Cabin fever cards

About a month ago, my family took a weekend trip to Mt. Hood, with me, i went too.  We’re lucky enough to have good friends that own a small cabin in the woods and are more than happy and willing to share the tiny abode from time to time.  It’s near Rhododendron, which is close to Zig Zag, which is close to Welches, which is close to Government Camp, which is close to Mt. Hood…it’s on Mt. Hood actually.  The cabin is a small, one bed timber framed cabin with a kitchenette, it’s…umm… cozy…(read small)…but it is nicely nestled in the forest off a small unpaved road.  Normally the roads are covered in snow, but we were able to visit just after a heavy rain storm that washed away most of the snow, leaving some ice.

cabin road

I believe these cabins were once used to house park rangers that would work during the year.  It allowed them to retreat to a nice home after a long day at work rather than travel to and from their own homes each day.  For one person, these cabins are crazy comfortable, for two people, it’s perfect…for two people and a toddler…you need more space.  A LOT MORE SPACE!  But, hey it’s free…and i got some cards to open while i was there too!

That blurry flash is my child doing his best to run around in a small building while my wife makes snacks and i build a manly fire.  So, cards.

One of my goals with the renewed interest in blogging was to open packs or do something card oriented each time i travel.  We were kind of in that weird time of year where the 2016s didn’t interest me anymore and the new 2017’s weren’t out yet…other than the flagship Topps…which i already had a box of.  So i picked up one of those dreaded repack jobs that deliver very little in return.  Spoiler alert, my low expectations were met with a couple of mild surprises.  Let’s take a look.

As the box mentioned, 4 packs and a total of 50 cards and a BONUS!  Before we open everything, let’s do a little inventory.  The 4 packs were of 2015 Topps (2), 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection (1), and 2016 Gypsy Queen (1).  The white box of surprises had a little mini Twins baseball guy which was quickly jacked by the toddler.  There were 53 cards in the white box, so i’m already ahead no matter what happens.  Here are some Topps highlights.

Justin Upton and Clayton Kershaw were the only names of significant note for me.  Hey, notice the vintage table pattern, apparently the table has been in the same location for over 50 years…i imagine it’s been moved a time or two to sweep though.

A couple insert cards.  High leg kicking Carlton and top 40 Free Agent Robbie Cano.  One of these guys is going in to my collection and the other one is going in to the Phillies box i got in my basement.  Let’s take a look at the Gypsy Queen cards!

A couple of real DBacks.

BB GQ McCovey

A power alley McCovey.

BB GQ mini Drury

And a mini Brandon Drury…a Diamondbacks hot pack i guess.  Now lets take a look at the Ruth cards.

Two odd photos of Babe Ruth, kids and bats.

Two odd photos of Babe Ruth swinging things that aren’t baseball bats.

BB LR Ruth 1

One photo of Babe Ruth doing baseball warm ups, his Career Achievements card…but what about that white box?  Mostly junk wax stuff, but kind of fun to look through.  There were three cards of note that made me want to take a photograph of them, and here they are…in order of how much i like them, from least to most.

BB box Jackson Winfield

Some Yankee stuff

BB box Posey

A Posey Bowman.

BB box Jeter

A Jeter Diamond King!  Yay!  This was by far the best card in the bunch, pretty nice card.  I think i may have a copy or two of this one, but it’s still a nice little piece to pull in a cabin in the woods.

the end…

Something that’s hopefully appropriate for this post…family member, Paul Riddle on the drum kit here.

 

Collector seeking Autographs

I used to be an autograph seeker in my adolescent years.  Cards and a fresh sharpie in hand, fighting my way to the front in hopes of getting an illegible scribble from the baseball stars of the 1980’s.  After a while i build up quite a collection that i’m proud of and like to look back on every once in a while.  San Antonio didn’t have a major league team in San Antonio (AA San Antonio Dodgers though!), but my mother…being the most amazing working / single mother that she was (and still is…) would take me to Arlington a couple times each summer.  We’d mostly go the Rangers games rather than the Astros in Houston…i guess i’ve always been an American League guy…or maybe it was those horrific rainbow sherbet jerseys…the trips each year would include the Yankees, of course and maybe the Blue Jays or Mariners.  Looking back, we went to quite a few Mariners games as a kid and now i live in the PNW, it’s like it was fate or somethign?  My mother is an incredibly generous and giving person, and she always went out of her way to make sure i had what i needed, and most times what i wanted.  Even if it was a terrible idea.  Like sitting in an open air stadium under the relentlessly pounding late afternoon sun of Texas in July and August.  It was a brutal request from an only child after driving for 5 hours, but she obliged, albeit with some resentment in her eyes…but hey, i’m an only child :)!!

