Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 2018 Group Break Results

Whew!! I tell you, going back to work after being off for vacation is tough as it is, but coming back after being off for two weeks has been tough! I really meant to get this post up by Monday, but well I've had my hands full with work. Why is it everything bad at work has to happen the minute you leave for vacation?!

Oh well, this month's group break is in the books and it was one that I enjoyed hosting. Most of the participants ended up with a decent amount of cards, thanks in part to the 2003 Upper Deck 40-Man box. Its always good seeing players get cards that are often overlooked and 40-Man did a good job at creating some cardboard for some of these type guys.

The box of 2002 Upper Deck Diamond Connection didn't really specify what the odds were on the various game-used cards, but it turned out that each mini box contained one hit if you will.

The 40-Man box I had was retail (I think) and the only odds listed were for the Endorsement auto cards at 1:500 packs. Needless to say I wasn't expecting to pull an auto...

As the host I usually take the Braves and this time it paid off with a game-used bat card of Chipper Jones from the Diamond Connection box. The other hit was of Curt Schilling and went to the Diamondbacks.

Finally the last hit pulled was a hand numbered auto of Jayson Werth, 17/50 from the 40-Man box. wow, beautiful card. While doing the live video I didn't have my list of teams in front of me so I didn't know who this card would be going to. It was only later in the evening that I realized the Blue Jays were one of the teams I inherited after I had to "eat" a few slots that didn't sell. I'm still not sure what to do w/ the card. Save it for a contest? Trade it for Braves? Hmm, decisions, decisions.

Regardless it was a fun break and even though all the slots didn't sell, I hope the others that participated had fun as well. I threw in 21 bonus packs this round, ranging from 1986 Leaf to 1993 UD Denny's Grand Slam hologram packs. You never know what I'll add as a bonus so if you've ever been on the fence about joining one of my Affordable Breaks, you may want to jump on board next time.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 2018 Affordable Break 2nd Team Randomization

If you watched the live video in the Facebook group this evening, then you should know how the unclaimed 15 teams were assigned to all participants. If not, well you're in luck because here they are below!

01 - Cardboard Collections - Braves / Rays
02 - Cards on Cards - Cardinals / Tigers
03 - Community Gum - White Sox / Pirates
04 - Nachos Grande - Reds / Mets
05 - Roy Galloway - Red Sox / Marlins
06 - gcrl - Dodgers / Padres
07 - Royals & Randoms - Royals / Giants
08 - the Lost Collector - Yankees / Rockies
09 - Marc Brubaker - Astros / Expos
10 - Nick Dusenbury - Orioles / Phillies
11 - Highly Suggestive & Completely Arbitrary - Twins / Diamondbacks
12 - Marc Brubaker - Cubs / Rangers
13 - Angels in Order - Angels / Mariners
14 - Cardboard Collections - Brewers / Indians
15 - Cardboard Collections - Blue Jays / A's

We've got 21 bonus packs, yes, 21 bonus packs in this break to go along w/ our two boxes. If you didn't watch the video, you may want to as I revealed what those packs are towards the end of the video.

If you are wanting to make a trade, please comment on this post so that I can see any trades that are agreed upon by both parties. I want to make sure I pack and send the correct cards to the correct people so let's make sure to do all trading on this post please.

I'm looking to go live in the Facebook Group at 9 PM Eastern on Saturday, 06/16/18. I'm hoping we can get some people in on the video as it makes it more entertaining for me to chat with you guys as I bust the packs. I'll do my best to do a recap post for the blog once all the boxes and packs and have been opened. If you have any questions for me please let me know, otherwise thanks for your support and I look forward to Saturday night.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Does Winning Effect Your Collecting?

This has been a question I've often thought about. Does a particular player's performance on the field/court/ice or a team's performance effect your collecting?

Let's take two of my teams as an example. The Atlanta Braves were supposed to be continuing their rebuild in 2018, yet as of 06/05/18 they find themselves in first place atop the NL East. Granted their lead over the Washington Nationals is a small lead and there is a lot of baseball left to be played, it's been so much more fun watching my team play.

