Tuesday, August 30, 2011

another possible break

The household is in one piece. Irene didn't hit us nearly as hard as it could have, thankfully. I do hope that everyone who did experience worse than we did up here is doing good and are all unharmed.

Now, I may have an idea for another break. This would probably be my final one for a little while due to the good stuff running low. I want to make it a good one though:

Uhh...not sure why they are sideways but you get the idea. The cost this time would be $60 but I'll have four entrants and each of them can pick one of these. They all book (yes, Beckett) at over $100. Sure book value is meaningless but it is just there for example. Along with these I'll have an auto round, a second and better auto round (with a couple Hall of Famers), a few vintage rounds and maybe some more depending on what I can come up with. Yes, $60 is high, my highest ever but then again, I wasn't giving away $100 to $200 cards. It will be worth it, I'll be making sure of that. If you are possibly interested in this one, let me know in the comments and once I get a few people on board, I'll lay out the details. Namely it will give me time to gauge interest and pull some good stuff out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 a&g relic set

Ok, some things accompany this post:

One, I know A&G has been out seemingly forever but I had an idea to finish up a "set".

Two, it's not a full set, as it is only one team,

Three, I know it's almost 'the thing to do' around here but hate on the Yankees is something I don't do. I'm a Jays fan first and a Yankee fan second.

Now, with all that out of the way, I'll get on to what I'm talking about. I admittedly picked up too much Ginter this year. I said I wouldn't but I did. I did finish off the set last week, all 350 cards. No extended minis for me. No insert cards either. Out of all the Ginter I did pick up, I managed to get four Yankee relics. Yes, horrific pulls for some (not you AJ or BA Benny) but not for me. I then decided to see how many Yankees there were in the set, saw that there were 12 and figured I could pretty easily get the rest. I pulled arguably the most pricey one (Jeter) along with three others I'll point out below. Oh and how much I paid for them too.

Burnett- pulled / Cano- $3 / Cervelli- pulled
Chamberlain- pulled / Gardner- $2 / Hughes- $1

Jeter- pulled / Martin- $1 / Posada- $2.30
Rodriguez- $3.25 / Swisher- $2.25 / Teixeira- $2.77

So as you can see, the most expensive one was Alex Rodriguez at a whopping three bucks and change. If you can finish off the Yankee portion of this set so cheap, every other team should be pure cake. I was also very thankful there wasn't a Mantle relic. I really didn't want to have to shell out for that. Some of these come in two variations, those being either a bat or jersey. I would prefer jerseys but I took bats where I did to get them on the cheap.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

an anniversary!

Normally I only talk baseball and cards on this blog. Every now and again, something happens and I feel the need to write about it. Today is one of those such days.

Today, 20 years ago to the day, Nintendo released this:

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Quite possibly the best system ever released. The expansive library, awesome graphics (for their time), faster processor, better sound chip and many more colors, gave this system the definitive edge over Sega's Genesis. Everything I just mentioned, the SNES did better. By this day in n 1991, the Genesis was already two years old, having been released on August 14th, 1989. Obviously this gave Nintendo some time to really wow consumers with their incredible hardware. A huge leap over the NES and a big step over Sega, the SNES was really a power to be contended with. The system ceased production in 1999 to make way for the newer hardware, that being the Nintendo 64 (released in 1996). The final game was a port of Frogger, put out in 1998. A good 7 year run produced a vast and excellent library with many, many classic titles of new and old franchises. Lets look at my top five favorties:

1) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. My favorite Super NES game is also my favorite game of all time. The world is huge, gameplay perfect and a timeless story of a plucky young hero off to adventure and save the princess. I actually play this game pretty much annually and I still always cherish every moment.

2) Super Mario World. Building on what was the best Mario game for the NES, Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario World took that idea to a whole new level. MArio could fly with his new cape, ride Yoshi and explore 96 very different levels, full of platforming perfection.

