Parallel Paul

Yesterday was another Super Bowl that didn’t include my Washington Football Team.  At times I feel like it will never happen and I should just give up, but then I think to myself…when it does happen (and it will…at some point…it’s inevitable) it will be the greatest thing ever.  That’s assuming they win, of course, and not just make it to the Super Bowl. 

I know a lot of people really HATE Tom Brady, and I can generally understand it.  I just don’t really get why people hate on greatness so much.  The guy has been to 10…TEN…Super Bowls in his 21 year career and won 7…SEVEN of them.  Just insane.  Hate all you want, but that’s Greatest of All-Time material.

Anyways.

When I rebooted the blog, my goal was to make it something more than a “look what I got today” blog.  I wanted to be able to find a twist or some other way to make this medium more entertaining or readable…but alas.  Work and life.  Life is work these days and will be for the next few weeks.  So, I’d like to apologize in advance for the dull posts.  But, hey.  Dull posts are better than no posts right?

One of my favorite guys at our monthly Portland shows wasn’t at the January show.  Normally that’s a sign that the guy had decided to give up the hobby or just fuckin died.  Well, neither of those were the case with Paul. 

Thankfully. 

I like Paul.  He’s a fascinating guy.  Every time I see him, he’s got some new kind of gadgety thing that you get from some mail order catalog.  It’s like an Inspector Gadget of card collection.  Lots of times he’s there with his kid who seems to be in on the family business.  What Paul deals in isn’t your ordinary kinda cards.  He’s a parallel man.  You know the kind; variations, colors, dots, lasers, patriotic colors, refractors, glossies, not so glossies and super slick glossies.  He’s a veritable one stop shop to get your parallel fix.  Parallel Paul.

That day, I was planning to spend cash at three tables.  Bill, Terry and Paul.  Here’s the Paul portion of the morning.

As I mentioned, Paul goes for the gusto on the parallels and all modern stuff.  I like going through his stuff because I can pick up Washington guys on the cheap.  The majority of his cards are $1.  He’s basically charging you for his cost of retail unless there is something really dynamite about the disco parallel you’re picking up.  But he’s got ‘em all.  Here’s a nice blend of Randy Moss’ kid, Thaddeus Moss.

Ya’ll remember when we used to make fun of blasters and show of a stack of cards for $20?  We’d go “…for the cost of a blaster, I got…”  Well this stack of cards (minus the baseball and relics) cost a tick under that price point.  The sad truth though, if you can find a blaster in the wild it would cost you $20…but you ain’t finding no blasters in the wild.  They’re gonna cost you at least $75 for a box of Prizm. 

I’ve watched a lot of folks rip those Prizm boxes and to be honest, if I paid more than $20 for them I’d be really really really upset.  The hits are rare and the ones you get aren’t that amazing.  I like to stand on the sidelines and wait for disgruntled box break investor flipper guy run through a bunch of Washington guys, toss ‘em to the side so I can grab them for a buck.

Like this group of disco sparkles

Prizm does a nice job of the parallels and including a wide variety of great guys from the past. I was able to pick up the Theismann from Paul today, which i hadn’t added to my collection yet. This one is green…i think…

Also picked up some laser show zippity zappity zoom prizms…stupid dad jokes man…

I was able to chat with Paul a bit.  Again, super friendly guy and incredibly helpful.  I overheard him saying most of what he rips is retail…or something like that.  Maybe there was some percentage I missed in the conversation.  The point is, he’s got the small sales from small investments dialed in quite well.  I doubt he makes a killing each show, but can imagine he’s doing far better than recouping his table and boxes cost.  Nice little income for him.

Along with the parallels paul sells, paul puts pride in presenting player worn garments…i really tried to keep that alliteration going.

There were also a few baseball cards ready to be sorted through. I took a quick pass and found a few gems, these were not included in the “…cost of a blaster…” portion of the story, they were a little more than that, but part of the PC. So, felt compelled to grab them.

Honestly, at this point i’m picking up each and every single Rickey Henderson card I can find these days. I’m never certain if he’s incredibly popular or unpopular, but the cards of his that i don’t already have are hard to find.

As always, thank you for reading and extra special thanks to those that comment to let me know your reading. I really do appreciate it. The last few weeks of work have been rough and i don’t see them getting any easier. I’m very happy that i am fully employed, but sometimes…it’s just more difficult to get motivated to something that doesn’t quite interest you.

Thank you,

Cardboard Hogs

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This video is a few years old, but really cool. Made with 100% Solar Power…take a look.

Like a wave crashing over me…

Ya’ll ever get caught up in a wave of FOMO? 

I do.  Often. 

I hate it, but it’s a part of my brain that grabs a hold of me and won’t let go. 

Do you remember that car commercial from 15 years ago or so, the one where the woman wanted a new car and it became an obsession for…a car was growing on her forehead.  Every time she saw a car, the forehead protuberance enlarged to a point that she bought a damn car.  Well, that’s how I felt about Project 2020, or more slickly branded as MMXX by The Topps Company, Inc. 

