I gotta Feva!

Those immortal words were spoken by none other than the iconic Christopher Walken on the classic SNL skit…and now, I have a fever.  I don’t need a cowbell, just some sleep and the ability to breathe through my nose again…such a simple task when healthy.  I’ve become one of those neanderthal mouth breathers you find at your local gymnasium flexing in front of the mirror and twitpickin’…you know the type!

Another little bit of fever I caught today was some Spring Fever cards from the electronic bay of two of my favorite players.  Both guys are players that i collect and play(ed) for the Yankees, one a legend and one well on his way.

Here they are in all their glory!

Rickey Henderson

13 SF Rickey Henderson Spring Fever

Robinson Cano

13 SF Robinson Cano Spring Fever

There are a couple more players that i’m chasing for my PC with this set, but these are great cards for starters.  Unfortunately, these cards didn’t scan quite as nicely as they appear in person.  These are the first Spring Fever cards i’ve seen in person and am quite impressed with them.  I love that Topps has been doing these inserts with their new flagship releases (football kickoff cards).  It gets you in to the card shop and supporting your local shop.  Unfortunately when i went to the shop last week, i forgot my one redemption card…and as i talked to Rick, he had actually run out of packs.  Too slow on my part i guess.

I should have a nice post or two this weekend with some COMC mail but that’s it for now!

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Brian Orakpo

The second installment of my all time favorite Redskins is Brian Orakpo, or ‘Rak!

09 UB Brian Orakpo Lustrous Rookie Signature

Rak is entering his 5 year as a Redskin after being selected 13th overall in the 2009 draft.  The fact that he slipped to the Redskins at no. 13 was a complete shock to me as he was someone i followed at the University of Texas.  He was a beast of a talent at UT and dominated so many games for the Longhorns.  There were quite a few mock drafts that had him going in the top 5 and being the first or second DE taken that year.  I don’t believe there has ever been a real explanation for why he slipped, but i’ve always felt that many NFL scouts saw him as one of those ‘workout warrior’ guys that looked better working out than actually playing the game.  Rak was drafted as a DE which is what he played in college, but was drafted to play LB for the Redskins next to London Fletcher.  The transition has for him has worked well, but it has also exposed some of his limitations as a football player.  When the Redskins drafted Ryan Kerrigan in 2011, they developed a nice bookend with each other that were able to get to the QB and apply pressure throughout the season.  As with all football players, he does have limitations, but has proven to be well worth his high selection…in my opinion.

09 LL Brian Orakpo Phenoms Auto

Brian Orakpo would be higher on my list, but with the injuries he’s suffered in the past two seasons…i’m not really sure when he will be 100% again.  He has always managed to bring an extremely high level of intensity to the field and passion to the sidelines.  Watching him on the sidelines most of last season without football equipment was heartbreaking, especially with the new found success the Washington Redskins experienced last year.  I’m hoping he is able to get healthy and create a dominating tandem with Kerrigan and some of the other guys that stepped up in his place this year (Lorenzo Alexander, Rob Jackson and Perry Riley).

09 LC Brian Orakpo New Generation Auto

When Rak joined the Redskins i was all in on his cards and bid on his autos regularly on ebay as well as some game used jersey cards that will look great once i have a sports room to display them!

09 DT Brian Orakpo Rookie Class Auto Relic 09 SP Brian Orakpo Threads Letterman Auto Relic

One of my best memories of Rak was being at the first game of the 2010 season in Landover, MD against the rival Dallas Cowboys.  My first home Redskins game ever!  I had been to a few Cowboy vs. Redskins games, but they were always in Irving.  Rak was having a really good game and putting a ton of pressure on Romo all night long, but just couldn’t get to him…mainly because he was being held on nearly every play.  On the final play of the game with about 13 seconds and the Cowboys in the redzone threatening to score a touchdown and win the game.  Rak came around from the left side and just missed sacking Romo…as Romo completed a pass in the end zone to Roy Williams to tie the game.  BUT WAIT!  There was a flag!  The officials finally called holding on the Cowboys offensive line.  Game over.  Redskins win 13-7 on Sunday night in Landover.  Fantastic finish!