3) Super Mario Kart. This game seemed kind of a sleeper until people played it. Sure the premise is a little weird but it started a whole new genre of games (the cute mascot kart racer genre) that would last until today. This game set the bar and few have matched it since. I may enjoy Mario Kart 64 a little more but this one will always have a special spot on the shelf.

4) Super Mario All-Stars. Containing Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3 and Lost Levels (Mario 2 in Japan). Sure its a compilation but its a compilation of four of the best games ever released on the NES. Personally I like 1 and 3 the best but you can't lose with any of these classics.

5) Super Metroid. This game took the Metroid idea and blew it away. Not only was the game bigger, better and more story oriented than the first but it also brought the franchise to new lofty heights that no other Metroid game has ever perched. The depth and exploration alone makes this a must play. Add in perfect controls, a good story and so much more and it all adds up to instant classic. Truly, a must play.

So there you have it. My top five Super Nintendo games. I got my system for Christmas in 1993 along with Mario World in the box and a copy of Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! There was a coupon in the box for a free copy of Mario All-Stars that we promptly sent in. Waiting that 6 or so weeks to get it was seemingly forever but I had plenty to keep me occupied until then. Anyone else have a SNES? Or remember playing some classics way back?

Monday, August 22, 2011

my take on his take

Chris over at Stale Gum made some excellent points on the hot topic of 2012 Topps. If you haven't read his latest post, click the link in the first sentence there to get right to it. I'll wait.

Back? Good article right? While I do agree with many of his points I do have to address some of them. I know he has a much bigger reader base than I and that it really doesn't matter what I think or say but I thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

He first mentions that the gloss and foil should go away. Topps will never do this and I'm not sure they should. Topps has had foil names on pretty much every issue of the flagship set since 1995 (1992 if you count Topps Gold parallels). Personally I don't mind it because I really don't want all my cards looking like Opening Day. Can they be hard to read at times? Yes, but as a company that makes things we look at, it is their responsibility to make cards easy to read. Some years are better than others. I really don't see foil or gloss going away.

He goes on to mention he would like to see a base set larger than 330 cards per series. I couldn't agree more with this. In fact, I have no idea why they cut the base set down to 660. 2004 was 733, an odd number sure but at least more players got cards than now. Almost mind boggling really because they are out to sell cards. If they make the base set bigger, wouldn't that make us buy more?

Next he addresses the wood-grain. I would love to see Topps go out on a limb and reproduce the 25 year gap with the wood style. 1962-1987-2012. Maybe it looks too much like Heritage this year and they think we're stupid and we'll get confused? Come on. Personally Topps hasn't made a bold statement with their base set since 1990. As ugly as it was, it sure sticks out in your memory, right?

Inserts, Oh the inserts. Yes, Topps has WAY too many inserts for a basic set. Most of them aren't even that great. I collected (or am collecting) two whole insert sets from 2011 (Diamond Stars and Kimballs). The rest were either just rehashes or just plain boring. 2012 seems no different. The walk-off subset is good but I could care less about the rest. Plus Chris makes another great point in that there are too many inserts AND they are too big. Yeah, they are. There shouldn't be more inserts than the base set, that is plain absurdity. I suppose you do have to sell packs and making huge insert sets seeded 1:8 packs does sell more packs. Pointless if you ask me (well, not if you think only of money), why not make 3 good insert sets and we will want to collect them all.

Gold huh? Well for some reason Topps has a huge thing for gold this year. Why? I suppose we'll never really know, except that they have to use themes and gimmicks now just to sell their base set. A sorry thought indeed, that they feel that just simply collecting the biggest set year in and year out just isn't enough. A shame, a damn shame that they feel that their flagship product can't carry it's own weight. Sure the hobby has changed but how many boxes of 1989 Topps did you tear through just trying to finish off that set? Did it have parallels? Or hits? Or even inserts? No. To all three. Did we care? Hell no, because it was Topps. It didn't matter what it looked like we all collected it every year. Some of us still do. Well, it is kind of our only choice now but whatever. Its TOPPS!!

