Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 19 and 20

Box total so far:  189.
If all goes well, the box total will climb up and over the 200 mark with these two packs.  Only one way to know for sure though - let's add 'em up!

Pack 19:
109.  Ian Kinsler
125.  Hideki Matsui
158.  Mark Teixeira (-1 Yankee crap)
181.  Tyler Colvin
191.  Justin Morneau
307.  Akinori Iwamura (+2 short print)
TDH15.  Manny Ramirez (+1)
National Animals:
NA17.  Camel  (+2)

Pack total:  4 points
Meh, not going to cross the 200 point line with crappy effort like that.

Pack 20:
2.  Evereth Cabrera
49.  Jenrry Mejia
199.  Summer Sanders
248.  Jason Marquis
269.  A.J. Burnett (-1 for being a that's lucky it is only a 1 point penalty for the door punching fool)
302.  Daric Barton (+2 short print)
TDH49.  Justin Morneau (+1)
Ad back mini:
347.  Orlando Cabrera (I love multiple scoring cards:  +6 ad back short print and +1 mini of my favorite team = +7 points)

Pack total:  9 points
Not bad I guess.  That Yankee kept from reaching the 10 point pack goal though.

Box total so far:  202 points!
Yes, 200 points crossed.  Now it's time to separate the men from the boys (or something like that).  Still four pack left to do some serious damage to the leaderboard...  Stay tuned.

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Pack 18 (Third Hit)

Box total so far:  178 points

Pack 18:
18.  Jose Lopez
80.  Will Venable
91.  Carlos Zambrano (-1 for being surly)
245.  Michael Dunn
TDH23.  Dan Haren (+1)
Ad back mini:
292.  Chris Pettit (+2)

AGR-Mark Reynolds (+8)

Pack total:  11 points

Box total so far:  189 points
The box is now 3/4 of the way complete and I'm tantalizingly close to 200 points.  However, I've exhausted all three promised unless there is a fourth hit hiding in the box this particular box probably won't be crowned champion despite the box topper!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 16 and 17

Box total so far:  160 points

Pack 16:
7.  Ryan Howard (+2 points)
101.  Mark Buehrle
189.  Howie Kendrick
201.  Pablo Sandoval
219.  Adam Wainwright
TDH57.  Miguel Tejada (+1)
Baseball Sketch:
AGHS2.  Mark Buehrle (+3 points)
Ad back mini:
184.  Jake Peavy (+2 points, ad back)

Pack total:  8 points

Pack 17:
64.  Josh Beckett
78.  Leonardo Da Vinci
98.  Johnny Cueto (+4 for my favorite player - about time too!)
147.  Cristian Guzman
154.  Juan Francisco (+1 for being a Red)
334.  Brett Myers (+2, short print)
TDH37.  Ichiro (+1)
Ad card
National Animals:
NA37.  Komodo Dragon (+2 points)

Pack total:  10 points
Not too bad, I think 10 points average is a good goal for any pack without a hit for a championship box.

Box total so far:  178 points
The goal of 200 is getting closer and closer!

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 14 and 15

Box total so far:  146 points

It's getting close to crunch time.  This box started strong but can it finish the job? 

Pack 14:
79.  James Loney
100.  Matt LaPorta
155.  Carlos Carrasco
176.  Preston Pittman
226.  Brian McCann
TDH35.  Josh Johnson (+1)
Baseball Sketch:
AGHS14.  Mark Teixeira (+3 for the sketch but -1 for being a stupid Yankee = +2 points)
Monsters of the Mesozoic:
MM12.  Iguanodon (+3 points)

Pack total:  6 points
Once again, another six point pack...blech.

