Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Topps Comes Through (a redemption story)

Earlier this year in February, I pulled a redemption card for an autograph of the young WWE Superstar, Neville. While wrestling autograph cards don't usually get me all that excited, I have to admit I was looking forward to getting this card in the mail. I promptly logged onto Topps' website and redeemed the card. The wait began. I waited...and waited...and waited. Nothing.

About two months ago I decided to check on the status via the website and I saw that there was an option to forego the wait and request a replacement. I've read enough card blogs to know that if I went that route I wouldn't get the Neville auto I had been waiting on. The replacement card may be something better...or it may be something worse, like an auto of Curtis Axel!

However yesterday a fat padded envelope came from Topps and I figured it was finally my replacement card. I ripped open the mailer and I found not one replacement card, but two?!

I don't know if this is normal or not, but apparently the extra card comes as a added bonus for making me wait so long. What I don't get is what was the hold up in getting the autographed cards from Neville. I know WWE Superstars live a very grueling road life much of the year, but Neville was on the shelf injured for a good part of the 2016. Couldn't he have signed his cards for Topps during his time away from the ring? Whatever the reason, it's nice to see that Topps was at least trying to make me happy. Speaking of that, did they? What was the replacement?

I got this nice auto of Dean Malenko from 2013 Topps and I was pretty darn happy. You see I was more of a WCW fan growing up, NWA before that. I never watched much WWE until the "Monday Night Wars" heated up. I loved the cruiser weight division that WCW featured and Dean was fun to watch in the ring. A very technical wrestler that could spar with the best. 

Now the image Topps used for this card isn't the best in my opinion. In fact he looks a little creepy with the way he's looking at his opponent. None the less, not a bad replacement at all.

My bonus card is this nice WrestleMania 30 mat relic from 2014 Topps. I enjoy these type of gimmicky cards in wrestling releases almost as much as I enjoy jersey and bat cards from baseball products. I do like the fact that they tell you what event this piece is taken from as opposed to the normal line from Topps. I also enjoy watching Cesaro perform. Just check out him in the process of body slamming none other than the Big Show!

Everyone knows that Redemption cards can be risky, but for once I'm happy to say that things worked out well and I appreciate Topps for trying to go the extra mile to keep one of their customers happy.

Monday, November 28, 2016

2001 Topps Stadium Club Play at the Plate Dirt Relic set Completed!

It's been a long time coming that this Jeff Bagwell card is finally in my hands. Years ago when I was looking for something new, something different to collect I stumbled across the dirt relic cards from 2001 Stadium Club. I thought it was a pretty cool idea and surprisingly, one that has been reused before...at least to my knowledge.

The cards themselves were only seeded 1:10 packs, however they were exclusive to Home Team Advantage stores. This in itself limited the audience of collectors that would even have a chance of  pulling on of these cards. Seeking out the cards several years later I found that some of the cards weren't that that hard to find. Most of the "common" cards could be had on eBay, while others I had to look a little harder for, a little longer for. Turns out that several of the cards in the 10 card set were packed in as exchange cards and I'm guessing many of the cards went unexchanged.

Jeff Bagwell, #PP06 was one of those exchange cards. Makes sense now of why it took me so long to find this one last card I needed to complete the set. Also turns out that Chipper Jones' card was mislabeled as #PP06, but his card too was an exchange card.

I find these cards to be a good conversation piece with non-baseball card collectors. I've had several friends and family members who've seen these cards in my collection ask me about the cards, why putting dirt inside a baseball card makes it so collectible and so on. I know these cards (and their brethren, Kings of the Hill) don't "book" for much...but I stopped collecting cards for their value and looking through Beckett a long time ago.

Now that this set is complete, I can shift my focus to picking up the Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez Kings of the Hill dirt relics to finish off that set. I also can't wait to actually find the rest of these dirt relic cards so I can put Bagwell amongest his peers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2016 Topps Now: Ender Inciarte #489 (273 print run)

The Braves will have trouble this off season trying to figure out who will be roaming the outfield in 2017. Thanks to a killer trade with the Diamondbacks that brought Dansy Swanson over, one of other players that some may tend to overlook is center fielder, Ender Inciarte.

On September 21st, Ender scaled the outfield wall to rob a certain home run from the Mets' Yoenis Cespedes. Too bad Topps didn't capture the moment of him actually making the awesome catch, but none the less the moment represents yet another Braves card in the Topps Now set that I was more than happy to pick up.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

2016 Panini Instant: Jacoby Brissett #51 (1 of 85)

The 2016 NFL season rolls on and Panini Instant is there to capture the moments with their newest made to order series of cards. During Tom Brady's 4 week vacation at the beginning of the season, the back up QBs got a chance to show the league what they were capable of. Jacoby Brissett, the Patriots 3rd round pick in this year's draft got the call after Jimmy Grappalo went down with an injury. The product of NC State, the QB led the team to a 27-0 win over the Texans.