His final point is about hits. Come on, no one buys Topps series 1 for the hits. Yes, they are nice to get but they don't need to be one per box. This is again, Topps' lack of faith in their product. By guaranteeing one hit per box, they know some would be more inclined to buy it due to the possibility of it being something big. A small possibility, yes but it is still there. Seems you can't buy ANY box without there being a guaranteed hit in it. Some sets it works. Allen & Ginter is good with the three but the mini relics and autos are part of what make that set fun.

Overall what Topps needs to do is get their head out of the clouds and get with the program. They will ruin this hobby with their overproduction and their overcalculation of they think we want. In reality, what ruined this hobby are the speculators. You know who I'm talking about. The guys that buy a case of what ever new set is out and doesn't care about the cards, just sells the case for (hopefully) a profit. They are the ones who are ruining the hobby, not Topps. Topps is just catering to them because they buy the most product. If it doesn't have the hits, it's not worth it. Sure, many of us bloggers here may not have the funds to buy cases or even boxes at times but we sure do love to collect and we cherish our cards. We go through them, read them, build sets and do the things you're supposed to do with baseball cards. You want proof? Just go onto the Blowoutcards forums. Supposed "collectors" who trash everything they can't make money on. Lineage? Topps' biggest bust in five years. Bowman Platinum? Pure trash. If they can't make bank on a case or a set, it is automatically the worst thing ever released on cardboard. Pure scumbags. As you've no doubt seen, I don't use profanity on this blog but I'm really having a hard time not using it when describing these people. Topps' only mistake is listening to these people and not us! They want the guaranteed hits and parallels and 1 of 1's, purely so they can profit from them.

So this post has taken a different form than I had imagined (I seem to be doing that a lot as of late) but just take a second to think about where your place in the hobby is. Then take a second to think about how it's not Topps ruining the hobby and that it is these people, nothing else. Yes, it is their right as citizens in a democratic society and Topps doesn't have to cater to them but they do. It was never about us, it was always about the money.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

rippin' wax

Lets rip some wax...well, plastic. While going through my box of packs, I decided to open one up.

A 1993 Topps rack pack. 45 cards of early 90's goodness. Normally I wouldn't even bother showing what I got out of a pack of cards from 1993 but this pack had so much star power, that if I had opened it up in 1993, I would have squealed with delight.

Here are the first nine:

Griffey, Dawson, Yount, Sandberg, all Hofers now (well, Griffey soon). HoJo, Glavine, Sosa, Martinez and Sheffield are all just icing on the 1993 cake.

The second nine:

A rookie cup! Hrbek, Kruk and Finley are some good players. Blyleven in what seems like it may be his final card (I forget if he is in '94 or later) and a great picture of Mack. I like the casual Karkovice with his catcher gear on in the dugout. The gold is Mike Scioscia, another quality pull. The other two golds were Jeff Parrett and Chad McConnell, a draft pick for Philly. Wow. What a rack pack. Seriously, five Hall of Famers and a gaggle of other good players. Too bad 1993 Topps is so overproduced...

Friday, August 19, 2011

what happened??

So by now I'm sure many of you have seen and read about 2012 Topps flagship. I don't mind the design at all. Sure it is a little pedestrian but it doesn't look horrible. Simple really. A clean and simple look. However my gripe isn't with the design. What happened to the rumors of Topps releasing seven series over the course of the year? Bumping up the base set to 792 in the first six series and then a 300 or so card Update set? What foul and cruel person dangled this rumor in front of us, only to have it dashed by Topps themselves? OH CRUEL FATE WHY DO YOU MOCK ME??