Roman Numerals for the masses.  Honestly, the Roman Numerals looked great for that mostly forgettable year.

So, the draw for me to this specific set was the infusion of sports and art via the medium of a baseball card…in a magnetic holder.  I love all of those things and think they are fantastic.  Those three things fill the parts of my life not given to family, work and rest. 

When the news of the cards were released around this time last year (…I believe…) I was already on board and decided I was going to pursue this set until I realized the cost + the quantity of cards. 

400 cards and $20 each is $8,000.  That’s a couple cases of cards, well one case in today’s market…but you get the idea.  So I changed my focus about 20 cards into the set.  I decided I was only going to buy the PC guys that were released, along with Mike Trout…just because he’s Mike Trout.  So, what that meant was that every release of:

Rickey Henderson

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Don Mattingly

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Derek Jeter

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Mike Trout

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I was in.  I had to be in.

I have to admit, it was fun to see the cards roll out.  Almost became a burden on some days.  If 2020 was a regular year, I’m not sure I would have pursued these cards so diligently.  Vacation would have gotten in the way.  Deadlines would have distracted me and I would have missed a date or two.  But I was home every day in front of my computer every day and the forehead swelling didn’t go away.  In fact, it’s still there. 

Now that the frenetic ebb and flow of the MMXX cards is in full ebb mode, you can get them pretty cheap on electronic Bay.  Like $5 in some cases.  So, I’m going to nickel and dime my way to a complete set, well five and ten my way to a complete set and infill with my Rickey’s, Donny’s, Jeet’s and Trout’s.  Luckily (I’m sure there’s a better word than lucky…) I picked up the more valuable and popular guys from that set already, so I’m hoping I can work through this fairly efficiently.  Also, hoping to make some trades with a few folks on twitter to get the ball rolling.

Link to my checklist

Here’s a couple newer ones I’ve made deals with to procure for the set:

Jackie Robinson

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Ted Williams

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Mark McGwire

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With all that in mind, I’ve started a new tab at the top of the page for the set.  It’s up there, to the right…second row…on the end.  Click it.  I have a google doc of the cards that I’ve already purchased and the ones that I’ve picked up on eBay the last couple of weeks.

So, the big question…will I participate in P70?

Thanks for reading as always!

-Cardboard Hogs

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I don’t buy clothes often…but i got a new hoodie and i love it. I got it from the guy on the left. He’s Masta Ace. One of my favorite emcee’s of all-time. Next to him is Craig G, followed by Kool G. Rap and lastly, my favorite emcee of all-time, Big Daddy Kane. They were part of the Juice Crew back in the ’80’s and made a posse cut call ‘The Symphony’. In my mind, that’s the greatest posse cut of all-time and it ain’t even close. Here’s the hoodie along with my scruffy chin and the video.

Priceless Junk

History has always been something I was fond of, something that I actually did well in when I was in school.  As I’ve gotten older though, my focus and ability to research has decreased significantly.  Life gets in the way. Between work, tending to our eight year old, taking care of our two cats, a dog and of course, spending real quality time with the bride.  I have to prioritize extracurricular hobbies and interests. That includes my interest in researching baseball history.  Almost to the point where I’m just stuck attempting to remember what I watched when I was a teen and going from there.  The attic has gotten a little dusty my friends.  My memories have faded to questionable facts and made me hesitant to believe baseball truths that I once knew.  It’s all diminished, really.    

Every once in a while I’ll read a baseball book.  I finished a couple over the summer and have plans of getting at least three – four more baseball focused books in before the end of the year.  But plans are tenuous when you’re busy adulting in life.  One thing I do find time for is a card shop visit every couple of weeks.  I’m lucky to have two so close to me, Hoody’s and The Sports Room.  They balance each other nicely.  The Sports Room is the closest, oldest and the one I’ve gone to the most, but their selection is a little limited for the way I collect.  Our other shop is Hoody’s.  It’s the place I go to pick up items I won from their eBay shop.  I do the in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs and it gives me a chance to see what they have new in store. 

I stopped in a few months ago, around June or July…sometime over the summer to pick up a few Washington Football Team cards and noticed they restocked their junk wax shelves.  The shelves are a great way to buy something to open with little guarantee and most importantly, little cost.  You can get all of your junk wax box needs filled for Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey for an appropriate price…read, less than $30.  When I stopped in there back over the summer they had about five boxes of the 1991 Conlon Collection cards.  Each box was a mere $15.  The cards aren’t noteworthy or overly exciting, but they do have a great place in baseball history…something that I love and enjoy.  I’ve seen these cards over the years and thought they were decent and somewhat attractive.  Simple and clean. Something that piqued my interest from time to time, but never thought about purchasing, that is…until that day. I had an itch to rip something and the price was right so I grabbed the box that was in the best shape, picked up a couple supplies and headed home. When i got home, i’m sure there was some shit going down in the house. So, the box was stored in the cabinet and forgotten about. Forgotten until i stumbled across an older Cardboard Connection article from 2014, by Ryan Cracknell.

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When you open a $15 box of cards, you certainly don’t expect much.  I surely did not. 