On the collecting front, the Braves success alone as generated more Topps Now cards than any other season since that program began. I find myself finding ways to purchase most of these cards, plus searching out other Braves cards from this year and years past. Last week I was in Atlanta to celebrate my wife's birthday and we saw Mike Foltynewicz pitch himself into the Braves record book. This lead me to checking out some of his RCs online in between innings! The same can be said of utility player, Charlie Culberson after he hit two walk off HRs in the same week. He only has a few cards in a Braves uniform at this time and his on the field performance has put those cards on my radar a little bit more. Needless to say, I've always found entertainment in collecting Braves cards, I just feel that 2018 has been one of the better years.

I'm not the biggest basketball fan out there. I do try and follow ACC college hoops and of course I get excited every March for the NCAA tournament, but I don't actively watch a lot of NBA games. I grew up a Hornets fan and back in the early 90's the team was still new in Charlotte where I lived that there was still excitement over the team. Despite their win/loss record, the team was fun to watch. I saw many games live at the old Charlotte Coliseum and watched them on TV. Then the owner took the team and left town. True the city would get another NBA franchise a few years later (Bobcats), but it just wasn't the same. Even when the Bobcats were re-branded the Hornets, the play on the court left a lot to be desired.

I probably watched more Hornets games this past season than I have in awhile, but man was it hard at times watching my team get clobbered or only to lose the game in the final minutes or seconds. Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard made it fun to watch, but even their performance could only hold my attention for so long. I guess because of the team's play I found myself rarely searching out new Hornets cards. I didn't buy many singles and I can't remember the last time I bought a pack of basketball cards that wasn't marked down. Part of me wants to have more current Hornets cards, it's just hard to get excited to look for them. Perhaps if there were more card shows in the area where I could dive through dime boxes or if the team could actually string together a winning record it would be different. Or would it?

Most of the readers also know that I'm a Carolina Panthers fan as well, but my collecting of the team really hasn't changed since they came into the league.

Overall it just seems to be a little more interesting to collect when your team is winning, or your player is doing well. Note I said interesting and not fun as I can always can find fun in card collecting and fun things with the cards in my own collection. One of the reasons I started this blog was to have another way to "interact" with the cards I have.

Does any of my rambling make any sense? Do you find yourself actively searching out cards of your team/player after a good game or season? I'd love to hear if there are others that think/collect in a similar fashion or if I'm on an island by myself!

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 2018 Affordable Group Break

Time for another Affordable Group Break. Even though I'm away on vacation, I thought I'd go ahead and post the boxes and the sign-ups now so that by the time I return we should be able to get underway as quickly as possible. Most importantly, this will be affordable at only $9 for a two team slot!

We'll start off with 2002 Upper Deck Diamond Connections (Hobby). Each box has 2 mini boxes, with 7 packs each (14 packs total). I don't believe I ever opened much of this when it was current and I felt it went well with the next product. For more info on this release, check out the Trading Card Database.

40 Man Baseball is Upper Deck's answer to Topps Total. It features a massive 900 card set so there should be plenty of cards available for each team. 10 cards per pack, 24 cards per box. No fancy inserts or "hits", but two different parallel sets that may contribute. Autos are seeded 1:500 so I doubt we'll get any ink, but you never know. For more about this set, please check out the Trading Card Database.

We'll have 14 total spots available (after I claim the Braves) and we'll use the following format:
Choose 1 team and the 2nd team will be randomly assigned once the break is full. Cost for each slot will only be $9 shipped. All cards pulled will be shipped. Packs will be opened Live in the Facebook group, including randomization of second team(s).

As with all of my breaks, there *will* be bonus packs/boxes and if any participants teams don't yield as many cards as the next guy, we'll make sure to toss in some freebies.

