Thursday, July 31, 2014

Delivery Time! Some Sports Cards from Sportscards from the Dollar Store

For a few months, trading had crawled to a molasses-esque pace here at Nachos Grande.  For the most part, it was my fault since the only set I had purchased prior to Ginter's release this year was Topps Heritage (and even that I purchased after most people had moved on to sets like Gypsy Queen).  Combine that with my crazy busy summer and you end up with a perfect storm of no mail!

Luckily, the times they are a'changin' as someone (Bob Dylan?) once said.  I now have a healthy backlog of mail packages to post about - and a few others that I need to mail out still!  It's much more fun running a blog when you get mail!

Today's package is actually a PWE from Doug over at Sportscards from the Dollar Store.  Doug claimed one of my recent trade stacks - and in return he sent me a card that had eluded me thus far from 2014 Topps Heritage (despite it being a base card and not an extremely pesky short print)!

In addition, Doug threw in a couple of extras including this Barry Larkin Topps sticker...

...and a few Leaf cards from the late 80s.

Thanks for the trade Doug - and thanks for helping me break out of my trading slump!  As for anyone else, if you want to trade be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!

Barry Larkin Collection 294: 1993 Panini Stickers - #293

Barry Larkin
Year:  1993
Brand:  Panini Stickers
Card number:  293

The 1993 edition of Panini baseball stickers was a lot nicer than the previous year's offering.  Unfortunately for Barry Larkin collectors, the image chosen for Barry's card isn't great - who wants to see your favorite player either getting nailed with a baseball or fouling the baseball off in a most unflattering sort of way?  The back of the sticker is full of large logos but mostly boring - though the "available at your corner store" line is amusing...were there still so-called corner stores in the early 90s?!  I remember buying my baseball cards at chain retail stores like CVS and Wal-Mart in the 1990s, not a mom and pop shop on the corner of main street.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Delivery Time! Waiting for Ginter Doesn't Have to Wait 'til Next Year!

For the past couple of weeks, I've been begging and pleading for people to offer me up some of their extra (or simply unwanted) 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter inserts (both regular size and mini size).  I'm happy to report that the fruits of my begging are starting to pay off!

Example #1:  A quick PWE from Tom over at Waiting 'til Next Year.  Tom sent me a quick note saying he usually only buys a single pack of Ginter each year and that he didn't know what to do with the inserts until he saw my post.

That's perfect I say - I know exactly what to do with Ginter inserts - love 'em, cherish 'em, and stick 'em in my binders!

Tom ended up sending me a Natural Wonder card of the Marble Caves... an A&G back mini of Kevin Smith.

In addition, he sent me a few older Ginter inserts including this sweet Elk from the 2010 Topps set (one of my favorite insert sets of that year).

Finally, we'll end with this Blue Whale from 2012's edition of Ginter!

Thanks for the surprise envelope Tom!  I don't think there's much better (from my perspective) than getting an envelope full of Allen & Ginter's goodies in it!

As for anyone else, if you want to trade check out my want list and make an offer!  And remember, I WANT YOUR 2014 TOPPS ALLEN & GINTER'S INSERTS (regular sized and mini sized)!

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter: Finishing off Box #3!

If there was ever a time to have buyer's remorse for a purchase of a box of cards, this would be it.  Through 18 packs, I have found two hits (one Yankees, one Red Sox), duplicate black bordered minis of James Andrews, 5 Air Supremacy cards, and a measly one mini insert.  Needless to say, the collation has been atrocious - and it's surprising since my first two boxes both had great collation (even if the hits left something to be desired).  Will the final fourth of the box redeem the purchase or will this go down as one of the worst boxes of A&G that I've ever opened?

Only one way to find out.

Packs 19 - 24:

I was hoping to get some more mini inserts in the final six packs since I had only received one up until now.  As it turned out, I landed three inserts which meant I had three "regular" minis as well.

It wasn't all bad news there either as the one regular mini was a short print (Peralta) and the other two minis (Duke Snider and Robinson Cano) were both A&G back minis.

Now, on to the mini inserts (one of the reasons I always love Ginter)!  First up, an Into the Unknown card of Christoper Columbus.

