Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Verse

Philippians 4:6-7

New International Version

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Friday, June 23, 2017

2016 Topps Now: Dansby Swanson #429 (646 print run)

Dansby Swanson's historic night of September 6, 2016 at Turner Field was recently celebrated that the Braves new home of SunTrust Park with a bobble head given away to fans. I would have loved to be at that game last week as it was a pretty cool looking bobblehead. 

Just in case you missed it last season, Dansby's first career major league home run was an inside the park HR. Not only that, he made it all the way around the bases in 14.97 seconds with a dramatic slide across home plate. The Topps photographer was in the right spot and snapped the photo at the right time. Look at the dirt flying. Look at the emotion in Dansby's face. This is a great reason why I love the idea of Topps Now and I continue to support the brand. Surprisingly, this card only sold 646 copies, less than half of what his two previous Topps Now cards.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps The Walking Dead Season 6

I found myself looking for a pack of cards recently at a Target store. I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy more Archives (still need to collate what I've bought and put toether a want list), but I did grab some flagship series 2. Then I saw a gravity feeder that I hadn't see before...the new Topps The Walking Dead!

I'm a huge fan of the show (and zombies in general) so this was a no brainer for me. I didn't buy any of the previous Walking Dead sets because of their high price tag, so I was glad to read that Topps was getting the license and was going to release a set. Plus a friend of mine was hired by Topps to sketch several of the one of a kind sketch cards, however with those seeded 1:1,733 packs I don't think I'll being seeing one of those any time soon.

These retail packs will run you a buck ninety nine for 6 cards. There are tons of serially numbered parallels such as Mud, Mold, Sepia and Blood. Character cards are inserted 1:3 packs and those too have serially numbered parallels. Other inserts include Locations (1:4), Walkers (1:4), Chop (1:6) and In Memoriam (1:2)...all with parallels. Inserts fall 1:688 packs and also come in double and triple versions. Relics fall 1:867 packs. Negan has his own relic card seeded 1:1,732 packs.

The base cards all appear to be horizontal and feature scenes from Season 6 of the show. The back of each card (thankfully) has a little write up about the scene featured on the other side. I hated how Topps got cheap w/ their Star Wars: Rogue One cards and just put a logo on the back.

The card of Carol is one of the Character inserts. The back reads:

Carol may have begun the apocalypse as an abused housewive, but she has transformed into a true survivor who is capable of cloaking herself in whatever personality the situation deems necessary. She knows she has the ability to kill anyone who threatens her or her loved ones, and over time the amount of death she has inflicted is wearing her down.

If you want the show then you know how spot on this is true of Carol's journey through 6 seasons of the show. I really look forward to seeing what the rest of the cards in the set look like and how they read.

I did get one parallel in the pack, but it's not numbered so I'm not sure what parallel set it falls in. All the parallels listed on the back of the pack contain a star which means it's serially numbered. Anyone have an idea?

Everyonce in awhile it's nice when a new non-sports card set comes along that really draws my attention. This Walking Dead set is one of those and I look forward to finding more undead surprises Topps included in the set.

Back to the sketch cards for a moment. A friend of mine, James Michael Smith, contributed several sketch cards for this release. The funny thing is though is that when Topps hired him, he had never watched a single episode of the show! I believe he has some friends suggest where to start binge watching so he could get caught up and the results of his artwork are stunning to say the least. Check out a few of the images he originally posted on his Instagram account.

James Michael has also contributed sketch cards for a multitude of other Topps products such as UFC, Museum baseball and Star Wars. You an check out his eBay store as he does post some of his sketch cards Topps allows him to keep.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Joy of Junk Wax - 1992 Pinnacle

Running a baseball card blog can be a lot of work. I'm always trying to think of posts I can do that doesn't revolve around scanning a new card or talking about a trade (not that there is anything wrong with those!). Lately I've seen a few people going back and trying to build by hand older sets. Everyone has their own reasons for the sets they decide to tackle. This got me thinking about some older sets that I was first introduced to when I was younger and just getting in to cards.

I started collecting in 1990, the beginning of the junk wax era. I don't have most of the cards from back then (minus cards in my Braves collection and various PCs), but I've grown to respect some of these sets more as an adult. I recently decided to go back to the early 90's and pick a few sets that I really liked to try and build the set. Thankfully many of these boxes can be had for under $20 and in some cases are still sealed. I first thought of Upper Deck...and that will happen soon, but up first is 1992 Pinnacle.

This was Score's first entry into the "premium" baseball card market. Competing with the likes of Fleer Ultra and Upper Deck. I grabbed a sealed box of both series 1 and 2 for $10 on eBay. I kinda wanted the jumbo packs for the 1:1 inserts, but how can you pass up a cool (sealed) box of cards for $5? If you follow my Facebook page then you would have seen I broke open the series 1 box while down at Myrtle Beach for the Memorial Day holiday.

I always loved the sleek, clean look of this set. Yeah the black corner area on the card takes away from the background of the photo, but it's done so nicely. Even 25 years later this design, in my opinion, holds up well.

