Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 Topps Stadium Club blaster recap II

Pack one

#118 Yasiel Puig
#253 Hisashi Iwakuma
#200 Mike Morse

#25 Juan Lagares

#152 Jose Abreu

Pack two
#169 Brock Holt

#274 Tim Hudson

#58 Hunter Pence
#102 Cliff Lee
#201 Rafael Montero

Pack three 

#22 Ivan Rodriguez
#257 Paul Molitor
#296 Max Scherzer
#289 Danny Santana - Gold parallel
#35 Ryne Sandberg

Pack four
#211 Justin Verlander
#32 Nolan Arenado
#275 Freddie Freeman
#242 Troy Tulowitzki
#226 Dennis Eckersley

Pack five
#122 Mike Minor
#71 Curtis Granderson
#111 Whitey Ford
#222 Tanner Roark
#43 Jose Bautista

Pack six

#117 Lenny Dykstra - with all the shady things he's gotten involved with in the past 10 years, I just wonder why he is in a 2015 baseball card product.

#54 Bip Roberts
#90 Justin Morneau

#TCA-AP Albert Pujols - True Colors insert
#234 Brandon Guyer

Pack seven
#249 Daniel Murphy
#42 Jordan Zimmerman
#138 Ben Zobrist

#34 Mariano Rivera - Gold parallel

#58 Jason Giambi

Pack eight
#232 Corey Dickerson
#31 Albert Belle
#46 Yonder Alonso
#T-7C Gregory Polanco - Luminous Triumvirate insert
#273 Mike Piazza

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Topps Stadium Club blaster recap I

I was going to pick up a blaster box of TSC and a 2015 Topps Series II blaster, but somehow I lost my Topps Series II $5 off coupon, so I went with two TSC blasters - in the battle of cards that just came out in the last week or two, I think I prefer these cards over Topps Archives since TSC seems a little more high brow [whatever that means for a baseball card product].

Unlike Topps Archives, there is one card design used for the entire 300 card set with no pesky short prints - while Archives uses three rehashed Topps designs with a short printed subset that may only serve to frustrate collectors.

The photos are sharp, though it's almost disappointing to see typical baseball images [hitting / pitching / fielding] used - since the 'unique' images really pop.

Maybe a minor complaint is the player names on front of the cards are occasionally hard to read - when the foil stamping goes over a dark part of the full bleed image used

Pack one
#135 Mike Trout
#98 Jim Rice
#159 Torii Hunter

#18 Zack Wheeler

#192 Kolten Wong

Pack two
#148 Mike Mussina
#154 J.D. Martinez
#51 Miguel Cabrera
#155 Nick Swisher

#295 Michael Taylor

Pack three 
#256 David Robertson
#178 Steve Pearce
#199 Ryan Howard

#135 Mike Trout - Gold parallel
#180 Adam LaRoche

Pack four

#277 Oswaldo Arcia

#190 Stan Musial

#134 Mitch Moreland
#133 Kenley Jansen

#76 Bo Jackson

Pack five
#293 Trevor May
#283 Aaron Sanchez

#266 Derek Jeter

#SCA-JC Jarred Cosart - certified autograph

#3 David Cone

Pack six
#224 Kendall Graveman
#197 Dalton Pompey
#238 Roberto Alomar

#223 Lorenzo Cain
#198 Cole Hamels

Pack seven
#300 Kris Bryant
#176 Matt Barnes
#99 Chase Utley
#30 Dilson Herrera - Gold parallel
#37 Carlos Ruiz

Pack eight
#68 Brooks Robinson
#93 Andy Van Slyke

#30 Dilson Herrera

#CS-16 Anthony Rendon - Contact Sheet insert
#227 Jon Singleton

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Featured autograph - Clay Bellinger

I got Bellinger to sign a card for me after the California / Carolina League All-Star game - his son Cody is a Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer and was on the winning Cal League All-Star team.

The elder Bellinger played in all of two games for the Angels back in 2002 - the first thought that came to my head when the Angels signed him was the team wasn't trying hard enough.

There was no way the Angels were going to the World Series just because they sign some New York Yankees castoff - as is, while Bellinger struck out in his only at-bat as a Halo, the Angels had a roster of talent that got to the World Series and won it all.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 Topps Archives pack

I grabbed only one pack at my LCS because it was a little bit more [@$4.50 each] than I would like to pay for a midlevel baseball pack - with the issue of the card stock thinness, it would be nice if Topps printed these cards on the drab, gray card stock used up through 1992.

Besides Topps Heritage, I can't recall if Topps ever has printed a retro style product on old school card stock - for Topps Archives, a thicker card stock would add weight to the cards and also give it a more authentic feel.

