Thursday, July 18, 2019

2019 Bowman Platinum blaster recap

During a random stop at a Walmart I'd never been into, I wondered if they would have any of this year's Platinum and while this maybe just another baseball card product to be forgotten - I wanted to see what these cards were like.

There were loose packs and blasters on the display box unlike my 'local' Walmart, which doesn't have much of a card section - I grabbed a blaster box for some quick retail therapy and to say I got my sniff at these for year.

Exclusive parallel pack
#33 Jake Lamb
#18 Ronald Acuna Jr.
#TOP-76 James Marvel
#TOP-87 Pedro Castellanos

Pack one
#TOP-59 Andrew Knizner
#24 Corbin Burnes
#9 Alex Bregman

#4 Albert Pujols

Pack two
#TOP-68 Rylan Bannon

#PPP-31 Anthony Seigler - Prismatic Prodigies insert
#59 Cedric Mullins
#68 Starling Marte

Pack three
#TOP-76 James Marvel

#20 Pete Alonso
#76 Rafael Devers
#87 Ryan O’Hearn

Pack four
#TOP-87 Pedro Castellanos
#94 Jose Abreu
#100 Giancarlo Stanton
#65 Aaron Nola

Pack five
#TOP-94 Nate Pearson

#PP-8 Gleyber Torres - Platinum Presence insert
#39 Max Muncy
#30 Anthony Rizzo

Pack six

#TOP-100 Yordan Alvarez
#25 Paul Goldschmidt
#13 Matt Chapman

#2 Shohei Ohtani

Pack seven

#TOP-65 Will Smith

#RR-20 Kevin Newman - Renowned Rookies; I kind of like these cards, because if I feel like the design feels inspired by foreign baseball card issues.
#60 Trey Mancini
#73 Austin Meadows

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019 Topps Now Taylor Cole / Felix Pena #503

To keep up bit-by-bit with this collecting thing, I had to go grab a couple of copies of this card because it was nice for Angels to come together with a combined no-hitter in the tribute game for Tyler Skaggs - it would have been nice if at least the back photo was of the players coming back to throw their #45 Skaggs jerseys on the mound as a nod, but it might have been in bad taste [to 'sell' that image on a card so soon].

Besides the occasional online purchase [as shown] to scratch the itch - I've felt my dog days are here and I'm kind of disinterested at the moment.

Part of what I do has been trying to supplement the strictly card collecting part with some in-person graphing - but the opportunities haven't been as obvious, things have tightened up and I've got to suck things up as my graphing buddy has been MIA.

I’ll get back to things at some point, and even it is a struggle at the moment - but I don't know if I can do things as a collector if I don't get to go out and see some players and try to get their autographs.

It maybe the hot weather and being holed up inside my house - but I feel like these have been the times where I don’t want to mess with my cards so much.

Maybe my brain turns into mush and I don’t do anything while still lurking on other collector's blogs, social media and forums - I feel like I’m always on the fringe from where everyone else is at the moment and can’t entertain the idea of falling into whatever else interested in.

Monday, July 08, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 Rod Carew Photo Variation #631

I don't really seek these out because they become too hard to find or seem outright common to care about, but I grabbed this card for a price of an unopened pack - with the card in-hand, maybe the image [of Carew swinging to get his 3,000th hit in 1985] seems just a little pixelated or perhaps wasn't touched up as much, so it doesn't look as sharp.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Rest in Peace Tyler Skaggs 1991-2019

I'm not going to mention every person that passes on and the idea of death is inevitably awkward, but it does seem to mean a little bit more when someone relatively notable passes like professional athlete or celebrity - maybe because they are in the spotlight and as far as a MLB player goes, someone who is supposed to be at their athletic peak in their late 20s.

A player's untimely passing makes me think for a moment about the times I've objectified these players as performers on the field, generating statistics I pore over on a day-to-day basis and guys whose autographs I have or don't have in my collection - at the end of the day, professional athletes are just like anybody else with their own lives.

