2013 Topps S2 – Packs 9 and 10

Rounding Home.

So, i was going to post the final two packs from my series two box last night but we had a nice family dinner night with my mother, mother in law and brother in law.  Where did we go you ask, well we went to Pok Pok.  If any of you ever venture up to Portland, it’s not to be missed.  The restaurant has received quite a bit of notoriety the past few years and a place that we love to visit whenever we get a chance.  If you do indeed make it to Pok Pok, you MUST get the wings.  They are unlike any other wings you have ever had, they are BETTER!  Just a little local Portland foodie plug for any foodies out there.  There is also a spot out in Brooklyn, which i’ve heard is not quite the same…guess you need that Southeast Portland flavor to make it great.

Back to cardboard.  I’ve only two packs left to share and there isn’t too much for gloriousness, as i’ve pulled the ‘hits’ already.  As has been the case with the previous posts, i like to show dueling or similar cards.  The two below feature great faces of intense physical exertion.  Joaquin and Jorge are both doing their ultimate lip pursing, almost to the point that their lips have disappeared…but they haven’t because that would be wierd.

13 T Joaquin Benoit Jorge De La Rosa

Next is the contorting Jered Weaver Cut to the Chase.  This photo gives you a great idea as to how much pressure pitching can put on your body…and of course there is more lip pursing.

13 T Jered Weaver Cut to the Chase

Enter Sandman Chasing History.  This is an open mouth lip pursing.  Something only legends can do.  Can you do it properly?

13 T Mariano Rivera Chasing History

Salvador Perez is super happy in this card.  I’m assuming it’s a walk off for the win…but no lip pursing.  Disappointing.

13 T Salvador Perez Black Border

Finally.  Tiny Tim Lincecum.  Look at those long flowing locks, splayed glove and a cream white ANTS jersey.  Does the MLB test for weed?  I know it’s not really a PED, but i can only imagine with this kid.  Inappropriate, i know…

13 T Tim Lincecum Chasing History

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 3 and 4

For the first couple of cards, I’m going to stick with the twofers…and it goes a little something like this, HIT IT!

As usual, I’m late for the bus on this one.  I just wanted to add my two cents on the whole celebration card that Topps seems to be putting out more and more each season.  I like the concept, and sometimes it works brilliantly as it does with the Francisco Cervelli card.  Then there are other times when it doesn’t work well, like this Derek Norris card.  It’s more of an Oakland A’s team card and I fully expected to see some team leader stats on the back of the piece of card stock.  If the camera man was a couple of inches to the right, nobody would know who this card is for, including the wonderful mlb-baby-making parents of Mr. Norris!  I would have thought it was for Reddick or that little dude squatting in the middle of the card.  Get it together Topps!

13 T Francisco Cervelli Derek Norris

Here are a couple more celebration cards.  Am I the only one that thinks Homer Bailey and Christian Bale are twins lost at birth?  Maybe they should be doing those cheesy State Farm Chris Paul commercials.  This is a good example of a celebration card.  You can see his Batman looking face and yet, he is still sharing a personal moment with Chris Heisey after his no-no last year.  The Ryan Ludwick card on the other hand is all kinds of terrible.  Not only is his face nowhere to be seen, his nameplate on the back is blurry!!!  At the very least this should have been a Jay Bruce card because his unbridled enthusiasm is…unbridled (first time using that word on the blog and i drop it twice!).

13 T Homer Bailey Ryan Ludwick

Alright, enough whining.  These making their mark cards are nice and the player selection is great.  I love that they went with the young future superstars for this subset.  Both of these guys are great players…and I kind of have a baseball crush on Manny Machado…the kid is all kinds of awesome.  I’m no Orioles fan and have no idea when he will make the move to short, if ever, but he is going to become their rock for the next 10-15 years like Jeter has been for the Yankees.

13 T Manny Machado Yoenis Cespedes Making their Mark

Bryce Harper.  Stud.  Kind of want to do a player collection of him.  I think this kid is great and i’m sure i’ve mentioned it here before, but I would love for Bryce to be my sons favorite ballplayer.  If everyone played all out each play like he did, the game would be so much more fun to watch day in and day out.

13 T Bryce Harper Chase it Down

Here is a nice little cut to the chase Ernie Banks card.  You can’t ever go wrong with Mr. Banks and some die cut action.

13 T Ernie Banks Cut to the Chase

Last card for the night was my autograph hit from the box.  Alex Cobb chasing history.  I’m going to chase some whiskey with a little sleep.  Goodnight collectors of the internets.

13 T Alex Cobb Chasing History Auto

 

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

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.