#241 Mike Napoli
#48 Victor Martinez
#90 ASI Maikel Franco - 1990 All-Star Rookies insert
#208 Cory Spangenberg
#58 Bruce Sutter
#149 Hunter Pence
#123 Anibal Sanchez
#206 Alex Gordon

Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 Topps Series II hobby jumbo pack

Over the last couple of years I've tried to bust at least one jumbo hobby pack of a Topps / Bowman product - it's comforting to open basic Topps because it is a fairly cheap rip while there are still some 'wrinkles' thrown in from time to time, particularly in the hobby configurations.

Admittedly, once the cards are all over the place, I'm not as interested - besides the lone jumbo pack, I also busted a couple of loose $2 hobby packs and will likely pick up a retail blaster at a Target before my $5 coupon expires.

#594 Jose Pirela
#553 Grady Sizemore
#634 Roenis Elias
#376 Chris Sale
#378 Daniel Duffy

#542 Yasmany Tomas

#475 Juan Perez - it's probably going to be uncorrected, but Topps put the wrong header [pitching instead of hitting] on the stat/line.
#599 Michael Brantley
#537 Carlos Martinez
#677 Ryan Goins
#561 Ken Giles
#464 Brett Cecil
#468 C.C. Sabathia
#701 Milwaukee Brewers team card - feat. Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy

#669 Tampa Bay Rays team card - feat. James Loney, Ben Zobrist [obscured], some rando [could be Matt Joyce], obscured player, Kevin Keirmaier [?] and Evan Longoria.

#361 Matt Holliday
#471 Pat Neshek

#610 David Freese

#453 Elian Herrera

#674 Desmond Jennings
#660 Roberto Osuna
#427 Raisel Iglesias
#558 Patrick Corbin
#564 Jose Quintana
#529 Ryan Flaherty

#SU-11 Madison Bumgarner - Stepping Up insert
#H-39 Bobby Doerr - Highlight of the Year insert

#HDR-8 Gary Carter - Heart of the Order insert
#CPP-09 Nolan Ryan - Commemorative Patch Pin insert serial #'d 105/199
#399 Yosmil Pinto
#469 James Shields
#680 Nick Hundley
#517 Yusmeiro Petit
#673 Brett Oberholtzer
#591 Josh Collmenter
#392 Brandon Guyer
#589 Jeff Locke
#574 Mitch Moreland
#566 Chris Davis
#430 Jarred Cosart
#369 Aaron Loup
#463 Justin Verlander
#584 Danny Farquhar
#681 Zoilo Almonte
#394 Marco Scutaro

Featured autograph - Mark Grace

I've never counted how many I've gotten signed in-person / through the mail but I'm still plugging away at the 2001 Fleer Tradition set - even if it means randomly getting a card signed here and there, like this Grace I got when the Arizona Diamondbacks played the Angels.

At first I thought 2001 Fleer Tradition cards looked a little dumpy because of the drab card stock [used to mimic vintage Topps sets, just like the other retro product called Topps Heritage] - I picked up a set [mainly for the Albert Pujols, Ichiro and Mark Teixeira rookie year cards that was included as a part of a 50-card subset available only in factory sets] and started trying to get the other basic cards inked up since I had to use them for something.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Featured autograph - Thomas Eshelman

After being drafted in the second round by Houston Astros, who knows if Eshelman will turn out to be a good pro - but ever since he stepped on the mound for Cal State Fullerton three years ago, the guy has pitched like an ace and will look to lead the Titans at the College World Series.

This past season, I made it out to one CSUF baseball game and finally got Eshelman's autograph [though I had one more card I forgot at home] - I also didn't get teammate Justin Garza [drafted in the eighth round by the Cleveland Indians] on his cards I had because I'm not sure if he'd sign on a day he was scheduled to pitch and I didn't stick around after that game.

It turned out to be the same day Garza made his last start - before he had to leave the game early and was done for the year with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

2015 Panini USA Stars and Stripes breaks

Pack one
#80 Noah Campbell
#74 Max Wotell
#67 Luis Ortiz

#11 Robert Refsnyder - Fireworks insert, serial #'d 01/99

#90 Taylor Ward - Longevity parallel
#75 Michael Conforto
#68 Luke Weaver
#60 Kristofer Armstrong

Pack two
#7 Andrew Moore
#4 Albert Almora
#3 Addison Russell

#41 Henry Owens - Crusade insert

#93 Trea Turner - Longevity parallel
USA Baseball Shop info card
#43 Hunter Greene
#35 Doug Nikhazy
#28 Dansby Swanson