Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Great Ohtani Search: Pack #6 (2018 Bowman Baseball)

I'm writing this post in the wee morning hours of Wednesday, May 30.  Today happens to be the "due date" of our first baby...but as you may know by now, our little bundle of joy decided to arrive back on May 17 instead!  While he works on his "tummy time" in the man cave, I have just enough time (hopefully) to rip through and scan another pack out of the Bowman blaster.

Pack 6:

34.  Amed Rosario
45.  Khris Davis
52.  J.D. Davis

I didn't know much about J.D. Davis until I started watching Houston Astros games in earnest last year and this year.  From what I've seen, he seems like a solid ballplayer.  And I have to admit, the Astros are way more fun to watch than the Reds lately.  I even fancy myself a closet Astros fan these days...mostly because of Altuve being on my fantasy baseball team as my keeper for the past few years.

98.  Whit Merrifield
BP41.  Jason Martin
BP58.  Sean Murphy
BP103.  Mitchell White
BCP49.  Nick Gordon
BCP115.  Cal Quantrill
Bowman Scouts Top 100:  BTP-26.  Austin Hays

This is the second Bowman Scouts insert from the blaster (which is right on the mark since they are 1:4 packs).  I haven't paid much attention to it, but most (all?) of the inserts in Bowman also have parallel versions.  Collecting the entire master set of Bowman must be a true nightmare...I'm a sucker for a lot of baseball card releases that are annoying to put together (Heritage, Upper Deck Timeline, etc.) but I'm glad that even I can avoid the Bowman itch.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Great Ohtani Search: Pack #5 (2018 Bowman Baseball)

Date:  5/29/18
Tiredness level:  10 out of 10

Man, having a baby is exhausting.  Someone should really warn you about that.

I kid, I kid.  It's all worth it in the end, right? 

Actually, we've been pretty lucky with our little guy - he doesn't fuss much (except between 1 AM and 5 AM because that's how kids are).  He does, however, keep me from doing much else other than tending to him (diaper change and feeding every two hours like clockwork).  Still, this will be the third day in a row where I've managed to carve out a small sliver of time to write a blog post.  I don't think you'll ever see me return to my "glory days" of almost 1000 posts in a year...but if I can at least post a couple of times a week I'll call it a success.

Pack 5:

Yeah, I'm still slogging through this blaster of Bowman.  On the bright side, it does give me something to talk about without requiring me to use much creativity or brain cells (which are in short supply right now due to lack of sleep)!

7.  Keon Broxton
25.  Rafael Devers
32.  Tyler Mahle

Woah, two Reds in the same blaster?  That's unheard of for me, especially in products from 2016 or later (when the Reds have been particularly awful on the field).  Mahle has shown some signs of being a decent pitcher though I don't think his rookie card will be the one that people remember from the 2018 Bowman set.

41.  Freddie Freeman
BP49.  Nick Gordon
BP81.  Nick Pratto
BP115.  Cal Quantrill
BCP13.  Sam Hilliard
BCP23.  Jeren Kendall

Some new Dodgers trade bait? 

Talent Pipeline: TP-NYM:  Mets

This is a prospects card done right!  I love the idea of showing off an A, AA, and an AAA player from the same team on the same card.  Super cool.  Too bad these are 1:12 packs which means you aren't even assured of getting one in a blaster. 

That was a solid pack - and if I'm being honest, the blaster of Bowman has already exceeded my expectations and I still have three more packs remaining.  Truthfully, my expectations were quite low since it was Bowman after all, but still, I'll take the good news. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Great Ohtani Search: Pack #4 (2018 Bowman Baseball)

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  Usually, Memorial Day is a day where I get to enjoy a lot of grilled food...either stuff that I've cooked or stuff that someone cooked for me at a party.  This year however I plan to stay home with my little one (see last night's post) and enjoy some quiet(ish) time with him and with my wife.  I do hope to grill a bit later today - but it's going to be salmon burgers with slaw, not your typical Memorial Day fare!