If you're interested, all you need to do to claim your slot:

* Join the Facebook group (not required, but highly recommended)
* Comment on this post (or on Facebook or Twitter) with the team you want (first come, first serve)
* Payments will be by PayPal, (Goods & Services only)

I return from vacation on 06/13/18. I'll place the order at some point while I'm gone (assuming the sign ups have gone well) so that it's waiting for me when I return. Hopefully we can get to ripping Saturday evening, 06/16/18. If there are any questions please let me know. Please help spread the word to others that you know may be interested.

As with all breaks I host, I claim the Atlanta Braves. All other teams are up for grabs!

01 - Cardboard Collections - Braves (PAID)
02 - Cards on Cards - Cardinals (PAID)
03 - Community Gum - White Sox (PAID)
04 - Nachos Grande - Reds (PAID)
05 - Roy Galloway - Red Sox (PAID)
06 - gcrl - Dodgers (PAID)
07 - Royals & Randoms - Royals (PAID)
08 - the Lost Collector - Yankees (PAID)
09 - Marc Brubaker - Astros (PAID)
10 - Nick Dusenbury - Orioles (PAID)
11 - Highly Suggestive & Completely Arbitrary - Twins (PAID)
12 - Cardboard Collections - A's
13 - Cardboard Collections - Brewers
14 - Cardboard Collections - Angels
15 - Cardboard Collections - Blue Jays

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Next (Epix) Collecting Adventure

There was something about the 90's that I just love when it comes to baseball cards. I didn't come into collecting until 1990 and all I knew at that time was Donruss, Fleer and Topps. I would collect for many years before my interest starting to wane a little. However in the late 90's the card companies really started to step up their game with different "technologies" used, such as a chromium finish, refractors and dufex finishes.

Trying to keep up with all the sets was nearly impossible for me so I had to settle for what I could find locally or at shows. Insert sets were a dime a dozen during this time period, keep in mind the game used relic cards didn't hit until around 1997 thanks in part to Upper Deck. In today's crowded market of baseball cards a lot of these great 90's inserts sets have fallen to the wayside, but there are some really interesting themes and designs.

It's not like I need to collect anything else, however one set in particular that caught my was the multi-tiered Crusade set in Donruss products. I quickly moved on however once I saw what the cards were trading for on the secondary market! I then moved onto another insert set that was inserted across several different Pinnacle sets...1998 Epix.

Epix is a 72 card set that were randomly seeded in packs of 1998 Pinnacle (1:21), 1998 Score (1:61) and 1998 Zenith (1:11). Each card came in 3 different colors, orange, purple and emerald. Approximately 70% of the cards are orange, 20% are purple and only 10% are emerald. Each player had 4 versions, "Play", "Game", "Season" and "Moment". Play were the most common with Moment being the hardest to pull.

1998 Score Rookie/Traded and 1998 Pinnacle Plus had their own Epix All-Star set, but I'm not chasing those at this time.

I like a good challenge and I figured trying to put this 72 card set together ought to be challenging, but doable. Of course I'm going to be asking for the blogging community and Twitter-verse for help in trying to assemble this set. I'm not sure if I'll start and focus just on the orange cards, or if I should just pick up whatever I can find. So far I have 3 cards, the two Andruw Jones cards above and one Greg Maddux "Play" orange.

I'm willing to trade and buy any cards from this set that I can find. If you can help, please consider sending me a message or contacting me on Twitter (@flywheels).

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Affordable Group Break 2nd Team Randomization

Well, I was hoping to fill this break up with more people, but alas the sign up window has come and gone with only one more spot claimed. That leaves 6 slots left that I'll claim. I chose a few teams that usually nobody wants so that some of the better unclaimed teams can go to the paid participants. Here is how the signs up ended:

