Sunday, June 30, 2013

Continuing my 2013 Archives Box: Packs 4 - 6

I think it is time for me to continuing delving into my Archives box.  Will I find one of the two promised autos?

Pack 4:

This pack had a sticker card but I'm scanning the Altuve instead.  I believe Altuve is the only Astros' card in the set which I find appalling.  Every team should be represented by at least two cards in a 200 card set!

Pack 5:

The Miller is a short print which I needed - the Sandberg and Robinson are simply nice lookin' cards!

Pack 6:

Pack 6 featured a pair of my least favorite Cardinals (Molina and Freese).  I won't be scanning them.  Instead, you can stare at this redemption card that is seeded 1 per box.  For me, with no hobby shops near me, this is a wasted card.

I'm now done with one fourth of the box.  Still looking for the two promised hits but at least I've found a few new short prints for my set.  Good stuff so far, can't wait to see what else I get.  I hope you are enjoying opening the packs with me vicariously.

Topps Archives: Coming Down from the Hobby Box High!

Yesterday, I posted the start of my 2013 Topps Archives hobby box - and boy was it ever an amazing start!  There's virtually no way the packs could top the box topper, right?

Only one way to find out - start ripping!  Here's the first three packs since I like to spread out the opening of a box over multiple days!

Pack 1:

The highlight of the pack was this super green Stanton card.  Did they shoot his photo in front of a green screen and then forget to add in the background?!

Pack 2:

This pack had a pair of Reds' pitchers in Arroyo and Bailey.  The Kaline Tall Boy is also very nice - though again, a green background!  Must be a theme.

Pack 3:

The first short print out of the box, and luckily, it's one that I still need!  I'm planning on collecting the full Archives base set, including all 45 short prints.  I believe I'm at four short prints in my collection now.

As a trio, the packs weren't nearly as exciting as the box topper - but I still have no complaints since I landed a short print that I needed (plus a bunch of base cards).  So far, I'm really enjoying the Archives set!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Finally: A Hobby Box of 2013 Archives for Me! (MY BEST PULL EVER - probably)

It's finally time for me to open my own box of 2013 Topps Archives.  After cracking the three group break boxes (which were awesome boxes in my opinion), I was so inspired that I made an order for myself and purchased my own box.

The Archives box, along with the terrible Gypsy Queen box that I opened last week, are the first two major purchases that I've made for myself (in terms of cards) since last year's Allen & Ginter set.  I'm hopeful that my Archives box treats me quite a bit better than the GQ box did...if not, chances are I'm done buying myself boxes of cards!

Without any more delay (because I'm impatient), let's crack the box open!

The first thing I found when I opened up my box?  This little silver pack.

Now, based on the back of the box, there are four different box toppers.
1.  Autographed Scorecard Redemptions (1:153 boxes)
2.  Touched by Greatness Redemptions (1:178 boxes)
3.  1971 Topps Greatest Moments (1:8 boxes)
4.  1971 Topps Greatest Moments Autograph (1:178 boxes)

Based on the group break where we pulled the R.A. Dickey Greatest Moments autograph, I can safely rule out #4 (and, by extension #3).  Which mean, this should be something cool!

What did I get?  Drum roll...


This box is ALREADY much, much better than the Gypsy Queen box and I haven't even opened up a single promised pack yet...  Last year, the touched by greatness card was of Cal Ripken Jr. - no word yet on who this year's subject is.  I also haven't decided whether to hold the card or sell it on eBay while the goings are good (last two sold for about $450).

No matter what, wow!

I'm too excited right now to even bother opening up the regular packs, you'll have to wait another day for those.


Barry Larkin Collection 192: 1995 Select Certified - #27

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Select Certified
Card number:  27

This is one of the shiniest Barry Larkin cards that I own from 1995.  In fact, it's probably one of the shiniest Larkin cards I own period.  The Select Certified set was a high-end set for its time with a relatively low print run (only 56,000 and change were made of each base card).  There is also a full parallel set - called Mirror Gold but as of the time of my writing this post I don't own that card.

