Saturday, February 13, 2016

Group Break in Review: Box #5 Highlights (Leather Auto, Coin/Stamp Card, a 1/1 Buyback, and More)!

Out of the six boxes in the 2016 Jumbo case of Topps Series 1, box #5 was by FAR the best box.  In fact, I didn't even realize that we pulled a 1/1 until I started going through the cards again while scanning.  This is the type of box that I hope to get every single time I host a group break - so many great cards...and I'm excited to show them all off so let's get going.

Box #5 highlights:

In the video that I recorded of me opening up the case, I know I complained quite a bit about the various buyback cards.  I still don't get them...but I have to admit that my opinion is slightly more in favor of them now that I realize that Topps put the buybacks in different tiers (based on the color of stamp used).

Yeah, you may have seen it in the above scan before I could even say it.  That Dave Concepcion card is a 1/1 buyback.  Sure, that's still a pretty stupid concept, but it's my first 1/1 Reds card that I've pulled since I got an Aroldis Chapman printing plate out of Ginter years ago!  Pretty cool, and the other buyback is a blue stamp which is considered rare as well.  I told you box #5 was a beast!

Next, our Wacky Packages sticker card - this time it's St. Louis Cardinal eggs.

Sounds gross, but hopefully madding enjoys the bird humor.

Moving on to the parallels, our rainbow foil parallels included Jacob deGrom and a Darnell Sweeney rookie card.

Not a bad mix if you ask me.  We've actually done fairly well in terms of spreading out the rainbow foil love across a variety of teams - as a group break host that also makes me happy.  I like when everyone gets something good (though obviously that won't always be the case - it is the nature of the group break after all).

The gold parallels were heavy on Mets - two of the four in fact were Metropolitans.

Of the four, I'm obviously happy to get a Reds' parallel (but Hoover of all people, meh).  However, the NL WHIP Leaders card is probably the best of the batch.  The Dodgers will have a 66% chance of landing that card when I do all the randomizations at the end of the group break.  As always, all gold cards are numbered out of 2016.

We had two more parallels in this box (again, such a loaded box)!  The first was another Negative parallel, this time it's Adam Lind of the Brewers.
Thankfully, the Negative parallels look better in person.

The Brewers don't get a lot of love on the blogs these days so I was happy to see the Brew Crew get something out of the break.

Our final parallel from the box was another one of the Vintage Stock parallels (seeded 1:54 jumbo packs).

That means we lucked out big time by landing TWO Vintage Stock parallels in our case - and while getting a Rays card isn't normally a big deal this time around the Rays were actually claimed (JUsting G.).  I'm sure this card helps make Justin happier with his choice!

All of those goodies and we still have more to go.  Three more cards, in fact.  The first of our three hits was Matt Harvey with a blue pinstripe.

And here's the kicker - that was the worst of the three hits in this box - and frankly it's a great looking card of a pretty good player!

Next up, our second relic - a Coin/Stamp combo relic of Paul Molitor of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Dime cards are seeded 1;188 jumbo packs making this another monster pull from the box!  I had placed the Blue Jays in a rather low pricing tier but no one ended up claiming them so this bad boy is all mine (it'll probably end up on eBay with the hopes of me trading it for a similar Barry Larkin card).  Even so, it was a fun card to pull out of the box...and yet, this too wasn't even the best that Box #5 had for us.  I should note that this is numbered 10/50 for those that like to keep track of such things.

Nope, the honor of best pull in this box goes to our final card (even though it is a redemption):

That's Luis Severino of the Yankees (I had to look that up).  It's an autographed leather card - or at least it will be once the redemption code has been entered (which I leave up to Anthony to do when he gets the card).  The autographed leather cards are seeded at a super rare 1:598 jumbo packs!  Wow!!

So to summarize, this one box gave us:

  • a 1/1 buyback
  • a rare buyback
  • a Negative parallel
  • a Vintage Stock (almost case hit) parallel
  • a stamp/coin relic
  • a leather autograph

Frankly, that's probably better than most of us were hoping for the case in its entirety!!