01 - Cardboard Collections - Atlanta Braves
02 - Cards on Cards - St. Louis Cardinals
03 - Roy Galloway - Boston Red Sox
04 - Royals & Randoms - Kansas City Royals
05 - Nick Dusenberry - Baltimore Orioles
06 - Nick Vossbrink - San Francisco Giants
07 - The Angels in Order - Anaheim Angels
08 - daddyohoho - Philadelphia Phillies
09 - Royals & Randoms - Seattle Mariners
10 - Cardboard Collections - San Diego Padres
11 - Cardboard Collections - Colorado Rockies
12 - Cardboard Collections - Florida Marlins
13 - Cardboard Collections - Pittsburgh Pirates
14 - Cardboard Collections - Montreal Expos
15 - Cardboard Collections - Minnesota Twins

That left some good teams unclaimed that will be randomized for all. After we rolled the virtual dice to see how many times we'd randomize the list of unclaimed teams, here are the results!

01 - Cardboard Collections - Houston Astros
02 - Cards on Cards - Cleveland Indians Texas Rangers
03 - Roy Galloway - Chicago White Sox
04 - Royals & Randoms - Cincinnati Reds
05 - Nick Dusenberry - Detroit Tigers New York Yankees
06 - Nick Vossbrink - Oakland Athletics
07 - The Angels in Order - Los Angeles Dodgers
08 - daddyohoho - Milwaukee Brewers
09 - Royals & Randoms - Texas Rangers Cleveland Indians
10 - Cardboard Collections - New York Mets
11 - Cardboard Collections - New York Yankees Detroit Tigers
12 - Cardboard Collections - Toronto Blue Jays
13 - Cardboard Collections - Chicago Cubs

If you'd like to offer up a trade for your 2nd team, please do so on this post or at least message me and let me know of the deal so I can keep my list updated.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2017 Topps Now: Dansby Swanson #59 (916 print run)

I still remember April 17th, 2017 like it was yesterday. Dansby steps up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, game tied 9-9 with the San Diego Padres. On a 1-2 count, he smacks a line drive out into left field just beyond the reach of the defender giving the Braves their win and first walk off of Dansby's young career as well as the first in SunTrust Park history.

Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 Topps Living Set Ronald Acuna #19

The mail man brought me a fat padded mailer today and I couldn't be happier with what was inside. When Topps launched their Living Set earlier this year, I wasn't sure what to make of it. $7.99 for a single card or $14.99 for the 3 cards released that week...not too bad. After all I've spent $9.99 on single Topps Now cards in the past. Nick Markakis was the first Braves player to be featured in the set...but I passed. I don't care that his card is trading for big dollars on eBay currently, but now that I have a card in hand I realize how beautiful they actually are.

The Braves' rookie phenom, Ronald Acuna, was called up from AAA Gwinett on 04/25/18 and has made an immediate impact. I don't have many RCs of his yet so I decided to jump on this Living Set card. While I wish they had used a different design, I love the card. At first glance it may appear to be just another Heritage type card, however the card stock used is a little thinner than Heritage. The other big difference is the photo isn't a photo, but a drawing of the player. These cards are really beautiful in hand. I'm starting to see why more and more people are jumping on this set and trying to build it now. That's not for me, but I will be cherry picking a few players moving forward.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the idea behind this set. Yea or nay? Have you bought any Living Set cards? If so, do you like them? If you haven't bought any, why?

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Group Break Update

Even though the sign ups have slowed down and we still have several slots still available to be claimed (and some good teams too!), I've ordered the boxes and should have them by mid-week. Once they arrive, we'll get the break going. Aiming for Thursday or Friday evening...depending on my travel schedule for work.

Any unclaimed slots will go to me as the host...however I'd rather not eat the money so be sure to tell your friends about the break. Only $8 gets you two teams, one of your choosing and one randomized.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Box Break: 2018 Panini Diamond Kings

My area has officially joined the "No Bowman" club, however there was a blaster of 2018 Panini Diamond Kings sitting on the shelf. This was the next "hot product" to feature Shohei Ohtani RCs...then the aforementioned Bowman product came out and it seemed as if no one cared about this product any longer. Below is a pack by pack break down of the blaster. At this time none of the cards are available as I'm thinking I may try to build the set...

