Saturday, February 28, 2015

Barry Larkin Collection 342: 1995 Topps Stadium Club - #498 - Extreme Corps (Version 6)

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Topps Stadium Club
Subset:  Extreme Corps
Card number:  498

This is the sixth different version of the Barry Larkin Extreme Corps that I own.  All six versions are identical except for the foil coloring on the front of the card.  I'm not even 100% sure that Topps meant to make the different versions - but since they did, I feel compelled to collect them!  If you want to compare this one to the other five versions, I invite you to start here (where I have links for the rest of them).

Is there a seventh version out there?  I, for one, sure hope not!

2004 Bazooka: The Middle-Third of the Box (with a 1:94 packs hit)!

I've decided that posting a pack or two at a time is a bit too slow when it comes to the 2004 Topps Bazooka set.  There simply isn't enough in each pack to warrant such a pace...especially when I plan on keeping the vast majority of the base cards (I'm thinking about putting the full base set together - we shall see).  As such, I'm going to speed things up a bit and post just the highlights from the middle eight packs right now!

Packs 9 - 16:

By now, you've probably seen enough of the base cards - but I had to show off one base card from the middle-third of the box.

That's Marcus McBeth posing in what appears to be the middle of an actual desert.  It's not often you get a nice view of a cactus plant on a baseball card!

I also ended up with my first pair of base cards of the same player.  You see, in this edition of Bazooka there are a number of players who have two different versions of their base card (only the picture changes).

This is my first (and only) pair so far...  Carlos Delgado.  There are no other markings on the card to indicate that one is a variation of the other.

My eight minis contained no one of note - probably the best of the bunch was Rich Harden.  Luckily, my red chunk parallels were a bit better.  I pulled a Mike Piazza, Tom Glavine, and a Manny Ramirez among others.

Now we get to the inserts - plus a hit (more on that in a moment).  First though, I pulled three more Tattoo cards (including a super lame Bazooka tattoo).

Seriously, who thought that was a good idea to include in the set?

I also pulled one more of the 4-in-1 Sticker cards...and yes, it was another motley crew of players.
I guess the theme here is catchers?

I found another comic card - this time celebrating Esteban Loaiza.

Sort of a weird card but I like it.  How often do you get "fiesta tonight" on a baseball card?!

I also pulled two more of my favorite inserts - the Stand-Ups.

I like both of these - the Thome and Sosa both work well with the red and blue color scheme of the insert set!

That all leads to this...

Who knew?  That's a serially numbered rainbow foil parallel (seeded 1:94 packs)!  You can't tell from the scan but the front looks just like this year's rainbow parallels in 2015 Topps.  Very shiny - and very nice!

The card is numbered 04/25 on the back - which was a total shock to me.  I didn't even know there were any serially numbered cards in the set...and I certainly didn't expect to pull one!

Needless to say, I was pumped about that card ...  and yet, I still think the final relic is my favorite of the box!  Stay tuned for more!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Topps Bazooka: A Rocket, A Double Play, and a Trio of Red Chunks.

I love busting boxes of cards - whether it's new stuff, old stuff, cool stuff, or even junk wax stuff.  Much of the fun of baseball cards for me lies in the opening of the cards!  That makes tonight's post fun then since there are three packs to open up and post here!

Since this isn't a group break post (there will be plenty of those next week), I decided not to list every single card this but rather group cards of note together.  Hopefully that will make for a more interesting read!

Packs 6 - 8:

My three favorite base cards from the packs happened to all be numbered between 189 (Mora) and 193 (Izturis) - Wilson has card number 102.  I bet this particular page if I put the set in a binder will be one of the best!

The Mora is cool because it shows Melvin doing his best not to get beaned by a runaway fastball.  Although a fairly common occurrence in baseball (the brushback pitch is probably used multiple times per game on average), you don't see a lot of instances of that particular event on baseball cards.  The Jack Wilson card is nice because it shows a great view of a bunt attempt.  Wilson should probably hope his bunt fails though given that he wrapped his fingers around the bat...that would result in a lot of pain should the ball actually collide with the bat there!  Finally, the Izturis is simply a nice action shot!

Moving on to the mini cards...

