Opening Day…a couple of days late

The last few years i’ve taken the…sort of MLB opening day of Monday off.  I already get Sundays off, so it’s not really necessary to take that day off.  It’s Monday’s that i like to not be at work.  Plus, who likes working on Monday’s.  They tend to suck don’t they?  Take ’em off i say.  The only problem though was that i am drowning in a mess of a deadline at work…so that time could have been better spent working than watching baseball…but life goes on.

Normally, i take this time off to be with my kid, but he’s in school until 3pm and i saw that as a time in the day to open up some packs of cards from my local Target.  Why Target and not my LCS…well, Brian was apparently out that day…he must have taken opening day off too.

I’m not typically a pack buyer or box buyer unless i plan on putting the set together, but i do like to pick up a pack or two of new releases.  A couple reasons, it helps me replenish my team card lots as well as adds star cards to my personal collection…which unfortunately ends up living in a white box in my basement.  Let’s take a look at what i picked up.

Just a couple of battery mates from the city by the bay.  MadBum and Posey.  Both of these cards are fantastic examples of how Panini should make cards with none…or at least very minimal photoshopping in order to get a proper non logo’d image.  Plus some cool action photos

Next up is a couple of Longo cards that just so happened to be back to back in the fat pack of Donruss.  Longoria was one of those guys that I had added to my PC a few years ago…but never really followed up on him.  I kinda feel bad for the guy.  He’s a great player on a mediocre team…they’re not bad, but playing in the AL East is tough…plus, not too much fan support in Tampa for their baseball team.

17 DO Andrew McCutchen

Cutch is a player that i’ve waffled on adding as a “guy i collect” but never seem to actually getting it done.  Instead, i think i’ll just add this card to my non official collection of him…again, in the white basement box.

17 DO Gary Sanchez

Ok, this guy.  Mr. Sanchez will most likely be a “guy i collect”.  I’m already building up a little stack of his cards so far…would like to get an autograph of his at some point this year.  I’ve never been overly fond of catchers though…cept for Posada of course!

17 DES Madison Bumgarner 96:249

Last card from the Donruss pack was this shimmery bit of sexiness.  A Madison Bumgarner ‘The Elite Series’ serial numbered card of 96/249.  It was the only hit of the day for me…very nice though.

Next up was a few packs of Gypsy Queen.  GQ is something that i get excited about each year, but never really seem to get that much in to the set.  I saw a few samples on the other blogs and was quite impressed with the cards this year though.  My trip to Target yielded single packs only.  I had high hopes of getting a blaster, but that wasn’t in the cards for me…so i had marginal expectations for the packs i picked up and was definitely not let down…or lifted up?  Pretty cool to get a couple Bronx Baby Bombers though.

Rizzo, because he’s a champion of the world with the Cubbies.  Also, JaCoby Jones…not the receiver from Super Bowl fame, but JaCoby Jones that appears to be doing something that should not be done on a baseball card, but maybe i’m just a perv…

17 GQ Trea Turner

Trea Turner.  I watched the Nets game Monday morning and couldn’t get over how smooth Trea seemed out at short.  He’s quite the talent at such a young age and he rocks the 7 like he owns it.  Can’t wait to see what kind of player he becomes.

17-tod-evan-longoria.jpeg

When i first saw this card, i thought it was some kind of error card.  NO WORDS!  I’m rich!!  Well actually it’s an introduction card from last season of a clean shaven Evan.  Maybe he’s working to get back in my PC box.

17 TOD Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus are buddies and should totally make a buddy cop movie.

17 TOD Elvis Andrus

A former Nat in a Sox Jersey.  Not sure Adam Eaton was worth giving up on Giolito…but Rizzo is a better baseball GM than i am and so maybe i should just trust the process and see what Eaton can do this season.

17-tod-lucas-giolito.jpeg

Now, Topps Opening Day is not something i buy much of if at all.  Just not really in to the cards.  I wish they would do something different with the cards rather than just copy the base design…but, it’s a cool and inexpensive little set each year that i like to get a few packs from.

17 TOD Trea Turner

Last card of note is Turner again.  A nice kitchen mitten action photo.  That’s how i look chasing my kid when he takes the spatula from the kitchen when i’m making fried eggs on sundays.

So that wraps it up for me tonight.  Deadline wraps up next week…not sure i’ma make it but there’s always another deadline…Oh yeah.  One odd story.  At the end of last year, i received an email which i initially though was just some spam email.  Turns out it was legit.  Someone from a book publisher had reached out to me as they came across an image from my blog a few years ago (2013 no less!).  They wanted a copy of an image i did not produce, but scanned and wrote about…as we all do.  The image they wanted was the one shown below.  Adam Dunn’s 2013 Topps Series 2 card #647.