IMG_3489

 

#12 – The Hogs

#11 – Brian Orakpo

Rickey Henderson additions to my PC +1 Jeter

Since i’ve gotten the blog up and running again, one thing I really wanted to do was be more proactive in picking up new Rickey Henderson cards, or at least new to me.  I’ve been a huge fan of his since I first started collecting in 1985 and was able to collect all of his base cards and some oddball stuff from the 80’s through the mid-90’s.  When i gave up collecting for a few years, roughly 1995-2006, i missed out on a lot of his cards and have been playing catch up ever since.

Recently, my targets have been anything that isn’t an autograph or an outrageously short print/low serial numbered card.  Focusing on base cards, parallels, inserts and nice looking jersey cards that I can find easily and cost friendly.  For some reason or another, his cards are extremely difficult to spot at the card shows I go to as well as my LCS…no idea why.  I never have any issues finding Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr. or Cal Ripken Jr. cards, equally great players from around the same era…but the Rickey Henderson cards are difficult if not impossible to find.  I have no idea why this is?  Is it that he is such a popular player and people are hoarding his cards?  Or maybe people don’t like him as much as the other players from his era?

When he was playing, especially near the end of his career, there was some negativity towards him.  He had a rough end with the Mets.  Seemingly played one year for every team on the west coast.  Tried many times to land with the A’s for a late season push.  Whatever the reason, there was some negativity around him.  During his heyday, he was an extremely popular player and dynamic player.  He was also one of the few guys from the early years of the steroid era that seemed to be clean.

He is also a player, in my mind that is the only ‘greatest ____ of all time’ that can’t be argued with.  Maybe I’m wrong on this one, but I believe he is not only the greatest base stealer of all time, but the single greatest leadoff hitter.  Maybe i’m biased, but I cannot think of any other player you could say something like this about, much less two things?  Who is the greatest Home Run hitter?  Greatest Center Fielder?  Greatest Catcher, Pitcher?  All of these topics draw major debate, but when i comes to the leadoff position and base stealing, There is no one better than Rickey, and that is one of the reasons why he is my all time favorite baseball player.  I will keep looking for cards when i’m out and see who has anything new and exciting, I will also check in with the great Rickey Henderson Collectibles website to see what’s new and fantastic in the world of Rickey.

So without further adieu, here are a few images from my latest visit to the ebay and the LCS. (some of these cards may not be that new and exciting to you guys, but they are new to my collection and make me happy!)

The first card is a good ol’ fashioned hologram from the mid 90’s.  Upper Deck put all their chips in on this technology and it didn’t quite work out for them…did it?  The Denny’s cards are pretty classic though and a must have for your binders.  From different angles, it looks like you have a silver-ish card with no image and from others, you can see the Man of Steal!  Thank you Denny’s, this one set me back one hundred pennies.

94 UD Rickey Henderson Dennys Hologram

The next two cars are from this years Topps set, The Greats insert and a Game Used Memorabilia Chasing History card.  Both were bid on and won by yours truly from the electronic bay.  I’m hit or miss on bidding from stuff at ebay as i have found the sellers/buyers difficult to deal with at times.  When i do purchase stuff from ebay i go low budget in order to avoid any real issues.  Both of these cards set me back about $7 shipped.  I love the old and new Rickey on the cards.  Classic vs. Legend.

13 T Rickey Henderson The Greats13 T Rickey Henderson Chasing History Game Used Jersey

The last one is the Allen and Ginter base card from last years set.

12 AG Rickey Henderson

I also picked up this beast, Derek Jeter, from the 1998 Zenith set.  This set came out in a period when i was collecting things not on cardboard.  I seem to remember Stale Gum doing a box break on these odd ball giants and attempting to find a way to get the mini card out of the big card without damaging the big card…or the mini card.  Many attempts were made and a valiant effort was given.  I’m just glad these things don’t exist anymore…except with A&G, i guess their stuff is ok, right?