I would say we did ok in terms of getting decent players.  I don't have any particular allegiance to any of the featured players though so all three minis are available for trade.

The red chunks were a different story in terms of player selection...

I've never heard of Lerew...and no one seems to collect the Royals or Angels anymore...  I'll probably be stuck with all three of these.

Finally, we get to the inserts.  In this set, inserts seem to be seeded one per pack - at least so far.  The trio of packs this time netted me two sticker cards and one comic.

The comic celebrates Roger Clemens...

...a guy who I have no desire to ever celebrate.  That said, it's kind of a nice comic - having a nickname of "the rocket" allows for a fun comic strip I guess.

The two sticker cards strange in that there doesn't seem to be any particular rhyme or reason as to who gets featured.

I would have preferred the stickers to feature four guys from the same team...but not.  The Yankees and Marlins split the one card while the second card features four different teams.  Sort of strange!

That's it for packs 6 through 8.  At this point, we are one-third of the way through the box...  Plenty more to come including a couple of hits (both of which are nice)!!

2004 Bazooka: Packs 4 & 5 - Catcher Smashing & Relic Catching!

I'm still cranking through my 2004 Topps Bazooka box that I received for Christmas.  This morning, we encounter our first (of three) hits in the box!

Pack 4:
27.  Cliff Lee
107.  Tom Glavine
194.  Jermaine Dye

A great shot if only it had been centered better...
221.  Corey Koskie
228.  Brian Lawrence
Mini:  108.  Geoff Jenkins - Brewers
Red chunk:  234.  Kelvim Escobar - Angels
Comic:  BC23.  Brad Wilkerson - Expos

Ah the glory days when the Expos where actually a thing.  The comics are seeded 1:4 so this isn't the final comic you'll see from the box!

Pack 5:
22.  Aramis Ramirez
114.  Bartolo Colon
129.  Adrian Beltre
142.  Vicente Padilla
167.  Benito Santiago
207.  Ben Sheets
Mini:  297.  Jeffrey Allison - Marlins
Relic:  BA-JG.  Jason Giambi - Yankees

The relic saved what would otherwise have been the most boring pack of the box.  The Bazooka Adventures relics are seeded at varying rates depending on which group the player belongs to.  For Jason Giambi, he belongs in group D which is seeded 1:57 packs.  Group D has a bunch of good players including Chipper Jones, Albert Pujols, Greg Maddux, and Alex Rodriguez.  

Since I've already opened the full box, I can assure you that while this relic is indeed somewhat rare it's by far the worst of the three hits that I ended up with!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Topps Heritage Case + More - Group Break! Sign Up Now!! (Only 7 Slots Remain!)

I'm still holding out hope that I can fill up the remainder of the group break.  At this point, there are still seven slots remaining.  Do note that I have combined some teams into single slots in order to make them a bit more interesting!  Here's the full list of what teams still remain:

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks & Milwaukee Brewers -
  2. Baltimore Orioles -
  3. Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, & Philadelphia Phillies  -
  4. Los Angeles Angels -
  5. New York Mets -
  6. Oakland Athletics & San Diego Padres -
  7. Toronto Blue Jays -

As you can see, some pretty good teams remain!  The other day, I went through and picked out a few of the possible autographs and other neat hits that each slot could possibly end up with.  I also found Night Owl's post detailing the number of short prints per team and I've added those numbers in to my list of "goodies" as well.  In a case break, having a lot of short prints for your team is actually a good thing - Heritage short prints are generally worth their weight in gold whether you trade your extras or sell them on eBay!  Finally, I added in some of the possible hits from the Clubhouse Collection box.  Remember, the Clubhouse Collection box promises an additional 20 hits for us!

I also want to remind those that haven't yet paid to please do so!  Thank you!