I'm not a numbers person so I don't care if a baseball card back has complete stats or not. There are enough other sets each year that will feature all the players stats so if I really want to see a certain stat from a certain year I can find it elsewhere. I like the little write ups on the cards. This John Smoltz card is a perfect example of what I'm referring to. 1991 didn't start off too kindly for John. He had a horrible 2-11 record going into the All-Star break, Had Braves manager at the time, Bobby Cox, not been so stubborn, John would have been pulled from the starting rotation for the second half of the season. However Bobby stuck with his guy and was rewarded. As the card mentions, John went 12-2 with a 2,63 ERA after the All-Star break. He would pitch against one of his idols, Jack Morris, in game 7 of the World Series. Even though the Braves fell short of winning it all that year, it remains a remarkable turn around story for John and the Braves.

Insert cards were just starting to be randomly inserted into packs in 1991, however subsets just kept getting more inovative during this time. 1992 Pinnacle had a few, such as Shades and Sidelines. Shades is just a goofy subset featuring a close of up the player wearing stylish sunglasses with a reflection of himself in the lenses. Sidelines featured the players off the field with the spotlight on other hobbies they had. In this case Robin Yount liked to dirt bike. Perhaps this is where Madison Bumgarner got his inspiration from?!

One of my favorite subsets from this set was The Idols. It features a small color image of a then current player, super imposed over a larger sepia colored image of a player they look up to. Here we have the Kid, Ken Griffey, Jr. and his idol, Rickey Henderson. Simple concept and design, but works on all levels.

I mentioned that insert cards were just coming into popularity during this time. I ended up pulling one of the Team Pinnacle cards from the box. These were randomly inserted with odds of 1:240 packs. I don't recall ever seeing a card from the set before I pulled this one. It's a nice double sided card with great artwork. I scanned eBay and COMC cards over the weekend to see if the other 11 cards in the set were cheap or expensive as this set could make a nice bookend to the base set.

In the end I ended up only missing 13 cards from the first series. Oddly enough most of them were in the 90s. One fellow blogger has already chimed in that he had several that I'm missing so I'm already off to a great start. I still have the series 2 box to open next. Once I'm done with that I'll look at making and posting a want list of the commons I'm missing and any inserts I may decide to chase.

The best part of this was sharing the time with my daughters, especially my oldest. She enjoyed opening the packs and I got to explain to her who some of the players were and how I was collating the cards to get them in order. She helped with the collation part which was I was glad as their was a lot of cards and dupes in that box!

If anyone is interested in any players or teams from this set let me know. If anyone else by chance is building the set too let me know as I have plenty of cards you can have.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

2017 Panini Donruss Diamond Kings Mike Foltynewicz

So far I've resisted buying any 2017 Diamond Kings packs or blasters, even though the Cardboard Conundrum didn't make it easy for me posting all of this sweet cards from his box. Instead I've just stuck to buying select singles, since as my latest purchase...a 99 cent purchase too!

Serially numbered 32/99, this is a beautiful card...even if it is a sticker auto. There is just something about the water color look of the card that I find captivating. Guess I should get off my duff and buy a Braves team set...perhaps that will continue to help me stay away from trying to put together yet another set! The timing of finding this card is pretty good too as Folty has really turned it around in his last few starts. His teammates are finally giving him some much needed run support which seems to calm him down on the mound. This season hasn't gone the way I expected, but at least the 3-5 starters have figured things out. Hopefully Folty can keep up the success and make us keep saying Gattis who?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vintage Hank - 1968 Topps

Recently while browsing a Facebook trading card group I came across a seller that was trying to move some cards from the 60's. While my interest in vintage cards has picked up quite a bit in the last year or so, I still don't own many cards from that era. Most of this is just due to costs and having so many other interests, however I've dreamed of owning some vintage Hank Aaron cardboard.

Turns out his asking price for this 1968 Topps RBI Leaders card featuring Hank Aaron seemed to be reasonably priced (at least to me). It didn't take me long before I found myself sending the seller a private message to see if the card had been claimed yet. Thankfully it hadn't been so I completed the PayPal transaction a few minutes later. This began the waiting game and after about a weeks time, the card finally arrived in the mail earlier today.

The card is in better shape than I thought it would be. I don't really do the card grading thing so if it's not perfect, I'm fine with that. For me this represents the first piece of vintage Braves cardboard I own of a player that I at least know! (...and the other two guys that share the cardboard with Hank ain't too bad themselves)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 Panini Donruss Want List

I'm trying to play catch up this evening while I'm watching the Braves/Blue Jays game...oh no, Freddie Freeman was hit on the left hand and had to leave the game!

Like I was saying, I finally got my 2017 Donruss cards in order so I could tell what I was missing. I wasn't originally intending on building the set, but after buying a few retail rack packs I really liked what I was seeing. If it weren't for the short printed Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies, I'd just about be done with the base set. There are a few photo variations that would be nice to have, but if I don't get all of those I'll be OK. I did manage to pull a few of them already.

I'm hoping to find a trading partner to help me fill in the holes so if you can help, let me know please. You can find my updated Want List here. I'll work on getting my 2017 Donruss doubles added to my trade list as soon as I can.