98 Zenith Derek Jeter

Box Break: 2012 Panini Contenders

I am finally getting around to opening the boxes that have been sitting on my desk for a while now and wanted to start with one of my favorites.  Panini’s Contenders.  I have always enjoyed the design of these cards and their quality.  The simplicity and continuity of the cards each year with the ticket on the sidebar and singular player focus is something that I enjoy in a card.  In general, I think Panini does a nice job on their card designs and this set is no different.  Contenders is in their 20th year now, which i initially had no idea they were around this long until I remembered  the flip box I still have from the first year with Barry Sanders on the inside cover…memories.  They used to make the boxes much nicer back then…now it’s just a small box with lots of cards in them.

2013-02-21 17.53.25

Now for the review…

Card Design 4 of 5

As i said in the intro, i really like the consistent design.  Each card has the basic player information on the front with the name, team, position and player number.  Contenders goes a step further with the name of the stadium and years the player has been a pro which is kind of a cool feature you either don’t find on a card or only find on the back.  Panini has also managed to incorporate the teams colors in the left bar ‘tickets’.  I personally like the Redskins cards, but am partial to the Burgundy and Gold on cards…I think it makes them punch really nicely.  What’s up with Carolina Panthers and their 1984 Trapper Keeper font?  I’m glad they finally decided to dump it and go with something more contemporary.

12 PC Cam Newton

One design piece that i don’t think is that successful is the ‘super graphic’ last name ghosted in the background with a very subtle shadow line.  My problem with this is that they already have the players full name on the card, so adding the last name again is simply redundant and unnecessary in my opinion.  I would also like to have seen the team logo on the top right be a little larger and the helmet on the ticket gone…or maybe this could be where the larger logo occurs.  It’s just a little redundant to these eyes.

12 PC Richard Sherman

Contenders does a nice job on their subsets and have continued with the die-cut love fest.  The Rookie of the Year Contenders are quite nice and the die cut works well here as they fit nicely in my gentle, yet manly grasp.  These types of die cuts don’t work well in sleeves or top loaders and always seems to lean to one side or another.

12 PC Doug Martin ROY Contenders12 PC Mark Barron ROY Contenders

Another subset is the MVP Contenders and are really nice looking.  The die-cut and supergraphic MVP font work very well, even though none of the guys i pulled had any real shot at winning the MVP, it’s still a nice subset for player collectors.

12 PC AJ Green MVP Contenders

Photography 4 of 5

Panini has managed to gather full length photos of each of the player for the majority of the cards, keeping their knees, ankles and feet in tact!  Football cards tend to be overcropped these days so it’s nice to see a full body shot of the player on his card.  Each photo is crisp and there is no clutter with unnecessary background action…just the player for whom the card is representing.  The photos on the back are a simple blow up of the one on the front of the card.  Kind of wish they would use a different photo, maybe a portrait shot or something…different.

12 PC London Fletcher

Hits 4 of 5

The box advertises 5 autos per box and that is pretty much what you get.  I happened to get what i believe is an extra auto with the dreaded redemption card, an Alshon Jeffrey Rookie Ticket RPS.  As i’ve stated in the past, i really hate redemption cards.  I understand why they do it and that it just needs to be done sometimes…it’s just disappointing to have to wait months for your hit.  Sometimes a guy just needs a hit.

12 PC Alshon Jeffrey Auto Redemption

The second pack I opened in this box had an awesomely shiny  Redskins rookie card Autograph numbered 66/99…Kirk Cousins. I was really hoping for the other rookie Redskins QB, but this guy might end up being the guy…somewhere.  I believe i have 5 Cousins autos now…and zero RG3 autos…FML!  Here’s a fun fact.  No matter what orientation you lay the card out, the serial number always says 66/99…fun with sixes and nines you kinky freaks!

12 PC Kirk Cousins Auto 66:99

The other autos in the box weren’t that spectacular and quite frankly i think the kids these days seriously need to work on their penmanship.  They are probably signing hundreds of items, but the Chris Polk auto is just begging to be forged by a man of lesser character.

12 PC Chris Polk Auto

I got a kicker auto, that’s a little weird.  Zeurlein had a great season, but he’s still a kicker.  I’m just really i didn’t pull yet another Dontari Poe auto!

