2014 Topps S1 – Packs 3 and 4

Ok, here are some of the highlights from packs 3 and 4.  Nothing overly exciting or notable so this is mostly a post about what I got rather than “HOLY CRAP!! LOOK AT WHAT I GOT!”

In the previous post I pulled two Jean Segura Inserts and whattayaknow, in the third pack, I pulled another!  How many The Future is Now cards does this kid have?  Oh yeah, in the fourth pack I got the Future Stars version of Mr. Segura.  Here is a side by side comparison of the base bandit with eye black and without eye black.  Run Jean Run!

14 TO Jean Segura Future is Now

The next couple of pairings come with mixed feelings.

I love Jeet and think this could be the last season we see him in a  major league uniform.  I guess it’s going to depend on how he can recover and produce in the revamped Yankee lineup.  It’s going to be a whole different world without #2 at short…here’s hoping he has a great season and we get to see him pick it for another year or two…or three.  It will make his gift baskets so much more valuable, especially his balls that he gives to the ladies.  His scan partner is A-Rod.  I’m really glad he won’t be on the field this season.  I’ve mentioned many times in the past that I can’t stand the kid and hope he never rocks the pinstripes again.  Such a self-absorbed, neon orange chump.

14 TO Jeter ARod

These guys are the future for the Yankees rivals.  Bogaerts and Machado are going to be great players for so many years…oh…so…many…years.  Those Machado ears though.  Kinda with Xander was a Yankee…that’s my problem with the Yankees organization, they just don’t ever seem to develop major league talent.  They have tons of guys that have the potential, but it never works out for them.  Xander picked up some great experience in the World Series last year…good for him…

14 TO Machado Bogaerts

Up here in Portland as in many other cities throughout our beautiful country.  Beards have taken over. Along with beards, you have facial hair of many types, like curly mustaches.  I’ve never been a fan of facial hair and do my best to keep my face clear of facial hair other than the times I’m too lazy to shave.  One thing I would never do though, is sculpt my facial pubes in the same manner as Mr. New House.  It’s just way too much time sculpting and crafting in front of the mirror.  We have lots of guys with handlebar staches in this great town I live in and they are the only guys I will order an old fashioned from.  They are the ones who know how to make them properly.  Not with all that muddled fruit crap.  Just whiskey, bitters, sugar cube an orange slice and cherry.  Any bartender that muddles the fruit and turns your drink into a pink liquor concoction should not be trusted…and will more than likely not have a handlebar mustache.

14 TO Carlos Villanueva

Here is the hits part of our program.

First up.  Elvis Andrus.  A great glove and a mediocre bat.  So here is a bat card with a picture of him throwing a ball.  Nice photo/object coordination.

14 TO Elvis Andrus Bat Relic

Next.  Matty Alou.  One of the 83 Alou’s (actually, I think it’s just 4) that have played Major League Baseball.  It’s a buyback, which means now that it is stamped nobody will buy it back.  At least Topps went smaller with their foil stamp logo.

14 TO Matty Alou 1963 Buyback

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.

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

Autograph collection

One of the things i’ve noticed about the blogs I follow is the vast collection of through the mail autographs.  When i was a kid, i was totally addicted to this…especially growing up in San Antonio where we didn’t have a major league baseball team.  We did have the San Antonio Missions who were the AA affiliate for the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, but they played games on the other side of town and it seemed like a really long trip to see guys i didn’t know.  So, one summer i got the great idea to take all of my doubles and cards i wasn’t too attached to and send them to players.  I did this for 2 or 3 summers starting in 1987 and was fairly successful.  I was only 11 at the time and didn’t have the foresight to track who i sent to or how long it took, but i was pleased with most of the players that responded.

AU Eric Davis AU Paul Molitor

I remember spending a ton of money on stamps, almost to the point that i wondered if it was really worth it all.  For me at that age, getting mail was always exciting, especially when it was in an envelop i had addressed to myself.  There would be weeks when i would come home to a card a day.  Pure excitement for me at the time.

Going through these cards really brings back a lot of good and awkward memories of my childhood.  I was an only child and never had a large group of friends, so i put everything i had in to my hobby.  I think that’s why it’s still with me to this day, it’s always been something that i could focus on and really enjoy…and get lost in.  There is something very child like about collecting cards as we all know, and it’s also a little therapeutic at times.  It’s been a ton of fun going through these cards and trying to remember how i came about them.  Some have been personalized and some rubber stamped.  Some players sent out pre-signed cards and kept the ones i sent…either way, i was always happy to receive something new from a major league ball player.

AU Mike Schmidt AU Bo Jackson

As i’ve gotten older, my pursuit for autographs has waned, other than pulling them in packs/boxes or buying them to fill player collections.  Plus i’ve felt awkward asking for an autograph of someone 15 years younger than me.  Much respect to those though that still work to get autos, believe me, i understand the thrill of the auto!

Some of the cards are also a little sad as the players have passed on for various reasons…way too soon for these guys.  Makes me feel really lucky that i was able to have something they were a part of before their untimely passing.

AU Kirby Puckett AU Derrick Thomas

Best of luck to all the through the mail auto collectors and hope you enjoyed some of my cards in this post.  I plan to post some additional cards in the future, but am continuing to post them on my cardboard hogs tumblr account…please feel free to visit and always feel free to leave a comment or two here.  I would love to hear your feedback and know that good collector folks are reading!

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!