I love, love, love that card.  It's a great piece of cardboard - and I can't wait to try and finish up the set via trades!

The final two minis both belonged to the same set:  World's Deadliest Predators.

For some reason, I thought the WDP cards were seeded one per box but that obviously wasn't the case with my box.  Unfortunately, I already own the Octopus from a previous box but hey, it's trade bait which I can hopefully turn into one of the missing cards from the set so all is not lost there.

As a reminder:  I WANT YOUR 2014 A&G INSERTS (Regular sized and minis)!  Thanks.

Now, let's shift gears and look at a few of the regular sized cards (including the final hit of the box).

First up, a single World's Capital card of Paris.

That is the third World's Capital card that I pulled in the box which is about right I think.

I also received a single Festivals and Fairs card.

The good news here is that the Songkran Water Festival is a new card for me (yay!).  The bad news is that this is the lone Festivals and Fairs card from the box.

All of that leads up to the final card of the box that I'll show off here - the third hit.

Was it a good one?  Did it make up for the Yankee and Red Sox hit the preceded it?

In a word.  No.

In two words.  Absolutely not.

Ta da!

Yeah, another freaking Yankee, though at least this one is framed (and therefore tolerable in my eyes).

Yep, this box was crap.  I guess you can't win them all...and speaking of winning, I have one box left over which is going to be used for Gint-a-Cuffs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Box #3: Another Hit Plus a Black Bordered Surgeon

By posting only the highlights of my box, I will have managed to complete half a box in a single day!  That's impressive for me - and it sure has saved a lot of typing.  Tonight, we open packs 13 - 18 out of the third Allen & Ginter's hobby box.  As I've done throughout this box, I'll show off the cards of note!

Packs 13 - 18:

Unlike last time, I did manage to get a single mini insert in this batch of cards (a Where Nature Ends card of Winslow Homer).

Through 18 packs of this box, I've pulled exactly ONE mini insert!  I have no idea why that's been the case...but I do know that I hope the last six packs are full of mini inserts or I'll be quite sad indeed.

My non-insert minis included four regular backs (not shown since Jayson Werth short print was probably the so-called highlight of the group) and a single black bordered mini of James Andrews.

I don't think any baseball fan wants to hear Andrews name in regards to their team (it usually means your favorite team just lost a pitcher for the season) but the guy must know what he's doing as he is always in the news!

What's strange about that Andrews black bordered card is that it is the SECOND such card that I've pulled from this very box!!  As I said earlier, this box has been a huge disappointment so far...and I'm beginning to think there's nothing that will save it short of maybe a rip card (fat chance of that happening).

Moving on to less annoying things, I did pull a couple more Air Supremacy cards:

Those two Air Supremacy cards make for a total of FIVE different airplane cards pulled in this box alone to date.  Sheesh.  The collation for this box is all kinds of terrible.

And another World's Capitals card of Bangkok (a card that I pulled in a different box unfortunately).

Finally, I pulled my second hit of the box - and for me it's just as underwhelming as the first...

It's a nice bright red bit of cloth but I can't say I have any interest in Buchholz.  This one will probably be going to out to Adam.

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's Hobby Box #3: First Hit of the Box

Another day, another round of 2014 Allen & Ginter packs!  After this morning's post I will have half of my third (of four) hobby boxes ripped.  We didn't find a hit in the first six packs...but that only means we are almost sure to find at least one hit today!

Packs 7 - 12:

I won't lie, this box has been a dud so far.  I did find my first hit (more on that in a moment) but let's first look at the other pack contents.

For the minis, I didn't pull anything good - five regular back minis and one A&G back mini of Kris Medlen.

I pulled a trio of Pastime's Pastimes cards but none of the three players are of much interest to me.

Finally, a bit of good news.

I pulled two Natural Wonders cards (McWay Falls and Marble Caves).

I happen to like both of the Natural Wonder cards a lot - and I like this World's Capitals card of Beijing too!

Now, on the hit:

Yeah, a freaking Yankee.  Just what this crap box needed to sour me even more.  It does have a pinstripe which looks nice enough...but still.  Ugh.  This is eBay fodder if I ever saw it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Box #3: Box Topper and the First Six Packs!