As i got older and realized i could maximize my inventory while minimizing my road trips through through the mail autographs, or TTM as every single one of you kids out there reading this knows.  I did this for a couple of years and had some success, check out the page of autographs HERE.  DOIT!!

As i got even older…and was able to finally get that Rickey Henderson auto i always wanted…but can’t seem to find anymore…shit…i’ll dig it out.  Anyways, after that autograph, i decided to stop asking adults for their signature.  Seemed kinda silly of me i guess…not sure why, maybe it was that i was starting to get older than the people i wanted autographs from?  Maybe I was a little embarrassed?  Maybe it was simply the asking for something and being shy about it?  Not really sure.  That said, i have nothing against collecting autos…especially if they have some kind of story associated with them.  Unfortunately, the cards below have no great story other than they are what i pulled from the box i picked up at Brian’s shop.  Here they are!  There are 5 of them and they are nice pieces to have in the collection for now.  You gotta wait for these guys, some of them never pan out and other may take a couple of years to get there…so enjoy.

16-bd-will-benson-auto

Will Benson – Cleveland Indians – 1st Bowman Card16-bd-robert-tyler-auto-227250

Robert Tyler – Colorado Rockies – 1st Bowman Card 227/25016-bd-dylan-carlson-auto-316499

Dylan Carlson – St. Louis Cardinals – 1st Bowman Card 316/49916-bd-ben-bowden-auto

Ben Bowden – Colorado Rockies – 1st Bowman Card16-bd-anfernee-grier-auto

Anfernee Grier – Arizona Diamondbacks – 1st Bowman Card

Actually got to see this guy play a couple of games last year in Hillsboro for the Hops.  He was the 39th pick from Auburn in last years draft, so there is some hope that he could find his way to the big leagues in a year or two.

The jumbo box included a couple other cards of note that i was pretty excited about.  This lovely Griffey Jr. card, which could have been posted in my previous post on Sons and Fathers…doesn’t top Gavin’s 1/1 auto, but not a bad looking card to have…and Bo Jackson…

16-bd-ken-griffey-jr-draft-history16-bd-bo-jackson-draft-history

These Bowman Chrome cards are really nice cards to hold…but do smell a little bit like syrup as Sooz mentioned in a very cool and random tweet a couple days ago.  Speaking of Yankees…Here are the last two cards i wanted to share.  A couple of guys i have high hopes for this year that came through via trades Cushman made out on, or at least the Yankees fans hope so.

16-bd-gleyber-torres16-bd-justus-sheffield

I apologize for the fingerprints on that Sheffield card, not only do they smell like syrup…they love to grab hold of anything that touched the surface.  So much grit!

I hope you had a good MLK day and took a moment to understand the importance of his life.  Normally, this is where i post a music video that ties in to the cards or story of the day but i wanted to post something appropriate for the day rather than the post.  I listened to this while i was at work today and…well, you should listen to.  And in case you question why #BlackLivesMatter, it’s very thoughtfully explained and passionately addressed by Dr. King.

Box Break: 2013 Bowman

Bowman is one of those in between sets for me.  Do I buy packs?  A box and build the set?  Pull my favorites out and part ways with the rest of them?

I’m not a prospector, but I love to pull some of the great rookies that I read about.

I don’t put together too many sets, but I love to buy packs and sometimes a box of cards that I enjoy openings packs of.

I like inserts, but too many of them become overwhelming.

Bowman has a way of providing a response to each of these contradictions in my collecting habits.  When Topps brought back the Bowman cards in 1989, my friend Alex and I were all in.  The cards were weird and big and didn’t fit well anywhere, but they were cool and had a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.  Griff was the man in 1989 and his rookie cards were something every kid in America that collected cards wanted.  I had them all, and loved the oversized Bowman version (after the Upper Deck version of course…)  Although the cards weren’t that great.  The photography was a little grainy at times and the overall design was weak…plus the stat on the back were quite confusing and took some getting used to.  Either way I was going to collect this set…and all other versions that would come out in the future.  That was, until 1992 rolled around.  The card quality became significantly better and the rookie class was pretty stellar at the time (I still have my Raul Mondesi in a screw down holder, iknowright!).  1992 was also the time I began to realize I can’t collect everything…because I couldn’t afford it.  So I never completed the set and ended up getting rid of my other sets from the previous years.

13 BB Mariano Rivera Chrome RC Reprint

Fast forward to the future that is today.  The card quality has improved exponentially and in relation to the other stuff that’s being issued, Bowman is quite affordable.  I’ve purchased a box of these the past three years and took a bigger step this year and bought the jumbo pack box from Dave and Adam’s card world.  Here is my review.

13 BB Josh Hamilton Chrome RC Reprint

Card Design – 3 of 5

The overall design of the cards is quite simple, which I love.