I got my last Skaggs autograph is spring training this past year and he always seemed to be linked at the hip with teammate Andrew Heaney - for the most part, it hasn't been Mike Trout or Albert Pujols that end up doing the most 'fan service,' signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, but Skaggs and Heaney.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 blaster recap

I don’t know the last time I’ve picked up a flagship blaster [a series 2 at that], much less one from Walmart - the lure of some notable rookies made an impulse purchase a reality.

There was a $2 off sticker to peel off and use towards the purchase - accounting for sales tax, the coupon amounted to a $0.45 discount.

Exclusive 150 Years of Professional Baseball Patch Card pack
#AMP-RY Robin Yount

Pack one
#668 Pat Neshek
#578 Patrick Wisdom
#669 Mallex Smith
#609 Kansas City Royals team card - feat. Kauffman Stadium
#367 Ohtani Gets Hot

#475 Pete Alonso - 150 Years of Professional Baseball parallel; a decent lower-end pull of the hot big league rookie at the moment.
#MB-9 Mookie Betts - Betts Highlights
#418 Jason Vargas
#385 Ender Inciarte
#537 Ronald Torreyes
#421 Yoshihisa Hirano

#579 Andrew Benintendi
#364 Kenta Maeda
#670 Eloy Jimenez - I've had my share of assorted Jimenez prospect cards, but this one is his official rookie card.

Pack two
#498 Pablo Reyes
#679 Adam Wainwright
#357 Chris Martin
#521 Arizona Diamondbacks team card - feat. Chase Field
#495 Cleveland Indians team card - feat. Progressive Field

#FF-8 Johnny Bench - Franchise Feats insert; these remind me of an ESPN SportsCenter graphic.
#608 Ehire Adrianza

#437 Albert Pujols - one way to look at his legendary career is the St. Louis Cardinals got all his prime years [and two World Series championships], while the Angels basically paid him to hit his milestone career numbers in their uniform.
#394 Miguel Rojas
#593 John Hicks
#550 Adam Cimber
#507 Cody Bellinger
#487 San Diego Sluggers - feat. Hosmer and Renfroe
#363 Max Stassi

Pack three
#610 Howie Kendrick
#553 Daniel Mengden
#649 Carlos Tocci
#392 Cionel Perez
#641 Bryse Wilson
#526 Sandy Alcantara
#ICR-62 Ernie Banks - Iconic Card Reprints

#GV-6 Alex Bregman - Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs in Baseball insert; I sort of like these 'fun' inserts, though I'm at a loss figuring out who Gary Vee is and what makes his apparent hustle interesting besides being a collector.
#651 Jorge Lopez -
#582 Austin Wynns
#391 Jung Ho Kang
#397 Lance McCullers Jr.
#502 Mike Montgomery
#386 Ryan Pressly

Pack four
#556 Rowdy Tellez
#354 Nomar Mazara

#429 Wilmer Font - this guy has been around pro ball forever, but not someone who has stuck around and done much in the big leagues.
#503 Marcell Ozuna
#415 Bryan Shaw
#440 Dustin Pedroia
#HRC-9 Nolan Arenado - Home Run Challenge

#84AS-WC Willson Contreras - 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars insert
#545 Tyler White
#648 Kevin Kramer
#477 Mikie Mahtook
#485 Wil Myers
#635 Adam Frazier 
#449 Matt Moore

Pack five
#414 Mike Soroka
#450 Greg Garcia
#452 Caleb Ferguson
#431 Lonnie Chisenhall
#497 New York Mets team card - feat. Citi Field
#447 Up High, Down Low - feat. Springer and Altuve
#533 Matt Shoemaker - Gold parallel serial #’d 1249/2019
#MB-4 Mookie Betts - Betts Highlights
#690 Hunter Dozier
#360 Mark Melancon
#463 Wily Peralta
#647 Kyle Freeland
#461 Eduardo Rodriguez
#536 Get Up! - feat. Molina and Ozuna

Pack six
#629 Myles Straw
#680 Justin Smoak
#473 Kyle Wright
#625 Milwaukee Menaces - feat. Yelich and Arcia
#491 Detroit Tigers team card - feat. Comerica Park
#FF-15 Giancarlo Stanton - Franchise Feats insert