No hits. 

No parallels. 

No redemptions.

No frills.

Just 36 packs of 18 black and white cards.

That’s it.

And I loved it.

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My first impression of the cards was that they were far nicer than I had ever thought they would be.  My second impression of the cads was why in the hell would they wrap them in cellophane without any way to rip the packs open.  Seriously, what in the hell.  I had to grab a pair of scissors to get into these cards.  I’ve never used scissors to open a pack of cards ever…EVER!  First world issues I guess.

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As I mentioned, the cards were no simple.  No frills.  That said, I thought the photography was phenomenal.  I loved the portraits from the sets namesake Charles Martin Conlon.  A skilled photographer from the first half of last century.  The images capture the look and feel of the time along with some great history.  Conlon’s collection was purchased by The Sporting News (1888-2012 as print) and therefore, the now defunct sports magazine (they gotta website though!) has its name associated with these cards.

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Here are a few of my favorite cards from the sets.  I combined them into a couple different groups based on noticeable things to me.  But maybe if you’ve worked on this set, you have some other favorites. Of course, i have to start with the Yankees and one of the most famous trips to the injured list, Wally Pipp and Lou Gehrig.

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George Herman “The Bambino” or “The Sultan of Swat” Ruth. One of the great things about these beautifully simple cards is their backs. They offer up a full career of your basic baseball stats, along with the basics of the guy and in some cases a great little story. Well, the Babe’s career was pretty illustrious, that they were only able to reference Roger’s summer of 61 homers in 1961 to surpass Ruth’s 34 year old record. When you start to review the stats on the back of these cards, you really get an idea of how dominant a player Babe was…albeit against white players only. If our country wasn’t so deeply rooted in racism, it would have been a wonderful thing to see what Babe could have done against Satch, Bullet Rogan or Ray Brown.

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The nicknames and this cards set willingness to embrace those nicknames is great. The thing i noticed right out the first pack though was the amount of players with Chief associated with their names. In two of the three cases below, the players were indeed Native Americans and i would only assume that the guys were ok with the nicknames, but who knows. The perception with a 2021 lens would never allow this to happen. Different times. Apparently, Chief Wilson was not a Native American…but some felt he resembled that of a Texas Ranger Chief and adorned him with the mildly inappropriate nickname. Can’t imagine that ever happening again.

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We also have a General that wasn’t quite a General. He was at least in America’s Army…so there was some kinda connection to the military based name.

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OK, I’m very familiar with Walter Johnson…Jimmy Austin, not so much. The thing that drew me to these two cards though was the similarity…at least to my minds eye…to Robin Williams. Maybe Williams from ‘The World According to Garp’ or ‘Mork & Mindy’ even…not so much the ‘Ms. Doubtfire’ days. But seriously, don’t these two photos look like Robin Williams…come on!!??!?!

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Lefty’s. Lot’s of Lefty’s. Grove’s, Gomez’s and a Stewart to name a few. I understand why a Lefty gets his nickname, but i wondered if a Righty has ever been called Righty? What about the new ambidextrous guys taking the mound these days…do they get a nickname?

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The next group of photos starts to get into the portraits that I loved with these cards. The eyes. The facial texture and our ability to get a sense of their emotions or concerns through the photographers lens was powerful to me. The Connie Mack cards really had me taking time to look at his portrait. You can see the age in his face, the stress. He’s a man that led one of the most dominant baseball franchises in history.

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One of the other spectacular things about these cards were the Great Stories portion of the set. Each card in this section has a paragraph or two from ‘The Glory of Their Times’. I’ve owned this book for a couple years now, but never got around to reading it. (adds to my Goodreads list…)

All Time Leader cards pick up near the end of the set along with some great descriptions about the players. I do appreciate that they didn’t highlight the number one guy, but rather the second or third one in some cases. Besides, who doesn’t want a Spud Davis card?

After seeing this card, i thought it would be great to do some kind of small set with players from different generations that had the same name. I would imagine Bill “Spaceman” Lee and this guy would have some opposing views of the world if they were able to discuss them.

The last couple of cards were my favorite from the set. Paul “Big Poison” Waner’s photo is just simply majestic. The baggy pants. The snarly look. The long knobless bat held at the waist line. Everything about this cards speaks to the great history of the game. Waner is one of those past time greats that get lost in the history of the game, but his tremendous career brought him to the Hall of Fame in 1952. The last card is one of my all-time heroes, Lou Gehrig. One of the books i read over the summer was the ‘The Lost Memoir’, which was a collection of stories that Lou has partially written for the Times when he was playing with the Yankees. Some of the stories were ghost written by a more formidable writer, but you get a great sense of the humility and self-lessness he had as a player and as a person. Definitely one of the all-time great players and humans.

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Well, i hoped you enjoyed that recap. As you may have guessed i will be putting this set together. I’ve done some additional research and see that this set is a continuously numbered set going over 1200 cards and through 1994. The one rub though is that some of the photos, well…a bunch of the photos get reused. So be it…once i’ve started, i must continue. I am a completionist!

thanks again for reading!