Seriously, what happened? I was really looking forward to collecting a smaller set each month going toward the larger goal. It sounded great. Buying a hobby box would almost net you a full series X set, needing to buy less and collect more. Topps talked about 2012 being a 'game changer' and the seven series plan WAS a game changer. Well, more like a throwback to pre-1974 Topps baseball but it would be new to me and everyone else born after 1980. Again the cards look fine but seriously, what's different about another 330 card series 1 with a bunch of inserts and parallels? Oh, and another giveaway online. Ok, so hobby boxes have less packs (24 now as opposed to 36). Maybe the 'game changer' is that we will have to buy more. More like a 'wallet changer' if you ask me. I'll buy it though, as will most everyone. It also seems a tad weird that they are announcing this in August, as opposed to October/November when they first released images of 2011.

I just don't get it. Hopefully Topps has something else in store in this 'game changing' year for them. I mean, its not like they won't release the same stuff next year too. Allen & Ginter, Bowman (which were rumored to be inserts in 2012 flagship, remember?), Chrome, Heritage, Tribute, Triple Threads, etc. Just take this year's release schedule and put 2012 in place of all the 2011 and the 2012 release schedule is all set. Nothing will change. They won't release less product. Man, I just can't get over how disappointing it all is. Only in the hobby for under two years and I'm already dejected and disgusted with it. Good thing this blogging community exists because if it weren't for that, I would have lost interest long ago.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

hank's missing!

Corner that is. Before I went into the vintage legends scans, I wanted to touch upon what happened to my Hank Greenberg and why it needed to be replaced. Hank was card 1 in 2010, mirroring Prince Fielder, an accurate paring I suppose. Although normally Topps tends to pair up Hank Greenberg with Ryan Braun or Ike Davis (see 2010 Legendary Lineage subset) or other players based off of the fact that they are all Jewish. While there is nothing wrong with being proud or even just celebrating religion, I feel the comparisons should stick within the realm of baseball stats. The thing being that Hank was persecuted and treated differently due to his beliefs and was probably why it took him so long to get into the Hall of Fame, unfortunately. Players of today don't have the social issues that players of his day went through. No one is out in the stands shouting racial slurs at Carl Crawford as they did Jackie Robinson. Things are very different today and obviously for the better. No one need be persecuted or treated different due to who they are. Anyway, this post has turned into something completely different than I envisioned so before I go on and on, here is what I was going for.

I needed Hank for the collection and his card is one of the tougher ones to come by. I was very pleased I won it for around $12. The card came quick but when I opened the envelope this is how I found it:

Now, I open my packages with a boxcutter. Maybe not the best way, (obviously I need to be more careful huh?) but it gets the job done. I slit the top part of the envelope about an inch down from the end and I noticed I had cut the corner off of poor Hank here. Of course, it is my fault for feverishly opening up the envelope with total disregard of its contents but would it have killed the seller to tape up the top of the top-loader? No. It wouldn't have. Needless to say, I had to get another one. Luckily I found one on Check Out My Cards for $9.95, so I snapped it up and now Hank is in good standing with the rest of the binder. The cut one above is in my doubles section. I open packages much more careful now. Or at least I just pay attention.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

round 13 (final)

Well, here we are in the final round! I hope this break was as enjoyable as you had hoped. This being the final round, with the most fun cards, I am doing something different. Everyone still gets two picks but only one pick at a time to keep things fair. See the order below.

Now let me explain what these are:

Top Row: 1939 Play Ball/1941 Play Ball
Middle Row: 1949 Bowman/1951 Bowman/1969 Topps Deckle Edge
Bottom Row: 1975 Topps/1975 Topps/1961 Fleer

When choosing your card, just say the year and brand (unless its either of the 75s), I'll know what to grab. Like I said before, do you go with the Hall of Famer or the old cards? A motley bunch for sure but there is some interesting baseball card history here. The reason I wanted to make it one pick at a time is for fairness. Just so one person doesn't end up with both 75's or both Play Balls (unless it just happens that way). I wanted a nice mix with equal chance for everyone to get something kinda old. I do want to thank everyone for their participation. I believe I have your addresses but if I don't you'll be hearing from me asking for it so I can get these out.

