Monday, May 04, 2015

Group Break FINAL CALL (Plus another bonus pack)

Today's Monday which means the five group break boxes are due to arrive at my house.  While I don't expect the mail to be delivered until later this afternoon, I would like to offer up one more call for people to join the break.  As of the time I wrote this post (last night), there are still 9 remaining slots (go here to see the full list).  Any unclaimed teams will be going to me so claim away!

Next, let's get to the bonus pack.  I like throwing in some extras as we go along with my group breaks - this is actually the third video I've done with bonus packs for this particular group break already.  In fact, most of the teams already have at least one card and we haven't even begun the real break yet!


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Barry Larkin Collection 362: 1996 Topps - #293

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Topps
Card number:  293

The 1996 Topps set might be my least favorite Topps set since I've been alive.  The front of the card features a too-small team logo in the corner and a too-large gray scale image of the player's face at the bottom.  It really bugs me that the face at the bottom is the same image (horribly cropped) as in the main part of the card.  Even worse, this is a terribly unflattering photo of Larkin who appears to be playing in a sea of astroturf.  Nothing about this card screams baseball to just screams.

On the back, you get a way-too-difficult-to-read blue box with career statistics and then an overpoweringly green home plate image upon which an itty-bitty image of Larkin is superimposed.  It looks disjoint - and all the greens and blues on this card make it feel decidedly un-Reds like.  Heck, even the card number is tougher than necessary to read since Topps hid it below the line with the player's position.

This is easily one of the worst Larkin cards from the 1990s...and that's saying something if you take a look at some of the other cards in my collection!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Group Break: More Bonus Packs!

I sold a few more group break slots (special thanks to Wes in particular) so here are a few more group break bonus packs!  According to the package tracking, the box holding the actual group break boxes should arrive at my house on Monday (and I'm off all day so I'll be able to get started right away if all goes well)!

 For now though, here are three more bonus packs for you to enjoy!

By the way, it's not too late to sign up for the group break - go here to check out the available teams!

Group Break Sign-Ups: ONLY 13 SLOTS REMAIN - Yankees, Giants, White Sox, Indians, Rangers, Blue Jays, Padres, D-Backs, and More! Prices Start at $20!

My third group break of 2015 is scheduled to begin in earnest this coming Monday when the following five boxes are delivered:

  • 2015 Topps Museum
  • 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen
  • 2015 Topps Opening Day
  • 2015 Panini Diamond Kings
  • 2015 Bowman

In addition to the above boxes, I'll be throwing in a few extras just for fun.  In fact, I already opened up the first two of the bonus packs here for the group break!

Before the break kicks off for real (and before I have to close sign-ups), I am hoping to sell at least a couple more slots.  Which slots remain?

$35 Team Slots:
New York Yankees -
San Francisco Giants -

$30 Team Slots:
Chicago White Sox -
Cleveland Indians -
Texas Rangers -

$25 Team Slots:
Florida Marlins -
Kansas City Royals -
Minnesota Twins -
Oakland Athletics -
Tampa Bay Rays -
Toronto Blue Jays -

$20 Team Slots:
Arizona Diamondbacks -
San Diego Padres -

Please go here to sign up!

Barry Larkin Collection 361: 1996 Fleer Emotion XL - #165

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Fleer Emotion XL
Card number:  165

The mid-90s were a time of great trial and error by the various baseball card companies.  Other than perhaps Pacific, I don't think any card company took as many risks as Fleer did - sometimes they panned out while other times they ended up as total flops.  For the Emotion XL set, I don't think the set itself is great but it cannot be denied that the paper frame idea would go on to have a long life thanks to more recent (and more popular) sets like Topps Gypsy Queen!

I actually kind of like the card design - my beef is with the word that Fleer chose to represent some of the players.  In Larkin's case, he was given the word Craftsman which is 1)  NOT an emotion and 2) Not really how I ever pictured Larkin.  Larkin wasn't a crafty, wily veteran in 1996...instead he was a superstar talent with a flair for the dramatic...not exactly craftsman-like.

On the flips side, I think the write-up of Larkin on the back of the card is one of my favorite descriptions of Barry on any card:  "Does everything well."

Most of us can only wish our baseball card (or tombstone) reads that way some day!