Monday, October 30, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Lids pack break with $50 hat

During a stop at an outlet mall, maybe I wanted to see if I can look for a blaster box of cards - I was gifted some cash money [$40] and maybe I go to one the specialty places that sells sports stuff like hats or jerseys, where I've seen they usually have a card display.

I ended up at a Lids and seeing their promotion with Topps, where you can get a bonus pack of special Topps Chrome cards with a purchase of themed Mitchell and Ness hat - figured I had the money that partially covered a purchase of a fitted cap without feeling as self-conscious because I don't wear hats, especially ones that cost $50.

The designs vary by MLB team and also by different Topps themed graphics - I got a California Angels version and while it's not a traditional looking cap, it ends up being kind of funky looking sort of in a stylish way.
The side of the cap features a stylized 1993 Topps patch
Topps Major League Baseball button of sorts affixed on top of the cap
I like the big old-school 'CA' logo
I was looking forward to at least a five-card pack, but Topps ends up being a little stingy with only a three-card bonus pack - it's hard to strike gold with one lousy pack, where I only ended up with Gabriel Moreno, some kind of rookie for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bryce Harper and another rookie in Jordan Walker.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Another quickie card show pit stop #2

I stumbled upon a real high brow monster box of cards and went to work for about the 10 minutes I had left at a card show - I was kind of on the clock where I had to wrap things up sooner than never, so I was trying to make the most out of my rummage.
I've ended up with two or three of these Bowman Jordan Walker prospect cards over the past few years, but was in a hurry to pile up cards - so I just threw one new copy found into my pile.
I made keepers out of mini collection material such as - Greg Maddux hitting on the back of one of his cards, an awesome outfield action card picturing Kevin Pillar, a Tampa Bay Rays mascot card, a Benito Santiago catcher card and a random Dave Righetti oddball, I made a keeper because of the bald guy in sunglasses making a cameo.

Team USA cards - I tried to look for the guys that were kind of familiar now [even though they were either on college or even on U-18 teams when depicted on the cards].

I was able to find a couple of cards of Reid Detmers - I think I sent similar copies and got them back signed TTM during the pandemic season.

Even though I ended up grabbing at least a few guys who might not be in the big leagues yet or may not get there - I found cards of Anthony Volpe, Bryson Stott, Riley Greene and Corbin Carroll.

Finally some random cheap-o Hall of Famer cards - even though they didn't start their careers in the junk wax era, I might be content to ignore cards of guys Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter and Alan Trammell because they had their glut of cards printed during those 1986-92 years.

Depending on what I may find at the bulk level, I might be compelled to pick up two or three cards of the HOFers whose cards from the junk wax era I'll usually skip over - if the cards end up being a little different like oddballs or cards with a unique image used that stand out.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Another quickie card show pit stop #1

I stumbled upon a real high brow monster box of caards and went to work for about the 10 minutes I had left at a card show - I was kind of on the clock where I had to wrap things up sooner than never, so I was trying to make the most out of my rummage.
I found a pair of Will Clark boxed set oddball and vowed to be committed to this dig - I've rubber stamped Clark as one of the guys from the junk wax era onward as a collecting fan favorite, even though I've found 'The Thrill' to be a little too grating these days when he does his podcasts with Eric Byrnes.
Random current guys - I think I've made Brandon Marsh's Angels rookies keepers, even though he is obviously no longer an Angel.

Through his rookie year, maybe his development as a young big leaguer had stalled with the Angels - he gets traded to the Philadelphia Phillies finish out the 2022 season, but after a solid year in 2023, there might be some potential left for Marsh to be an even better player that he could have ever have been with the Angels.

He has become a fan favorite, where he is fun to watch with all his fair flying around - in the highlights I've seen of him with the Phillies, he's always fired up, gesturing to his dugout after hits and seems like a real 'rah-rah' guy.

I pass on most Gerrit Cole cards just because he seems too 'corporate,' even for MLB players who get millions to play a game - however I want to make it where most Panini Donruss Pink Fireworks parallels are keepers.