-Cardboard Hogs

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And now, time for something completely different…well, mostly. It uses baseball as a metaphor for police brutality…so, yeah…baseball.

Chasing Idols

We all have our idols, people we look up to as kids.  We worship them.  Not those important parental or educator types…the unattainable kind.  Actors.  Artists.  Musicians. Entertainers.  Athletes.  Sometimes we grow out of that youthful infatuation and sometimes we hold them for our entire lives.  It becomes an eternal adoration or idolization.  For me, that person was Rickey Henderson.  Yeah, he’s a love him / hate him kinda guy.  He can be aloof and impersonal, distant and at times. Possibly even off-putting for some of those old school baseball folks that players should be less flashy and less self-aware.  Rickey played to the beat of his own drum.  He was the soloist in the Miles Davis quintet.  A player that could make a team great, but by his own right was great as well. A singular character that played for some of the greatest Oakland Athletic teams in the 1990’s. 

My initial attraction to him as a player was in 1982.  I was six going on seven.  He was headed towards 130 stolen bases. Stealing bases like he was put on earth to do just that…well, rattle the opposing teams pitcher as well…and I loved it.  For me, that was IT!  On the other hand, the baseball my father loved were the George Brett and Mike Schmidt kinda guys, phenomenal hitting third basemen that had a completely different way they approached the game of baseball…by no means bad at all…just different. 

Around this time, I really began to love the game but didn’t have a favorite team.  I grew up in San Antonio and really was not into the Astros with their sherbet rainbow pullovers or the players, short of Nolan Ryan.  The other option I had as a kid in Texas was the Texas Rangers…yeah…NO.  I had already fully established myself as a Washington Football Team (nee Redskins) fan and couldn’t attach myself to a Dallas area team of any kind.  So, for the short time being I was a half-hearted A’s fan…really a Rickey Henderson fan, and he just so happened to play for the Oakland Athletics.  This all changed in the Winter of 1984. He was traded to the New York Yankees.  By this time, I’m a nine year old savant baseball fan…not really.  I just watched games and bought baseball cards, but I loved the game so so so much before my first decade on earth. So, now it seemed like the perfect time to pick a ‘favorite’ team.  Well, I might as well pick the team that my favorite player plays for, right? The New York Yankees.  Yes.  The Bronx Bombers or Evil Empire depending on whom you root for yourselves.  I was a Rickey Henderson fan first and a Yankees fan second, but a close second, really it was 1A and 1B

By this time, my parents had split up and I was your typical latchkey ’80’s kid.  The son of a single working mom. She attended night school working towards her bachelor’s degree.  She worked a lot and we were ok financially, by no means set, but we were good.  Well, not good enough to do anything we wanted to do, like take a trip somewhere fun and exciting.  My mom knew this but she also knew how much baseball meant to me during the summer of ’87.  She managed to purchase two seats for the New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers in Arlington.  Just a mere five hour drive to the north on I-35.  That’s how far Rickey Henderson was from me.  My idol.  In my mind I was going to meet him and we were going to become great friends and I would write him and he would write me.  I had it all planned out, you see.  My mother reminded me that you should never meet your idols or those that you admire as they will underwhelm you.  I wasn’t going for that.  I wanted to get his autograph and tell him that he was my favorite player.  Nobody in Texas could possibly be as big a fan as I was.  I was his biggest fan in the biggest state…well the biggest state in the contiguous continent.

We headed up to Arlington early that Saturday morning for the five hour drive.  South Texas is hot, but North Texas ain’t much better.  The old 1984 Buick Skylark had marginal AC at it’s best and a strong tendency to overheat and breakdown on occasion.  Guess what?  It did just that.  Broke down.  On the side of the highway just north of Austin.  Barely an hour outside of our home.  That was it.  I wasn’t going to see my favorite player on my favorite team play.  I was dejected.  Broken.  On the verge of tears.  Keep in mind, I was a kid that didn’t cry much, my expressions were released more physically and in a way that now embarrass me.  My mom could see this and to her credit, she wasn’t letting this trip get away.  After we found out from the local mechanic that we could ‘maybe’ make it to Arlington and back if we take it slow and constantly check the coolant in the engine we would be able to complete our road trip.  And so, we did.  I will never forget this act from my mother, she pressed forward when the smart thing was to turn back around and play it safe…she pressed forward.  That five hour drive turned into a nearly 7 hour drive.  We ended up going straight to the park, deciding to check into the Holiday Inn after the game.  Arriving just in time for the first pitch.  This wasn’t my first baseball game, but it was my first game outdoors, I had been to a few games in the Astrodome.  This was different and it was AMAZING!  The New York Yankees, THE NEW YORK FRICKIN’ YANKEES vs. the Rangers.  We quickly made our way to the seats to watch Jose Guzman get Mattingly to ground out to first.  I missed Rickey’s first at bat…damn.

Rickey came up three more times that night and ended up going 1-3 with a single.  No stolen bases and a loss for the New York Yankees.  Side note, this was also the last night Don Mattingly homered during his eight game consecutive streak.  Knocking a dinger of Guzman in the 4th inning.  I got to see that and that was a great piece of history to be a part of.