Available Slots (along with some of the possible "cool" hits available):
Note:  Each slot is $50 (shipping included to continental US) - go here to sign up!
Note:  The possible Heritage hits are listed in black font, the possible Clubhouse Collection hits are listed in blue font.  I used this site to get the Clubhouse Collection hit possibilities.
Arizona Diamondbacks & Milwaukee Brewers -
 4 short prints
PAR-Randy Johnson
PR- Randy Johnson
PR- Ryan Bruan
 LG Luis Gonzalez Jersey
 RA Roberto Alomar Uniform
 RS Richie Sexson Bat
 SF Steve Finley Jersey
 CSC Curt Schilling Jersey
 RY Robin Yount Bat
Baltimore Orioles -
 1 short print
PAR-Manny Machado
CCAR-Manny Machado
PCS-Woodie Held
ROA-Brooks Robinson
ROA-Carl Warwick
 FR Frank Robinson Uniform 
 JL Javy Lopez Jersey
 MTE Miguel Tejada Uniform
 RP Rafael Palmeiro Uniform
 CR Cal Ripken Jersey
 EMU Eddie Murray Bat 
Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, & Philadelphia Phillies - 
 7 short prints
PCS-Gene Freese
ROA-Greg Bollo
ROA-John Herrnstein
ROA-Roger Craig
ROA-Ray Herbert
 FT Frank Thomas Bat 
 MO Magglio Ordonez Bat 
 PK Paul Konerko Bat 
 EL Esteban Loaiza Jersey 
 JT Jim Thome Jersey
 CS C.C. Sabathia Jersey 
 BA Bobby Abreu Jersey
 BM Brett Myers Jersey
 JRO Jimmy Rollins Jersey
 KM Kevin Millwood Jersey
 MB Marlon Byrd Jersey
 MS Mike Schmidt Jersey
 PB Pat Burrell Jersey
 BWA Billy Wagner Jersey
Los Angeles Angels -
 4 short prints
CCAR-Mike Trout
PCS-Lew Burdette
ROTA-Mike Trout
ROA-Aubrey Gatewood
ROA-Albie Pearson
ROA-Frank Malzone
 TGL Troy Glaus Jersey
 TPE Troy Percival Uniform
 TS Tim Salmon Uniform
 RJ Reggie Jackson Jersey
New York Mets -
 3 short prints
PAR-Mike Piazza
CCAR-David Wright
PCS-Tug McGraw
PCS-Roy McMillan
ROTA-David Wright
ROA-Bill Wakefield
ROA-Choo Choo Coleman
ROA-Ernie Bowman
ROA-Gordon Richardson
PR-Mike Piazza
 AL Al Leiter Jersey
 GC Gary Carter Jkt 
 JRE Jose Reyes Jersey
 MP Mike Piazza Jersey
 TG Tom Glavine Jersey
 YB Yogi Berra Uniform
 CFL Cliff Floyd Uniform 
Oakland Athletics & San Diego Padres -
 1 short print
PAR-Josh Donaldson
ROA-Jim Dickson
 HB Hank Bauer Bat 
 MM Mark Mulder Uniform 
 RHE Rickey Henderson Uniform
 TH Tim Hudson Uniform
 BZ Barry Zito Jersey  
 DE Dennis Eckersley Uniform 
 EC Eric Chavez Uniform 
 JC Jeff Cirillo Bat 
 JCA Joe Carter Jersey 
 RH Ramon Hernandez Jersey
 TGW Tony Gwynn Bat
Toronto Blue Jays -
 3 short prints
PAR-Aaron Sanchez
ROA-Aaron Sanchez
 OHU Orlando Hudson Jersey
 VW Vernon Wells Bat
 CD Carlos Delgado Jersey 

Interested?  Go here to sign up!

Returning to the 2004 Topps Bazooka Box - Scary Pitching Face Nominee!

Earlier today, I posted the first pack out of my 2004 Topps Bazooka box that I received for Christmas.  It's amazing (to me anyhow) that I was able to wait until February to open the box...I guess I can thank the group break for helping to keep my "pack ripping itch" at a minimum!

2004 Topps Bazooka:
Pack 2:
35.  Nomar Garciaparra

I feel like Nomar was a super popular player who fell off of the face of the earth.  Why doesn't he get more love in insert sets and the like featuring retired players?  Weird.
123.  Luis Gonzalez
162.  Carlos Delgado
289.  Rodney Choy Foo
293.  Tim Stauffer
Mini:  133.  Joe Mays - Twins

As you can see, the mini cards are printed on "old school" card stock.  It's a little bit hard to read the text given the dark background but I appreciate the throwback idea.
Red Chunk:  219.  Bo Hart - Cardinals

Surely someone is interested in trading for this?
Tattoo:  Melvin Mora (?) - Orioles

No card numbers mean I have to guess who the player is.  I think this is Mora.