Baseball Meat Market

I was slightly confused because…it’s not an original image of mine, just a scanned one.  I was concerned about sharing the image, but figured it wasn’t in my court…it was their book.  Nevertheless, the book is out and i read through a couple pages and it’s quite a fascinating take on some of the biggest, recent trades and how each team benefited or not from the deals.  Kind of excited to read a little more soon…plus an “image of mine” has been published…not really, but you know what i mean…

Today’s music video is brought to you by Evidence from Dilated Peoples.  It’s a great one!!!

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.

 

A new Wallet Card

As the year comes to a grinding halt, life slows down a bit, but ironically gets busy in other areas.  Although i was off work, my schedule was quite packed each day.  Luckily, I was able to spend some ample amount of quality time with my boy.  He’s been a lot of fun this holiday although he’s incredibly exhausting at times…we’ve had some fun and were able to enjoy some more snow yesterday!  I also decided to take a break from posting the past few days so i could focus my attention of the family and just relaxing, it’s not every month you get this much time off from work without feeling guilty.  I’ve been a master of sleeping and eating too…way too much sleeping and eating…way too much…

As i logged back in to the blog a couple days ago, i thought it was time to update my banner a bit and update a couple other things with the blog…still working on it, but getting there…and to be honest, i’m in no real rush.  Although, i’d like to get my checklists posted so i have something to keep track of when i’m out at a show or some random shop.  Today, I initially had high hopes of writing all about the great holiday trip and a few cards i picked up over that time, but the Redskins loss to the stupid Giants and elimination from the playoffs all but zapped my writing energy.  So, i decided to keep it short and post the last day of Wallet Card Art Monk and introduce the new Wallet Card for 2017!

2017-art-monk-wc-f

As you can see, Wallet Card Monk took a beating all year.  Although he didn’t get out as much as Wallet Card Henderson, he did manage to get out more than the previous versions of wallet cards.  If memory serves me correct, this is my 7th year of toting a wallet card around.  One thing i like to do with the wallet card is rotate the card every month or so in order to keep the edge damage somewhat consistent…gives it that nice aged treatment and something that i’ve earned through my years of diligent wallet card-ing.  I also do what i can to keep the card dry.  WC Monk ended up in my back pack during some wet bike rides to work a few days earlier last year, but held up pretty well i’d say.  I love the layering of card damage that occurs with each year, you can see it at the bottom of the card image below.

2017-art-monk-b

As per annual retirement of the card, WC Monk will be loaded in to a penny sleeve and top loader for the safest of keeping for years to come.  The irony of beating a card to pieces for a year and then treating it like it’s the most valuable card in my possession is always enjoyable…it’s kinda cool to see the liberally used cards treated delicately at the end of their lives.  One day, I should post the previous versions side by side just for the fun of it.  I should dig those guys up…!!??!?!?

Trying to decide what card to go with this year was much tougher than normal.  I was thinking of something outside the box and going with a player that isn’t quite in my personal collection list, like Troy Tulowitzki or Trea Turner.  Maybe going with Tim Raines in hopes of him finally getting elected to the HOF or carry Tim Duncan around for a year.  I’ve never had a basketball card for a wallet card…I also thought i should go with my favorite card of 2016, the Willie Mays Stadium Club card.  If i had a double of that card, i may have run with it, but it was just too nice and thick and shiny to cary in my money clip.  Not to mention, i’m kinda limited to what i can pack in that clip before it gets overloaded…i have so much money, you know!  I wasn’t really feeling any of those ideas.  On a random trip to the card shop on Saturday I stumbled across this guy for a buck.

2017-derek-jeter-wc-f

Pretty, pretty, pretty…Nice little insert for my toting around this year eh?  Beautiful shot of Jeet with all the accoutrements that a modern baseball player needs when he’s at the plate.  That smile.  The pinstripes. The black and white image.  Done deal!  Here’s Jeters’ backside for those in to that sort of thing.  I agree that this is definitely a trading card of quality.  Top notch!  Can’t wait to beat the crap out of it this year.

2017-derek-jeter-wc-b

Here’s an image of Jeter and Monk side by side.  Old and haggard vs. Fresh and New.  Give it 12 months and the roles will be shifted a bit.

2017-art-monk-jeter-ff

Jeters’ face represents how i feel about the Yankees coming in to the 2017 season and Monks’ face is a direct representation of how i feel after every Redskins season…for the past 20+ years.  Frustration and disdain for another disappointing season…football man, football.

So, now that the decision has been made, Mr. Derek Jeter finds his way in to his new home.  Now, with a money clip i tend to keep the card in my front right pocket…so, if you plan to pickpocket me there’s your bit of a head start.  This also does a little bit to keep the card straight through the year rather than shaping to the curvature of my bum.