Pack 15:
9.  Kelly Kulick
163.  Raul Ibanez
209.  Alex Gordon
225.  Mark Teahen
252.  Matt Garza
321.  Carlos Gomez (+2 short print)
TDH53.  Nick Markakis (+1 and +2 favorite = +3 points)
349.  Yuniesky Betancourt (+3 points for being a short print regular mini)

Pack total:  8 points

Box total so far:  160 points
At this point in my first pack, I was at only 122 points and that box ended up with 213.6 I guess I still like my chances!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 12 and 13

Box total so far:  134
The box has been pretty decent so far.  IF I were somehow able to continue at the current pace, I'd have a box worth almost 260 points.  Of course, that's highly doubtful since the majority of the points came from the box topper hit (and the first two relics were relative duds).  No matter, I'm still extremely happy with the box, no matter what else is in it.  Speaking of cards in the box, let's keep the packs rollin'.

Pack 12:
28.  Felipe Lopez
55.  Esmil Rogers
72.  Erick Aybar
81.  Cliff Lee
235.  Carlos Guillen
271.  King Tut
TDH8.  Yunel Escobar (+1)
Monsters of the Mesozoic:
MM19.  Nomingia  (+3 points)

I used to be a pretty big dinosaur buff when I was a kid...but even I've never heard of Nomingia.  According to the card back, Nomingia was an almost six foot long bird like dinosaur.  That'd be quite the sight wouldn't it?

Pack total:  4 points
Saved by a dinosaur I guess.  Sheesh, the march to 200 points got a heckuva lot slower didn't it?!

Pack 13:
4.  Prince Fielder (I thought for sure he'd be a favorite player but alas, he's not)
150.  Grady Sizemore
187.  Jair Jurrjens
197.  Johnny Damon (-1 for a crappy book)
211.  Johnny Strange (Is it strange that I got two Johnny's in a row? *Cymbal crash*)
TDH48.  Matt Holliday (+1 and +2 = +3 total)
Baseball Sketch:
AGHS12.  Troy Tulowitzki (+3 points)
Lords of Olympus:
LO18.  Eros  (+3 points)

Pack total:  8 points

Box total so far:  146 points

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Pack 11 (Second Hit)

Box total so far:  120 points

Pack 11:
61.  Michael Cuddyer
96.  Roy Halladay (+2 favorite)
168.  Rickie Weeks
243.  Jim Zapp (+2, Negro Leaguer)
TDH39.  Torii Hunter (+1)
70.  Joey Votto (+1 for being a mini Cincinnati Red)

AGR-JSA.  Jeff Samardzija  (+8 points)

Well, it's certainly not the most exciting relic ever - but I like that cloth is bright blue instead of the usual (and boring) white or gray.  My march toward 200 points continues...

Pack total:  14 points

Box total so far:  134 points

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 09 and 10

Box total so far:  104 points

Pack 09:
61.  Michael Cuddyer
104.  Mahlon Duckett (+2, Negro Leaguer)
115.  Trevor Hoffman
168.  Rickie Weeks
202.  Aramis Ramirez
348.  Asdrubal Cabrera (+2, short print)
TDH67.  Josh Beckett (+1)
Ad card
A&G back mini:
266.  Adam LaRoche  (+2 points)

Pack total:  7 points

Pack 10:
68.  Betelgeuse (+1 because it's big)
84.  Elvis Andrus
110.  Sherlock Holmes (Looking at the rules, it appears only the mini Holmes is worth points)
153.  Jay Bruce (+1 for being a Red!)
228.  Chase Utley (+2 favorite player)
284.  Dustin Richardson
TDH58.  Dan Uggla (+1)
World's Greatest Wordsmiths:
WGWS1.  Homer (+4 points)

Pack total:  9 points

Box total so far:  120 points
I'm now averaging 12 points per pack (thanks almost entirely to the boxtopper "bonus").  Even so, one more decent card should send this box close to the 200 point mark (which seems to mandatory for a winning Gint-a-Cuffs box).

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 07 and 08

Box total so far:  91 points
If all goes well, my box total goes over 100 with the next two packs.  Then I'll be on pace for a 200+ point box.