Pack 3:
106.  Matt Clement
126.  Russ Ortiz
134.  Roy Oswalt

An early nominee for "scariest pitching face" on a card!
137.  Kris Benson
199.  Richie Sexson
Mini:  293.  Tim Stauffer - Padres
Red Chunk:  195.  Roy Halladay - Blue Jays

At least my chunky card was of a good player this time around.
Stand-Ups:  23.  Ivan Rodriguez - Marlins

I like the Stand-Ups design a lot.  It's a simple color scheme - but it's executed well!  There are no Reds in the insert set which makes me a bit sad...but then again, the Reds are barely represented in the 2004 Topps Bazooka set at all!  This card will probably stay in my collection - both because I like it but also because no one that I know collects the Marlins...

Through three packs, I'd say it's been a fun rip so far.  Of course, I actually busted the entire box in one sitting (on video) for my YouTube I can tell you for sure that I'll end up really happy with this box!  Unfortunately, I didn't stack the packs back up in the order that I ripped what I call pack 3 now is probably not going to line up with my video.  That's ok though - I'll eventually get through all 24 packs on the blog so I promise you won't miss the cool stuff!

A Retro Box Bust!! 2004 Topps Bazooka!

This past Christmas, I received a couple of different boxes of baseball cards.  One such box was an unopened hobby box of 2004 Topps Bazooka.  Since this is a sort of quiet time between major releases by Topps, I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to bust open my box!

As you can probably make out from the box writing, the box contains 24 packs with 8 cards per pack.  This is a solid box full of cards.  It also contains three game-used relic cards!  Besides the relics, there are also stickers, stand-ups, and tattoos...all stuff to make for a fun break I hope.

Oh yeah, flip the box over and you see one other inclusion.

Authentic Bazooka bubblegum.

You know you are in for a treat when you have an unopened box that is almost a decade old...and the back contains Nutrition Facts!

I, for one, can't wait to bust this thing open.  Ripping older boxes is a lot of fun, especially when they represent sets that I either like or didn't buy much/any of when I was younger!

---records video---

I decided to open the box on video (you can watch the entire thing on my YouTube channel).  Unfortunately, when I opened up the packs I didn't keep them in order so the packs on the blog won't correspond to same order as the video.  That said, since I have now opened up the box I can assure you that we got some cool stuff.  I'll be showing off the packs a few at a time for the next few blog posts - enjoy!

Pack 1:
26.  Ramon Hernandez

The 2004 Bazooka set features a no-frills card design.  You won't find any trace of foil (which I love)!  There are also a number of pretty nice photographs including this Ramon Hernandez card.  
91.  Brian Giles
180.  Austin Kearns

The backs of the cards are nice too - easy to read card numbers and a nice write-up for each player.  No full career statistics but I guess you can't have everything.  I love the team logo on the back - that would make sorting these for a group break extremely easy!
274.  Anthony Lerew
294.  Craig Ansman
Mini:  157.  Kevin Millar

Each pack comes with one mini card and one red chunk parallel (except packs with relics - relics replace the red chunks).  The mini cards are printed on "old school" card stock.
Chunk:  283.  Brayan Pena

At the moment, I'm undecided whether or not I'll go for the entire 2004 Bazooka set.  Whether I do go for it or not, I know I won't try for the mini or red chunk parallel if you want to trade for any that I pull let me know.
Tattoo:  Kevin Millwood (?)

The Tattoo cards aren't labeled anywhere that I can see - this makes identifying the player a bit trickier...especially since you have to put yourself in the mindset of 2004 rather than 2015!  Much like the minis and red chunks, I have no plans to collect the tattoo cards so holler if you are interested in any that I pull!

That's it for pack #1 - eight cards per pack (two parallels plus an insert) makes for a pretty fun rip with each pack.  I will say that this box holds a pretty neat surprise - but you'll have to wait for me to show it off on the blog (or else you can just watch the video if you are the impatient type)!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Delivery Time! A Listia Win for Me!

A big chunk of my time lately has been used organizing my cards...but I have done a little bit of shopping on both eBay and Listia.  I haven't actually bought much - in fact, I've only had one winning bid lately but it's been fun looking.