It's been a bit over a week and I've managed to open up two of my four boxes.  I think I'll speed the process up even more for the third box by opening up six packs at a time and simply listing any cards of note.

Box topper:

A Mark McGwire a freaking Cardinal.  I'm guessing this is one of the least wanted cards (by me anyhow) in the entire set.

Packs 1 - 6:

The first six packs didn't prove to be the most exciting ever - sort of like the box topper.  It's not a good sign for the box, that's for sure.

The so-called highlights of the first quarter of the box did include a black bordered short print mini (Jason Grilli) and two A&G back minis.

I also landed two Pastime's Pastimes (both Orioles) and three Air Supremacy cards.

Finally, I landed a new Natural Wonder card for my collection.

I've got 75% of the box remaining (including all three promised hits).  Hopefully the next post will be much more interesting!

Finishing off Box #2 of 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's

It's hard to believe the end of the second hobby box of 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's is here already.  Even more disappointing to me, the end of the summer is rapidly approaching for me - I go back to work in about three weeks!

Let's not waste our Monday morning dwelling on negative thoughts though - let's rip packs and have fun instead.  I'm still looking for one more hit out of this box - maybe it's going to be a rip card?  *fingers crossed*

Pack 21:

Another Shilin Stone Forest Natural Wonder card made an appearance but I pulled that one already in the last box.  The Jarrod Parker A&G back mini is nice enough I guess to "save" the pack.  It's a bit interesting that through (almost) two full boxes I have yet find a hand-numbered or serially numbered card!

Pack 22:

I love the Frank Robinson (regular back) mini card a lot!  However, that wasn't the only treat in Pack 22...there was also my third hit:

Yeah, it's not a rip card...but it a card of one of the game's best young players.  Unfortunately, Posey hit the grand slam against the Reds that knocked Cincinnati out of the playoffs a couple of years ago and I've never quite forgiven him.

Pack 23:

A Billy Williams regular backed mini card was the best option here...not worth scanning in my opinion.

Pack 24:

The final pack of the box produced a Festivals and Fairs insert (of Carnivale which I got last box) and a mini Little Lions insert of the Cornish Rex cat (which I previously pulled in a retail pack).  It could have been a great pack to end on but unfortunately duplicates are lame (especially when I'm still missing the vast majority of both sets)!

I was also really hoping to pull a rip card this year after getting shut out the previous TWO years in my cases.  Why I should think that I'd get a rip this year with only four boxes when I didn't get one either of the previous two years when I bought full, unopened cases is beyond me...but hey, a guy can hope right?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's Hobby Box #2: Painting Peasants and Black Bordered Red Sox.

Only eight packs remain in my second (of four) 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's hobby box.  I've found two of the three promised hits...still holding out hope that the third is a rip card!

Pack 17:

A Kolten Wong mini (Cardinals, yuck) and a Luray Caverns Natural Wonder card (that I've already pulled in a previous box) made for a boring pack that wasn't worthy of a scan.

Pack 18:

That's more like it!  Another mini insert - this one being Pieter Bruegel - an artist who often featured peasants from the 16th century in his works.  Ok, so that's not the most exciting description but hey, it's a mini I needed so I'm happy!

Pack 19:

Another copy of the Fields of (so-called) Yore card of Wrigley Field.  I've already made my feelings on that designation clear in a previous post.  The only other card of note was the Ivan Nova regular mini short print.  I almost didn't even scan it since it was a Yankee...but given the poor selection out of the packs in this post so far I felt compelled to add another image!

Pack 20:

A black bordered Clay Buchholz was alright I guess (and probably on its way to Mark).

For me, the highlight was the Cal Ripken Jr. Pastime's Pastimes card.  I like me some Cal Ripken - and since it's a card I still needed for my set it was doubly good!

All things considered, those weren't the strongest four packs.  I haven't exactly broken the bank so to speak with my boxes...but there's still time to turn things around.  After all, last year I pulled a Pele autograph so maybe I can have lightening hit twice!

2014 Allen & Ginter Box #2: A 1:174 Pack Hit!!

Yesterday, I managed to knock out the first half of my second 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's hobby box.  Today, let's start cranking through the second half, shall we?

