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.

 

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

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!