Pack 1
053 Alex Bregman
Jacob DeGrom
Gallery of Stars

007 Mickey Mantle
085 Max Fried RC
043 Hack Wilson

Pack 2
011 Joe DiMaggio
Tyler Mahle
DK Materials (11/99)

Greg Maddux

001 Babe Ruth
018 Paul Waner

Pack 3
034 Ty Cobb
091 Greg Allen RC
Mike Trout
Trophy Club

075 Robinson Cano
032 Gabby Hartnett

Pack 4
049 Frank Thomas
007 Mickey Mantle
Gary Sheffield
The 500

089 Nicky Delmonico RC
047 Jim Bottomley

Pack 5
065 Francisco Lindor
023 Pee Wee Reese
Babe Ruth / Aaron Judge
Past and Present

005 Bobby Thomson
063 Kris Bryant

Pack 6
080 Aaron Judge
037 Chuck Klein
142 Brooks Robinson
021 Ted Lyons
078 Bryce Harper

Exclusive 3-Card Pack
Shohei Ohtani
Variation RC Artist Proof

Walker Buehler RC
Blue Frame

Mickey Mantle Collection

Well, well, well...take a look at the first card out of the bonus pack! I'm immediately shopping this card for something Braves. Overall I love the look of this set...from the painting of the players to the "canvas" feel of the cards. Panini has done another great job w/ this set. If you have any cards from this set you don't care to keep, please let me know!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

May 2018 Affordable Group Break

For the next edition of my Affordable Group Break we'll be going back to my roots and featuring products (Score) that should yield a mixture of base, Hall of Fame veterans with a chance of some parallels and inserts. Most importantly, this will be affordable at only $8 for two team slots! 

We'll start off with 1994 Score Select (Hobby). 24 packs, 12 cards per pack. When this debuted it was priced a little higher than I could afford and thus I didn't get a chance to experience this product much. A complete breakdown team by team can be found at the Trading Card Database.

When I can get both series 1 & 2 of a product, it's hard to chose sometimes which box to go this time around why not go with both series 1 and 2 of 1994 Select? Same configuration, 24 packs, 12 cards per pack. A complete over view of the set can be found at the Trading Card Database.

The final box will be one of the original products I proposed, 1995 Score Series 2 Jumbo. 24 cards per pack, 24 packs per box. Inserts include Hall of Gold, Rookie Dream Team, Airmail (exclusive to series 2 jumbo). 2 Gold Rush parallels per pack. For a full overview of the set, head back on over to the Trading Card Database.

We'll have 15 total spots available with the format of choose 1 team and the 2nd team will be randomly assigned once the break is full. Cost for each slot will only be $8 shipped. Since the 1988 only had 26 teams, two slots willAll cards pulled will be shipped. Packs will be opened Live in the Facebook group, including randomization of second team(s).

As with all of my breaks, there may be bonus packs/boxes and if any participants teams don't yield as many cards as the next guy, we'll I'll make sure to toss in more freebies.

If you're interested, all you need to do to claim your slot:

* Join the Facebook group (not required, but highly recommended)
* Comment with the team you want (first come, first serve)
* Payments will be by PayPal, (Goods & Services only)

I don't have a date yet of when we'll go live. Once the break is full and everyone has paid, I will place the order for the product. Once ordered, we'll aim for the following Friday or Saturday night to go Live. Please help spread the word to others that you know may be interested.

As with all breaks I host, I claim the Atlanta Braves. All other teams are up for grabs!