I defy anyone to find and open a better box of that in 2016 Topps Series 1.  Wowsers!  I'm just glad we got this box as part of the group much fun!

However, the fun isn't quite over yet - we still have one more jumbo box to sort through (plus some bonus packs coming your way).  Stay tuned, more goodies will be coming soon!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 428: 1997 Upper Deck Collector's Choice - #80

Barry Larkin
Year:  1997
Brand:  Upper Deck Collector's Choice
Card number:  80

Over the years, I've made it no secret that I am a lover of almost every edition of Upper Deck's kid-focused Collector's Choice line of cards.  In fact, my hobby revival can probably be credited in a fairly big way to Collector's Choice - I discovered a box of the stuff cheap years later and bought it on a whim.  The rest, as they say, is history.

In terms of this particular Barry Larkin card, what can I say?  I love it!  The borderless design was reserved only for stars in the set - and since Larkin was coming off of an All-Star season in 1996, the borderless design was fitting for him.  The front image on the card is also nice - I don't have many (any?) others with Larkin showing that sort of emotion.  Well, either that or he is ooing and ahhhing over some hot lady over in row 12.  Either way, it's a unique photo.

The back of the card features a much more standard shot of Larkin fielding but that's alright since you also get full career statistics (yay!) plus a trivia question that goes with the team (though not the player).  Finish that off with a team specific color scheme and you have a winning product on your hands, whether designed for kids or not.  I love it!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Group Break in Review: Box #4 Highlights (A Negative Parallel plus a Mike Trout Relic)!

We are now ready to take a look at the beginning of the second half of the case!  Here is what box #4 brought us...

Box #4 highlights:

Our buybacks this time included a red stamp (Garber) and a silver stamp (Maddux).

The silver stamps are supposed to be scarce but this is the second such silver stamp that we've pulled in the case.  Either way, having a 1991 Topps card as a buyback still strikes me as silly.

Speaking of silly, here's the Wacky Packages sticker.

I like sushi so this is probably my favorite of the stickers that I've seen so far.  Even so, it's not enough to make me want to buy any Wacky Packages packs...sorry Topps.

Moving on to the rainbow foil parallels...

I think the Freddie Freeman is the best of the bunch, at least in terms of image choice.  Getting Weaver and Victor M. in there helped with the name recognition.

Our gold parallels numbered only three this time around - though one was a Conforto rookie for the Mets.

As usual, all gold parallels are numbered to the year of the set (so in this case all are numbered out of 2016).  We also pulled a serially numbered black parallel for the Orioles.

The black parallels are numbered out of 65 and are seeded 1:17 packs.  That wasn't our rarest parallel this time around though - that honor goes to our first Negative parallel of the case.

That's Joe Ross of the Nationals - and the Negative parallels are seeded 1:22 packs.  I can't imagine any trying to complete a full set of Negative parallel cards!  It should be noted that the Negative parallels are NOT serially numbered despite being seeded at a much tougher rate than either the gold or black parallels.  Weird.

And, finally, the hits.

Our autograph goes to the Phillies.

I admit that I know very little about Aaron Nola - but I'm going out on a limb and saying that this probably isn't the best possible autograph out there.  Even so, I'm happy to see another claimed team get in on the baseball card love so for me this card is a winner!

Speaking of winners, the Cardinals landed their second relic of the break in this box - this time a jersey card of Matt Holliday.

Not bad for St. Louis!

And finally, the manurelic this time around is Mike Trout.

Yeah, that's pretty solid.  Congrats Play at the Plate for another great pull!

That does it for Box #4.  While this box had some nice things, I don't think it quite lived up to most of the other boxes so far.  I know for sure that it doesn't live up to Box #5 - you'll just have to wait and see to find out why!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Group Break in Review: Box #3 Highlights (A Super Short Print - 1:250 Jumbo Packs)!