As for the card itself, it's kind of nice.  The front shows fingerprints too much for my liking but the back of the card is quite interesting.  Select went with the team-by-team statistical breakdown (ala Bowman of the early 90s) but did so in a much more colorful way.  Unfortunately, Larkin's statistics from the previous year weren't jaw dropping (only 9 home runs for instance) but it's still neat to see it broken down that way.  Of course, you couldn't do that today with all the interleague games on the schedule.

Friday, June 28, 2013

An Archives Blaster - Part 2 (good stuff!)

I started my first 2013 Topps Archives blaster this morning.  Now, let's finish it off as we celebrate the start of the weekend!

Pack 5:

The "highlight" of the pack was this Albert Pujols All-Star card.  Why the quotations are 'highlight'?  Well, I don't care much for Pujols so this isn't a great card for me.  I didn't have it yet though, so that's something I guess.

Pack 6:

This pack had one of the sticker inserts in it but they are too annoying to scan (my scanner always thinks they are four separate cards).  Instead, you get to look at Felix Hernandez because I like 1990 Topps.

Pack 7:

This is a retail only insert set - and I must admit, it's quite nice!  The Dual Fan Favorites are seeded 1:12 packs which means you get two for every three blasters (on average of course).  It is, by far, my favorite insert in the blaster (except for what is in the final pack)...

Pack 8:

I hit the big time with my blaster.  Ok, maybe not big time but a 1:62 pull is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it is an on card autograph!  I like this one a lot...and it probably means that this blaster was a better purchase than my 2013 Gypsy Queen box could have ever dreamed of being.  That's sad isn't it?

An Archives Blaster - Part 1

Although I recently completed a group break consisting of nothing other than Topps Archives, my appetite for the set hasn't quite been satiated.  In fact, the group break made me want to collect the set for myself - and what better way to start that than by busting a blaster of Archives?

Here's the first half since 8 packs is a lot to type up in one sitting.

Pack 1:

I pulled a Hyun-Jin Ryu base card (his rookie card) and this Lloyd Moseby short print.  One short print down...44 more to go!  Actually, that's not quite true since I got one short print from the group break.  Only 43 to go!

Pack 2:

This pack had three Giants in it (ugh) plus this Verlander All-Star card.  

Pack 3:

There's something weird about the Musial card, but I still kind of like it.  The Tall Boys are ok, though Pujols is probably one of the last players that I'd actually want for myself.  Of course, I had to scan the Votto - because, well, he's Votto!

Pack 4:

Pack 4 brings me my second short print of the blaster (short prints are seeded 1:4 packs so I won't be expecting any more in the blaster).  I have to admit, I don't really like the blurred look of the photo in this one.

Not a bad start to my collection (besides all the Reds that I had from the group break).  I have a hobby box of Archives to open as well, but as of the time I wrote this post I haven't yet touched the box.  One thing at a time you know!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: The Not-So-Thrilling Conclusion

The end of the box is here...and what a crap-tastic box it was.  I guess you all are probably happy the crappy box was for me and the great boxes were for the recent group break.  Oh least I'm getting closer to completing the Gypsy Queen base set.

Pack 22:

And there it is, three packs from the end we find the fourth and final hit of the box.  I waited all that time to get an autograph of freaking Michael Morse...and to make it worse, it sure looks like he signed it upside down...or at least uphill.  I'm not impressed.  Also, bonus points if you can make out any sort of Michael or Morse in that signature.  I didn't think so.

Pack 23:

The next kick in the proverbial nuts?  Pack 23 led off with another Cardinal and the mini AND one insert were both Nationals.  I think this is Topps' way of telling me to never buy Gypsy Queen again.

Pack 24:

Yep.  My $80.00 box ends with a single, crappy mini.

I did get the little mini box of 10 minis but my box didn't hold anything great (big shocker there, I know).  The variation minis don't even seem to sell on eBay - but I'll probably try regardless.  Might as well try to make a buck back or so on this pissy box.

Oh well - now to collate and see if I have any hope of completing the base set!