I must admit that my passion for 2018 Bowman was really only strong enough for a purchase on one day...and now I am sort of slogging through the packs in the blaster wondering what am I going to do with the majority of these cards?  I'm definitely NOT a prospector so there's going to be a lot of trade bait here.  Let's get on with it.

Pack 4:

30.  Stephen Strasburg

I like getting guys that I've actually heard of, even if they are Nationals.  I will say that this is a perfect card to pull on Memorial Day given Strasburg's patriotic uniform.

60.  Aaron Altherr
66.  Victor Arano
80.  Evan Longoria
BP55.  Kyle Tucker
BP63.  Dylan Cozens
BP117.  C.J. Chatham
BCP17.  Kevin Newman
BCP63.  Dylan Cozens

If you are wondering, that's FOUR Phillies cards in the pack (including a pair of Cozens).

ROYF-WC.  Willie Calhoun 

The Rookie of the Year favorite cards are seeded 1:8 packs (or one per blaster).  In a league with Ohtani in it, I don't think that Calhoun will be winning ROY of the honors this year. 

Halfway through the blaster - so far there's been one Ohtani base (rookie) card which is a keeper plus a couple of other cards that have a shot at making my various Frankensets.  Otherwise, it's been nothing but trade bait so speak up if you want something, though I can't promise how quickly I'll be able to get a trade package together so have some patience with me!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Great Ohtani Search: Pack #3 (2018 Bowman Baseball) - And Where I've Been the Last 10 Days

I'll get to the next pack out of my blaster of 2018 Bowman baseball in a moment (or you can skip down if you are impatient) but first I have to explain where I've been the past ten days or so (after all, I don't think my blog has ever gone that many days without a new post going up, even when I have gone overseas)! 

Flashback to Wednesday, May 16.  We had horrible thunderstorms that day and by the evening we were out of electric power.  Without a house generator, my wife and I found ourselves to rather we did an impromptu trip to WalMart for some food shopping and then to Sheetz (a gas station chain) for a late night snack.  By the time we got back home and in bed, it was about 1:00 AM Thursday morning.

At 3:00 AM Thursday morning, my wife woke up from her sleep thinking she needed to use the bathroom.  That's not abnormal lately as she was in week 38 of her pregnancy (and pregnant ladies have to pee...a lot)!  However, when she rolled out of bed and made it to the bathroom, she discovered that it a need for the was her water that broke!

By 3:30 AM I was also up, hospital bags quickly packed, and we began our 45 minute trip the hospital.  I am fairly certain I made that drive in under half an hour...and it's mostly windy, dark country roads so that's saying something.

We were admitted to the hospital by 4:30 AM...and one last ultrasound confirmed that the baby was still in the breech position which meant we needed to have a C-section.

By 9:00 AM, my wife was being prepped for her surgery.  Around 9:30 AM, they let me join her in the operating room.  And at 9:51 AM, our first son was born weighing in at 8 lbs 5.3 oz and 20.5 inches long.

C-sections are a big pain to recover from so we spent a number of nights in the hospital...and then when we finally returned home I scrambled to make the meal (with the ingredients that we had purchased the night before the trip to the hospital).  From then on, it's been baby, baby, baby 24-7.  Both my wife and I have been struggling to come up with a good routine for us each to get some rest...and the baby insists on eating and a diaper changer every 1.5 - 2 hours which means there isn't much time to get anything else done!

As such, I don't know how much time I'll be able to carve out for the blog - but rest assured I won't be going anywhere other than having (most likely) a slowdown in my blogging activity.  I have a couple of trades that were in the works prior to our hospital trip and I do intend to get back to those as soon as I can.  However, at the moment I'm down to about 20 minutes or less before I'll need to change another diaper and help with another feeding...which means I better get to the third pack out of the Bowman blaster!

