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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

A buncha PC randos…

I’m a bit of a scatter brain at times.

I love things.  I hate dislike things.

I Get excited.  I Get intimidated.

I’m motivated.  I’m uninspired.

I’m focused.  I’m distracted.

Lots of pendulum swings with my moods.  In fact…just the time it took me to write the words above, i got up to mute the TV, select a song on my iTunes…didn’t see anything i wanted to listen to so i downloaded the new free copy of the OC album.  Poured some water, sat down, got up to pour some whiskey, got some coke to add to the whiskey…and now i’m back ready to write something about my collecting hauls.  The baseball and basketball PC that guys i collect…or do I…?

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I’ve been a Bryce Harper collector for a while.  He’s a fantastic player, intense and quite emotional.  He also has some great hair, see!  Theres something perversely magical about the combination of everything on this card.  The wavy brushed back hair, close cropped beard, unbuttoned shirt, open mouthed gaze to right field…and the animal print border.  This card has it all for the creepy collector…so i picked it up.  Plus it’s numbered to 199, not 200.

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Harper is a good player for me to collect, why you ask?  Well, he’s a National at the moment and will be for another year at least.  He heads in to arbitration after next season and has been fixated on a GIGANTIC contract…a YUUUGE ONE!  Not too many teams can front the cash for a player like Harper, except maybe his favorite team as a child…the Yankees.

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This would be awesome for me.  Many times a player i like moves on to a team i can’t really get down with collecting…i’m looking at you Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford.  So, it’s a win win.  Assuming everything goes according to plan…which rarely happens if ever these days.  So, keeping things in the proper perspective, i can see collecting this guy for a long time, no matter if he plays in DC or NYC.

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Just hope if he ends up in the pinstripes, he can take the ups and downs of playing on a tremendously large stage…it can roughen the edges of the smoothest player.

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Normally i love it when a guy stays on the same team his entire career, like Jeter and Ripken to name a few.  One guy that i could see staying with his team for the duration of his career is this kid, Trea Turner.  He’s a future superstar…with a ton of potential.  I can’t help but thing of Jeter when i see him, slightly different type of player but I think he has that magical ability to be where the play is and can bring a ton of victories the next few years.  I’m slowly working on his collection and this Gold Label is a nice base card pick up from the show.

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Ok, enough about the Nats and baseball.  How about some basketball…and a couple Spurs i picked up.  I’m a streaky Spurs collector.  I’ll go months between a Spurs purchase and then pick up a few cards to add to the collection.  At the moment though, they are just dropped in a box marked “Spurs to be organized”.  The odds are not favorable that that box gets organized in the current year, but at least they are together.  Go Spurs Go!

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The obvious guy for me to collect at the moment is Kawhi.  If this guy wasn’t born to be a Spur, i don’t know what a Spur is.  Tough, physical, durable, smart and doesn’t need to let you know everything about his personal life…i like that.  The quiet modesty vs. the humble brag.

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The problem with me and Spurs cards is that i tend to skip the basketball tables at the show…just walk right past those dudes.  One of the guys works for COMC and is super cool, but his table is filled with basketball cards…and i don’t have that kind of time to sift through a ton of basketball cards.  Not to mention i don’t know most of the guys.  If they don’t play on the Blazer or Spurs…i don’t know them.  Apparently Vince Carter is still dunking over dudes…who knew!

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Every time i get one of these Red White Blue Prizm cards, i’m just gonna go ahead and post this image as well…because…well…it’s the exact same thing.

Rocket Pops

 

I couldn’t get some Leonard cards and not get one of this guys.  The Saint, Timmy Duncan!

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This card in person is crazy sparkly.  It’s like a flat disco ball.  It shimmers quite a bit.  Plus you can really see the gray beard of a man young Duncan became.  He does have skills.

I also picked up this card on a whim…was about to start buying up a bunch of Clemson Tigers at the show and slammed on the brakes, but not before i slipped this Hopkins card on my stack.

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So, as i’ve been typing, i’ve been listening to the new OC album.  I believe it came out today, maybe yesterday…doesn’t really matter.  It’s a free download and it sounds pretty nice.  I’ve been a fan of OC since i first heard Times Up!  A great moment of lyrical supremacy and a very cool sample from Les DeMerle’s Jazz version of A Day in the Life which has been sampled many times in hiphop, but for my money, Times Up is the best use of the first portion of the cover…If you like the OC video below, maybe give the free download a chance…it’s not bad…and it’s free!!!  Or listen to the Beatles A Day in the Life…it’s pretty fantastic as well.

 

 

Clemson Tigers!