The good news is that my one winning bid was a Listia it cost me nothing in terms of dollars and cents...and it was a brand new card for my Barry Larkin Collection.

The card scanned terrible but if you can't tell that's a 2001 Topps Chrome card.  Somehow I didn't already have that card - though I have to be honest in that I put a bid on the card without consulting my unsorted stack of Larkin cards to double check that I needed it!  Sometimes it is good to be lucky!

The Listia seller was actually a great seller in that he provided a second card free of charge (though it's not a Larkin so it's of no value to me)...

...unfortunately the seller also shipped in a PWE with no other protection besides a penny sleeve holding the two cards.

Once again, it was better to be lucky than good since both cards arrived unscathed amazingly enough!

Theme Week: Better Know a Blogger (Andrew from Andrews Baseball Cards)

Welcome back to another edition of Better Know a Blogger.  I know some of you probably feared that I forgot your entry, but rest assured, I did not!  Now that the group break is over - and I'm almost caught up on posting trade packages, I wanted to get back to my Better Know a Blogger series and finish that off as well!  I hope you enjoy today's blogger Andrew who you are about to know better!

1. Your name (or alias):   Andrew C.
2. Your blog website:  Andrews Baseball Cards
3. What kind of collector do you consider yourself (team collector, player collector, set collector, etc.). Why do you collect that way?
I would consider myself a player collector. I collect this way because it is just fun to keep up your favorite players stats and also to know them a lot better than what you would know any other player.
4. In your opinion, what could the major card companies (Topps, Panini, etc.) do to make your style of collecting better for you?
I think that they could ask for more of the buyer’s option instead of just making a card and hoping that we like it and will buy it from them. They should also most have a vote to see what design the customers like the best before they produce the cards.
5. What is your favorite part of your collection?  This could be one specific item, or a binder of cards, etc.
My favorite part of collection is getting to interact with other collectors. It is fun being able to trade with them but for them most part my favorite part is just getting to talk to them hear some stories and see their collection.
6. Most of us have a favorite song that we like for no good reason – heck, it might even be embarrassing.  Do you have a favorite baseball card that might fit that bill?  
I really like any shiny or colorful cards they don’t have to even be of a decent player.
7. If you were forced to part with your entire collection except for one card, which card would you keep?
I would have to keep my 2008 Topps Triple Threads Matt Holliday auto relic because it is of one of my most beloved players and it is an awesome looking card.
8. Many of the blogs (including my own at times) seem to decry Topps’ lack of vision and creativity.  Can you think of something creative that could be done for an upcoming card set?  
I think Topps should have a website set up where they have 10 designs for the upcoming set and should let the us vote on these card have one vote per person and at the end of the deadline the design with the most votes would go on the next year cards.
9. What is your profession?  How did you end up there?  If you are in school, what do you plan to major in and/or what job do you hope to get after graduating?  
After I get done with high school my plans for right now are to do Army or National Guard, but if I end up going to college I would probably do something in the sports field such as a sport trainer.  
10. What is your favorite place that you've ever visited?  Why?  
I would have to say that going the Gulf Shores beach Alabama has been my Favorited place to go because the sand is white and the ocean just looks so amazing and there is just so many different things to see.
11. Many of us have favorite foods or customs that are somewhat local to where we live.  Do you have any such things that you particularly love?  A website link to specific products would be spectacular.  
I love going to to find all my baseball cards for great prices. They always seem to have great deals. You can almost always find what you are looking for on there.
12. Do you have any other hobbies besides card collecting?  
Running is my favorite thing. I run cross county and that is the best sport ever.
13. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that we haven’t covered in the first twelve questions).
I have two cats ones name is Mittens and the others name is Collie. 
A big thanks to Andrew for participating in my theme week (which has become a theme-quarter-year instead)!  I found Andrew's answers to be particularly interesting simply because he and I seem to be pretty much polar opposites in most of our thoughts!  Andrew loves running as a sport...I love sports but I hate running.  Andrew loves cats...I'm a dog person.  And of course, the biggie, Andrew loves Matt Holliday while I simply love holidays.