Pack 07:
16.  Carl Pavano
76.  Joakim Soria
180.  Gordon Beckham
233.  Rick Ankiel
283.  Hank Presswood (+2 points, Negro League player)
304.  Carlos Pena (+2 short print)
TDH42.  Jorge Posada (+1 but -1 gives a net of 0 points.  Stupid Yankees)
Ad card
Black bordered mini:
285.  Alex Rodriguez (+3 black border -1 Yankee cheater = +2 points)

Pack total:  6 points
Ha, back to the typical six point pack I see.  That puts me at 97 total points - as long as the next pack nets me at least three points I'll be happy.

Pack 08:
31.  Miguel Montero
96.  Roy Halladay
142.  Ubaldo Jimenez
162.  Juan Pierre
177.  Pedro Feliz
243.  Jim Zapp (+2 Negro Leaguer)
TDH61.  James Shields (+1)
Sailors of the Seven Seas:
SSS4.  Vasco Nunez De Balboa (+4 points)

Pack total:  7 points
Woot!  I crossed the six point mark in a pack without a true hit.  Awesome.

Box total so far:  104 points

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Pack 06 (First Hit)

Box total so far:  78 points

Pack 06:
12.  Jesus Flores
59.  Ivory Crockett
293.  Troy Tulowitzki
300.  Nolan Reimold
TDH29.  Adam Jones (+1 and +2 = +3)
A&G mini:
181.  Tyler Colvin (+2)

AGR-SD.  Stephen Drew  (+8)

Pack total:  13 points

Box total so far:  91
Not too shabby, almost at 100 points at the quarter mark of the box.  I fully expect the scoring to level off some since there are no more huge box toppers to pull, but still, not bad at all!

I see I didn't score the Stephen Drew card correctly - I will correct the final score on my last post (since I have the entire box now busted, scanned, and in the post queue.  From here on out, add 4 more points to my box total!

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 04 and 05

Box total so far:  67 points

Pack 04:
25.  Max Scherzer
116.  Galileo Galilei 
137.  Ryan Zimmerman
170.  Adrian Gonzalez (+2, favorite)
171.  Michael Young
224.  Ian Stewart
TDH46.  Yovani Gallardo (+1)
Lords of Olympus:
LO22.  Nemesis  (+3)

Pack total:  +6 points
What'dya know, another six point pack. 

Pack 05:
77.  Ricky Romero
182.  Chris Carpenter
193.  Tony Hoard & Rory
229.  Franklin Gutierrez
214.  Derek Lowe
335.  Jonathan Broxton (+2, short print)
TDH36.  Hanley Ramirez (+1 and +2 = +3 total)
Ad card
Regular mini:
131.  Tyler Flowers

Pack total:  +5 points
Guess I jumped the gun a bit complaining about six point packs huh?  Sheesh.  The only good news is that I know there are some better cards to come...

Box total so far:  78 points
Still averaging 15.6 points per pack thanks to the huge box topper totals!  Of course, all of the packs opened so far haven't exactly been world beaters...but there are hits still to be found - and points to be scored!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Packs 02 and 03

Box total so far:  59 points.  Thanks to an amazing box topper, this box is on pace to do quite well.  Can I keep up the high scoring as I rip through the packs?  Let's see by busting packs 2 and 3.

Pack 02:

82.  Justin Upton
114.  Milton Bradley (-1 for being a douche)
152.  The Parthenon (I visited the Parthenon last summer - awesome place that I'd go back to again in a second if I could!  Notice the blue sky...Greece was HOT HOT HOT!)

239.  Mike Cameron
268.  Brad Kilby
317.  Alex Rios (+2 short print)
THD12.  Andre Ethier (+1)
Ad back:
348.  Asdrubal Cabrera (+6 points, A&G short print)

Pack total:  8 points
Not the best, but certainly not terrible.  Considering my first Gint-a-Cuffs box had packs consistently around 6 points, I won't complain.