12 PC Greg Zuerlein Auto

The Bucs and the Cardinals guys are not on my radar, if anyone has an idea who they are or just needs them for a PC, let me know.  Otherwise they are ebay bound.

12 PC LaVonte David Auto12 PC Jamell Fleming Auto

This Panini product seems to give you a good number of autos, but nothing spectacular.

Review

All in all i am pretty happy with the box.  I managed to get quite a few Redskins, no RG3, but i did pull a serial numbered Kirk Cousins auto.  By the way, i used to write just like Captain Kirk when i was in the 5th grade.  At least his auto is clean and legible…looking at you Chris Polk!  Contenders is a box that i tend to buy each year and will continue to do so…but one a year is more than enough for me.  The cards are great and you get a good amount of inserts, I just don’t know if the price justifies the cards you pull and their value.

This years subsets look great as usual.  I mentioned the MVP Contenders and the Rookie of the Year Contenders, but the subset I love is the Rookie Stallion cards…the name is a little…um…weird.  But the photos are great and i love the layout and use of fonts.

12 PC Justin Blackmon Rookie Stallions12 PC Bruce Irvin Rookie Stallions

Not too crazy about the Legendary Champion cards, nice idea and great player selection, just don’t love the design.

12 PC Tom Brady Legendary Champtions12 PC Drew Brees Legendary Champions 18:100

Here are the Redskins from the box!

12 PC Santana Moss12 PC Pierre Garcon

That’s it folks.  I have a couple more breaks to cover and i will be caught up!  Hope you enjoy the reviews.

2013 Topps – Packs 9 and 10

DONE!

I have finished opening 10 jumbo packs and am quite proud of myself.  The last two packs turned out to be pretty action packed as well as thick card packed.  There was a post over at Basketball Card Blog about the girth-iness of the Topps Cy Young card.  I was hoping I would pull one of my own and when i got to the 10th pack i noticed what looked like 10 cards glued together.  This reminded me of the time when i opened up an old shoebox of cards from the 90’s that had stuck together to form an un-bendable stack of good ole’ junk wax.  My heart broke as i ended up tossing most of these cards as they were damaged, that will teach you to put your 90’s glossy cards in some polypropylene sleeves for that long lasting protection.

On to the cardboard.

First card of note is The Big Hurt.  I absolutely LOVED this guy in the 90’s.  I remember going to my local flea market and buying 9 of his Score and Topps Rookie cards thinking i was investing in something really great.  Like most kids around this time, I was planning my investment strategies when these cards hit the $1,000 mark.  They sell for a few dollars now.  Frank Thomas was an unbelievable hitter.  Great command of the strike zone.  Herculean power and a fierce competitor.  One of my cousins from Phoenix City, Alabama tells me he went to school with Frank Thomas…i guess it’s believable since Thomas went to school in Columbus, Georgia just across the state line.  That anecdote had no other purpose than to be a topper, sorry.  These Chasing History cards are OK, not great, not terrible…just OK.  Topps has really gone out of their way to put retired players on cards the last 8+ years.  I think it’s a great theme to carry on, but maybe pump the brakes a little on this one.

13 T Frank Thomas Chasing History

Next up is Reggie Jackson and his super Abs.  This card is from his Athletics days.  Just look at those glasses and sweet ass afro busting out the bottom of his ear flapless helmet.  I couldn’t imagine players using ear flapless helmets these days…someone would be killed by an erratic fastball and claim some unwritten rule in doing so.  Still love these The Great cards, this one goes along with the Mo i pulled earlier.

13 T Reggie Jackson The Greats

This is my second Bryce Harper card from the box.  I got the base card #1 and this one.  These Chasing the Dream cards are kind of nice.  I would really like them if the name was easier to read on the left side…maybe that’s just due to my old, tired eyes.  Harper is going to be a great player and I really love the way he plays the game.  I want my son to go all out like he does.  Unfortunately, his temper gets in his way at times, Bryce Harper that is.  I think it’s going to get the best of him as he gets older and becomes a veteran and more comfortable pushing back.  Hope he doesn’t let it come to that though.  Topps absolutely loves this kid and it’s almost as if Mike Trout doesn’t matter that much…kind of crazy that the stat guys love Trout so much but his love is overshadowed fairly significantly by Harper, at least from what i’ve seen.