The next night, July 19th.  Rickey doesn’t show up for pre-game warm ups.  Rickey doesn’t have his name on the scoreboard.  Rickey doesn’t play.  Damn.  We were headed back in the morning and I got to see my idol come to bat three times with one single and no stolen bases.  Not to mention, this Sunday night, Mattingly goes homerless for the first time since July 8th and the Yankees lose 3-20.  I did get to see Rick Cerone pitch to Bobby Witt, with Witt almost taking him deep with a couple long foul balls. 

I did manage to get a photo of Rickey at the game and here it is! 

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Apparently approaching players in the bullpen during a game for an autograph is a no-no.  Charles Hudson was happy to let me know that was the case.  The trip wasn’t a failure, but it was not a success either in my 11 year old mind.

Let’s fast forward to 1990.  The Oakland Athletics are dominant, like one of the greatest of all time teams dominant.  A true murderers row of sluggers and solid defense.  My mom always coming through knew how amazing it would be for me to see Rickey once again.  She knew he was my guy, the only player that I really ever cared this much about.  She did it again.  For my 15th birthday, she got two tickets for the two games at the end of September.  The last games of the season for both teams…well almost last games.  We had tickets to the Saturday and Sunday games in Arlington.  Same long hot drive, although less hot due to Fall all around us.  Also, mom had a new car, a 1990 Corsica!  Yeah!  No need to stop and check the engine coolant, plus we were actually able to roll the windows down on this trip.

Our arrival this time allows us to check in to the hotel, get some food and head to the game for early BP.  By this time I was a seasoned autograph hound and knew where to place myself for in-person autographs of players I wanted to sign.  My mom hated this though, it meant we were in an incredibly uncomfortable hotbox of a stadium on a 90degree day.  She had nothing better to do than to just sit in the stands and read a book while I grabbed the autos of my favorite players. 

As I made my way to the lower bowl, I attempted to get McGwire autograph which was an absolute joke.  He was swarmed and wasn’t even getting close to him.  Canseco?  Forget about it…Weiss signed.  Lansford signed.  The Eck even signed a few.  The whole time I had my eye on Rickey.  Rickey took batting practice.  Rickey took in some sprints.  Rickey untied his shoes.  Rickey tied his shoes.  Rickey walked around the batting cage.  I’m standing off to the side just waiting, having given up on the other superstars.  I wanted my superstars autograph. 

Rickey had his head down.  Rickey was walking to me.  I was modestly shouting Mr. HENDER-SON.  Rickey got close.  My modesty turned to one of those Beatles fan-girl videos and I was just straight up shouting.  RICKEY, RICKEY, RICKEY.  Rickey looks up.  Rickey sees me.  Rickey walks towards me.  Rickey gets closer.  In seconds, I’m swarmed by other auto hounds…pushed aside by some adults that do not need to be here, but this is my chance.  I am not going to fail.   I am going to get this autograph.  Rickey signs that guys card.  Rickey signs that kids card.  Then suddenly, Rickey signs my card.  HOLY SHIT.  I’m shaking…I got Rickey Henderson’s autograph during batting practice on September 29th 1990 on a 1990 Donruss, number 304.  Here it is.

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This is the last autograph I’ve ever asked of someone in person or through the mail, I stopped doing TTM’s.  I stopped getting to games early for batting practice autographs.  It all stopped.  I got the autograph I wanted.  Rickey Henderson.  Just wish I had a better pen…    

-Cardboard Hogs

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I’m your idol the highest title, numero uno…And now, a special presentation from Special Ed…He has a frog, a dog with a solid gold bone.

The Last Post…and a farewell to a Villain

This year has finally come to an end.  An unforgiving parallel universe of a year where wrong was right and low was even further lower than we could all imagine.  Maybe it was the end of a bad dream, the kind of nightmare where you’re about to crash into a concrete wall, screeching brakes being hammered to the floor, arms off the wheel to cover your eyes, barreling towards the wall and nanoseconds before impact you wake up.  Sweating.  Shaking.  Breathing heavily.  Saying to yourself, “what the hell just happened!”  The nightmare has ended…for now, but is it really over?  What will ’21 bring for us?  I would love to see an overcorrection from the wrong to the right and some goodness be brought to everyone.  More generosity and kindness.  Less judgement and crassness towards others.  Can we live our lives in a manner that we want to without condescension?  I sure hope so. 

I love this hobby, I love it dearly.  It brings me great joy.  In a world where I have marginal control over things, I can control my collection. 

It’s there when I need it to regroup emotionally…I’m a highly anxious person. 

It’s there when I’ve had a rough day and need to zone out…I worry too much about others opinions.

It’s there when I need a new organizing project and get an idea in the middle of the night…I got some OCD too.

Our hobby is fantastic.  A lot has changed about it this past year. 

I hope it keeps evolving. 

I hope the people that are new are welcomed with open arms.

I hope the new people take some history lessons and learn about our hobby.

I hope we let people collect what and how they want to collect.