Pack 03:
15.  Carlos Quentin
21.  Ryan Kennelly
120.  Nick Swisher (-1 Yankee)
138.  Javier Vasquez (-1 another Yankee)
200.  Lance Berkman
282.  Tyson Ross
TDH25.  Ryan Zimmerman (+1)
154.  Juan Francisco (+1 mini Red)

Total points:  0
Ouch!  Stupid Yankees.  That's all I have to say about that.

Box total so far:  67 points

Gint-a-Cuffs - Box 02: Boxtopper and Pack 01

I'm currently on vacation, so I apologize in advance for my slow (if any) response to any comments left on the posts for the next 10 days or so.  With that said, it's time to crack my second Gint-a-Cuffs box - and this one starts off with a doozy!  Also, since by the time you read this post everyone will be sick to death of the same scans of the same cards, I'll be scanning the entire pack each time and posting it.  At least that way you get to see some different cards at times. 

Box loader:
N43BR-NM.  Nick Markakis Relic
Hand-numbered 18/25

If I understand the scoring, this sucker adds up quickly:
+20 relic + 10 favorite player N43 = +30
x 1.7 for being a favorite player hit = 51 points!

This is easily one of the best cards I've ever pulled from a box - and it's exceedingly rare...relics come 1 in every 213 boxes!  Alas, by the time you actually read this post, it will have gone up on eBay (and hopefully been sold and shipped).  I'd love to keep it, but part of my promise to myself when I bought my case was that anything good that I got was to be sold off until I made my money back.  I did get a few good cards, but I'm not convinced I'll get all of my money back - we'll see I guess. 

But enough of that, back to Gint-a-Cuffs and the first pack:

Pack 01:
17.  Johan Santana
57.  Jacoby Ellsbury (+2 favorite)
105.  Nicolaus Copernicus
256.  Rick Porcello
265.  Kendry Morales (+2 favorite)
311.  Chone Figgins (+2 short print)
TDH69.  Alexei Ramirez (+1)
221.  Mike Leake (+1 mini of a Red)

Total points:  8 points

Box total so far:  59 points

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dusty Becoming Yogi?

The Reds lead the National League in hitting, runs, hits, grand slams, RBI and slugging percentage. Yet they’ve been shut out 12 times, most in the major leagues.

“That is strange,” Baker said. “I guess when we good we really good. When we don’t score, we don’t score at all.”
Baker is quickly trying to usurp Yogi Berra as the master of saying nothing by saying something.

Blog Scheduling...and Some Smack Talk

A quick note about my blog.  I will be leaving the country for about two weeks - so all commenting (and replying to emails) will cease until I get back (approx. August 7).  There are many of you that I've agreed to trades with, your packages are all in the mail.  There are a couple more of you with whom I've talked to but we didn't actually agree to any particular trade, for those in that category, your cards will be set aside for when I get back.  If you are still interested at that point, let me know!

However, just because I'll be gone doesn't mean my blog has to sit around being boring.  Nope, not at all.  In fact, I've busted my second Gint-a-Cuffs box - and all the packs are scheduled to be posted throughout the first week and half that I'm gone.  I actually have at least one post scheduled for every day I'm gone (except, at the moment, that last couple of days).  I simply didn't want my blog to go "dry" in my absence I guess!

And finally, a bit of smack talk.

My first Gint-a-Cuffs box score was:  213.6 points
My second box will beat that score - easily.  That's all I'm going to say about that for now - well, that and make sure you check my blog tomorrow morning to watch my box get off to a flying fast start!

Until I get back, start saving those mini cards for me - and any other cards on my want list!  I still have a TON of Allen & Ginter for trade!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Mysterious Case of Chipper Jones and His Broken Back.

The location:

Two packs of 2010 Allen & Ginter.

The victim:

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves

The charge:

Attempted homicide by industrial pack cutters.

The verdict:

Guilty as charged.

I wonder if this would make it into Dayf's mutant mini set?  Obviously it's a 1/1 sick mojo hit pull of the year Strasburg-esque money card.  Perhaps I'd part with it for a small house or a flotilla of yachts.

