2014 Topps S1 – Packs 1 and 2

I’ve always been a little slow and therefore have been late to various things in my life.  So i’ve developed a mentality of sitting and waiting for other people to do something before I go.  It allows me time to think of what I want to do or can provide…since 2014 Topps has been out for a couple of weeks I’m going to show you what I got as well as give you a piece of my mind! 🙂

I know some folks don’t like the Topps flagship or are upset with their exclusive MLB license.  You won’t get any of that vibe over here though, I’m all in for the Topps flagship.  To the parallels and inserts, I say…”I don’t care” or “I choose to ignore you”.  I say that to the cards.  Take them out of the center of the packs and put them aside.  Sift through the base cards first and them make my way to the “hits” part of the program.  You should probably also know that I always eat muffins by starting from the bottom and working my way up.  I like to save the best for last.  Gives me something to look forward to.

On to the card judgement.

Topps has come back with the white border cards and personally i’d like to see a different color border, or possibly a full bleed.  I know this isn’t anything groundbreaking but a little variation would be great for the borders.  I’d like to se a card from each year and know that there was more than just a slight variation of the previous years designs…something bigger like the changes in card designs from 85 to 86 to 87.  Basically I want a fresh and new design each year.  The photos though, those are great.  Lots of action photos from what i’ve seen so far and great shots of men leaping in to walls.

14 TO Victorino Heyward

One of the things that Topps has done with their photos is select the image that makes you stop…and look…and think…why this photo?  The Crisp card has appeared all over the blogosphere and it now appears here.  That afro is straight up Oaktown.  If rappers had baseball cards, this would be the exact same image that Boots Riley from The Coupe would have.  Big Ass Afro and a clean pair of mutten chops piercing out of each cheek, shoulders back doing the Bernie lean.

14 TO Coco Crisp

Besides the cool images, you get the obligatory post game celebration photo.  The gatorade bath.  Now, this would make a much better football card.  In fact, I think Topps should have one football head coach card next year and it should be Pete Carroll getting an orange bath after the Super Bowl and it should be card number 48.  That’s a free one for you Topps people, run with it.  This Dozier card though…it reeks of gimmick that folks complain about.  Dozier…remind me of the Souls of Mischief lyric…’Maintain composure, hit dosia, pick a booga, don’t be shook up, i got the hook up.’

14 TO Brian Dozier

TWO OAKLAND RAP REFERENCES in one blog post!

This kid.  Love this kid.

14 TO Bryce Harper

One last base card before i show a couple of the ‘Hits’.  The Kendrys Morales card.  This card should never have been made unless it was a Mariners team card.  In this modern world of high price cameras and digital media at every turn, how can you have a card of a player that only shows his back.  AND THE BACK IS OUT OF FOCUS!!!  Seriously??!!??!  The only guy that’s really in focus is Felix Hernandez.  Not Morales!  The moral of this card is that team celebrations are good and should only be shared as a team card.  Really bad decision on this one.

14 TO Kendrys Morales

Mini’s.  Die Cuts.  I love both and that’s what you get this year!  Some 1989 design mini with various border colors that are die cut!  Yes please!  Sign me up for that.  AND I get a Lou Gehrig.  Such a lucky boy I am.

14 TO Lou Gehrig 1989 Mini

This next pair of cards came in my first two packs and I started to think I had a Segura Hot Box.  Guess you will have to wait and see…I’m not trying to tease you, I have no idea either as i’ve only opened two packs.

14 TO Jean Segura The Future Is Now

Be on the lookout for the following 8 packs America.  I can only hope that I get more blurry cards of guys backs.

A DC Die Cut Delivery Day

I came home to a few PWE’s with my name on them and a rigid piece of something in them.  It’s card delivery day! YAY!  I’m sure those cards were just waiting to get delivered to my mailbox after the holiday yesterday.  Ironically all three cards were die cut cards of young DC sports stars…and here they are!

13 PS Jordan Reed Die Cut

The Jordan Reed card is probably my favorite as it appears to have the least amount of surface area and was a little tricky to get the 2.5″x3.5″ box around the card when I scanned it.  It’s a pretty simple card.  No flash, no serial number, but the perimeter of the card is quite nice.

13 TC Stephen Strasburg Die Cut

The Stephen Strasburg card is also pretty cool.  This one is a little more flashy since it’s from the Topps Chrome collection.  This one seems like it should have a stand in the back so you can display it somewhere nice.

13 BP Bryce Harper Cutting Edge Stars Die Cut

The man-child Bryce Harper with the mountain main beard was the last card I received.  Only minor die cut action going on here, but Bowman Platinum is always a nice card.  Plus with Topps pledging to bring me closer to the game from the past, present and future, I feel good about these three going in to my player collections.  I should add these to the page, eh?

Black Friday Reeds

Going back to Black Friday.  As I mentioned earlier, I jumped all over the COMC.com Black Friday sale and picked up some very nice Jordan Reed cards.  These are the kind of cards that you want to put in nice card holders and present on some prominent shelf in your sports card room.  I don’t have a sports card room, so they will be shown here on the blog.