More Pink Fireworks parallels teasing a pair of questionable guys - I hesitated to make these keepers because of the players shown, but it's like a reward finding the parallels themselves, so into my pile they went.
I didn't know if there was space in my pile for a 1987 Topps Domingo Ramos #641 or a 1991 Fleer Brady Anderson #466 - but I added them on with others I assume are stadium project cards.
I would term these guys as 'fan favorite' types - Gooden and Murphy had runs of superstar greatness, while the ageless Franco was always an all-star talent, even though may have been considered a notch below a true superstar.

I could never get into the junk wax era Conlon card sets because the images were black and white and pictured old timers before my time - but made a keeper out of a card of Johnny Vander Meer, who threw two consecutive no-hitters as a big league pitcher.

I made this Mark Gubicza card a keeper after not claiming a copy I'd seen in a sale online recently - I classify his cards as mostly junk wax commons, but he's had ties with the Angels as a broadcaster for at least the past 15 years, so maybe his oddballs are worth a second look.

Another Brady Anderson card makes the pile and it is a 1988 Topps Traded 'XRC,' so it is more unique card - I remember him as a junk wax guy who barely had any pop and was a fringe big leaguer through his mid 20s.

At the age of 28 however, he broke out as a late bloomer for the Baltimore Orioles - where he became a solid top of the lineup presence for the bulk of his career through the 1990s, with a peculiar 1996 season where hit 50 home runs.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Some better than a blaster keepers?

At the last monthly card show date I went to, the tables seemed a little light, where the familiar sellers I usually start to stack some probable keepers were not around - maybe I'd be good with making a couple impulsive purchases after trying to go around the room and figuring out where I can go hang out somewhere else.

I ended up at a seller's table with a three row, 3000 count box - but only a couple of partially filled rows of $10 cards / three for $25 or $5 cards / five for $20.

I started to rummage through the one lousy box, while the Big Boss Man at the table [and a worker] looked like they were doing some bigger wheeling and dealing with other collectors trying to buy or flip some cards - his value boxes were the least of his concern, where here I am trying to rummage and see what I can stack for $25 or less.

I ended up finding a 1967 Topps checklist #361 and made it a keeper because it's kind of a Roberto Clemente card as well - I do not really think this card is like having an actual one of the player, but I'll make an exception where I'll treat it more as a unique oddball that has the player's image.
To the naked eye, the card looks fairly clean with relatively bold, vintage colors - I realize some are harder to find [maybe not this one] because they might be marked or not cared for as much.

I grabbed a 1962 Topps Eddie Mathews #30 because it was a relatively clean card of a Hall of Fame slugger who blasted 512 home runs - I think my friend is still wondering where the baseball he sent Eddie Mathews went back when Mathews was still alive and signed TTM for a fee, 25 years ago.

I added this 2022 Topps 1-of-1 printing plate card of Greg Holland, because I like cards with players sharing a 'good game, game over' moment - I like the printing plates where the image of the player is still visible, even when nearly ghosted out.
I don't know if collectors value them as much other than player collectors who need to cross them off a checklist - but seem relatively hard to find and are a little different than the actual cards.
I don't know if this 1997 Fleer EX Star Date 2000 Vladimir Guerrero #15 was really worth $4 - but relented to pay a premium for a really loud, early MLB insert that features this all-around great.
I totally understand what it means where a player can do the impossible, but on the back of the card - it's funny where a minor league manager says Guerrero could go 4-for-3 in one night.
Finally, I impulsively grabbed what I think is a 2020-21 Panini Prizm LaMelo Ball RC #278 - with the number of ultra modern brands Panini has pumped out, it's hard to tell what is what.

Maybe it was a bigger deal to chase LaMelo's cards a few years ago where even his low end stuff was worth a little something - while he and his brother Lonzo has lived up to the scrutiny they had as part of the Ball brothers trio from high school to the pros, LaMelo only played 36 games last year.

Lonzo hasn't even gotten on the court the past couple of years - where his pro basketball career has been in limbo, despite being only 25.

Friday, October 13, 2023

A quick pit stop at the card show #2

I usually spend at least a couple of hours at a card show date, but this time it was literally 20 minutes - where I ended up at the hosting card shop's bulk bins and dug up the following before it was time for me to go.