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 19 - 21

The box of Gypsy Queen is about to reach the end...and it's just as well as the box was basically a dud (at least in terms of hits).  I haven't collated the cards quite yet to see how I did in regards to collecting the set though (and that was the real goal of buying the box).  I can't collate until the packs are all ripped and written let's not waste any more time!

Pack 19:

Spoiler alert:  This is probably the best of the remaining packs...and that's including the one pack with a hit still.  I love the paper framed cards - I only wish they were a bit more common.  I also love getting mini Reds - probably the only minis that keep and, perhaps, try to collect!

Pack 20:

Does that McCutchen card feature a great photo or a terrible photo?  I can't decide.  On the one hand, the action is palpable...but on the other hand, there's a freakin' helmet in front of his face.

Pack 21:

If you are a big fan of pitchers, then this pack is for you.  Otherwise...meh.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Barry Larkin Collection 191: 1998 Zenith 5x7 - #Z51

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Zenith
Insert set:  5x7
Card number:  Z51

The '98 Zenith set is a confusing mess of large cards and small cards.  To the best of my knowledge, my particular Larkin is part of the regular 5x7 set.  I do not believe this is one of the parallel 5x7 cards, but I could be wrong about that.  If anyone has more information than what I could find here, please share it with me!

As for the card itself, what can I say?  It's big!  This isn't my only oversized Larkin card in my collection - but it might be my favorite.  The color scheme works well though I wish the bottom didn't look like a Cincinnati Bengals card.  The back of the card could use a bit of work - Zenith didn't do anything except print the text in a larger font.  A bit more creativity could have made this a special card.

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 16 - 18

I cheated.  I looked ahead.  I couldn't help it.  Up until this post, I opened a pack and then posted it, opened the next pack, posted it, etc.  But...after a string of dull packs I decided to rip until I hit my fourth and final promised hit.  I was holding out hope that it'd be something good...or at least something I could flip on eBay to help me recoup some of my costs.

Spoiler alert:  It wasn't.  In fact, I don't know if you could hand pick four worse hits than what this box yielded.  To say I'm disappointed is an understatement, at least as far as hits go.  It's times like this when I'm glad I'm a set collector first - and that I do this for fun, not money!  I'll still keep posting the packs like I've been doing, it's a fun way to get a little extra life out of the packs.

Pack 16:

I like the sliding Griffey Jr. card quite a bit though it looks like the slide hurt!

Pack 17:

Getting a mini of a legend is nice.  The Hernandez no-hitter card is also quite nice because the color scheme works!

Pack 18:

Just what was my fourth and final hit (that sucked)?  Well, I'm still posting the packs in the exact order I ripped 'em so you'll have to wait and see.  Or not.  Seriously, you won't miss much.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 13 - 15

I'm cruising right along with the box break...already into the second half!

Pack 13:

It would have been fitting if I got the Matt Cain regular base card in this pack as well (I didn't).

Pack 14:

You might think the three inserts/minis would be the highlight of the pack but you'd be least for me.  Pack 14 held a pair of Reds which makes me happier than any Jeter card ever could.

Pack 15:

Another pack without an insert, probably one of the base was a short print...but you know I'm too lazy to look up the list since all short prints are skip numbered and that drives me batty.

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 10 - 12

I've already found three of the four promised hits...and so far none have been impressive.  Is my box a total dud?  I sure hope not.  Luckily, I really bought the box so that I could get closer to completing the set so all is not lost quite yet.  Let's keep rippin' packs.

Pack 10:

I like the black minis quite a bit - and that Dawson photo makes for a sharp lookin' card.  The mini happens to be number 099/199.  A good pack to start the day off with!

Pack 11:

There wasn't anything interesting (to me) in pack 11...even the insert is pretty blah looking.

Pack 12:

I'm guessing Miguel Cabrera is a short print since he was in the "insert slot" in this pack.  If not, then I only got a single mini of note.  Lots of Cubs this time around!