Delivery Time! Trade with Nick from For Card's Sake

As many of you now know, I'm heading out Monday morning for a vacation overseas (Australia, New Zealand, and then Hawaii on the way back for those curious).  Thus, I've been furiously completing a bunch of trades prior to my leaving - one such trade has already materialized in my mailbox, this one from Nick over at For Card's Sake.

I sent Nick an A&G card plus a bunch of Yankees, in return he knocked a couple more Allen & Ginter mini cards off my want list (and also included a bunch of Reds)!  Let's take a peek:

2010 Allen & Ginter:
Monsters of the Mesozoic: 
MM7.  Spinosaurus

Lords of Olympus:
LO19.  Helios

There's a decent chance I'll have the vast majority of the mini insert cards on the way to my mailbox while I'm overseas!  It'll be exciting to return home and see exactly how close I end up to completing all the mini sets!

However, the package wasn't just the two A&G cards - there were also a bunch of Reds including some of my favorites:

2008 UD Timeline Autograph:
125.  Paul Janish

I love the UD Timeline set (and I've gotten a bit closer to completing that as well lately), so this card makes a great addition to my set.

Nick also sent over some more Reds, including the three below that I've never even seen before.

And last, but certainly not least, a few more cards for my Barry Larkin Collection:

Thanks a lot Nick!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade - check out my want list and make an offer (but remember, I won't be able to get back to you until around August 6th or 7th).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Blog Milestone

I was doing my daily visits of all the blogs in my blog roll when I saw a question posed on the Number 5 Type Collection blog.  Essentially, the question was "how do you track your visitors"? 

For myself, I've had a little counter on my blog since the beginning thanks to SiteMeter (a free counter).  Using SiteMeter, I am able to see how many visitors have looked at my blog, the total number of page views, and (often most interestingly), how did each visitor arrive at my blog.

While looking at my blog statistics, I noticed that at some point today my humble little blog crossed over the 100,000 page view mark!

Obviously, I never expected to reach that milestone with my drivel.  Who would have thought that a bunch of trade posts, plenty of box openings, and occasionally, completely random topics would generate that sort of interest?  I guess that's the power of the Internet! 

In fact, looking back, it was in February that I passed the 45,000 visitor mark...and now I'm up and over 64,000, soon to be 65,000 visitors!

One of the "goals" I've had for my blog is to have about 3,000 visits per month.  That translates roughly to 100 visitors a day (and provides me with ample opportunity to attract new trade partners for my card want lists)!  With the onslaught of Allen & Ginter (plus Gint-a-Cuffs), my monthly totals this month are on pace to shatter my personal blog records (I've never had 4,000 visitors...though I came terribly close in both April and May of this year).  I know my totals are still minuscule compared to the bigger (and admittedly better) blogs out there, but I'm proud of what I've cultivated in my little nook of the blogger universe.  And for that, I thank all of you - whether you are a first time visitor or a long time reader!

Delivery Time! Cards from Ron over in Section 36

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Ron over at Section 36 saying he had a couple of cards off my want list that he wanted to send me.  Boy did Ron undersell what he was about to send!

Let's dig in!

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Extinct Creatures:
EA3.  Xerces Blue

The highlight of the package was probably this little butterfly.  In fact, I've had a terrible time tracking these extinct creature cards down, they are simply much too rare to usually be able to find!  I did manage to pull a couple myself, and I got one other one in a trade - so I'm now only missing card EA1 which is Velociraptor - unfortunately, that's probably the card most people want to hang on to simply because it's so cool!  No matter, I'm still extremely happy to get this particular extinct creature!!

2009 Topps Heritage:
467.  Pittsburgh Pirates Coaches
508.  Alex Cora
699.  Gordon Beckham
720.  Russell Branyan

I've really soured on the Topps Heritage brand, so much so that I didn't buy any of this year's iteration.  However, I'm still actively looking for last year's set (which I really like still).  Thanks to the three short prints (and one base card) that Ron sent, I'm that much closer to completing the hard-to-complete set!