Pack 3:

18.  Salvador Perez
35.  Erick Fedde
39.  Jose Berrios
46.  Austin Hays
BP29.  Taylor Ward
BP44.  James Kaprielian

I've always thought that the Athletics have a great color combination for card backs that are done well with team colors.  The Bowman prospects portion of the set has fairly standard backs but the splash of bright green and yellow realy makes the A's cards stand out among the rest.

BP131.  MacKenzie Gore
BCP44.  James Kaprielian
BCP131.  MacKenzie Gore
Bowman Birthdays:  BB-LM.  Lace McCullers, Jr.

The Bowman Birthdays are a kind of fun "90s retro" design.  Seeded 1:8 packs (or 1 per blaster), I doubt too many people will bother to complete the set but it's still a fun card idea from Topps.  I approve - one of the few things that I've liked from the Bowman brand thus far if I'm being honest.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Great Ohtani Search: Pack #2 (2018 Bowman Baseball)

The hunt for the super Ohtani is officially on...and I'm jumping in on the action with a single blaster of 2018 Bowman.  Of course, I have no actual belief that I'll find such a rare card...but it's fun to dream, right? 

What isn't a dream is that this blaster has actually been quite good so far (through exactly one pack).  I did pull the Ohtani base rookie card which is probably as much as I could reasonably expect to get so I'm happy about that.  Throw in a Reds card and the first pack was a winner in my book.

Now, let's get to the next pack

2018 Bowman:  Pack 2

23.  Richard Urena
59.  Walker Buehler

Of course, I would pull yet another Dodger. 

70.  Parker Bridwell
100.  Kris Bryant

Alright, I can live with that one even if the image is only half an arm away from being Panini "quality."

BP12.  Thomas Hatch
BP46.  Cristian Pache
BP107.  D.L. Hall
BCP34.  Josh Ockimey
BCP46.  Cristian Pache

That's not a typo unfortunately...that's two Pache cards in the same pack (one chrome and one not chrome).

Bowman Scouts Top 100:  BTP-34.  Alec Hansen

The Bowman Scouts inserts are seeded 1:4 packs so that isn't an overly rare card.  That said, I can only assume that there are 100 cards in the insert set which would make completing the full set a true nightmare.  Luckily for me, I haven't yet been tempted to complete a Bowman set...and I don't think this is the year that I'll break that streak.

Truth be told, it's packs like this one that make me skip Bowman most years.  There was a whole lot of cards of guys I've never heard of...and getting two cards (one chrome, one not chrome) of the same guy is a definite bummer - especially when it's some dude you never heard of who plays for a team you don't care about.  The first pack out of the blaster had me sort of liking Bowman but this pack brought me back down to Earth quickly...I guess the product simply isn't for guys like me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Great Ohtani Search: Pack #1 (2018 Bowman Baseball)

It's the most popular ticket in town...and no, I don't mean yet another Comic Book Superhero Movie.  Nope, it's Ohtani madness...and I decided not to be left out of the fun.  My local Wal*Mart had exactly one 2018 Bowman blaster remaining on the shelf when I walked by so I nabbed it with $100,000 dreams in my head*.

*not really, but I guy can hope, right?

Did I hit the famed Ohtani?  I'm going to say no without even knowing for sure.  Did I find anything at all in the blaster to make me feel like I didn't waste $20?  That's a fair question...and one I hope to answer as I rip the blaster!

Pack 1:

3.  Corey Kluber

The base cards aren't too bad this year.  I generally avoid Bowman like the plague...and I have no plans to buy this year's set either but that Ohtani lured me in.  Well, that and the fact that I hadn't opened some new cards in awhile.

49.  Shohei Ohtani

Alright!  It's not the super rare one that everyone is looking for but I won't turn down a rookie card of the hottest player in the league right now.  If nothing else, this one will make my Frankenset (when/if I ever get around to putting that beast together)!

79.  Buster Posey
86.  Rougned Odor
BP80.  Matt Hall
BP97.  Corey Ray
BP139.  Travis Lakins

The Bowman brand always confusing me with the various sets within the set.  I do like getting 10 cards per pack at least...80 cards total in the blaster certainly feels like a better deal than some sets.