jeff- 75 topps aaron
cardanathema- 41 playball
shadytwine- 51 bowman
ryan- 39 playball
jeff- 49 bowman
cardanathema- 61 fleer
shadytwine- 75 topps kaline
ryan- 69 deckle

round 12

Next up, the fifties! 1953 to 1956 to be exact: (two picks again)

shadytwine- young/moore
ryan- runnels/jacobs
cardanathema- janowicz/addis
jeff- brewer/lennon

Monday, August 15, 2011

round 11

Another random round, with two picks each:

Sorry about the sideways Danny, he wouldn't fit on the scanner.

ryan- chipper/delgado
cardanathema- valencia/d'arnaud
jeff- thomas/austin
shadytwine- johnson/chico

round 10

Some more fun stuff. The Braun is from 2011 Lineage, the Topps Giants set, Chapman is also from 2011, one of the N43 toppers, the Jordan rookie is, well, Jordan and the Baseball Bucks Hanley Ramirez is from this years Heritage. One pick per this round.

cardanathema- hanley bucks
jeff- chapman
shadytwine- braun
ryan- mj rookie

Sunday, August 14, 2011

round 9

Here is a...different round. These are all my non-baseball hits. Each of you gets one pick.

jeff- noah
shadytwine- palmer
ryan- hughes
cardanathema- prokop

round eight

Next up, 1957-1959:

shadytwine- pignatano/cerv
jeff- bell/ricketts
cardanathema- piersall/lynch
ryan- porterfield/jurges

Saturday, August 13, 2011

round seven

More vintage, gettin' older! Some 1961 to 63's:

jeff- clendonon/lopat
cardanathema- mcbean/johnson
ryan- o'dell/ws highlight
shadytwine- muffett/romano

Friday, August 12, 2011

round 6

Just did relics, so why not autos?

cardanathema- fowler/martis
ryan- mcdonald/freese
shadytwine- schafer/kottaras
jeff- jepsen/crowe

round 5

Ok, lets get back to business, shall we? Time to break up this vintage party with some relics.

Again, still choosing two here.

ryan- pence/pena
shadytwine- lee/reynolds
jeff- sandoval/feliz
cardanathema- lowrie/ramirez

Thursday, August 11, 2011

my apologies and a d'oh!

I know I'm in the middle of a draft break but I just had to get this off of my brain. I am a dope. There I said it. Here is why:

I had the chance to meet a living baseball legend. I even heard it on the radio, so it was totally a go. Except that I either heard it wrong, or totally processed the information I heard wrong.

Story is that Connecticut has two minor league teams, the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins double A affiliate) and the Connecticut Tigers (Tigers single A affiliate. The Tigers held a game at HOME (more on that in a second) on Monday. Well at this game, signing autographs and cheering on his grandson was none other than Tigers legend Al Kaline. The way I heard and misinterpreted what I heard on the radio was that he was going to be at a CT Tigers game, in support of his grandson but for some reason I thought the game was an away game. WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY ADVERTISE AN AWAY GAME?? I believe they played the Lowell Spinners, not a Connecticut team. Why would I think that?? Then I totally forgot all about it until this morning, when on the Blowout Cards forums, there was a guy talking about what he had gotten signed. Kaline limited autos to two items but still. ARGH...Talk about missed opportunity. What a schmuck I can be sometimes...

In some good news though, I have managed to complete THREE sets this week. I completed 2011 Allen & Ginter (all 350, in the new fancy binder, with a big help from Chris over at Nachos Grande), 2011 Topps legend variations (all 49 of them) and the 2010 Topps legend variations (I have a story that I'll share at a later date about this one). The 2010 spans series 1, 2 and Update and it is finally complete. I run some scans of everything soon, along with my steals and deals (and not so deals). I know we've all seen 2011 but some of the series 1 2010 guys are pretty tough to come by (Maris, Musial, Greenberg), so maybe you haven't seen them before. 2009 is kind of underway, although I don't seem to be as aggressive with it. Maybe due to me not liking 2009s design so much.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

round 4

Moving right alog, some cards from 1964 to 1966.