13 T Bryce Harper Chasing the Dream

Ok.  Here is my thick ass card.  It’s Alex Rodriguez.  Look at it.  That pompous smirk and his magnetic wrist band to increase blood flow to his wrists or from his wrists, i have no idea how those things work or if they work…snob.

13 T Alex Rodriguez AL Silver Slugger

If you knew me, you would know that I do not like A-Rod at all.  I think he is the worst of the selfish/narcissist modern athlete.  I really wish he didn’t play for the Yankees.  Anyone else but the Yankees.  I understand that a lot of athletes have personal issues and many are far worse than A-Rod, but something about him just kills me.  He is a false image of a great baseball player and overwhelmed with his own image that he diligently created.  I wonder if he just took less money and stayed in Seattle if i would feel this way?

Ironically, my last two packs contained these two minis.  Maybe it wasn’t irony but rather the cardboard gods (my apologies to the card atheists…) balancing things in a very confusing world.

One great humanitarian for the game that would drop everything to help people in need.  The other a self serving and self absorbed popcorn fed, orange spray tanning sucka!  Now, don’t get me wrong, A-Rod is/was a great talent.  Even with the PED rumors, i think he is one of the all time great players…it’s his attitude and entitlement that tugs at my short hairs.

13 T Clemente Rodriguez Minis

So that’s it.  10 packs and +/- 500 cards later.  Hope you enjoyed seeing what i pulled.

2013 Topps – Packs 7 and 8

I’m getting close to the bottom of this jumbo box.  As usual, it’s taken thrice as long as i had expected, but i can finally see the end in sight.  I’ve been a little lackadaisical in putting these things in their respective binder slots, but that will come in due time.  I’d like to get these cards organized so I can stay on top of completing the set during the baseball season…rather than waiting until the Super Bowl Big Game to wrap it up. (sorry NFL, didn’t mean to infringe on your copyright restrictions)

Let’s get started on the 4th row of packs.

The first card just might be my favorite card of the year.  At the very least it’s a front runner.  Gotta love the looks on these drunken fools faces.  Some have the look of panic like the blondie on the left and her overly tanned mom on the right.  Although their fear may be due to the double barrel gun show reaching out from the card’s left border and Hawaiian shirt from the right.  What about the guy, or girl…not really sure…with the black wife beater.  I will call him/her Pat.  Sorry if you are reading this blog.  I mean no harm, just unsure and i don’t want to assume anything here, but I do love the joy on your face dear sir, or madam.  Hey, what about that Pirates fan, he’s pretty stoked isn’t he?  If Mr. Raburn could see the grief/joy he was about to bring to these fans he would think twice about catching the ball.  My favorite though is the dude above the the glove in the stoner glasses.  I really need to get outfield tickets this season and make some sweet ass faces for the cameraman.  Anyway you call it, this card is awesome.

13 T Ryan Raburn

Don’t have much to say about the next two cards other than one guy had a great career and the other probably will.  The Past and the Present.  Manny looks like he’s going to be a super star for many years.  My man Jeet is nearing the end of his career and i’m not sure he will get another ring, but he will always be a legend.  Collecting his cards is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life…there are exacting 50million cards and counting.  I’ve decided to only buy the ones that i think look really cool.  There are just too many to pick up.

13 T Derek Jeter13 T Manny Machado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting this Verlander card in because he got down with Kate Upton…allegedly…and that’s good enough for my book.  It’s Kate Upton people, Kate Upton.

13 T Justin Verlander

Didn’t Topps have enough of the sparkle cards last season?  Didn’t we all hate them because simple sun flashes looked like SP starburst cards?  Are they back?  What the HELL is going on HERE!!!

13 T AJ Ellis

This is what the Jayson Werth card should have looked like.  How could they not have put Werth’s walkoff in game 4 on a card…unless i’ve missed it.  Morse wasn’t too happy with the Nats offseason and he is now in Seattle.  A place that has become baseball purgatory for a lot of player in recent years.  They do appear to be building something nice through multiple trades and good drafting.  There is a lot of young talent and Felix Hernandez is pretty nice with his.

