all the fun things that come with that…lots of drugs and kleenex.  Lots of coughing and sneezing.  Lots of uncomfortable days and bad nights of sleep…but i had something to look forward to this week.  A card show, not just any card show, but the first one of the year!  We are quite lucky here in Portland to have a show or two each month, but it’s become more and more difficult to make each one with family responsibilities calling.  We almost had a scheduling conflict that would have made it impossible for me to attend the show but nana stepped up and took care of the kid for a couple of hours.  Good on you Nana!

When i got to the show, i had a plan to take a wallet card photo at each table i visited but then chickened out…or maybe got distracted once i got there.  I did manage to get one photo taken while at Tom’s table and pulling a bunch of 2014 Redskin cards.

86 T WC 01:31 card show

his was a pretty good show.  My favorites were there, Kim and Tom.  Both had some great items pulled aside for me…as well as another dealer that always pulls items aside for me although his name escapes me now.  He’s become my go to guy for knocking out a ton of my common Redskins especially the years during my non collecting time between the mid 90’s to the early 2000’s.  Lots of commons but great checklist items.  I will be posting them later this week…hopefully.

Today’s post though, is about Kim’s table.  Kim has tons of great relic, auto and serial numbered cards for every sports team in every sport.  He also has great prices for the cardboard.  The kind of deals you really can’t get anywhere else.  He’s often thrown in items at the end of our deals…you know…just to keep me coming back.  Since i picked up quite a few items at his table i wanted to focus on the landscape collection.  These are the landscape cards from Kim!

This card was essentially a toss in as it’s neither a relic nor an auto…but it is numbered to 99.

12 PC Niles Paul 5:99

Next up is the Roy Helu Jr. card which Kim was extremely excited to show me and REALY  wanted me to take it home with me.  So I did…i was a little worried that i already have this one but after double checking when i got home i was happy to see that i had not picked this one up yet.

12 PC Roy Helu Auto

Malcolm Kelly.  A very sad bust.  Actually probably someone that should not have been drafted as high as he was by the Redskins…but those days are gone and there is no sense in looking at the past.  One of the difficult things about obtaining EVERY SINGLE Redskin card made is that you have to make these kinds of pickups.  A pretty short print autograph (albeit a sticker) with a game worn jersey that books much more than it should.  This is a card show though and the book doesn’t work here…or if it does, you probably won’t have much business at your table.  Honestly can’t remember what this one cost but the sticker had it at $18 which i’m certain is not what it cost when the deal was done…maybe $5?

09 TT Malcolm Kelly Auto 5:10

Next in line is this really lovely London Fletcher game worn jersey card from last years Spectra set.  I love the burgundy jersey swatch here with a slightly unbound thread coming out of the card…not sure how visible it is, but it’s a nice touch to the card.  The shiny blue (purple?) card is pretty sweet too.

13 PS London Fletcher GW 90:99

Last one and the card that was one of my favorites from Kim is the Jordan Reed Bowman Sterling player worn refractor jersey card.  It’s always nice to get a card that has a portion of the number or nameplate in the swatch portion of the cardboard.  This one was number 41 of 75.

13 BS Jordan Reed Relic Jersey 41:75

Groovy Spurs

Today was an extraordinarily beautiful day in Portland.  The weather was warm and the sun was out…and luckily for me there was a card show that i could spend a couple of hours inside a suburban strip mall…diggin through some lovely dirty boxes.  During the week i’ll have a few posts showing off some of the great pickups i had today.  Mostly Redskins, but i did manage to pick up a few Nats cards and…some SPURS!

78 TO Gale Dampier Paultz

I’ve decided i don’t collect enough things, so the San Antonio Spurs collection is slowly building momentum…slowly.  My goal today was to get a couple Gervin cards and maybe a few others if they peaked my interest.  This card did some interest peaking.  The smoothness of the Ice Man is this beautifully documented in this lovely piece of cardboard.

78 TO George Gervin

Growing up in San Antonio during the 80’s and being a Spurs fan wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.  The team was mediocre at best for most years although they had one of the smoothest shooters in the game rockin’ the silver and black.

83 ST George Gervin

It wasn’t until the Admiral David Robinson was drafted that things really started to change.  But for me, my first favorite Spur was Gervin.

84 ST George Gervin

One of the last cards i picked up at the show was this acetate auto of Cory Joseph.  I got this one from Kim’s table.  One of my favorite table stops at the shows because of his more than fair priced high end cards.  This one set me back about $3.

12 NT Cory Joseph Auto