I was born in South Carolina.  Conway Country, South Carolina, Myrtle Beach…Myrtle Beach Air Force Base to be exact.  My parents were both in the Air Force when i was born and they were born in South Carolina as well.  Both of my parents were born in South Carolina.  My mom was born in Charleston and My dad’s family was from Spartanburg, SC.  He was the son of a cotton factory worker that loved football, Clemson football.  Football is huge in Texas and really all throughout the south.  Every summer we would visit the Palmetto state, and when we went to Spartanburg we would go to the Beacon drive in.  It’s a bit of a divey drive in greasy spoon kinda place, but damn that food is good!  And the walls were always covered in Clemson newspaper clippings, Frank Howard and Danny Ford photos along Tiger memorabilia everywhere…not so much with the other school in the state, the Cocks, just mostly Clemson Tigers.  So, as a young’n my college football team was chosen.  The Clemson Tigers.  A Tigers fan in the state of Texas, where i could have chosen the Longhorns or Aggies or Red Raiders or whatever…I stuck with my family on this one.  Football hasn’t been too nice to me over the past few years.  The ebbs and flow of a football season are quite emotional, far more than baseball, which i think is why i’m more drawn to the diamond than the gridiron.  But tonight, my team won and it feels great!…and yes, i did order some Panini Clemson Tigers cards tonight.

Now to some baseball cards.

Wrapping up my box of Topps update with the hits.  Like i said, nothing too major, but some cool decent stuff from the jumbo box.

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Christian Vazquez – Boston Red Sox Scouting Report Certified Autograph

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Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals All Star Game 2016 Event Worn Workout Jersey

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Willie McCovey – San Francisco Giants 500 Home Run Club Capt. James Cook Stamp

My mind is a little distracted right now and i’m having a little difficulty writing and listening to ESPN, so i’m just going to let the images be.  That Captain James Cook stamp got me doing some serious research though on global sailing, exploration and cartography.  Maybe i can save some of my research for another (re)post.

Hope you guys have a great night!  Here’s a cool song my wife introduced me to a couple of days ago…probably late on these guys, but love the song!  Enjoy.

Blogging by Hand.

2016 MLB Day 1:3

2016-04-04 13.50.33

2016-04-04 13.50.38

2016 MLB Day 2:3

15 MC Bryce Harper15 DK Bryce Harper15 LC TF Brandon Scherff15 PP TF Jamison Crowder

2016 MLB Day 3:3

1967 Topps lot 12016-04-04 20.51.472016-04-04 20.51.392016-04-04 20.51.30

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 7 and 8

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I haven’t posted since the 10th.  I was on such a roll too!  Life.

I’m going to stick with the 2014 Topps Jumbo duo pack breakdown because I like order and crossing things of off lists.  It’s a problem, but it’s my problem.  I pray to whatever you choose to believe in that you have already seen these cards, so that none of them should be eye openers.  My hope though is that i can knock it out of the park with my witty narrative…or not.  You will be the judge of that.

I’m going to go ahead and start with the box autograph ‘hit’.  Not because i’m super excited about it, but because if you are reading this, you probably pulled this auto as well.  From what i’ve seen on the other blogs, this card is a popular pull from this years Topps.  Way to diversify your packs Mr. Topps company.  Andrew Lamb-oh everyone.

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I did get a couple of Harper’s in one pack.  My first look through the pack and i completely missed the Power Player logo on the lower right of the card.  It’s a Harper parallel and an insert.  Nice.  Here’s hoping the Bryce kid tears it up this season and avoids walls.

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Another nice little pull from these two packs was a Casey Janssen black border card.  See!  It has a black border!

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Next up is a Derek Jeter All Rookie Cup team.  It’s not the athletic supporter type of cup, which is probably best for us all considering how many gift baskets this guy has handed out.  He is stellar in his accomplishments on and off the field.  A legend.

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Maddux Mini.  Why is the border yellow?  WHY!

14 TO Greg Maddux 1989 Mini Die Cut

A gimmicky base card from Topps that you have seen on every blog from everyone that has opened a Topps pack this year.  I can’t wait to put this one in a 9 pocket sleeve in a binder and forget all about it.  He’s catching a football.  Maybe I should get out my Nolan Ryan slinging the pigskin card out and put them side by side.

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I pulled two buy back cards and this one is a very Brave Ralph Garr, no relation to Terry Garr I imagine.  Maybe thirds cousins?

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Sean Doolittle closing it out with a very red and pubic-y beard and 90’s Oakley glasses and a t-shirt that has words on it.  Great photo selection Topps.  Great selection.

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Two more packs to go with a nice thick card that will make some of you smile, and then it’s back to some good ole vintage Redskins…or maybe a few card show pickups from a future show.

Oh hey, i’ve gotten around to posting a few very random cards on ebay.  Please take a look if you are interested in bidding on them.  The cards that don’t sell will be available for trade, or will end up back on ebay.

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.

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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.’

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TWO OAKLAND RAP REFERENCES in one blog post!

This kid.  Love this kid.

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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.

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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.

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

A DC Die Cut Delivery Day

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

13 PS Jordan Reed Die Cut

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

13 TC Stephen Strasburg Die Cut

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

13 BP Bryce Harper Cutting Edge Stars Die Cut

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