#600 Shohei Ohtani
#479 Wei-Yin Chen 
#352 David Peralta
#617 Hernan Perez
#388 Dominic Smith
#372 Yu Darvish
#395 Andrew McCutchen
#565 Andrew Triggs

Pack seven
#547 Trevor Richards
#525 Ian Kinsler
#519 Julio Urias
#584 Josh James
#517 Shawn Armstrong
#380 Chris Archer

#385 Dale Murphy - Short Print variation; I like the image of Murphy caught in a playful moment as he's presumably going through baseballs to sign.
#SS-15 Edwin Diaz - Signature Statistics insert
#552 Davis Hess 
#443 Steven Matz
#646 Jason Heyward
#370 Jacoby Ellsbury
#524 Chad Pinder
#382 Daniel Norris

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Fishing for another species - Salmon

I finally had the random opportunity to rummage through loose cardboard like other bloggers at a card show - I was looking for some random cards to take home [like the 1996 Score All-Stars insert, $2] and maybe some magnetic card holders [to hold some loose PC cards], but never ever anything too serious.

1997 Score Score Goin’ Yard #494 - Artist’s Proof [$3] - as far as the late 1990s were concerned, I wasn't really aware of the glut of Score / Pinnacle inserts / parallels, so I'll take a second look if I stumble upon such cards, especially if they picture a personal favorite.

1998 Topps Gallery #PG-8 - Photo Gallery insert [$1] - maybe I'm simply dating myself, but it's nice to go back and grab these kinds of cards, 20-25 years after the fact.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. NNO

I got this card purchase fairly quickly, but the seller was probably doing cartwheels when the card was sent out - I thought this might be a hard to pull short print like the 2018 Topps Series 2 cards of Gleyber Torres and Ronald Acuna Jr.

However, pulling this supposed SP of the rookie slugger has fairly been easier than anticipated and values have dropped accordingly - with the card not being numbered as part of the flagship set [even if the number would be shared with another player's regular card], is this just another rookie-year card and not a definitive, must have?

There here was definitely some FOMO on my part and at times, I want to throw money into a card that might be a keeper - but when I don't use common sense, do some basic research, I'm prone to an impulsive purchase.

Maybe the bottom line here is Topps gave something for collectors to chase in 2019 Topps Series 2 - with the idea, they can still issue a regular Guerrero Jr. rookie card [with corresponding parallels] that is going to be chased in their late season Update Series.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

2019 Topps Now purchases - Ohtani

I stumbled upon an eBay promo code[$3 Off $3.01+ Purchases] and while I'd abstained from collecting Topps Now Ohtani cards past what I'd gotten his rookie year - I thought I'd make an exception for this latest Ohtani feat.

I like the multiple images used on the back of the card, but I don't think the image choice on the front of the card is optimal - a shot of Ohtani on base after his last hit to get the cycle would have been much better than the one chosen.

Looking to pick up the Ohtani cycle card, I figured I might as well grab this card if I could find a seller listing both cards - I don't like the Tommy La Stella butt shot, but it's a cool game highlight to see an Angels trio hit back-to-back-to-back home runs.

Because of an impulsive trigger finger perhaps, I bought this along with the back-to-back-to-back home run card as a pair instead - now it looks like I'll have three 2019 Topps Now Ohtani cards in-hand to look forward to, which isn't a bad thing, though not something I'd planned to keep up with.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Angels lot purchase - tha other muthas

2019 Panini Diamond Kings The 300 Nolan Ryan #8 - listed as a Angels card, Ryan had his thugged-out lil' prime years up in tha 1970s, long before I was a twinkle up in mah fathers' eye.

Like tha previous post holla'd, I just aint had tha opportunitizzle ta rummage all up in loose cardboard like other bloggers - I gotta find mah skanky cardboard thrills other ways.

I found a Angels themed Diamond Mackdaddys lot, highlighted by a gangbangin' finger-lickin' sharp lookin Mike Trout bat card - these is tha other cardz dat came wit tha Trout cards.

2019 Donruss Independence Day David Fletcher #36 - in addition to a couple of Albert Pujols inserts from 2018 Panini Diamond Kings, this patriotic card of tha Angels spark plug might done been added on as extras.