All that said, it's awesome to have people in the blogosphere who like different things...otherwise none of us would ever be able to complete trades!  I also appreciate Andrew's patience in terms of me getting his Better Know a Blogger edition posted.  I sort of put this series on the back burner when the group break started up and just stayed on that back burner!  I hope to remedy that though and post the few remaining entries over the next few days!  Stay tuned for more in the near future (I hope)!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Topps Heritage Group Break: New Team Slots Formed!!

Today, Topps released the checklist for 2015 Topps Heritage which means I can now see which teams are over- (and which teams are under-) represented.

From a quick glance at the autographs, dual autos, triple autos, auto box loaders, and relic box loaders (basically the typically highest valued stuff), I found the following for the teams that are still available.  Note, I did not factor in any of the "regular" relics in the list below - just the higher valued / rarer stuff!  I also did not factor in any of the hits from the 2004 Clubhouse Collection box!

Do note that I have shuffled some of the slots to help even things out a bit!

Available Slots (along with some of the possible "cool" hits available):
Note:  Each slot is $50 (shipping included to continental US) - go here to sign up!
Arizona Diamondbacks & Milwaukee Brewers -
PAR-Randy Johnson
PR- Randy Johnson
PR- Ryan Bruan
Atlanta Braves  -
CCDAR-Hank Aaron & Freddie Freeman
CCDAR-Julio Teheran & Phil Niekro
RODA- Hank Aaron & Freddie Freeman
RODA- Phil Niekro & Julio Teheran
ROA-Phil Niekro
PR- Julio Teheran
PR- Justin Upton
Baltimore Orioles -
PAR-Manny Machado
CCAR-Manny Machado
PCS-Woodie Held
ROA-Brooks Robinson
ROA-Carl Warwick
Boston Red Sox  -
ROA-Bob Sadowski
ROA-Chuck Schilling
ROA-Dick Stigman
ROA-Joe Christopher
ROA-Rusney Castillo
Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, & Philadelphia Phillies - 
PCS-Gene Freese
ROA-Greg Bollo
ROA-John Herrnstein
ROA-Roger Craig
ROA-Ray Herbert
Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, & Seattle Mariners -
ROTA-Bo Jackson
 PAR-Ken Griffey Jr.
Los Angeles Angels -
CCAR-Mike Trout
PCS-Lew Burdette
ROTA-Mike Trout
ROA-Aubrey Gatewood
ROA-Albie Pearson
ROA-Frank Malzone
New York Mets -
PAR-Mike Piazza
CCAR-David Wright
PCS-Tug McGraw
PCS-Roy McMillan
ROTA-David Wright
ROA-Bill Wakefield
ROA-Choo Choo Coleman
ROA-Ernie Bowman
ROA-Gordon Richardson
PR-Mike Piazza
Oakland Athletics & San Diego Padres -
PAR-Josh Donaldson
ROA-Jim Dickson
Toronto Blue Jays -
PAR-Aaron Sanchez
ROA-Aaron Sanchez

Please, please help me fill this break!  I can't possibly afford to take on all of the above team slots...any advertising you can do to help me fill the break is also appreciated!  I haven't even sold enough slots to pay for the Heritage case yet, let alone the box of 2004 Clubhouse Collection (plus shipping all of the packages)!!

Barry Larkin Collection 341: 1995 Fleer Ultra - #10 - All-Star Insert

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Fleer Ultra
Insert set:  All-Star
Card number:  10

Let's be honest, the year 1995 wasn't great in terms of designs for the Fleer baseball card company.

While I normally really like the Fleer Ultra line, the regular base card design is an abomination (perhaps even worse than Fleer's infamous 1995 flagship offering).  Fleer compounded the problem by making a terribly pointless parallel for their Ultra line.  Then, to throw some icing on this turd cake of a set, Fleer stuck Barry Larkin in two different insert sets.  The first was an Award Winner set in which the card design looks like it was made by a drunk monkey using MS Paint and the other was the hideous All-Star card you see above.

While all of the above is reason enough to hate 1995 Fleer Ultra, it actually gets worse according to Baseballcardpedia.

That hideous All-Star card featured above?

Yeah, there's a parallel of it.

Same with the Award Winner set.  Ugh.  That's two more cards that I need to track down from a set that I definitely do not care for one little bit...  The so-called joys of being a player collector I guess!