2008 UD Goudey:
327.  Terry Bradshaw

Wow!  It seems like I haven't gotten a 2008 Goudey card in over a year (probably not true but I'm not going back through my posts to verify it one way or the other, are you?  I didn't think so.)  (And yes, that's a parenthetical thought that spans two sentences wedged into one.  All you English types can thank me for starting new trends that you need to break your students out of.)

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter:
Team Orange:
TO6.  Minty Beans

I don't care that 'ol Minty is fake, that's basically the best name I've ever heard of.  I'm now only missing nine cards from the entire 2008 Allen & Ginter set....
Ancient Icons: #6, 17, 18

Team Orange: #1, 4, 10
Regular Minis: #221, 290, 308

2008 Upper Deck:
145.  Lee Gardner

Why is Gardner an exciting card to get?  Because he's the last card I needed for the set - it's been a loooooong time that I've been working on this set - and I busted way too much of this product to have it take so long.  No matter, thanks to Ron it's finally done!  Now it's onto the insert parallels...speaking of them:

StarQuest Uncommon:
SQ-36:  Carlos Beltran
SQ-43.  Derrek Lee
SQ-46.  Ichiro

StarQuest Super Rare:
SQ-45.  Felix Hernandez

If that wasn't enough hard-to-find cards knocked off my want lists, Ron also threw in a 2009 Allen & Ginter relic card of Jay Bruce and a 1987 Topps Barry Larkin rookie card.

Thanks a lot Ron - and as always, if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Want Your Ginter Minis, Relics, & Autos! Do You Want This?

Editor's note:  Due to the upcoming vacation that I'm going on, ALL trades for the items below must be finalized by tomorrow (July 23) night.  (Saturday morning is the last chance for me to get to the post office until after I return from vacation.)

I'm lookin for any cards off my want list.  Remember, grayed out cards are ones that are supposed to be arriving in already agreed upon trades.  I'm interested in acquiring non-grayed out cards from my want list!

In return, I have the following up for trade:

2008 Allen & Ginter:
AGR-CAM.  Carlos Marmol - Cubs
AGR-BR2.  Brian Roberts - Orioles
AGR-MH.  Mike Hampton - Braves
AGR-MDC.  Matt Capps - Pirates
AGR-CK.  Casey Kotchman - Angels
AGR-MR.  Manny Ramirez - Red Sox

World Leaders:
WL 21 Bertie Ahern - Ireland
WL 33.  Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said - Oman
WL 39.  Thabo Mbeki - South Africa

Short print mini:
349.  Frank Morris

2009 Topps Heritage:
CHR191.  Derek Holland - Rangers (#ed 0831/1960)

American Heritage:
C6.  Emily Dickenson - Poet (#ed 344/1776)

Interested?  Don't forget, I also have a whole bunch of "have for trade" lists up on the side of my blog -->  so check those out as well!  Check out my want list and make an offer!

Delivery Time! Surprise cards from Kerry from Cards on Cards

I may have gotten carried away with 2010 Allen & Ginter (and the accompanying Gint-a-Cuffs) lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been setting up trades.  Of course, that also doesn't mean people can't randomly send me cool stuff - like Kerry from Cards on Cards.  Now, Kerry may root for the wrong NL Central team in red, but that's ok.  He and I seem to have fallen into a great routine where we randomly check eachother's blog and send surprise packages back and forth.  In fact, the last four mailings in our trading history have all been surprise packages. 

Let's see what's in store for me this time!

First up, a card off my want list.
Specifically, a 2008 UD Timeline:
344.  Max Scherzer

I'm ever so slowly getting closer and closer to having the UD Timeline set complete (only missing: #214, 228, 232, 235, 248, 262, 274, 276, 279, 288, 300, 302, 304, 308, 309, 332, 334, 336, 337, 339, 340, 341, 345, 347, 356, 361, 363, 366, 373, 374, 375).  If I ever complete the set, it will be one of my biggest accomplishments in card collecting considering how many short prints there are in the thing!

