Sunday, July 15, 2018

Delivery Time! Group Break Results from the Iron Lion

Months and months ago, I joined the Iron Lion on Facebook which is a hobby shop located in Colorado that hosts a bunch of group breaks through their Facebook platform.  Back when the group was first formed, they held a bunch of relatively affordable group breaks for various sports including a couple of paid baseball breaks with randomized teams that I jumped in on (one break I wrote about previously where I ended up with the Twins and Orioles which was a bummer for my collecting purposes).

Although the first break didn't exactly work out for me in terms of team selection, it wasn't long before I decided to jump in a second break.  I decided that I'd be smarter about things though and grab four team slots rather than two with the thought that surely I'd end up with at least one desirable team.

Cue team randomization assignments:  Rays, Twins, Marlins, Mets

I'm not sure there is a worse quartet of teams to get...maybe substitute the Brewers or Mariners for the Mets to make it worse?  (Though I actually trade with some Brewers and Mariners fans so I think I hit rock bottom in team assignments.)  Even worse, the break was pretty much all Bowman sets...and looking back now a few months later, I don't even know I chose to join this break in the first place.

What's done is done though, so I might as well finally scan the cards and then get them sorted out and off of my desk.  I'm sick of staring at the package.  On the bright side (as you'll soon see), I did land an actual hit from the break which was a nice surprise I guess.

Alright, on to the cards! 

Like I said, I ended up with four teams so let's see the best of the best for each team involved.


In what is a shocker to absolutely no one, the worst team of the bunch was the Marlins.  I ended up with a mere 4 Marlins cards including two versions of the same Giancarlo Stanton base card (one was an unnumbered refractor and the other was a standard base card).  I do like the Ichiro card - that one has a shot at my Frankenset (and so does the Stanton I guess) but otherwise the Marlins were a big bunch of "meh."


Getting both Florida baseball teams assigned to you in a group break shouldn't even be legal.  The Rays ended up better than the Marlins in raw card count (8 Rays showed up) and probably better in terms of the actual cards as well, but only barely.  In fact, the reason I put the Rays above the Marlins is that I ended up with a serially numbered gold parallel of Jesus Sanchez (#07/50) which isn't terrible and I "won" the randomization of this Brendan McKay / Clayton Kershaw insert.  The Rays slot also produced a pair of refractors but neither is of interest to me so I didn't scan them (and given that in my many years of running this blog I'm not sure I've met more than 1 Rays collector out there, I doubt any of you care as well).


If there was any team that I thought could possibly redeem my poor team assignments, it was the New York Mets.  Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass but at least the Mets ended up ahead of the two pitiful Florida teams.  The Mets produced a rather robust 12 cards in the break which was the largest individual team total of the four teams I ended up with.  The highlights included a couple of inserts (yawn)...

...and a single regular refractor of Yoenis Cespedes. 

At least the Cespedes is super colorful, I kind of like that (and that card has a shot at my Frankenset as well).  The two best cards for the Mets though were a pair of serially numbered parallels.

The Syndergaard is actually quite nice - the purple is stunning and the card is numbered 215/250.  I don't know anything about Justin Dunn but that's a blue parallel numbered 147/150 so it could be worse.


Finally, we get to the best team of the break for me.  You know it's bad news when the Twins are the best of four teams.  Ouch indeed.

The Twins yielded a mere six cards including three base cards and a refractor of Jose Berrios.

There was a single Twins insert (not shown because no one cares) and then the hit of the break for me:

Yeah.  I don't know who Griffin Jax is either.  It looks more like his signs his last name as "poo" which is pretty much how this entire break went for me, especially for the cost of entry.

Oh well.  That's the nature of group breaks.  Sometimes you luck out and get something good...other times you get the Rays and Marlins and question your own choices in life. C'est la vie!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 613: 1999 Flair Showcase - #74 - Row 3

Barry Larkin
Year:  1999
Brand:  Flair Showcase
Card number:  74
Parallel:  Row 3

The 1999 Flair Showcase is a small set (only 144 cards) but it has three tiers to collect (Row 1, Row 2, and Row 3).  Depending on the card number, each row has a different rarity.

The card for today's post is a Row 3 "Power Showdown" card which are seeded 1:1.1 packs meaning this isn't an overly rare version of Larkin's card.  However, he also has a Row 2 "Passion Showpiece" card which are seeded 1:1.33 packs which is slightly rarer and a Row 1 "Showcase Showtime" which are serially numbered out of 3000. 

Even worse, there are parallels to the parallels in the set!

There is  Legacy Collection parallel of every card numbered out of only 88 and a Masterpiece parallel which is a one-of-one.  I have no plans to every track down the 1-of-1 Larkin cards but it would be nice to someday acquire the Masterpiece parallels.  There can't really be more than 88 Larkin collectors out there, can there?  (Don't answer that)

Now that I've figured out what card exactly I have in my hand, I should probably at least comment on the card design.  The front is standard late 90s Fleer fare...which is to say it's clean, crisp, and uninspiring.  The back of the card features some psychedelic wavy stripes for reasons which escape me (and some funky statistical breakdowns) to go along with a third image of Larkin.  All things considered, I kind of like this weird looking set...though I don't care for the confusing set make-up and the plethora of nearly impossible to find parallels.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Flashback Friday! Going Back to 1990 for that Hologram Goodness.

Happy Friday, everyone!  For today's Flashback Friday post, I have an unopened pack of 1990 Upper Deck - High Number Series. 