13 BB Robinson Cano

13 BB Hanley Ramirez

No extra weird things going on here, just some simple graphics and all the basic information you need on a baseball card.  I do like the subtle variation on the front of the card that differentiates the Bowman Prospects from the Major Leaguers.  Bowman also carried this through as they do on the back of  the card with the numbering and color of the card stock.

Photography – 3 of 5

The photographs are your typical action photos mixed in with awkwardly posed for photos of young men in uniforms.  There are a lot of beards and facial hair in general around the world these days and the major league baseball franchise is no different.  I’m thinking Panini needs to do a facial hair card set.  Maybe Josh Reddick get the coveted #1 card?

13 BB Matt Kemp Bryce Harper Gold Border

Hits – 4 of 5

Like I said before, I’m no prospector.  I simply don’t have the patience or wherewithal to invest in people I don’t know and Bowman counts on people doing this.  That’s what makes this set so wonderful though.  If you do pull a great auto of a young talented player or a refractor you have a nice piece of cardboard.  If you don’t, well, you have something shiny to look at i guess.  Another thing with the hits is that you have to wait a couple of years for these guys to pan out and get a year or two under their belts.  Just because you are a top 100 prospect doesn’t mean you are going to be a star in the bigs.  All that said, It’s nice to get the ‘First Bowman card’ of a potential star.

13 BB Eddie Rosario Dorssys Paulino Top 100

Another thing that i really enjoy about the Bowman cards and the young stars is the names of these kids.  Damn.

13 BB Oliberto Amaya Calderon Maldonado Chrome

Review

Bowman is always fun to open and the cards are always a very solid quality.  I’m not sure if I will buy a jumbo box next year unless i plan to start building the sets again…but getting 32 cards in a pack is pretty cool.

13 BB Rodriguez Bundy Reed Rowen Gold Sparkle

The overall look and feel of the cards is great, nothing to complain about here, plus the price is right with Bowman, especially for what you get.

Mini’s are cool.

13 BB Skaggs Hanson Bradley Hensley Minis

So are Flags…

13 BB Davis Upton Alonso Maurer Hometown

and blue or maybe purple cards?

13 BB Brett Gerritse Blue Refractor 60:250and who doesn’t love them some autographs!

13 BB Eddie Butler Auto

13 BB Yordano Ventura Refractor Auto 79:500

13 BB Alex Meyer Auto

Heritage Box Break Update

So I finished breaking the boxes of Heritage last night while watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 on Jimmy V and the 1983 NC State team.  If you haven’t watched it yet, you really should.  I’m one of those people that can’t get in to much of what ESPN does and haven’t watched Sportscenter since Olbermann was pushed out.  I feel like their programming is only slightly above MTV these days.  The guys at Grantland and Bill Simmons have done a phenomenal job on the 30 for 30 series though and i never miss an episode, including the shorts on the Grantland site.  Opening packs of cards and watching sports on TV way past your bedtime is a little treat for me these days.  Our 6 month old boy is really moving around a lot these days and requires a ton of attention and love during the daytime hours.  I have no problem doing, but it’s nice to have a break at night.  PLUS i have an amazing wife who gives our son tons of love and unfortunately is tasked with the onerous responsibility of getting him to sleep at night.

As i mentioned in the initial review post of this years Heritage, i am a big fan of this set and love putting it together each year.  In the past couple of years, Heritage has fallen out of favor due overproduction and too many SP’s which makes getting the base cards somewhat easy but difficult to complete the whole set.  The boxes i opened were pretty nice and i noticed quite a bit of SP’s that i may post in the future, but i wanted to show off the hits that really caught my eye.  I’ve heard that Heritage was going to add more autograph hits this year and i was lucky enough to pull 4 in the boxes i had.  Not only did i get 4 cards, but i got a good haul of quality players.  Nothing jaw dropping, but nice cards no less.

And there they are…

The first one is David Freese, and he looks as if he is about to get his DMV photo taken.

12 TH David Freese Auto

Next, Mr. Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  When i was looking at graduate schools i was trying to decide between the University of Oregon and Arizona State.  This was around the time the D’backs won the World Series and i thought it would be great to live in a major league city, but just couldn’t deal with living in a dessert since i grew up in hot, humid San Antonio for so many years.  So i chose Oregon.  Had i chosen ASU, i would probably be a D’backs fan and be super excited about this card.  But, i am only excited.  He is one of the young up and coming stars and could be a big home run guy in the future.

12 TH Paul Goldschmidt Auto

Next was Lance Lynn.  My second Cardinal.  Honestly, i would have missed this card were it not for the hand numbered 43/64 in the top right.  The red ink auto pretty much disappears into his glove and with my color deficiencies, i can barely make out the Topps Certified Autograph Issue on the name stripe at the bottom.  This could have been done better Topps.