shadytwine- heffner/malzone
jeff- abernathy/power
ryan- johnson/sherry
cardanathema- fowler/altman

round 3

Well whatta ya know? Here is Mr. Longborg again. Cards from 1967 to 1969:

jeff- longborg/hendley
ryan- mccarver/haller
cardanathema- short/klaus
shadytwine- bateman/quilici

round 2

Some cards from 1966 to 1969:

ryan- lonborg/hargan
cardanathema- patterson/zimmerman
shadytwine- dierker/johnstone
jeff- napoleon/merritt

vintage break round 1

Lets start this thing! Everyone will get the following number of cards from these years:

1970- 4
1971- 2
1972- 4
1973- 8
1974- 4
1975- 4

Ok. That covers the 70's, now on to the earlier stuff. We'll start with 1960 to 1965:

Here is the first order of picks. For all these rounds pick TWO cards, unless otherwise noted.

cardanathema- ramos/white
shadytwine- rice/bailey
jeff- allison/leaders
ryan- nichols/semproch

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


The break sign-ups are now closed and we will begin the picks tomorrow! Certainly there will be fun and surprises so stay tuned!

Monday, August 8, 2011

vintage draft break sign-ups (halfway there)

We're halfway there. Four have signed up, four slots left! See the details below. On another note, everything is sorted out for the team break that will happen a little while from now. I want to get the packing material and such before I begin that. Take part in the vintage draft for now and for those of you who this is your first, I'll go easy on you ;). Kidding, it's all very good fun.


Eight slots here. This break will consist mainly of vintage, ranging from 1952 to 1969. There will be seven rounds of picks from those years. Everyone will get some cards from 1970 to 1975, just for participating. I have divvied up and divided them evenly over the eight slots. It was done by year, so everyone will get the same amount from each year. There will be an oddball vintage round as well, featuring cards from 1939 to 1975. Not crazy oddball but the choice may be tough. Do you pick the old card due to it's age, or the more recent card with the Hall of Famer? You decide. There will also be a relic round (all 2011 Ginter), an auto round and a random round. The random round will feature stuff that didn't fit into the other rounds. Could be relics/autos/other cool stuff.

It'll be just as fun as the past few have been, I'll see to it. Cost is $20 and if you want in let me know in the comments and you can send the payment via Paypal to my email (krustytheclown138ATyahooDOTcom), using the 'gift' option. I only have enough for eight participants, so unfortunately I cannot extend the number of slots in this break, so sign up quick!

1-cardanathema (paid)
2-shady twine (paid)
3-jeff (paid)
4-ryan (paid)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2011 topps lineage (update)

As I noted on the bottom of yesterday's post, 2011 Topps Lineage is in stores. Well, hobby stores anyway. I think everyone forgot about this set, or they just didn't care. Hot off the heels of Allen & Ginter and last weeks Bowman Platinum, Lineage seems like a fun set collector's set. Here are the base cards:

Personally, I think these look awesome. I believe they could have held this design for 2012 Topps and I would have been happy with that. A 200 card set, that has an excellent mix of stars new and old. Even some faces we haven't seen in a while make a return here (see Belle and O'Neill). As you notice in the bottom row...Rookie Cups! They took 10 guys who never got a rookie cup card and gave them one. They are the final 10 cards in the set (191-200) and the trophy on the front actually says their rookie year, which was a nice touch. Seeing Ripken with a rookie trophy is pretty cool. My one complaint about the set is the backs, which I'll get to later.

Here are the parallels of the set:

These follow suit for the 1975 mini issue. Same size and everything. The players do have the same picture on the mini and the regular card, which different pics from the base set would make this parallel set a 'must collect'.

These are modeled after refractors essentially. Super shiny goodness.

These are just like the series 1 and 2 shinys. Nothing wrong with that at all. These look good with this.

Here are the Topps Giants. These come one per box and have a relic parallel. There are 20 of these and seem like they are the same size as the originals.