Pack 13:

Pack 13 produced my first Air Supremacy card of the box - this one being the F-86 Sabre.    I enjoy learning a bit about each plane in the set but ultimately I prefer boats!

Pack 14:

The 14th pack of the box produced a nice Al Kaline Pastime's Pastime card (I'm impressed that I still like this insert set seeing as how you get a card from it in every other pack on average).  The set is a lot nicer than the similar Hometown Heroes of past years.

The other card of note in the pack was this Tony Gwynn A&G back mini.

Pack 15:

The second hit of the box ended up being a framed relic of Adrian Beltre.  The framed relics are actually really tough pulls this year (1:174 for Version A and 1:175 packs for Version B).  Unfortunately, I don't think the secondary market treats them as rare - but I'll probably find out for certain when I list this card on eBay (assuming no one wants to trade for it since there are so few Rangers fans out there)!

Pack 16:

Pack 16 had another Air Supremacy card (F-16 Fighting Falcon) in it which is appreciated.

That said, my real favorite card of the pack was this base short print of the Polar Vortex.  I hated last winter (thanks to the aforementioned Polar Vortex) but it's still a kickin' card to own.  Good stuff by Topps, I only wish there were more truly oddball things like this in the base set!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Update to my LEGO Blog: A New Blog Name, A New Blog Address (PLEASE UPDATE YOUR BLOG ROLLS ACCORDINGLY)

As I explained on my LEGO-centric blog, I decided to rename my blog (it's now called Playing with Bricks to avoid using the LEGO brand name) - and with it give it a brand new blog address which unfortunately will require everyone to update their blog rolls.  I've been doing a much better job at providing weekly content over there, so if you haven't, now is a good time to check it out!

Delivery Time! The Five Tool Collector Sends a Heritage Short Print!

It's not every day that someone sends me a Topps Heritage short print.  After all, not only are the short prints hard enough to find (let alone pulling two of the same one to have trade bait), but most people treat them as more valuable than gold!

It is even rarer that someone sends a short print for free!  But, that's exactly what happened courtesy of Bob over at The Five Tool Collector.  Bob recently contacted me and said he had a short print of Stephen Strasburg for me...and he didn't even request anything in return.

Now, I obviously have to find something to send back his way, but for now, let's simply look at this gorgeous card in awe.

Thanks a ton Bob - tracking down Heritage short prints is a tough task that you just helped make 1/75th easier!

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's Hobby Box #2: Paris or Bangkok?

I hope your Saturday is going well.  My last few weeks have been all sorts of crazy.  For one, I got a new job (not sure if I've mentioned that on my blog yet).  Two, it looks more and more likely that my wife and I are going to be moving in the near future (which means so much packing needs to be done).  And finally, I've been in the middle of a four box 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's box break!

Let's keep the good times rolling...and let's unpack more packs (before I have to re-pack everything up)!

Pack 9:

We begin with a solid pack - two inserts that I needed!  The mini is of Billy the Kid - which I didn't realize he really was just a kid (he was shot and killed at the tender age of 21).

The other insert is another World's Capitals card (this time of Thailand).  I've never been to Thailand but perhaps someday I'll make my way there!

Pack 10:

Pack 10 produced my third black bordered card of the box (!) - a really nice Carlton Fisk.  This one will probably be headed to Mark!

Pack 11:

Another solid pack - this time it's an A&G back mini of Mike Piazza that makes an appearance...

...along with another World's Capitals card (Paris).  My wife is dying to go to Paris and if I had to guess I would say we will end up in France well before we ever get to Thailand.  Of course, if we do end up moving we won't be doing any foreign trips any time soon!

Pack 12:

Pack 12 was rather Yankees heavy which normally would mean I wouldn't bother scanning anything.  However, when one Yankee is a short printed A&G back (seeded 1:65 packs) you have to show it off.  Plus, someone might want this card!

Not a bad bunch of packs - in fact, I'd say so far I'm much happier overall with this box than I was with my first box.  Even better, there should still be two hits lurking - I'm definitely hoping one of them is a rip card!