BCP12.  Thomas Hatch
BCP133.  Tyler Stephenson

Well, between the Ohtani rookie and a Reds' chrome card I cannot complain at all about how the blaster has started. 

#Bowman Trending:  #-FR.  Fernando Romero

We end on a Twins insert card.  I don't usually bother with Bowman in part because other than (maybe) some of the Reds' minor league players, I haven't heard of any of these guys.  The #Bowman Trending insert cards are seeded 1:8 packs...and I guarantee those cards don't age well.  In ten years, the idea of hashtag might be as passe as the idea of a pager is to us now.  Technology ages very rapidly!

All things considered, I couldn't have hoped for much of a better start to the blaster.  With eight packs total (10 cards in each pack), it feels like a "meaty" enough of a purchase to justify the price tag (at least compared to the going rate of baseball cards these days).  I'm hopeful that I'll pull some more good stuff in the remaining seven packs...but you'll have to wait and see what I get when I get around to my next pack rip (and write-up)!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

2018 Gypsy Queen: Hits, Parallels, Inserts, and More: ALL FOR TRADE!

If you followed along on my blog over the past month or two, you'll know that I ripped a somewhat unhealthy amount of Gypsy Queen (two hobby boxes plus three blasters I believe).  I am still working on completing my set (my want list is here) but I also ended up with a lot of cards that don't necessarily fit into any of my collections.  I'd love to find a good home for these and work out some sort of trade, so if you are interested shoot me an email!  I am mostly looking for cards off my want list (or LEGO sets).  I will consider cash offers if nothing else works.

Should you be interested in base cards from the set (or inserts), I have my trade bait listed here.  What I didn't put in that post is the various hits and parallels which I will make available today.

GQA-AS.  Andrew Stevenson (Nationals)
GQA-AV.  Alex Verdugo (Dodgers)
GQA-ZG.  Zack Granite (Twins)

Purple (Retail only I believe) parallels:
24.  Bryon Buxton
24.  Byron Buxton
63.  Alex Gordon
74.  Noah Syndergaard
92.  Zack Cozart
99.  Tyler Glasnow
162.  Francisco Mejia
166.  Ben Gamel
250.  Max Scherzer
256.  James Paxton
266.  Aaron Altherr
278.  Javier Baez
278.  Javier Baez
289.  Tyler Saladino
294.  Nomar Mazara

Blue parallels:
48.  Parker Bridwell (Angels) #231/250
57.  Gary Sanchez (Yankees) #193/250
193.  Erick Fedde (Nationals) #144/250
298.  Salvador Perez (Royals) #027/250

Black & White parallels:
78.  Luiz Gohara (Braves) #49/50
243.  Matt Moore (Rangers) #26/50

Bazooka (Topps) Back parallel:
30.  A.J. Jimenez (Rangers)

No Team Name Plate variations:
94.  Nick Markakis (Braves)
170.  Ryon Healy (Mariners)

Gypsy Queen Logo Swap variations:
209.  Kevin Gausman (Orioles)
224.  Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees)
257.  Adrian Beltre (Rangers)

Gypsy Queen Logo Swap Short Print Variation:
308.  Carlton Fisk (White Sox)

Gypsy Queen Logo Swap Image Variation:
100.  Chris Sale (Red Sox)

Glass Works Box Toppers:
GW-CS.  Corey Seager (Dodgers)

Glass Works Blue Parallel Box Topper:
GW-AR.  Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) #124/150

Note:  I'd love to swap my box topper(s) for a Jose Altuve Glass Works.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Another New 1889 Original Allen & Ginter for my Collection

Today is a big day for a few reasons.  For one, I have a brand new (to me) card from the 1889 Allen & Ginter 50 Fish from American Waters set to show off.  For non-card reasons, today is a big day because we head to the doctors to see if our baby is still in the breech position.  If he is, then my wife and I have to schedule a date for the C-section...scary, but also exciting that the little one will finally be able to open his eyes to the world within the next two weeks or so!