With half the box now complete, the only "big" thing left to look for is the final promised autograph.  In terms of minis, I got the 1:15 packs black mini and I already lucked out with a 1:30 green and a 1:59 sepia mini.  Could I possibly find a 1:331 mini printing plate or, better, yet, a 1:594 wood mini or 1:2,969 leather mini?  At this point, I doubt it but I'm holding out hope!

Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 7 - 9

After about a year of opening absolutely nothing, I've gone a bit overboard on new products lately.  On the bright side, ripping packs sure is fun!

Pack 7:

I have to admit, I was really hoping that I'd get some sort of cool relic or autograph (like a dual auto or bat barrel since I've never pulled something like that).  Unfortunately, so far at least, that's not the case.  Nieuwenhuis is not a guy I know much about...which probably means he's not really a player that I need an autograph of.  The Bernadina is a Sepia tone mini numbered 04/50 which is kind of cool at least.

Pack 8:

Oooooh, I love the Homer Bailey card - good stuff there!

Pack 9:

And just like that, three of the four promised hits have been discovered!  The framed relics are gorgeous - and the bright red swatch is nice too...only downside is that the relic is for the wrong team in red!

Trade Stack 52: A Parallel Card Begins the Newest Stack!

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)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update:  6/24/13

The previous trade stack was claimed with three cards on it - and thus ended the streak of 9 card trade stacks!  I've updated my want list now to include both 2013 Gypsy Queen and 2013 Archives, plus a few more 1990 Topps cards that I was promised but apparently never received...  In other words, there ought to be something for everyone to send me - so claim away!

Today's stack starter is a 2010 Topps National Chicle - National Chicle back parallel card.  It's a nice looking card - and since it has a different back then the regular base card from the set, I've scanned both for you.  

As usual, you can get the entire stack for any ONE (or more) cards off my want list!

2010 Topps National Chicle
Chicle back parallel
146.  Scott Feldman - Rangers

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:  ?? by ??

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 4 - 6

Happy Monday!

Pack 4:

Pack 4 had two more Cardinal base cards in it...but luckily I'm not scanning base cards.  The mini is probably decent trade bait as the number of Giants fans on the blogs seems to be increasing.

Pack 5:

This pack was a disappointment in that it held TWO Joe Nathan base cards.  Yep, duplicates in the same pack...I thought that was something that card companies squashed by the mid-90s.  Boo to Topps.

Pack 6:

The bright red border of the Dealing Aces card does not go with Dickey's uniform at all, yuck!

The first three packs were decidedly more interesting than the three you see here...I guess that's fitting for a Monday morning as just about anything is better than a Monday too.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen Box Break: Packs 1 - 3

As I announced earlier today, I purchased a box of 2013 Gypsy Queen for myself in an effort to collect the entire base set.  I figured it made more sense to buy a hobby box than to continue buying blasters at Wal*Mart.  Did I make the right decision?  Well, I don't know yet but I hope so...

Since everyone is probably sick of the base cards by now (except me since most are new to me), I won't be showing those.  Instead, I will simply show off the inserts, minis, and other cards of note.  By the time you actually read this post, I should have a fully updated want list posted.

Pack 1:

In a not-so-great sign, the first pack out of the box was Cardinals heavy.  That includes one of the two promised relics...and well, yuck is all I can say about the Motte card.  Moving on.

Pack 2:

Pack #2 was loaded with inserts including (you guessed it), yet another Cardinal.  The Clemente mini is fantastic at least!

Pack 3:

I know the Gypsy Queen set has short prints in it and I also know the short prints are skip numbered (which I hate).  Because of the stupid skip numbering, I don't have any easy way to know when I pull a short print so I won't be bothering to scan 'em.  I do plan on collecting the entire base set, including the short prints, so at some point I'm sure I'll figure it out.  As for this pack, the Doby is the key card - it's a green mini #94/99 on the back and is seeded 1:30 packs.

What's Next at Nachos Grande? More Boxes!

By now, everyone in the group break should have received their cards - I actually sent them out on June 15 since I got way ahead of myself in terms of posting pack breaks!  I figured a little surprise would be fun for everyone.  Now though, the group break is officially over and done with.

So how do I celebrate?