For 2021, I will be more involved in helping to make this hobby great.  Reaching out to bloggers, twitter folks, flippers, old-school collectors and the new ones as well.  I plan to buy more from my LCS than eBay, but I also plan to sell more on eBay.  I want to find a happy middle where I can enjoy the hobby without feeling like I am going to strangle myself financially.  Creating a net zero cost of cards is the ultimate goal, not sure how that will get done.  The architecture and build portion of the world is attempting to reduce carbon emissions significantly with the 2030 challenge, but this is nothing like that. 

I just want to have fun with these pieces of cardboard and card stock and shiny whatever the hell they are materials.  I hope you do too!

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With the end of the year usually comes collecting or personal goals.  I’m not going to list anything, I think that’s mostly been covered by the manifesto above.  So, instead, I’d like to take the time to update the annual wallet card and take a look back. 

I started carrying a card in my wallet quite a few years ago.  It was a way to always keep the hobby with me wherever I went.  Every once in a while the card would be exposed to other people and it would start a conversation, or maybe just some ridicule from some colleagues…architects can be a judgmental group, ya know?

At some point along the way, I’ve lost a few cards…but here’s what I’ve got since I started the blog.

2020: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 1999 Pacific Paramount, card #162

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2019: Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves 1987 Topps, card #490

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2018: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1992 Pro Set, card #90

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2017: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 2014 Gypsy Queen, card #N174-DJ

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2016: Art Monk, Washington Redskins 1985 Topps, card # 185

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2015: Rickey Henderson, New York Yankees 1986 Topps, card #500

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2014: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1990 Pro Set, card #333

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2013: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers 1991 Topps Archives, card #1

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AND NOW, FOR TWO-THOUSAND TWENTY ONE!  THE NEW WALLET CARD IS (drumroll…)

2021: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins 2006 Topps, card #245

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I know, I know…I can hear the clapping through the keyboard!

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OK, so when I woke up this morning I was thinking about the best video I could share with you all today.  Something fun and positive and light-hearted to ring the new year in.  I was getting distracted during the day and everything was getting away from me.  When I sat down to start writing I first jumped on twitter to get an update on this mad world we’re living in…and my heart sank when I saw that MF Doom has passed away…shit shit shit shit.  He was one of my favorite MC’s…crazy entertaining and a tremendous wordsmith.  Lots of double entendre’s and just some good ol’ hip hop metaphors.  At this point, I’m not sure what took his life as he was only 49 (4 years older than me).  The one thing that can make me smile is that he actually passed away on Halloween of this year.  That’s gotta be the most MF Doom thing ever.  For the uninitiated, he was wore a ‘gladiator’ mask and was well known for skipping out on shows but still having someone perform for him…the mask helped with that endeavor.  Not sure of the reason for keeping his passing quiet for two months, but that’s none of my business really.  If you have the time, please take a listen to the video below of his collaboration with the producer Madlib for the quintessential MC and producer hip hop album.  It’s a classic. 

MADVILLAIN – MADVILLAINY

Also, check out his earlier work with KMD as Zev Love X and music from his other aliases; King Geedorah, King Ghidra, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, King Dumile and Metal Face.  He also did some work with 3rd Bass back in the day…enjoy.  Have a Happy New Year, hug your loved one, tell them you love them and stay safe out there.

-Cardboard Hogs!   

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.

 

Mail Day! Unexpectedly…

My wife has been working a lot lately.  Early mornings and late nights at times too…lots of time away from the family.  One of the few benefits of this is that i get some one on one time with my boy.  At times, he’s an amazing kid and at times…he’s a toddler.  I’ve been slowly showing him my card collection and McFarlane figures…or dolls as he calls them.

THEY’RE NOT DOLLS!!!  THEY ARE COLLECTIBLE ACTION FIGURES!!!

Anyways, another benefit of the spouses extra work time is that i get to drop off my kid to school in the morning.  Tuesdays and Thursdays he has a later class, it starts at 10am…which is kinda cool since i get to stroll in to work around 10:30.  I also, apparently get to be home to receive FedEx packages from Topps…which is what happened this morning.  Thankfully our overprotective dog alerted us to the scary FedEx guy or i would have completely missed out on this!

Topps Mail day

A nice little package from Topps…but what the hell is it?  I’ve been a little negligent in tracking my outstanding redmemptions…so which one is it?  Oh yeah!

17 TO Andy Pettite auto jersey

17 TO Andy Pettite auto jersey back

It’s Andy Pettitte!  From my box of 2017 Topps Series 1.  That was crazy fast…especially considering i’ve got other cards that have been out for over a year.  This one took just over 2 months.

As Topps has been doing with some of their redemptions, i also received another card from the fine folks at Topps.

16 TM Josh Donalsdson

16 TM Josh Donaldson back

My favorite part of this card is that it’s a Meaningful Material Prime Relic Card…very meaningful i would imagine, maybe a Sunday game?  Not complaining, just thought it was kind of funny.

I also received this thoughtful thank you card from Topps…that everyone else has received…not i’m part of the gang guys!

Topps thank you

My patronage will definitely continue.