I don't know how much time I'll have to blog once the baby arrives (I promise not to abandon the blog entirely but I cannot promise to have at least one post every day like I've pretty much done for the last five or six years).  That said, there isn't a baby here quite yet so let's take a look at the newest addition to my baseball card collection.

That's the Carp - and for a card from 1889, the front of the card looks to be in great shape.  I love the metallic shimmer of the fish in the set...the cards truly are little masterpieces that you need to hold to appreciate fully. 

Way back when, I thought it'd be a fun idea to try and complete one of the vintage Allen & Ginter sets.  I didn't honestly expect that I'd ever actually successfully complete a set but I figured it'd give me something to browse for on eBay over the years.  While I haven't quite yet finished off the fish set, I am closer than I ever thought possible. 

In fact, now that the Carp is tucked away in my binder I am down to needing only four more fish from the set.  For something released back in 1889, I still can't get over the fact that I'm so close now!  In the off chance that someone has some of these fish cards lying around, here are the four that I'm still missing:

  • Bluefish
  • Rock Blackfish
  • Sardine 
  • Striped Bass

I'll keep an eye out for them on eBay (if my time allows) but should anyone of you happen to know where I could track down any (or all) of those please let me know!

Until then, I invite you to take a look at my full album of the set as I have it so far

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Delivery Time! A Mini Zapping!

Back in March, I completed a quick swap with the master of trades:  Mr. Zippy Zappy himself.  After I sent my cards off to him, he returned fire to me...and then we waited.

And waited.  And waited.

Somehow, the envelope must have gotten lost somewhere in the world of the post office...but this story has a happy ending because I now have the envelope in hand (and it didn't even show too much wear other than a series of holes in it that luckily didn't damage any of the cards).

For me, the highlight of the envelope has to be one of the few potential bright spots for the Reds moving forward in both 2018 but more importantly for 2019 and beyond.

That's the young phenom Nick Senzel - and this is one of my first cards of his.  Very cool!

Other highlights of the package include this neat Card Gen card of Jonny Gomes.

Gomes didn't have a long stint with the Reds so it's nice to see him get some love here.

Speaking of getting some love, I expect the Reds to be bombarded with teams looking to acquire one of their few remaining good players this year, Raisel Iglesias.

Of course, given the recent travesty that was the Reds/Mets trade where the Reds got fleeced both coming and going, I don't hold out much hope that the Reds will get anything worthwhile for their closer.

Thanks for the great package of cards - always a pleasure to be on the receiving end of a Zippy Zapping.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 607: 1999 Metal Universe - #98

Barry Larkin
Year:  1999
Brand:  Metal Universe
Card number:  98

The Metal Universe set in 1998 was nowhere near as cool as the previous year's edition (or the even better 1997 edition).  On the other hand, the 1999 set design definitely lives up to the "metal" moniker more than the previous sets.  Unfortunately, that's not really enough to make the set overly awesome. 

As for the Larkin card itself, it's firmly in the "meh" category for me.  It's not awful but it's not overly great either.  The front is merely average while the backside is a bit below average (the sideways statistics...what's there of the statistics particularly annoying).  I won't be chasing this set, I can tell you that much (though I'm happy to at least have the Larkin from the set)!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Flashback Friday! Is 1995 Considered Vintage?

One of the biggest problems with blogging for as long as I have is that I often forget about various blog series that I've started.  My Flashback Friday series of posts, in particular, has suffered.  I started the series back in 2015 and it lasted all of two weeks.  In 2016, I had one post while in 2017 I added in two more.  Clearly there are way more Fridays in each of those years as compared to my post count!  

Last year, I did slightly better in that I had three posts...but for 2018, things are looking up in that today's Flashback Friday is already the third one of the year!  So what's in store for today's Flashback?  