Now, on to the inserts:

These are the 3D cards. Kind of hard to tell on here but they look pretty good in person. Kind of like the Topps 2020 inserts from last year. There are 25 of these and they are un-numbered.

Anyone collecting in the 80's surely remembers these. These look awesome with modern players on them and look pretty true to the originals. I think there are 20 of these as the back indicates but the checklist seems messed up and says 19. Topps QC strikes again.

These are Stand-Ups. Fold 'em and see your favorite players come to life!...or something. Kinda neat. 25 un-numbered cards to collect here. (did I mention I hate things that are un-numbered?)

The cloth stickers. May be hard to tell but these are kind of flimsy, as they are actually cloth. 50 of these suckers to collect and stick everywhere!

Now, here is the card back. Yes it is in Spanish, as these are the Venezuelan inserts. The fronts are the same as the base set but they are numbered TV## and have Spanish on the back. 25 cards here. See, the back is the only fault in this set. I would have preferred lifetime stats on the back (and even more preferred would be a vertical back with a tiny pic and vital info and stats but oh well) but the writing is at least interesting.

The hits:

Here are a sample of the hits. The McCutchen auto is a reprint auto, where Topps reprints a card and has them sign it, on-card. They range from 1952 Topps to 1990 Topps for Nolan Ryan (as used on the sell sheet) to Andrew's 2010 here. Nice idea, I say. The middle auto is from the 1952 autograph set and features current players in the (now kind of droll) 1952 design. Decent names too like Posey, Jimenez and Freeman. The final card is the relics. They come in the 1975 mini style. Not much more to say there. They also have a jumbo relic too but I haven't pulled one.

In conclusion, I think this is a really great idea and I think Topps has done a fine job capturing some of their oddball heritage that we may (or may not) fondly remember during our collecting in the days of yore. The base set has a slick design that I feel outshines many of their flagship releases with its simple yet modern approach. Again my only complaint is the backs but when the fronts look this good and the rest of the inserts and parallels are this fun I can't really say too much bad about it.

Gasp!! A different picture!!


After a little research, I have found that this set will come to retail stores too, like Target and WallyWorld. Blasters come 7 packs per box plus a guaranteed mini relic (for the assumed $20), which seems pretty good once you look at the relic checklist. Some duds but some big names on there too.

The 80's looking rookie subset is in fact, 19 cards. Apparently card 15 was skipped but there are all 19 players that are listed on the checklist. So cards 16-20 are really 15-19.

Also, some folk on the Blowout card forums are bitching about this not being a set to make your money off of. Clearly this is a true collectors set and not a Bowman product just to make money off of. I feel that Topps put some good effort into this release and it should appease real collectors (not those looking for profits) in a good way.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

poll time (plus)

Time to take a little poll. For those of you who are interested in the next draft break and the team break (or both), read on.

The team break will have 15 entrants. Each person picks their team, then gets a random team. Like I had mentioned, if you pick the Blue Jays, you can also pick your team as well. Teams are topping out at about 200 cards and have roughly anywhere from 100 to that 200. Some teams that I've never traded with fans of, like the Padres, Twins and the Pirates have more. I'm thinking $20 per slot, breaking down to $10 per team and covers shipping.

The draft break will be mainly vintage from 1953 to 1975. There is an oddball vintage round featuring cards from 1939 to 1975. Eleven rounds to pick the cards from 1953 to 1969 and I have split up the 70's cards to have an even number of cards from which ever year, to be equal for each participant. There will be an auto round, a relic round and a random round (different things like autos, relics, manu-things, etc.) plus what ever surprises I may be able to conjure up. Eight slots, at $20 per slot.

If you are interested in either of these let me know which which one you'd like, which will determine which I do first. If you are interested in both, let me know which you would like to do first.

PS- Anyone remember these:

2011 Lineage is OUT. It snuck into stores today. I'll give my love/hate diagnosis probably tomorrow or Friday.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

topps is tops!