According to the pack wrapper, there should be 15 cards plus one 3-D Team Logo Hologram in the pack.  There is also a chance to find one of the 2500 autographed Reggie Jackson Baseball Heroes you are saying there's a chance!

Let's rip this!

266.  Cal Ripken, Jr.

Well played Upper Deck...that's a great way to start a pack of cards!  I'm also 99% certain that I've never actually seen that card before.  It's a kind of dark photograph but I won't complain when I get to start a pack with the Iron Man.

84.  Atlanta Braves checklist

As a kid, I liked team specific checklists - it helped me see which Reds were included in a set (assuming I could track down the Reds' checklist of course).  However, today the internet has probably made team specific checklists obsolete.  Such is the price of progress I guess.  Also, John Smoltz looks super creepy in that drawing.  It had to be said.

69.  Rn Karkovice
793. Kevin Bass

The cards numbered 701 - 800 are part of the high series (though notice that the pack contains cards from the entire Upper Deck base set).  The high series is supposed to be the "traded/rookies" portion of the set.  In Bass' case, he went from the Astros to the Giants in 1990.

725.  Scott Radinsky
191.  Don Mattingly
199.  Al Newman
Hologram Sticker:  Indians

The 1990 Hologram stickers were sort of lame in that they were much, much smaller than other stickers issued at the time by companies like Fleer.  Even worse, Upper Deck hadn't exactly perfected the hologram yet - I always found the '90 stickers to be a bit lacking in logo clarity.

584.  Les Lancaster
581.  Randy Myers

Look at that card back image.  Wow, talk about a Flashback look!

686.  Bryan Harvey
692.  Todd Stottlemyre
312.  Mike Brumley
246.  Terry Steinbach
483.  Mike Flanagan
423.  Lenny Harris

That back half of the pack wasn't nearly as exciting or interesting as the first part...but overall it was still a fun rip!  The 1990 Upper Deck set was never a favorite of mine (I didn't get into Upper Deck until 1991) but I do think it was an improvement over the 1989 set.  I won't be collecting the 1990 set but I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to rip another pack of this stuff some day (or maybe even a box if I found one for super cheap)!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trade Stack 92: I'm Guessing this one Won't Last Long!

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

New rule:  Please note that shipping large packages to Canada (or overseas) has become too expensive, at least when it means that all I am getting in return is a single base card.  If you happen to want me to ship to a place not in the US, please contact me first.  Maybe we can work out a larger deal that will make the increase in postage worthwhile.  I am sorry for that as I have a number of great traders in Canada but I have no control over what the USPS charges for shipping!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 7/12/18

Today, we start a new stack with a single card...but I have a hunch that this Stack won't stick around for long - so jump in now or miss losing out on one of the coolest card designs that Pacific ever did.  That's right.  You know you want it.

Remember, you can claim the current Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off my want list (or anything LEGO since I've been getting more and more into collecting LEGO as well)!

1999 Pacific:
Gold Crown Die-Cuts
34.  Mark McGwire (Cardinals)

If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  

Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  You must leave a comment on the trade stack post in order to claim the card - no more claims via email!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!

Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  1 card by Potch
Stack 35:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  8 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 40:  1 card by Kyle4KC
Stack 41:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 42:  1 card by AdamE
Stack 43:  1 card by madding
Stack 44:  10 cards by Commishbob
Stack 45:  1 (almost complete) puzzle by Baseball Dad
Stack 46:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 47:  5 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 48:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 49:  9 cards by Swing and a Pop-Up
Stack 50:  9 cards by Commishbob
Stack 51:  3 cards by Need More Cardboard
Stack 52:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by Night Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  15 cards by Dayf
Stack 78:  29 cards by Chris
Stack 79:  26 cards by John H.
Stack 80:  14 cards by David G.
Stack 81:  3 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 82:  6 cards by Matt S.
Stack 83:  26 cards by Gavin
Stack 84:  1 card by Gavin
Stack 85:  29 cards by arpsmith
Stack 86:  10 cards by Henry
Stack 87:  15 cards by Henry
Stack 88:  5 cards by Adam K.
Stack 89:  7 cards by TSHenson
Stack 90:  16 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 91:  1 card by Chris
Stack 92:  ?? by ??

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Delivery Time! Trade Stack Returns from Bump and Run Cards

Now that I've managed to carve up a small bit of time to do some blogging and trading again (mostly while the baby sleeps), I'm pleased to report that there have been some trade envelopes showing up at my house!  That's a much nicer thing to discover in the mailbox as opposed to the usual bills and junk mail that usually plagues my trips to the mailbox.

Today's envelope was the result of a recent Trade Stack that I posted.  Trevor, from Bump and Run Football Cards, jumped in and claimed the stack in exchange for a few 1997 Metal Universe cards.

For whatever reason, I have a fascination with the 1997 Metal Universe set.  I can't explain why...I guess I thought they were cool when I was a kid (despite the fact that I only ever bought two or three packs of the stuff back in the day).  I never cared for comic books or the like I don't know how to explain my interest in the set.

No matter, I've decided to collect the thing and Trevor helped me inch a tiny bit closer by sending five more that I needed my way.  He also threw in one of the last couple of 2018 Topps Series 1 cards that I need for my set.

I know that most of you have already moved on to Series 2 (and probably past Series 2 by now) but not me.  That baby keeps me awake...tired...and constantly behind everything!  Luckily, there are some great baseball traders out there who are willing to help me catch up including the likes of Trevor!