Now, here’s some music that you may or may not like…you should all love Brother Ali though…

Well, hello there…

Yeah, it’s been a while.

I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus.

Various reasons really.  Work overload, tired, old, rainy cold days…and really feeling like my hobby was getting in the way of my amazing family.  I was putting cards before my awesome little boy and my amazingly beautiful wife.  It’s all about balance, which i’ve mentioned multiple times here.  I think it’s really important…you know?  The blog is fun and the hobby and collecting are also fun…but family first.  The past few weeks, we’ve been able to see the snow at Mt. Hood and the ocean along the Oregon coast.  It’s pretty amazing living in the Pacific Northwest…and i don’t want my hobby to get in the way of that.

That said, i do love doing this collecting things and writing about cards.  It’s a great way to share my hobby with others…and really, connect with others…just like you!.  With the multiple ways of connecting with other collectors, it’s not hard to find trade partners.  Now, to be honest, i’ve made a few trades in the past that i’ve felt were not equal in return, so i’ve tried to steer clear of making trades with people i’m not too familiar with.  Until one day…Shane from Off the Wall reached out to me regarding a couple Silver Pack cards i pulled…they were Red Sox, so i knew i wouldn’t be too upset to part with them…:) i kid Shane!!!  He was nice enough to post a recap of the trade from his end HERE.  So, after a very long delay…here is my post!

Shane and i went back and forth on twitter to work through some items i was looking for…i’m a difficult trade partner, because i don’t keep up with my checklist that well.  Luckily though, Shane had quite a few cards to help out with my 1960’s set needs.  The biggest chunk of cards was the 1969 set needs.  Here are a few of the really nice lot of cards.

1969 Topps lot

Next up, was a few cards to fill my 1963, 1966 and 1967 set needs.  The way Billy looks at Hal, you would think they hate each other…but they don’t.  There baseball cards…i think the whiskey is kicking in now…

1963 1966 1967 Topps lot

The third lot of vintage Topps card needs is the currently popular 1968 Topps burlap set.  Go get your Heritage needs filled kids!

1968 Topps lot

Shane also helped out with my 2009 and 2010 Heritage needs…he made a huge dent in my lists, check it out.

2009 Topps Heritage Hi numbers2009 Topps Heritage Then & Now2010 Topps Heritage

It was so great to cross off most of these guys from my list…not to mention a bunch of these guys are SPs or small insert sets.  Very cool

In case you don’t know, i collect Redskins.  That’s the bulk of what i collect…of course you know that.  Most of my card money goes to Redskins cards.  Here’s a group of cards that Shane passed along to me in our trade.

Redskins Lot

I love the Joe Lavender cards.  The shades are top notch…plus a Fleer action photo which aren’t the easiest to find!

Last card of the bunch is a card that i have…but love nonetheless.  It’s a lovely Don Mattingly card.  With Shane being a Red Sox fan, i’m sure he wasn’t too upset to part with the card…:)

2014 Topps 50 Years Draft Don Mattingly

Hey, that was a great trade…honestly, might be the best trade i’ve ever made.  I was able to cross of a ton of stuff off my lists which these days is a very great thing.

Hope you guys are doing well and getting excited about the 2017 MLB season.  I have quite a few things to post in the next few days or weeks, so lets go!  Thanks for reading.

A Big ole’ box of Memories

I pre-ordered a jumbo box of 1987 2017.  This is the big 30th anniversary for a set that is seemingly very popular with a lot of people.  Me though, i have a different memory of these vertically wood grained over produced cards.

I started collecting baseball cards in the fall of 1985.

I was 9 and had fallen in love with baseball and baseball cards.

I wanted to learn everything about baseball and own everything i could about baseball.

So, baseball cards met that need at the highest level for a young’n like me.  There weren’t many opportunities to buy cards at that time due to scarcity at my local Stop n’ Go or 7-11, but also my lack of funds…I was 9.  I did what i could back then.  When the 1986 cards rolled out, i was able to complete a set via trades and multiple pack purchases.  The way it was done in the old school days.  I had a little more money and ’86 turned out to be a fun year, a year that i became addicted to these damn cardboard things.

That all changed in the winter of 1987.

The very first packs of cards i bought that year were in the Stop n’ Go down the street from my home.  I was headed out to my very first camping trip for the local Boy Scouts troop…a trip that i wasn’t too excited about (maybe a story for later, but my BSA experience was very forgettable!).  My mom pulled in to the parking lot and gave me some money to get a special snack and a juice…i bought a coke and two packs of cards.  1987 Topps.  The cards had gum in them, so that’s kind ova snack, right?  Fearing that i had betrayed my mom, i kept the cards tucked in my pocket to be opened later that weekend…during a camping trip.  I made it successfully to the bus without anyone finding out about my card purchases and was able to procure a solo seat and open them on the ride to the camp site.  I had 34 brand new cards in my hands…and two horrible pieces of gum.  Little did i know that this was the start of an incredible amount of over-consumption of wood grained cardboard that i would later become overwhelmed with.