How about this pack of 1995 Fleer Ultra that I've had sitting in my desk drawer for who knows how long?  I don't recall buying any of the '95 Ultra when it was released (probably was too pricey for my budget at the time).  Therefore, I'm kind of excited to open the pack since most of these cards should be new to me.

The pack promises a pair of special print cards - 1 insert and 1 gold medallion in each pack along with 10 other base cards.  The pack also mentions that it's possible to find "hot packs" which contain nothing but insert cards  (odds of finding a hot pack are 1:72 packs).  

In the order the cards appear in the pack...

Gold Medallion:  160.  Kurt Abbott

First card and it's already someone I never heard of.  Then again, I probably haven't heard of 90% of the current Marlins playing either so Mr. Abbott shouldn't be offended.

174.  Todd Jones
198.  Jeff Kent

The card design on these isn't terrible...and it's way more muted as compared to Fleer's flagship offering from 1995.  I never think of Kent as a New York Met.

HR King:  6.  Matt Williams

There's our promised insert of the pack - a much-too-busy Home Run King card of Matt Williams.  The Home Run King cards were exclusive to retail packs.  I only mention that because I still think of "retail only" exclusives being a more modern card development.  Nope, Fleer had been doing it for quite some time.

162.  Chris Hammond
154  Charlie Hayes
102.  Reggie Jeggerson

The backs of the cards are "tinted" in the team's primary color.  Kind of a neat idea but sometimes it makes for a difficult to read card.

2.  Sid Fernandez
26.  Wilson Alvarez
160.  Kurt Abbott (same as the Gold Medallion just without the extra logo)
151.  Dante Bichette
Probably the best base card in the pack, for whatever that is worth.

100.  Dave Fleming
He looks like a baby in this photo!

This pack had three Marlins in it which probably isn't ideal for anyone...  Still, it was a fun pack to rip - and I think every card in the pack was new to me.  I probably won't be keeping many of them but that's not the point for a Flashback Friday.  On that note, let's see if I can manage to get a fourth Flashback Friday written before the calendar switches over to the year 2019...

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Delivery Time! Another Trade with Blog Reader Tim

About two days ago or so, I received my end of the second trade in as many months with blog reader Tim.  He and I seem to have some similar tastes in cards lately and so we have successfully swapped PWEs twice in a row.

The latest trade involved me sending him a bunch of 2018 Gypsy Queen Indians in exchange for some 2018 Panini Donruss cards that I needed for my set.

In total, Tim had six five more Donruss cards for me which definitely helps me inch a bit closer to completing the full set.  I've already knocked off all of the variations, so at this point I only need base cards (plus I'd like to track down the various Barry Larkin parallels if I could).

The lack of logos is still way too obvious in a lot of the Donruss cards - but that KC Masterpiece card is actually quite well done (much, much better than many of the other "duo" cards in the set).

I should mention here that the Arenado is actually not his regular base card...and as such, that one is actually a duplicate for me.  You can find that card (and many others) listed on my 2018 Donruss FOR TRADE page.  Despite the one duplicate, I needed the other five cards so I'll call this swap a success.

Thanks for yet another quick and easy trade, Tim.  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!

Trade Stack 90: Calling All Dodger Fans!

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)!

New rule:  Please note that shipping large packages to Canada (or overseas) has become too expensive, at least when it means that all I am getting in return is a single base card.  If you happen to want me to ship to a place not in the US, please contact me first.  Maybe we can work out a larger deal that will make the increase in postage worthwhile.  I am sorry for that as I have a number of great traders in Canada but I have no control over what the USPS charges for shipping!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 5/10/18

After today's addition, the Trade Stack is up to a total of seven cards.  Will it be enough to convince someone to claim the entire pile?

Remember, you can claim the current Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off my want list (or anything LEGO since I've been getting more and more into collecting LEGO as well)!