Kerry also sent me a few Barry Larkin cards, none of which I previously had (at least, I don't think so).  Each will get their own special post in my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection series but here's a sneak peek.  Speaking of my Larkin Collection, I really ought to get back to posting my Larkins...I've got quite the pile accumulated that is simply waiting to be scanned and written about!

Finally, Kerry threw in some assorted Reds.  Here are a few of my favorites from the pile.

Thanks a lot Kerry!  And, as always, if anyone else would like to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Topps Responds (and Cares) About Customer Issues

It wasn't all that long ago that I opened up a dud case of 2010 Allen & Ginter - one that was full of damaged cards, missing minis, missing hits, and no rip card.  I sent Topps an email which they responded with a generic message saying to send in the damaged cards, packs, boxes, etc.  Well, I did exactly as they asked and waited. 

At this point, I didn't expect much.  I was hopeful they'd replace the damaged base cards and provide me with my missing relic (which I assumed would be a nobody).  I had some hope they'd provide me with some random mini cards to make up for all the packs that didn't have one, but again, I didn't expect much there.  Finally, I figured I had less than a 10% chance of them providing me the missing rip card since I don't know how one can prove it was missing (even after sending in all the boxes and wrappers).  I did, however, know which box should have had the rip card in it (the box with only two hits since the rip card counts as the third hit).  I ended up packaging all the wrappers and damaged cards in the box that should have had the rip card in it for Topps to have.

After only a couple days wait (less than a week I believe from when I mailed the package), I had a giant yellow envelope waiting for me on my porch.  Recognizing the town (Duryea, PA), I knew it must be my replacement cards from Topps and eagerly ripped it open.

Inside the big padded yellow envelope were two smaller padded envelopes (both sealed).  Choosing one at random, I opened it up to find.a box with enough tape on it to seal an elephant in a box...after struggling to open it for a good couple of minutes (I didn't have scissors handy), I finally cracked it open to find replacements of all the damaged base cards.

In addition to the base cards, there was also a penny sleeve with replacements for the two damaged minis I sent in to Topps.

Happy with the replacements, I then opened the other sealed packing envelope - and as I did, out popped a whole bunch of small, paper, yellow envelopes.

Opening them in order, I first discovered a host of "random" minis.  It turned out that all the "random" minis were actually regular back minis (instead of a mix of inserts, short prints, etc.) however, since I'm trying to complete the regular mini set, I wasn't disappointed by this at all.

The next three yellow envelopes revealed three relics - I suppose as sort of an olive branch to me from Topps.  The relics they sent me were the following:

AGR-BA.  Brett Anderson

AGR-JH.  Josh Hamilton

AGR-THE.  Todd Helton

Finally, I was down to the last envelope - and I figured I had one more relic (since it felt kind of thick and heavy).  As I opened it, I discovered that instead, Topps sent me:

That's right, they actually sent me the missing rip card!  Card RIP-RC60 of Kyle Blanks numbered 74/99.  Sure, Blanks isn't the most sought after guy for rip cards, but I don't care one bit.  I was extremely happy - and it was enough proof for me to realize that while Topps still has some serious collation and card condition issues, if the collector takes enough time to document and turn in all the requested materials, Topps goes above and beyond while fixing the problem(s).

Thank you Topps - and consider me a contented collector of your products once again.

Now the only question I have is:
What do I do with the rip card?  This is the third rip card I've gotten this year.  The first I ripped, pulled a Ryan Bruan mini and sold the Braun for about $45.00 and the torn rip card for about $5.00 (numbers are only estimates as I'm too lazy to log back into eBay to find the exact totals).  The second rip card I left unripped and sold it for $80.00.  What should I do with this one?!