Out of this pile of shiny cardboard, the Ernie Banks stands out - where I've made it a micro-mini mission to seek out Topps Silver Pack cards out in the wild.

I tend to think of Dontrelle Willis as a guy who had some early big league success and hype, but flamed out too early - it seemed like he was trying out for half the big leagues and then some, but was never able to stick around to revive what was promising big league career.

He's not a guy whose playing career I would be overtly nostalgic about - but may deserve a second look.

I'm not really a football collector but occasionally, random non-baseball card (s) will make it to my keeper pile on a whim - the insert on the left pops so I made it a keeper for now.

I think the other card I found was a 2022 Panini Zenith Pacific Metal Prizm Matt Stafford - it might be a base card or a more common insert, but looks more like a printing plate card that feels unique to have in-hand.

Random card of guys who have had teams in the postseason - I grabbed a 2020 Topps Fire National Card Day Bryce Harper #FP-7, where I may have come around on the player, where I consider him the real deal [even if it was obvious from day one at 16, 17 or whenever he started generating hype].

I grabbed the Yordan Alvarez because it's actually from the UK version of 2022 Topps' flagship set - a little bit of an oddball, even if not particularly hard to find.

The Minnesota Twins have since been eliminated, but the oft-injured Royce Lewis - showed why he was the No. 1 overall pick back in 2017.

I found these random old-school cards and while they end up blemished, worn and/or are beater quality otherwise - they end up as keepers, to add some historicity to my random stack.
I grabbed a pair of cards featuring a pair of longtime greats at first base - the second year Paul Goldschmidt card might be a 'dated classic' in my book, where such a card is never going to be particularly valuable, but enough time has passed where it might generate some nostalgia.
I kind of feel like a 2020 Donruss Optic Stained Glass Miguel Cabrera #4 I grabbed kind of falls under the 'dated classic' category as well - though it has only been a 'little bit of time,' it also feels like 2020 has been 10 years ago already.

In-hand, there is a little 'stained glass' effect going on - but maybe it's a little bit more subdued where the cards don't pop as much.

These might have been my last second grabs except for the Bob Feller mini - I would not chase cards of either J.D. Martinez or Khris Davis outright, but these 2019 Topps Heritage 1970 Cloth Stickers were kind of unique to feel in-hand, so I made them keepers.

There were a handful of Fernando Tatis Jr. cards to thumb through - I still look to occasionally make the random card a keeper if it's unique enough like this dual-sided card he shares with Manny Machado [on the reverse].

Maybe Ryan Mountcastle ends up being the forgotten 'young veteran' in the Baltimore Orioles rise to prominence this past year - I thought he would be a franchise star for years to come, but has to take a backseat to guys like like Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, et al.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

A quick pit stop at the card show #1

I usually spend at least a couple of hours at a card show date, but this time it was literally 20 minutes - where I ended up at the hosting card shop's bulk bins and dug up the following before it was time for me to go.
I do not get the art on these 2021 Topps X Keith Shore where it's basically the same guy with some modifications, but I guess that's the artist's style - out of the five or six cards I found, I grabbed a Gleyber Torres, Cody Bellinger and Cristian Pache.

The 1989 Bowman inspired cards are like the originals where they are larger than normal - so maybe it's fun they are tangibly odd [sized], it might be tricky to find an ideal place to put the cards away.

I found some black and white 'vintage' cards...from 1981 TCMA Renata Galasso - I might have skipped over them otherwise, but they are over 40 years old and feature a trio of early 20th century fan favorites to look up.
I have not kept up with prospects where I might as well be content to learn about up-and-coming players as they reach the big leagues and not before - as I found them, I did make keepers out of some random chromed up Team USA cards of a Paul Skenes and Jacob Wilson.

Skenes was the No. 1 overall pick in this past year's Major League Baseball draft - he is currently the boyfriend of social media star Olivia Dunne, a college gymnast making $3 million a year in NIL endorsments.

Wilson was the No. 6 overall pick in this past year's Major League Baseball draft - he is the son of former big leaguer Jack Wilson, who was also his head coach in college.