12 TH Lance Lynn Red Auto 43:64

The last autograph is pretty awesome.  Maury Wills.  The auto is nice and placed in a great spot on the card.  You can tell this was done by a professional, someone who has signed a million autos in his lifetime.  This autograph is actually a long time coming for me.  I believe in 1989 i went to a show in Austin, TX where he was supposed to be signing autographs for a small fee.  This was around the same time when i was doing the through the mail autos and thought it would be great to get a veteran player added to my collection…but he never showed up.  I was pretty upset, not Sheldon Cooper vs. Wil Wheaton upset, but upset no less.  I had an 8×10 and baseball all ready for him to sign.  I never found out why he didn’t show up, but attempted to mail the baseball to him a few months later and never recieved anything.  Chalked to experience up as a failure and moved on with my life.  Now we have come full circle.

12 TH Maury Wills Auto

The next few cards are the annual jersey cards from the Clubhouse Collection series.  There were significantly less cards that i pulled than in years past.  Which i am ok with as these cards seem to be uninspired and a little boring.  Here’s hoping Topps does something different with these next year and maybe does larger swatches or better photos?  I don’t know, but something different would be great.

12 TH Neftali Perez Clubhouse Collection Jersey12 TH Tommy Hanson Clubhouse Collection Jersey12 TH Trevor Cahill Clubhouse Collection Jersey

that’s all, thanks.

2013 Topps – Packs 5 and 6

On to the next round of packs.  I actually opened one at 11:58 and another at 12:03 over night, so i guess this counts as a pack a day…back on track, for now.

The first two cards are Yankees.  I hadn’t posted any Yanks yet, so i thought i would get a start today and post two.  These are actually the two most notable Yankees in the box so far, so that’s the main reason i hadn’t posted others.  Anyways.  I LOVE the Mariano Rivera card.  Great shot and on a nice thick piece of card stock.  It’s just slightly off center, but i guess these things happen when you are making hundreds of them.  The border around the card looks like something you would pull in a higher end card pack, but i guess it is a jumbo pack?  Overall, a very nice elegant design.  The Reggie Jackson card on the other hand is a little weird.  I love the design of these Calling Cards and have already pulled a couple good players, but the whole “Abs of Steel” thing is kind of off putting for me.  Didn’t know he was that in to his abs but i guess doing 1200 sit ups a day will lead to an obsession.  If i had the time to do something 1200 times a day, not sure it would be sit ups…just saying.

13 T Mariano Rivera The Greats

13 T Reggie Jackson Calling Card

The next card is L.J. Hoes, only because of his name though.  Hoes.  It sounds like he has some talent as he won the Brooks Robinson Award for being the top player in the Orioles organization.  My favorite part of his card is this line “It was a dream come true for Hoes…”  That’s pretty fantastic.  All the Hoes out there should be proud, and so should the G’z. (Snoop Dogg reference)

13 T LJ Hoes

Next up, is the man that is ‘Next Up’, Jurickson Profar.  I coached a little league team for 4 years when i first moved to Portland and I remember being excited to watch the Little League World Series and remember watching Profar play.  I always wonder how many of those kids go on to play major league anything.  Some 12 year olds peak at 12 and their glory days get behind them quickly.  Profar as any MLB scout will tell you is the real deal and should be an everyday starter very soon if not on opening day.  I guess technically he has Elvis Andrus blocking him at SS, but they may be moving him to second, or third…not really sure.  Any Rangers fans out there that can help with this one?

13 T Jurickson Profar

Justin Upton is a phenomenal talent and I have always loved watching him play.  I’ve gone back and forth on collecting his cards and keeping them for my PC.  Ultimately deciding not to once he was traded to the Braves.  I was really hoping the Yankees would make a move for him, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  I think he is going to have a great year with his brother.  Maybe the Braves can get that elusive second World Series title…it’s a long shot, but they have a really talented outfield.

13 T Justin Upton

These next two cards came in the jumbo pack just like this, in the same order.  I thought it was pretty cool.  Kind of like a two page flip book.

13 T Andruw Jones

13 T Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Lastly, the second hit of the box is an autograph of Wily Peralta from the Milwaukee Brewers.  No idea who this guy is.  As a quick side note, i stopped playing fantasy baseball about 2 years ago and have enjoyed all of the free time, but man, i have no idea who a lot of these guys are anymore.  I used to do so much research on prospects and rookies.  I would be able to tell you everything about this kid 3 years ago…but now I’m doing a card blog.  I think i need to step up my research so i don’t keep saying “i have no idea who this guy is…”  Very unprofessional.  Back to the card.  I love that it’s one of the ‘Chasing the Dream’ cards and a rookie, just wish the auto looked cleaner.  No big deal though, hope he pans out.  I seem to have gotten a Brewer heavy box.

13 T Wily Peralta Chasing the Dream Auto

There you have it, past the halfway point in the box and 4 more to go!