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Baseball:
Black bordered parallel:
250.  Manny Ramirez (Dodgers)

2018 Topps:
102.  Wil Myers (Padres)
151.  Ryan McMahon (Rockies)
277.  Aaron Slegers (Twins)

2018 Topps Gypsy Queen:
133.  Lance McCullers Jr. (Astros)

1998 Upper Deck Retro:
120.  Eric Milton (Twins)

2018 Panini Donruss:
American Pride Insert:
AP20.  Tim Cate (USA)

If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  

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:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by Night Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  15 cards by Dayf
Stack 78:  29 cards by Chris
Stack 79:  26 cards by John H.
Stack 80:  14 cards by David G.
Stack 81:  3 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 82:  6 cards by Matt S.
Stack 83:  26 cards by Gavin
Stack 84:  1 card by Gavin
Stack 85:  29 cards by arpsmith
Stack 86:  10 cards by Henry
Stack 87:  15 cards by Henry
Stack 88:  5 cards by Adam K.
Stack 89:  7 cards by TSHenson
Stack 90:  ?? by ??

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 606: 1998 Topps Stadium Club - #NC15 - Never Compromise insert

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Topps Stadium Club
Insert set: Never Compromise
Card number:  NC15

Way back in 2014, I showed off Barry's base card from the 1998 Topps Stadium Club set.  Today, I'm able to close the book on the set by showing off the only other* Larkin card in it - this Never Compromise insert.

*There are a bunch of parallels in the set for me to track down some day.  For Larkin's base card, there are the following:

  • First Day Issue (serial-numbered to 200 copies; exclusive to retail packs)
  • One of a Kind (serial-numbered to 150 copies; exclusive to Hobby and HTA packs)
  • Printing Plates (set of four for each card; exclusive to HTA packs)

Luckily, the Never Compromise insert has no parallels (at least none that I am aware of).

As for today's card, I think its nice enough I guess.  The design is somewhat unique even if the set name is kind of stupid.  I particularly like the write-up about Larkin on the backside of the card...just one of the many reasons why he was (and still is) my favorite player!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Delivery Time! Cardboard Collections Affordable Group Break Recap!

Back in late February (I think?), Colbey of Cardboard Connections hosted one of his Affordable Group Breaks which featured a couple of boxes of early 90s Pacific baseball.  Colbey runs his breaks in much the same way I usually do, that is "buy one team, get one team."  It's a good way for the group break host to control costs and it provides a little bit of "bonus" for group break participants if they happen to get lucky with their second team.

In my case, I wouldn't say that I got particularly lucky or unlucky with my second team - the Chicago White Sox.  Early 90s White Sox cards were useful for tracking down Frank Thomas cards...but other than that I don't have much use for the ChiSox (and there aren't all that many White Sox collectors on the blogs, at least not that I'm aware of).

The good news for me is that I did get a Frank Thomas card from both the box of 1993 Pacific and the 1994 Pacific boxes (the only two boxes in the group break if I recall correctly).  Those are both keepers since I have a small collection of Frank Thomas cards that I've been setting aside for now.

Moving on to the main event, the Cincinnati Reds were the team that I actually claimed and wanted.  Of course, for a 90s set the draw for me is going to be new Barry Larkin cards.

Once again, I lucked out in that both boxes had a Larkin card.  I actually only needed the 1993 version for my collection but I was happy nonetheless to land a pair of Larkins.

I also got a few other keepers for my various player collections that I currently have...

Being honest, I can't say that the set design of either Pacific set is nice enough for me to try and actually build the entire set.  Still, I am happy to have both Barry Larkins (plus there are a bunch of possibilities for my Reds Frankenset that I'll eventually get around to building).  Fun, affordable breaks such as the one run by Colbey are great in that you don't have to hit "major mojo" in order to feel like you spent your cash wisely.  Sometimes you can spend a little bit of money and get a whole lot of fun (even if that fun doesn't involve relics, short prints, autographs, or any other modern baseball card nonsense).

Thanks for hosting the group break, Colbey - I'm sure I'll be back for another one of your breaks when there is another possibility of me landing some more Barry Larkin cards that I don't own!