His Instant card captures his first NFL touchdown on September 22, 2016 where he scrambled for 27 yards and dove into the end zone for the score. The base version of the card ended up with only 85 total copies sold, kind of surprising since the card carries the rookie card (RC) designation. Maybe people aren't prospecting with this kid?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cardboard from South Korea

Ever since I launched my Rey Ordonez Super Collector blog earlier this year, I've been rejuvenated in my quest to acquire one of every card of his in existence. I had to completely revamp my have/want list as well as reorganize the binder I had the cards in. It's been a lot of work, but it's been fun.


The other part of the fun has been searching out the cards I don't have. While I have a good many of his cards, there are some serially numbered cards that just don't seem to turn up very often. A lot of these are Pacific inserts, but the Fleer Flair Legacy Collection cards have eluded me for a very long time. Recently I came across this Row 2 Legacy card on eBay with a Buy It Now offer. I made a somewhat low ball offer and the seller accepted! When I got the invoice I was at first appalled by the high shipping quote of $4.95, then I noticed the card was shipping from South Korea?

I know baseball is big in Cuba and Japan, but I didn't think much about the sport being played elsewhere in the world. Thankfully the card came safe and sound and the seller packaged it well. It's a beautiful card, much more so than the scan. I still lack the Row 1 and Row 3 Legacy cards before the 1998 Flair set will be complete. Be on the look out for this set to be shared on my Rey Ordonez blog in the near future.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Redemption, Freddie Freeman Style

On the heels of receiving my 2015 A&G Buster Posey redemption auto, I grabbed this redemption card of Freddie Freeman from 2015 Topps High TEK. I've only seen these High TEK cards online, never in person so I'm really looking forward to receiving this card. Since it's from 2015, I'm hoping it doesn't take 9 months for it to show up in my mailbox.


Well that was quick. Before I could even get this draft of a post ready to go, the mail man brings me the card in today's mail! Now let's get this card out of his top loader prison so I can show off it's beauty...or the best that my scanner will allow!

Like with many "shiny" cards, this scan does not do the card justice. It's much more beautiful in hand. I love these clear acetate style cards...just beautiful. I was surprised to see that the card was serially numbered too, #02/99 to boot! 

This easily is one of my favorite Freeman cards now, autograph or not.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MLB Post Season

There is a lot of smiling going on in major league baseball's 2016 post season, but perhaps no one is smiling more than Brian Snitker. The Braves made it official yesterday that Snit's interim manager title is no more, the team opting to make him the new manager of their ball club.

As a Braves fan this makes me happy, really happy. The team was a mess earlier this season when the Braves let go of then manager, Fredi Gonzalez. Snit has been with the organization for a long time, close to 40 years I believe. He stepped in and did some remarkable things with this young team in the 2nd half of the season. Had it not been for that awful start the team got, the end of the season (and the post season) landscape may had looked a little different.

In addition to Snit being made the permanent manager, they also hired Ron Washington as their new 3rd base coach, moving Bo Porter into the front office. Ironically enough, Ron was also interviewing for the manager position. The team let go of long time pitching coach Roger McDowell in favor of hiring Chuck Hernandez. I don't know much about this guy, but supposedly he'll be good w/ the young talent the Braves have or plan to bring up from the minors.

If you combine these off season moves with the success the team had on the infield in the 2nd half of the season, perhaps this rebuilding theme the Braves have going on won't take as long as we all thought. Barring major injury, the future seems to be pretty bright for this ball club and this is one fan that is already anxiously awaiting Opening Day in 2017.

I'll be honest, watching the playoffs isn't as much fun when you're team isn't in it, but I love baseball so it's hard not to watch the games regardless. While I'm not a Giants fan, I was super excited to see Madison Bumgarner pull off the Wild Card win against the Mets. I haven't been able to watch many of the games against the Cubs, but I watched Game 4 last night and inbetween my heavy eye lids closing a time or two I was able to see the game through to the end. It's gotta be heartbreaking for the pitcher (Matt Moore) to pitch such a great game, only for the bullpen to absolutely blow it like they did last night. It was tough to see the Giants give up 4 runs in the 9th as they did, but kudos to the Cubs. Maybe this time really is as good as some people believe. Maybe this is really their year?

I guess I'll have to turn my attention to the Cubs now as I really don't care who wins against the Dodgers and Nats (though if I had to pick I'd choose the Dodgers). The Cubs have several former Braves players so I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon and give them my support. Jason Heyward, David Ross and even Tommy LaStella (when he can get on the field) will be fun to watch none the less.

Since I'm a NL fan I really haven't paid much attention to the AL. I was surprised to see Clevelend sweep the Red Sox however. Not sure who matches up well w/ the teams left in the NL, but at least I have a few more weeks of baseball to look forward too this season.