13 T Michael Morse

You can never, ever, ever go wrong with a shiny Willie Mays, now can you.  I am pretty fond of this card, although when i was scanning it I noticed it didn’t fit within the 2.5×3.5 box.  It was slightly bigger, what does that mean?  Was Willie Mays on some delayed growth hormones that have miraculously affected his glossy cards?  Sorry, that was weak.  Mays is one of those guys that i wish i could have seen play in his prime…if only one game.  He was a true legend of the game and a phenomenal talent.  I would love to have the cash to collect his vintage cards, maybe one day when architects are paid what I think we are worth.

13 T Willie Mays Cut to the Chase

I could be this guys dad, in fact i may be older than his dad…

13 T Dylan Bundy

last two packs on their way, betcha can’t wait!

A Redskins Post

When I re-started this blog, I wanted it to be a way of tracking my new Redskins cards and display them to the other bloggers out there.  I figured it would also be a great way to fill in some of the holes in my collection, while helping others through trades.  Another reason was really to show off some of the great card designs.  Although the Redskins may not be one of your favorite teams, I think these pieces of cardboard can be appreciated by all sports fans and collectors.

Since the season ended with a big loud thud and the franchise QB laying face down on the dirt in Landover, i haven’t been overly excited about buying new Redskins cards.  As with anything, time heals all wounds.  So i’m back in the saddle and purchasing new Redskin cards.

Part of my visit to the Sports Room on Friday was to see what new Redskin cards they had for sale.  In the past these guys have been great about putting together fantastic team packs for a very affordable price.  Through the years, I have managed to pick up the majority of the Redskin sets as there are not too many fans here in Portland – HTTR!  With this visit, they had a couple new packs for $3 and $4.  That’s a pretty great deal for any collector.

Buying these things is a bit of a gamble since i can only see the front and back card but i did notice multiple thick cards as well as some shiny ones…PLUS, you just cannot beat that $4 sticker!

Each pack turned out to be a great deal for me as i didn’t have most of the cards.  They were from higher end sets that i have had to avoid this year due to our new child and the fact that some of these boxes and packs are just too expensive for me right now.  I’ve found that this is the best way for me to collect, just wait out all the rush to buy the new stuff and pick up the cards that i collect, rather than buying boxes and getting players i don’t really care about.  ALTHOUGH, i still reserve the right to buy boxes…they are still fun to open.

12 Momentum Fred Davis

There were a couple serial numbered cards and new pieces to add to my PC.  Gotta love it when you can buy cards you need to complete a checklist rather than something to simply put in a box and store away, never to be seen again…

12 Elite Brian Orakpo 12 Inception Fred Davis

There were quite a few Santana Moss cards that filled the gaps in their respective binder.  I loved the Momentum cards this year.  Nice cards on thick pieces of card stock and a simple, clean design.  I really love the font at the top of the cards too, nice and clean with no serifs.

12 Momentum Santana Moss

12 Finest Santana Moss

12 Absolute Santana Moss

A very nice serial numbered Art Monk card as well.  One of my all time favorites…it took way too long for him to get in to the Hall of Fame by the way.

12 Contenders Art Monk 508:897

The topper of the whole visit and the reason why i love stopping at my LCS is this card.

09 Elite Chris Cooley 47:47

Rick just gave it to me, had it sitting on the shelf waiting for me too, pretty awesome!  A nice shiny, die cut serial numbered card of Captain Chaos!  Looking a little closer, you see that it’s number 47/47 and Cooley wears 47.  The 47 trifecta!  Rick tried to convince me that this is a great card because it’s a 1/1!  Not really buying it, but thanks for the free Captain Chaos card!  As much as i love Cooley, I really hope he retires this offseason and doesn’t play for another team next year.  Can’t really see him making the team next year since he only had 1 catch.  A great career no less.

That’s it, my latest Redskin haul.  All together, there were 36 unique cards in the two team packs and i needed exactly 25 of them.  Not a bad deal.