By opening another box of course - only this time, the entire box is mine, mine, mine!

Yep - 2013 Gypsy Queen.

I might be late to the GQ party but that's ok.  I consider myself to be fashionably late is all.

More to come when I start ripping.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Group Break Recap: Part II

This morning, I posted part I of the group break recap which highlighted the short prints and inserts pulled.  Now, it's time to shift our attention to the hits and cards seeded 1 per box (or rarer).

Each hobby box comes with one redemption card that you are supposed to bring to your local hobby shop and exchange for a card from Topps' vault.

These will be randomized among the various group break participants.

The Topps BK inserts are seeded 1:24 packs which means we should have gotten one per box - which is exactly what transpired.

The Topps BK set consists of 20 total cards in the checklist - a set that seems virtually impossible to complete unless you are case buster (or a big fan of buying cards on eBay or the like).  I'm not much of a fan of these though I would have liked to have pulled the Johnny Bench card for my personal collection.  Alas, no such luck there - but three group break teams did well!

Each hobby box also contains a Stadium Club Triumvirate card (seeded 1:24 packs).

There are a total of 7 Triumvirates in the set (21 total cards).  We found three cards as expected...but none that went together.  Even so, it's a nice start to the collection for the Orioles, Tigers, and Phillies!

For your standard hobby box, that's the end of the "promised" inserts.  However, there is one more insert set that is fairly common, though not quite one-per-box.  I am referring to the Gallery of Heroes - BY FAR my favorite insert set in 2013 Archives.  Although the cards are seeded 1:31 packs, we lucked out and landed a Gallery of Heroes card in each of the three boxes.

They are gorgeous - so much so that despite the fact that there are no Reds in the set I'm still thinking this might be the one insert set that I chase.  I love 'em - and if you have any for trade let me know ASAP!

Each hobby box also promises two autographs.  The box actually says two fan favorite autographs but it turns out that the Heavy Metal autos count as "fan favorites" which stinks (at least for me since I don't care about heavy metal).  Here are the five fan favorite autographs that we pulled in the three boxes:

There might not be "big names" there but I like having the opportunity to pull autographs of solid players from yesteryear.  I'm sure most people have at least heard of all the guys pulled.  It should be noted that the pack wrapper states Fan Favorite autos fall 1:14 packs which would then take into account other autograph options (such as All-Star autos, framed autos, and heavy metal autos).

The sixth auto was the Heavy Metal autograph.

They happen to be seeded 1:153 packs which makes them quite rare, though that rarity isn't enough to make them overly appealing to me.  I will, of course, randomize the heavy metal auto between the various group break teams without a hit - but I'll be withdrawing my second team from consideration...all I'd do is sell it on eBay anyhow so it might as well not have a chance to be randomized to me.

Although that concludes the cards we should have gotten, we landed a few extras worth mentioning!  First, printing plates are seeded 1:536 packs but we were lucky enough to land an Ian Kennedy plate for the Diamondbacks.  A 1-of-1 for those that like that sort of thing!

At least the black printing plate gives you a good indication of the card, I'd guess the yellow plate would be pretty dull for Mr. Kennedy.

Although not as rare as the printing plates, we also pulled a relic card.  The relics are seeded 1:216 packs which is nothing to sneeze at either...

Congrats to the Blue Jays for the nice looking relic!

Finally, we had one last major pull from the break.

The regular box toppers are seeded 1:8 hobby boxes.  We didn't get one of those - in fact, two of the three boxes were without any sort of box topper.  However, our first box made up for that...

Yeah, that's a beautiful card - even if it does have a crease in it (it came out of the box that way unfortunately).  The Greatest moments autographs are seeded 1:178 hobby boxes.  Not packs, one in almost two hundred hobby boxes.  What a pull for the Mets (and it's numbered out of a mere 10)!

That concludes the group break - once and for all.  I hope you enjoyed the look at what you might be able to expect from a similar purchase that you may end up making.  I will say that hosting the break has convinced me to purchase my own hobby box of Archives (along with a blaster because I'm impatient).