I've already shown all of the highlights from our first two group break jumbo boxes out of the 2016 Topps Series 1 case.  Today, it is time to look at box #3!

Box #3 highlights:

Once again, we begin with the buyback cards.  This time around we got a red stamp (limited) and a silver stamp (scarce).

The silver stamped buybacks are supposedly the second hardest type to find (only the gold stamped 1/1 cards are a tougher pull).  Getting a silver stamp on a good player (Glavine) makes this buyback that much sweeter - a nice pull for the Braves for sure.  Speaking of the Braves, the other buyback is probably only known as a Braves card (since it features Chipper Jones and three other guys who never really did all that much).  Even so, it'll be randomized among all four teams at the end of the break.

Next, our requisite sticker - this time for Boston.

I feel like there are two or three different ideas in play on that sticker...but none of them seem to gel together to form a cohesive whole.  I guess I'm just not a fan of the Wacky Packages line of stickers.

Moving on to things I do like, the rainbow parallels!  We pulled another five (as expected) in box #3 including Adam Eaton hitting a baseball at a smoke monster.

Like the previous box, Box #3 also produced four gold parallels (numbered out of 2016).

Obviously the Yankees did best here with two of the four, but still all four are pretty nice.  I like the design of the gold parallels this year a lot more than in recent years' past.  Kudos to Topps for that.

We didn't pull any other rarer parallels in this box, but we did find one other super rare card.  In fact, it's so rare it is called a Super Short Print!

That's Miguel Sano of the Twins with a Super Short Print version of his base card.  The SSPs are seeded 1:250 Jumbo Packs...That's crazy!  Play at the Plate ended up claiming the Twins so I suspect he'll be happy with this one.

Finally, our three hits beginning with the autograph.

The Angels were also claimed by Play at the Plate, so I'm thinking he is loving box #3.  Like the other autographs we've found, the Calhoun is a sticker.  Even so, the design is nice enough that I can forgive the use of stickers.

Our relic is our first bat relic of the break - and it goes to the perpetually unclaimed Florida Marlins.

I guess I'm happy to get a relic for my collection...but seriously, where are the Marlin collectors?!  And yes, the relic came "cracked" out of the pack.

And finally, our manurelic - another team pin.

And yes, once again I'm stuck with the card since the Blue Jays also went unclaimed.  I won't complain bout this one though, I like it.

That finished off the first half of the case.  We've done quite well so far - two SPs, one SSP, and a whole lot of other great stuff.  What will the second half hold?  Well, I actually know since I already busted the whole case but if you haven't watched the video you'll just have to wait and find out!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Delivery Time! Trade with Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out

I recently completed my first trade with Jared from Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out.  Jared wanted some of my Topps Heritage cards and in return he helped me out with a couple of sets that have been languishing on my want list for quite some time.

First, a single card from the 2000 Metal set.

That's Eric Munson - a card that I know I had pulled at least once in the emerald parallel version...but his base card has eluded for over 15 years.  Now he's all mine!

The rest of the PWE (which was jam packed) was cards from my 2001 Topps Stadium Club want list.  Jared managed to find 17 cards which I needed...bringing the PWE total to 18 cards for the cost of a single stamp.  Awesome!!

Also, did you notice that I needed Eric Munson in the Stadium Club set too?  Sheesh, that guy is elusive.

In addition to the above Stadium Club cards, Jared also included a trio of cards that were "less than perfect."  He wrote a note saying that he wasn't sure how particular I was in terms of condition - and while the answer is "not at all" when dealing with my 1889 Allen & Ginter Fish set...I'm quite a bit more fussy when it comes to modern cards.  However, I do know that some of you like collecting misprints (and miscut) cards - so if any of these strikes your fancy let me know!

Two of the cards clearly suffer from printing issues while the Offerman is crimped along the bottom.

Sort of unfortunate for me since all three cards represent needs for my set...but I'm too picky I guess!

Many thanks Jared - and for anyone who might want to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!