Here are the player worn patch/player worn relic/player worn memorabilia cards in landscape format.  The first one is from Topps Inception.  I love these cards with the very cool over processed images and intense photography.  Plus it’s number 1 of 93.  What’s up with the random number 93?

13 TI Jordan Reed Player Worn Patch 1:93

Next up is Bowman Sterling with Mr. Reed staring very intensely into the cameraman’s lens.

13 BS Jordan Reed Relic 671:1214

And here is a quad patch numbered to 75.

13 TP Jordan Reed Quad Patch 68:75

Here is the autograph portion of the post.  The Bowman card along with the three above are super thick cards that barely fit into a penny sleeve.  It’s kind of a shame that a card this thick and nice is a sticker auto.

13 BS Jordan Reed Autograph

The next card is from this years Prizm set.  I love Prizm.

13 PP Jordan Reed Auto

For the last two cards, you will notice they are crazy die cut cards with reflective shiny-ness all over them.  I love the die cut cards, but they can be a pain to put back in the penny sleeves.

13 TF Jordan Reed  Finest Atomic Rookies Die Cut

This one was more difficult to put back in the sleeves.  Not putting the toothpaste back in the tube difficult, but difficult no less.  I happened to scan these along with the thicker cards, so pardon the shadows…although they create a nice depth to the card and the angles.  So nice!

13 TC Jordan Reed Die Cut

If you are in your late 30’s like me and love some good ole Hip Hop, then you should listen to this as I am doing right now.  This takes me back…life moves way too quick.

PS – I’ve updated my 1970’s Redskins checklist…check it out if you think you have something to help me complete my team sets.

The good and the bad…

Well, crap…didn’t really expect the football team from Washington to get worked like they did tonight agains the Eagles.  The guys looked REALLY rusty on offense…and the defense was on the field way too much.  Chips’ quick moving offense looked great in the first half, very dominant, but was slowed down in the second half.  That, of course could have been due in part to them having a 26 point lead.  No less, the skins didn’t look smooth at all and i’m thinking RGIII and Morris watching the preseason has something to do with that.  It’s only one game and there are 15 more to go, but heading to Green Bay next week won’t be easy.  Two 0-1 teams with division champion thoughts.  Should be a barn burner in Weees-caaan-sinnn.

That was the bad.

Now for the good.

I got some sweet cardboard in the mail today from Sam over at the Daily Dimwit.

The first one is the jersey DeAngelo Hall card he had posted a few weeks ago.  D’Hall as i’ve mentioned in the past on this site is the epitome of ‘the good, and the bad’.  The good is his awareness to pick up the ‘lateral’ (iffy call honestly) pass and run it in the end zone to put the skins up 7-0.  The bad is his dumbass horse collar, out of bounds drag down of DeSean Jackson for a 15 yard penalty…and his constant chattering with that tiny fool.  No less, the card is very awesome.

13 PP DeAngelo Hall Gamers Jersey

Sam also sent along two other RGIII cards from this years crop of cardboard, one being a very awesome die cut Bowman of Robert in the throwback.

13 PP Robert Griffin III 13 BO Robert Griffin III Die Cut

thanks Sam!

 

 

Box Break: 2012 Panini Prizm

Prizm has had a huge impact on the hobby this year starting with the basketball version, to football and now to baseball.  I picked up the football box a while ago and am just now getting around to reviewing it.  Spoiler alert, i really liked what i saw.

My favorite part of the box is that the cover image of RG3 was removable and created a nice box topper, top box-er of sorts.

12 PP Robert Griffin III Box Cover

Card Design – 5 of 5

The cards for this set are awesome.  Panini did a great job of bringing in the shininess that we like and adding in some texture as well.  The cards have a feel of something from the future and the future is really cool…and shiny.  Everything pops in the card and has a great thickness with the card stock used.

12 PP Andrew Luck Rookie

Photography – 5 of 5

Each image appears to jump out of the card.  The players blend in and out of the border of the card and each picture has a bit of a 3D affect to them.  Again, there is minimal processing and a very high image quality.  The best part for me is the slight recess that traces the border of the player putting the focus on their intensity and emotion.

12 PP Jarius Wright Rookie

Hits – 3 of 5

The hits for me were terrible, but hey, the base cards are great and I don’t think you buy this brand for the hits.  You buy them for the quality of card along with the strong visual and textural quality of each card.  There were a couple of nice inserts in the box that offered a wide variety of players from Page to Peyton.

12 PP Peyton Manning Brilliance Alan Page Dec Dom

The Luke Kuechly auto is really cool and he seems to be one of the next great linebackers in the NFL.

12 PP Luke Kuechly Rookie Auto 201:299

There was a redemption

12 PP Isaiah Pead Auto Redemption

and there was a parallel die cut

12 PP Stephen Hill Rookie Red

Review

This is a great product and something i will be picking up next year.  I’m not a fan of the baseball version since i can’t get over the lack of logos or photoshopped hats and jerseys.  The quantity and quality of cards was great and i was able to get some of the base Redskins cards in my box.

12 PP Fred Davis Pierre Garcon 12 PP Brian Orakpo London Fletcher

Mall 205 Card Show

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a card show and since my last post, so I will tackle both in one post this evening!