I'm not a 'set-in-a-binder' type of guy. My sets get relinquished to that white box hell that is card storage. I just simply don't have the space to have binders for every set. The sets rest on the top shelf of my closet, in their respectively labeled (or factory set) boxes. Namely Topps flagship sets from 1982 to now. Oh sure, there is the 2009 T206 set and that 2007 Fleer set. Even that 1991 Upper Deck set too. I think most all would agree that a set looks way better in a binder. You know, displayed for viewing as opposed to sitting in a box. Well, some sets look better than others and I think Allen & Ginter to be one of them. Choose your year, any year would look great complete in a binder. Well, this year Topps went and made these:

I think themed binders are a good idea. Too bad you can't get them for 1988 Topps but from Topps website you can get one for at least the past two years of the base set, Heritage and A&G. I know those of you who bought A&G this year got some of these:

We all did. In droves. They do make good packing material though. The coupon is pretty useful too. Colbey of Cardboard Collections fame, recently posted about these, asking about quality. Well, his post prompted me into looking into them and I remembered the coupon and that I had the $10 off code from the Diamond Giveaway to use in the Topps Shop. These combined brought the price down to a more reasonable amount. They want $16.95 for the binder with ten pages. Not bad but then you factor in the $9.65 for shipping (UPS) and it makes it a little harder to swallow. Well, I ordered it on Sunday and it arrived today. Topps turn around time to me is quick, as they are in New York. After the item was placed into the cart and shipping was added, it came to $26.60. Add the coupon and the $10 and it dropped to $14.41. Surely an acceptable cost. The binder itself is well made and is padded on the top and bottom. A D-ring setup on the inside, some old-timey art that looks like a hobby box on the front and a nice black cover and inside, all adds up to one classy looking binder. So if you guys on the Diamond Giveaway site that it that $10 code, with an Allen & Ginter set (and coupon), may want to look into grabbing this. I may even want to grab the 2011 series 1 and 2 binder just to have that set in it. Bravo Topps, bravo.

Monday, August 1, 2011


As most of you know (mostly due to me mentioning it numerous times), I am putting together the legends variations sets from 2009, 2010 and 2011. I've worked the most on '10 and '11, as I figure I'll do '09 once these are done. Now, being that we, the collectors, have only one company to rely on for our cards, we are no stranger to Topps. Topps likes to reuse photos on their cards, or even just use older photos for a current release. Just check out Luke Hochevar from 2011 series 2 (card #620), you'll notice that on his arm is a 40th anniversary patch for the Royals organization. Seeing as how the Royals debuted in 1969, I believe this photo was taken in 2009. Used on a 2011 card. They couldn't get another picture of him? Or at least airbrush the patch out? Or look at Aaron Hill from 2010 and 2011. Both the same picture, taken probably in 2009. Seriously. This however, was the one that takes the cake:

George Sisler. Certainly one of the greats of the game but they had no other photos of him? Every one of these came out in 2010! Two short prints on top (series 1 and Update for the team card) and two inserts on the bottom (Turkey Red and Vintage Legends). I know he played from 1915 to 1930 and photos were limited back then but really, find a new picture. I know they exist, I've seen them! Conlon had a couple. Even a few Topps cards from other sets or years had different ones. Just laziness I guess. That or money. They probably have the license to certain photos from his estate and are limited to them. Ah, well.

On the legends variation front, I am almost finished with 2010 and 2011. As of right now, I need 4 for 2011 (3 are on the way) and 5 for 2010 (4 are on the way). For the 2010, some of the series 1 cards get tough to find. Roger Maris and Stan Musial proved to be the toughest and I had to get Musial off of checkoutmycards.com because it never really surfaces on eBay. Maris also rarely appears and I still have trouble locating one. 2011 I only need the Mantle but it's not a matter of finding it, I just don't want to pay $20 just because its Mickey. Once these two years I'll work on 2009, which I have about 8 of so far.