The Unexpected Benefits of Hosting a Group Break (Bob Walk the Plank Edition)

Before I get to the unexpected benefits that arrived from hosting my last group break, I'd like to take a moment to plug my current group break.  Basically, I'll be busting a full case of 2015 Topps Heritage plus a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection.  In the end, we should walk away with at least 32 hits plus tons of other goodies from the Heritage case.  At the moment, there are wayyyy to many slots available - I desperately need to sell more as I can't afford to take on half of the case for myself!

I now return you to today's originally scheduled post.


Matthew (from the expertly named Bob Walk the Plank blog) recently joined in on my 2015 Topps Series 1 Jumbo Case Group Break and did quite well.  I was happy to pull a couple of hits for him - and it would certainly appear he was happy too since he sent me a small (but potent) "thank you" package for hosting the break.

Matthew sent me a trio of Reds hits (which happens to be exactly three more Reds hits than I received in the group break)!!

First up, a 2009 Jay Bruce Allen & Ginter relic.

For a basic white bit of cloth, you can't beat Allen & Giner's relic presentation with the frames holding a mini card holding a bit of cloth.

The second hit that Matthew set my way was actually a double-sided hit.  The Back to Back jacks in this 2003 Donruss Elite card gets its name from having a home run hitter on the front (with a bat relic) and on the back of the card (with a bat relic).

The front features Adam Dunn - a popular Reds player/scapegoat - and a guy who I happen to like quite a bit.  I have a small Dunn collection for which this card is an awesome addition!

The back of the card features Austin Kearns, a guy who never really lived up to expectations.  The card is numbered out of 125 as well which adds a bit of perceived scarcity to the card!

Finally, we end with my favorite of the three hits from Matthew - a Brandon Phillips (and Edwin Encarnacion) on card signature!

This is a sweet card - and I love the fact that it's on card (and numbered out of 99).  I may not pull Reds' hits very often but I'm thankful that some of my loyal readers do!

As I said in the post title, that was certainly an unexpected benefit of hosting a group break!  In general, the group breaks are a lot of work - but when we get a good case like the recent Topps case, it is also a lot of fun.  I love reading people's reactions to the cards they get - both in real time on my blog, and when they post their own haul on their blogs (such as what Matthew did here).

Many thanks Matthew - and for everyone else, go check out my current break please!

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 Topps Heritage Group Break w/ 32 Hits!! (Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Mariners, Blue Jays, and More!!)

I'm hosting a group break consisting of an entire case of 2015 Topps Heritage plus a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection.  All told, that should be at least 32 hits for the break!!

There are still a TON of great teams available - as of the time I wrote this post the following team slots are available (each slot is only $50 which is a steal considering all the hits and over a case's worth of cards)!!

Available Slots:
  1. Arizona Diamondbacks & Milwaukee Brewers -
  2. Atlanta Braves  -
  3. Baltimore Orioles -
  4. Boston Red Sox  -
  5. Chicago White Sox -
  6. Cleveland Indians -
  7. Kansas City Royals & Tampa Bay Rays - 
  8. Los Angeles Angels -
  9. Los Angeles Dodgers -
  10. New York Mets -
  11. Oakland Athletics & San Diego Padres -
  12. Philadelphia Phillies -
  13. Seattle Mariners -
  14. Toronto Blue Jays -
As you can see, there are still 14 slots available.  I desperately need to sell them all since I already ordered the cards!  Any advertising you can give me is much appreciated!!

The Great Reorganization: Step 9: The Year-by-Year Sorting Begins!

Back in January, I posted a quick update to my ongoing Great Reorganization.  Since it's been about a month, I owe it to you (and me) to do another such update.  It is my hope that by forcing myself to update everyone on my reorganization attempts that I'll actually accomplish a solid reorganizing of my collection!

To be honest, despite most of the past month being inundated with group break cards, I'm proud of the progress I made on my own collection.

I've managed to sort even more extra/unwanted cards into their appropriate team boxes - and that made packing cards for my last group break so much easier as I used team-specific cards as packing material (and, in some cases, as bonus cards)!  I still have more cards to sort into the above boxes, but it's definitely a good start!