Each month, we have a show at Mall 205 here in the Portland area.  Not sure why they do these things in a strip mall, but that’s how they do it up here I guess.  Maybe they pick up residual traffic from mall shoppers?  I don’t know.  It provides a great opportunity for me to get new deodorant at Target, some new kicks at the Famous Footwear (remember that name…) and chase it all down with a slice of pizza from the place no longer called pizza schmizza although it still looks like a pizza schmizza.

As of late, I’ve been on a purging phase and have managed to get rid of a bunch of CD’s at the local Everyday Music and have some cash for the card shows.  So, I had a slightly bigger budget than normal for this trip…the excitement builds.  In general, I don’t go to these shows with goals or objectives because I tend to look for the same stuff and hit up the same tables.  This time though I really wanted to pick up some new Robinson Cano and Rickey Henderson cards along with any shiny new Redskins cards I didn’t already have.  I was only successful with the latter goal.

Having gone to these shows for the past couple of years now, I’ve developed a rapport with a few of the guys and gravitate to their tables first.  My first stop is always Tom.  Somehow he manages to have some new Redskin stuff for me each time at fantastic prices.  He’s always personable and friendly as well as having a tremendous amount of great cards.  In my visit with him, he pulls out this triple auto card with RGIII on it that I can only manage to drool over.  No idea how much it was and really didn’t want to know…it was too much for me, but a beautiful card no less.  I walked away with a new orange Kerrigan card and a serial numbered Fred Davis along with a couple other items.

11 TC Ryan Kerrigan Orange Refractor08 DT Fred Davis 33:50

After Tom’s table, I typically just move down the line knowing the other tables I want to visit will have some good stuff for me.  I worked down the line and ran into a new guy, Greg who had some nice stuff to offer.  He dropped a Kirk Cousins auto Prizm and Alfred Morris in front of me…$10…why, yes, thank you.

12 PP Kirk Cousins Auto 204:49912 PP Alfred Morris

The next couple of items I picked up came from a couple of different tables at good prices…can’t go wrong with any RGIII in my mind.

12 Robert Griffin III Game Time Giveaway12 PP Robert Griffin III Rookie Impact

One table I visited was very interesting.  The guy was selling DVD’s, comics and had a box of cards with a really nice and shiny Derek Jeter on top…so I stopped to take a peek.  His sign said ‘this box $1 each’, but he tells me that if I buy 5 cards or more, I can have them for 50cents each…hmmm.  If I buy 4 cards, that will be $4 but if I buy 5…it will set me back $2.50.  I used to be really good at math and from what I can recall it was in my best interest to max out my purchase at this guys table.  Unfortunately, I only managed to pick up 5 items.  4 Jeters and my only Rickey Henderson of the show.

09 T Rickey Henderson SP08 UG Derek Jeter07 TH Derek Jeter Chrome01 BC Derek Jeter

As I worked my way to one of my new favorite table, for some reason I have never asked for the guys name…but I always spend a good amount of money on his stuff.  He always has great stuff and gives you a nice deal…plus he’s really cool.  I was sifting through his 50% off box when I heard some loud cursing.  I turned to see some kid darting out of the aforementioned Famous Footwear with some new Nike kicks in his hand.  The kid was fast, but I can see that corporate check on those sneaks a mile away.

THE KID WAS HELLA FAST!

He was being chased out of the mall by Paul Blart’s slimmer brother, well, slightly slimmer and Segway-less.  This mall cop had no chance, but it was a valiant effort.  I should have offered him a slice of my Hawaiian pizza, they were on sale that day…daily special.

Anyways, back to marked down cardboard.  Homeboy hooked me up with some RGIII goodies along with an Aldrick Robinson auto and a Ryan Torain auto that I’ve passed up many times.  At least I can cross it off my imaginary list.

12 PP Aldrick Robinson Auto11 BS Ryan Torain Auto12 PS Robert Griffin III Die Cut12 TC Robert Griffin III Chrome Mini

Last stop before my wife kills me for being late.  New table, friendly guy and great cards that were marked down to 80% off.  80% off!  Why in the hell would I pay retail when I can get great cards for 80% off!  The guy had a few boxes of nice serial numbered cards with Clinton Portis and Santana Moss cards that I could use for my PC.  Unfortunately most of the cards were in their previous teams kits, but still guys I loved to watch.

01 UD Santana Moss Game Gear Jersey510:100004 DE Clinton Portis Throwback Threads 18:150

02 TP Clinton Portis Jersey

04 PP Clinton Portis Jersey 39:100

04 DE Clinton Portis Jersey 36:25002 UD Clinton Portis XL Rookies01 QL Santana Moss02 TD Santana Moss 139:199

All in all, a great show that included great deals, food and a petty crime.  Can’t beat that at all.  I ended up staying under my budget and walked out a happy guy…plus it was sunny and warm on a March day in Portland, Oregon.  Life is good

One last thing, I couldn’t help but notice this sign and think of The Chronicles of Fuji.

2013-03-09 10.18.30

Hogs out!

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.