2017-derek-jeter-wc-f-clip

I hope you all had a great holiday, Christmas and New Years, and that your favorite teams win all their games and that the Clemson Tigers finally gets a National Championship after 36 years of waiting.

Fresh of the family visit, i wanted to share a video of the group Winchester Rebels that my brother in law, Barry, was/is in.  (He’s the drummer).  Whether or not this music is your cup ‘o tea, please give it a listen.  It’s a pretty rockin’ tune.

 

Strasburg with few words

I am way too tired to write about some fancy cool cards that I picked up at a card show last weekend from the dollar bin.  So, i am just going to show them to you and like fine art you can interpret them for yourselves.  Remember kids, fine art.  So lets get some intellectual insight to the gems below.

11 TC Stephen Strasburg

I like that this one is chrome and shiny.  The problem with shiny cards is the fingerprints and other sticky stuff prior to sleeving and top loading them.  I get these cards from a guys that’s always at the shows.  He comes up from Salem and is a really nice guy, but his cards always seem a little dirty…and sticky…and sometimes…hairy….ehhhhh…

13 TO Stephen Strasburg WME

Check out that reconstructed elbow on this one.  It would be interesting if any kid that pitched 3+ years of college baseball got the ol’ Tommy John surgery prior to starting their professional career.  I wonder how many major league seasons could be saved if this happened?  Probably a bad idea…just spitballing.

13 TO Stephen Strasburg Champions of the Game Mini

I really like this mini.  Very cool card with Stras looming over Stras.  I would be very happy if he did indeed become a Champion Base Ball Pitcher this year when the Nats win the World Series.

12 GQ Stephen Strasburg Mini

Strasburg in Red!  Love the old school socks and short knickers for this GQ Mini.  Both of these minis were simply dropped in the top loader.  Why do people do this?  If anything the minis NEED a penny sleeve to keep them from bouncing around.

My GQ Post

Each year when Gypsy Queen comes out, I get a little excited about the cards…but it’s always tempered.  I think the cards look great and the photography is really nice, but i don’t love them.  Don’t hate them either.  Kind of indifferent I guess.  My annual buy in is maybe a few hobby and retail packs, possibly a blaster or two from target, but that’s about it.  I think my aversion to the cards is the lack of statistical information on the back…or it could be the overly ornate border?  As an architect, i’ve been trained to have a dislike for ornament and decoration so i guess that has carried in to my hobbies as well.  The celtic-like border is nice, just not my cup of tea.

13 GQ Yasmani Grandal AJ Ellis

One thing that i really do like about GQ is the inclusion of age old veterans in the base set.  Topps does a nice job with these and making them blend in nicely with the other modern players.  Rarely do the players appear dated and they are never irrelevant to current collectors.  PLUS, i always think it’s great to include HOF’ers and past great players so the young kids can learn a little history about the game and have a card from someone their parents or grandparents enjoyed watching play.

13 GQ Dwight Gooden Tony Gwynn

I also do enjoy the inserts that GQ comes up with.  The two cards below are  a great example of this.  It’s nice to have the a highlight reel play represented on a card.  We all remember the Trout catch last season as it was shown incessantly on the MLB network as well as the mothership.

13 GQ Mike Trout Jayson Werth Glove Stories

Mini’s.  Can’t go wrong with minis and you can’t go wrong with these two guys.  One thing i enjoy about the mini cards is that i can put them at my desk at the office for a little while to enjoy the new pieces of cardboard.  How great was Eddie Mathews?  When people talk about the all time greats, i feel like he is always forgotten.  Imagine if he played in New York how much more popular he would be?  And just look at Lou Brock…chillin…total GQ pose…the other one.

13 GQ Eddie Matthews Lou Brock Minis

Not overly excited about these inserts, but both pitchers are/were pretty great and the photos capture their intensity well.

13 GQ Nolan Ryan NH Felix Hernandez DA

Here is a ‘hit’ from the rack pack i bought.  It’s Jacoby Ellsbury.  He’s pretty big here in Portland since he played at Oregon State and from Madras…but he’s a Red Sock, so i’m not too excited about him…he is pretty great though.  Love that they mention how great a player he is when he’s healthy.

13 GQ Jacoby Ellsbury Blue Border 45:499

And the best has been saved for the very last.  Mr. Cano donchaknow.  Pretty cool to get the base and a retail white border card in the same rack pack of a player you collect.  Wonder why Topps removed teh vertical portion of the elegant border on the left and right sides as well as the name panel on the bottom?

13 GQ Robinson Cano Base and White Border