In terms of my year-by-year sorting, thanks to a recent trade involving a boat load of Allen & Ginter, I started with my 2010 cards and have slowly (but steadily) worked my way forward.  I am pleased to say that 2010, 2011, and most of 2012 is completely sorted, organized, and placed in my binders.  In addition, I've updated the appropriate "for trade" posts listing cards I have from some of the sets that I'd love to trade away.

Finally, I have also made more progress in updating, sorting, and cataloging all of my Barry Larkin cards.  I have officially scanned the front and back of every single Barry Larkin card that I own from 1986 through 2000.  Every such Larkin card is also now tucked away in my Barry Larkin Collection binder too.  In addition, I have fully sorted all of my duplicate Larkin cards from the years 1986 - 2000 as well.  This should make trading much easier - I'll know what I need and what I have available at a fairly quick glance!

I will say that through 2000, I have about 180 more Barry Larkin cards that I need to write posts about for the blog - my current list of what I own is in no way complete.  It is, however, complete through 1994.  I've finished a post for every Larkin card that I own from 1986 - if you have from that time period that aren't on my list, please let me know!

My Second Blaster of 2015 Topps Series 1 (a Pink Parallel Shows Up in Retail!!)

Before I get to the second blaster of Topps Series 1, I would like to remind you all that I have a 2015 Topps Heritage group break that is now open.  There are TONS of great teams available still!  The break should provide us with at least 32 hits so join now!!


A couple of weeks ago I had my fill of 2015 Topps Series 1 thanks to the group break.  However, after opening the case up, I liked the set enough to decide to try and collect it myself.  Today, I get to rip my second blaster of the product with the hopes of landing a bunch more of the base cards that I need!
The anticipation!!

Pack 1:
Pink parallel
173.  Carlos Torres - Mets #49/50

Yeah, first pack out of the blaster and I land a pink parallel.  In all the blasters that I've opened over the years, I've never pulled a parallel quite this rare.  The pink parallels are seeded 1:527 retail packs - pretty darn rare if you ask me.  Unfortunately, this one is a Met so it doesn't really fit into my offers?

Pack 2:
1st Home Run
19.  Paul Konerko - Dodgers

The first of what I presume will be many 1st Home Runs insert cards.  This is an insert set that I won't be chasing so it too is available for trade.

Pack 3:
Rainbow parallel
92.  Ian Kinsler - Tigers

I wish I hadn't just sent a package off to Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders...  I could have thrown this in there for him since he collects the Tigers.

Pack 4:
Robbed in Center:
R2.  Alexi Amarista - Padres

I love the Robbed insert set - great action shots of plays at the wall.  This is a set that I think I will collect this year.  Pack 4 also had a Jason Heyward 1st Home Run that is available if anyone wants it.

Pack 5:
223.  Angels

I like this year's team cards a lot - it's fun to see the different celebrations and revelry happening between teammates.

Pack 6:
1st Home Run
31.  Yoenis Cespedes - Athletics

Another one of the 1st Home Run cards...and I still can't do anything but yawn.

Pack 7:
Gold parallel
268.  Aroldis Chapman - Reds #0760/2015

Wooooooooo!  Woooooooooo!  This blaster has officially become pretty great - a pink parallel plus a Reds' gold parallel - and of a star Reds' player no less?!  Yeah, I'm excited since I rarely pull cool Reds' stuff from packs!

Pack 8:
1st Home Run
17.  Adam Dunn

Two cool Reds' cards in a row!  Yes, yes, I know I've bagged on the 1st Home Run insert set this entire post but I make an exception for Reds' cards.  Plus, I've always liked Adam Dunn...even when most Reds' fans didn't.

Pack 9:
24.  Derek Jeter - Yankees

Alright, who wants it?

Pack 10:
First Pitch
2.  Jack White

I don't get the fuss over this set.  To me, it's a filler insert set...

And now, the exclusive First Home Run Commemorative Relic Card...

FF.  Freddie Freeman - Braves

Well, that's two blasters and two NL East players for the relic card.  Where are my Braves' fans at?

All told, I can't complain at all about this blaster - a bunch of base cards that I needed plus a pink parallel and a Reds' gold parallel.  The rest of the inserts are just icing on the proverbial cake!