For me, this was my first understanding of over production of a product.  I was buying packs everywhere.  I was even able to buy a few boxes at our local Sams Wholesale Club…for about $18 each.  Now, t’ve never been a collector for the investment purposes but i also don’t like to buy junk…well that year i must have spent about $100 on 1987 Topps.  I was completely overwhelmed with them and grew to really dislike them…everything about them.  So when the set gets a re-up, i don’t jump for joy.  I’m old enough now and have some perspective to understand and appreciate the design, so maybe this year won’t be so bad.

I mean, they do actually look kind of nice and as others have mentioned, the wood grain is quite lighter than the original.  The cards stock as i remember it is quite better as well, significantly better actually…as i look at these cards, i can see why they are adored by so many…i have baggage that i need to let go of i guess.

They are nice, very nice.  Well done Topps.  You did a great job with these re-issues.  Tweaked some of the things that were of concern to me…thank you for listening 🙂  Some of you may have already seen the cards that i pulled as i thought it would be nice to pre-share over Twitter last night.  Just in case though, here is my very first 2017 Topps card of the year!

17-to-giancarlo-stanton

Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton!  Pretty sweet first card eh?  Don’t think i know what my first card is for the past 30 years, but i would venture to say that none of them are as good as this one.

17-to-bryce-harper

This was my first card pulled for a favorite team, the Nationals or Yankees…Bryce Harper is cool, i mean…he’s probably going to have a good season.  Yeah, this card is fantastic for me not to mention that i got two in the box.  One for my flagship set and one for my Bryce Harper PC.  Collecting goals are being met.

17-to-nathan-eovaldi

This was my first Yankee, Nathan Eovaldi.  It was immediately followed by Aaron Hicks, also a Yankee.  Guess that duo was a nice little mini Yankee hot pack…or not…?

Topps is also continuing with the buyback program, but stamping them differently this year with a  vertically embossed stamp along the right edge of the card that reads “REDISCOVER TOPPS’.  Nothing spectacular, but i have to admit these cards are in great shape.

One of the many inserts that you get are the foil cards which are great looking cards, assuming you can see them.  I passed up a couple of them and had to go through the stack again to make sure i pulled them all out and when i did…four of the five were team cards.  Feel a little gipped here, but i guess it would have only been successful if one of them was a player or team i collect.  The fifth was a Kurt Suzuki.

17-tof-tampa-bay-rays17-tof-san-diego-padres17-tof-houston-astros17-tof-chicago-cubs

Topps is also continuing to do the first pitch cards…and i think they are running out of celebrities or there just aren’t enough celebrities to go around.  Not trying to blast either of these two musical entertainers, but one of them is great and the other one is Mase.  I’ve tried to associate the connection of the First Pitcher to the team they are pitching for.  Mase, per wikipedia was born in Florida, but left with his mom for New York when he was three.  I guess maybe he’s always been a fan of a Florida team?  Ms. Jett is from Pennsylvania, so maybe she grew up watching Harry Caray and Steve Stone on WGN like me?  I kid…Joan Jett was one of my favorite rockers in the early 80’s, mostly due to my mom liking her music with The Runaways.  I like her biggest solo hit, a cover of ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll”

Speaking of hits, i have three of them…well, two and a half.  I don’t consider redemptions hits until i have them in my hand.  Here they are, in my current favorite order.  When the redemption is in my hands, that will be without a doubt my favorite one…assuming of course it’s a Yankee card.

17-tor-andy-pettitte-auto-patch

My timeline counter is starting on February 3rd, 2017.  Let’s see how long this takes to hit my blog post.  Ball is in your court Topps Corporation.17-tost-clayton-kershaw-3050

Clayton Kershaw Spring Training commemorative patch…it’s like a hard plastic’y metal’y thing’y numbered 38/50.  Not gonna complain at all.

17-togw-addison-russell-tri-patch-1925

My favorite hit, currently, is this Addison Russell trip color patch…they snuck that white portion of the patch in there didn’t they?  Numbered 19 of 25 is pretty good too.  Kinda wish it was autographed, but i’m quite happy with this pull.  Russell is a great young player and nice to add to my collection.

d’oh!  I have a couple more cool cards to show off.  Nothing spectacular, but wanted to share.  First one is the Bryce Harper Then and Now…i always remember that moment when i almost pulled that card in a box.  The guy next to me picked the box that had it and i picked the other one…such is my luck…i always get the other one..Harper looks like he’s aged 10 years since the Bowman card, beards man…they make you look old.

17-totn-bryce-harper

The other one is of the young Astros prospect, but aren’t they all?  Teoscar Hernandez…feels like his name should be spelled T’Oscar…but that’s not my lane.  I’m gonna stay out.  This is one of those reverse negative cards that are not printing plates, but every time i see one that’s the first thing that crosses my mind…kinda wished it was yellow.

17-torn-teoscar-hernandez

Well, that’s the haul from my one jumbo box that i purchase for each series.  Hope you enjoyed.  I will be posting the cards from the two silver packs that came with the box another day, so until then.  Enjoy some random music that i was listening to while writing this letter to you.