2019 Panini Diamond Kings 2004 DK Retro Crowning Moment Plum Frame Vladimir Guerrero #2 - sorry fo' tha long title, dis card belongs ta tha Angels legend whose lil hustla is lookin ta cook up a impact up in Da Six.

2019 Panini Diamond Kings DK 205 Shohei Ohtani #6 - these is drab n' snooze worthy yo.

2019 Panini Diamond Kings Gallery of Stars Shohei Ohtani #12 - an artsy fartsy, run all up in a photo editor card of tha Japanese bat pimp juice slugger.

2019 Panini Donruss Highlights Albert Pujols #2 - serial #'d to 999; This card is so shiny, it pops mah eyes out.

2019 Topps Heritage Albert Pujols SP #422 - even it don't pop as much cuz it aint nuthin but a retro design, the MLB logos on dis card give it soul.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Angels lot purchase - Mike Trout cards

I just haven't had the opportunity to rummage through loose cardboard like other bloggers at card shops or card shows - I have to find my cheap cardboard thrills other ways.

I was curious about 2019 Panini Diamond Kings, but not tempted enough to try a loose value pack or blaster box - I found an Angels themed Diamond Kings lot, highlighted by a sharp looking Mike Trout bat card.

2003 DK Retro Crowning Moment #10 - I like self-assured, confident smile on Trout's face as well the flashback design of this insert.

Framed Plum #133 - Trout is listed a short print in the 2019 Panini Diamond Kings set, but I don't know if the parallel is an SP as well.

DK 205 #4 - the least attractive card in this grouping, but any Trout is a keeper.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

1959 Fleer Ted Williams card pickup

There are simply other interesting cards from this eclectic one-player vintage set, but I impulsively grabbed this one as a bookend card for my micro-mini Ted Williams PC - which, as a tribute to the Hall of Fame icon, apparently exists with two or three other cards and a couple of autographed items.

I like the card because it seems kind of a quirky image where Williams is having his eye exam, holding up a tool where his face is partially obscured - whether or not it is the case, I dwell on the idea he is playing peekaboo, either bored or too good to have his picture properly taken.

Loose ungraded singles only sell for so much, so any sort of serious value is just not there for these 60-year old cards - to tie this pick up with some current events, I simply chose a PSA graded copy, even when sifting through issues with third party grading of more significant vintage cards.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

1990 NBA Hoops Mark Jackson #205

I was bored when I grabbed this card on a random search - I wouldn’t have paid a nickel for this junk wax era basketball card before learning about a cameo by the infamous Menendez brothers, who are pictured sitting courtside off the to left.

Who really cares about the people in the crowd in a random trading card but someone noticed the pair of brothers who teamed up to kill their parents in 1989 - to satisfy a little morbid curiosity, I added it to my collection for about $3 and change.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

2019 rookies / Topps Now / Topps Living

I bought the first Topps Now cards of rookies Yusei Kikuchi, Fernando Tatis Jr., Chris Paddack, Eloy Jimenez, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - as is, I couldn't keep up with the flood of daily email blasts from Topps, so I've ignored cards made for the wave of other quality prospects called up including Michael Chavis [Boston Red Sox] Austin Riley [Atlanta Braves], Keston Hiura [Milwaukee Brewers], Nick Senzel [Cincinnati Reds], Brendan Rodgers [Colorado Rockies] and Cavan Biggio [Toronto Blue Jays].

Starting with Shohei Ohtani in 2018 there was a push see if I could add selected Topps Now / Topps Living cards as something different but rookie year relevant - after Ohtani, there was Ronald Acuña Jr., Gleyber Torres and Juan Soto whose cards I kind of looked for on the side.

The Topps Now / Topps Living cards are nice souvenirs in-hand and maybe a premium in my mind was buying a Topps Now issue gave me a game dated card that might have fulfilled the desire to have something 'here and now' as opposed to much later when I might not care as much - as is, the cards are not as valuable compared to rookies’ eventual pack pulled issues.

I'll probably get picky and wait on graded versions of any Topps Now / Topps Living cards - I just feel like I won't be such in a frenzy to look for any particular one like last year.