Monday, May 07, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 605: 1998 Upper Deck SPx Finite - #265 (#/9000)

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Upper Deck SPx Finite
Card number:  265 (#4873/9000)

The 1998 Upper Deck SPx Finite set is another set that I knew nothing about until I acquired the Barry Larkin card from the set.  As it turns out, the set contains only serially numbered cards.  The most common base cards (such as the Larkin above) are numbered out of 9000 but there are rarer subsets within the larger set that are numbered as low as only 2000 copies.

Personally, I'm not mad that Larkin isn't featured more prominently in the set since I think the design is sorely lacking (especially on the front of the card).  I do eventually need to track down the two parallels from the set, the radiance parallel (#/4500) and the SPectrum parallel (#/2250).  Luckily for me, those are the most common of each parallel numbering as well so I don't think that this task will be nearly as difficult to complete as it is with some of the other sets from the same era (1998 Topps Tek, I'm looking at you)!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Delivery Time! Tackling Some White Whales!

Many of my loyal readers probably know that I am a huge Cincinnati Reds fan - and with it, I am a collector of any and all things related to Barry Larkin (my all-time favorite player).  In fact, my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection series (in which I showcase each and every card in my collection) is up over 600 cards and still growing - in fact, I know I have at least 100+ more Barry Larkin cards to show off in the future.  I'm definitely proud of my collection but there has always been one HUGE gap in my Barry Larkin spreadsheet of cards in existence:  1998 Topps Tek.

The 1998 Topps Tek set is a monstrosity.  There are 90 players each with 90 different backgrounds for a total of 8100 base cards.  In addition, each of those base cards (except perhaps one version) has a diffractor version (not numbered but believed to have a print run of between 10 and 20).  Until my recent eBay purchase, I owned exactly ZERO of the 180 different Barry Larkin cards from the 1998 Tek set. 

Since I love cards on acetate - and I've always enjoyed the Tek brand - this was a major shortcoming of my collection.  It bothered me for quite some time, but I never could pull the trigger on any expensive Tek cards.  That is, I never could until now.

That's right, I recently splurged and purchased three different Barry Larkin cards from the 1998 Tek set.  I'll show off each one eventually as part of my ongoing Larkin Collection series - but here's a taste of what I acquired.

The patterns are #2, 28, and 51.  I definitely have a long, long way to go...but man, it feels great to at least have a few "yes" markings on my master checklist under the '98 Tek set!

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Delivery Time! First Trade with Scribbled Ink!

I recently completed what I believe is my first (but hopefully not last) trade with Paul over at the Scribbled Ink blog.  I sent Paul some Tigers and in exchange he offered up some more of the 2018 Panini Donruss base set that I needed (5 cards in total but my favorite was the Motown Mashers shown below).

Like many trades that I've completed, both of us threw in a few extras to fill out the envelope.  Admittedly, I think what Paul sent my way was way more generous - I'll have to up my game a bit for our next swap.  Anyhow, Paul hooked me up with a pair of A&G minis that I needed as well.

Those retail only horse minis are annoying to track down but I'm pleased to still be making slow progress on the set now that it is almost a year old!

And finally, in some ways the real surprise and treat of the package was a few different Barry Larkin cards - including at least two that are new to my collection!

Thanks for the awesome trade, Paul!  And - as usual - if anyone else would like to trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 604: 1998 Score - #PP28 - Showcase Series parallel

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Score
Card number:  PP28
Parallel set:  Showcase Series

The Showcase Series parallel set is a partial parallel of the entire 1998 Score set (only 160 cards rather than the full 270 cards of the base set).  There is also a Showcase Series Artist's Proof parallel of the parallel but I don't (yet?) own that particular Barry Larkin card.

As for today's card, it's standard fare with a shiny front (that doesn't scan well at all).  The backside has a TON of information on it...but it's sort of a text overload for someone who isn't mentally prepared to process that much stuff all at once.  I consider this another parallel in the long, long list of pointless parallels...but I'm still glad to have it as a Larkin collector!