01 - Cardboard Collections - Atlanta Braves (PAID)
02 - Cards on Cards - St. Louis Cardinals (PAID)
03 - Roy Galloway - Boston Red Sox (PAID)
04 - Royals & Randoms - Kansas City Royals (PAID)
05 - Nick Dusenberry - Baltimore Orioles (PAID)
06 - Nick Vossbrink - San Francisco Giants (PAID)
07 - The Angels in Order - Anaheim Angels (PAID)
08 - daddyohoho - Philadelphia Phillies (PAID)
09 - Royals & Randoms - Seattle Mariners
10 - Cardboard Collections - San Diego Padres
11 - Cardboard Collections - Colorado Rockies
12 - Cardboard Collections - Tampa Bay Rays
13 - Cardboard Collections - Pittsburgh Pirates
14 - Cardboard Collections - Arizona Diamondbacks
15 - Cardboard Collections - Minnesota Twins

Friday, April 27, 2018

Affordable Group Break Idea

** UPDATE **
Boxes have been selected, head on over to THIS POST to check out all the details and to sign up.

Time for another group break. Just trying to gauge interest right now. Looking at two jumbo boxes, 1995 Score Series 2 and 1996 Score Series 1. Both boxes feature a cool design and will yield plenty of base cards for all teams. Parallels and inserts to chase too, especially in the jumbo packs. I always liked the Air Mail from the 1995 jumbo packs.

Two teams (one of your choice, one randomized) can be yours for the low, low cost of only $7 shipped! If I get enough of a response either here or on the post I did in my Facebook group, I'll do a post for sign-ups this weekend.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pack Break: 2018 Bowman

The wait and the search for 2018 Bowman is over. Releasing yesterday, 04/25/18, I finally found a local store that had them in stock. I practiced some preservation and just grabbed one value hanger pack. I don't usually buy a lot of Bowman since I'm not into prospecting, but with Ozzie Albies and newly called up Ronald Acuna having rookie cards in this years product I'm more interested than normal.

3 cards into the 22 card pack and I landed an Ohtani RC. I have to be honest
that I don't know much about this guy, despite his presence all over the hobby and social media. I saw today while watching the afternoon Braves/Reds game that FS1 is showing the Yankees/ Angels series starting Saturday so I may have to tune in to check this guy out. I'm unsure what to do w/ this Ohtani RC right now. Should I trade it for something Braves related? Add it to my eBay store? Or just hold onto it for now?

In the middle of the pack were a few shiny chrome cards, one of which was this insert of Ronald Acuna himself! Man did I pick a good pack to be my first pack of 2018 Bowman!

Here is the rest of the pack breakdown:

003 Corey Kluber
023 Richard Urena
035 Erick Fedde
049 Shohei Ohtani
059 Walker Buehler
070 Parker Bridwell
079 Buster Posey
086 Rougned Odor
097 Gary Sanchez
100 Kris Bryant
BP044 James Kaprielian
BP046 Cristian Pache
BP063 Dylan Cozens
BP092 Ryan Vilade
BP106 D.J. Stewart
BP131 MacKenzie Gore
BCP007 Carter Kiebook
BCP013 Sam Hilliard
BCP038 Mitch Keller
BCP047 Ibandel Isabel
BTP-84 Taylor Trammell - Top 100
#-RA Ronald Acuna - #Bowman Trending

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Call Up - Ronald Acuna Edition

Ronald Acuna finally gets his change to show the majors just how good he is and how he's deserving of the top prospect in baseball tag he's been given. I know I for one am looking forward to watching tonight's game against the Reds. Lord knows the Braves will benefit from his glove and if only we could solve our bullpen woes!

Monday, April 16, 2018

2017 Topps Now: Atlanta Braves #44 (488 print run)

Last year the Braves opened their new home, SunTrust Park on April 14th. 41,149 fans were in attendance as the Braves hosted the San Diego Padres. This day also saw the first home win in the new stadium as Julio Teheran tossed a good game and Ender Inciarte padded the Braves' lead late in the game.

Over the weekend my wife asked me to take her back to Atlanta for a game as her birthday present. Turns out the Nationals will be in town that weekend so I'm starting to look for tickets now. Can't wait to get back as nothing beats taking in a game in person, especially at a beautiful ball park like SunTrust Park.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Box Break: 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen (and Want List)

My wife and girls' spring break this year pretty much fell one week after everyone else in the world. Turns out this wasn't a bad thing as we were able to stay at my mom's beach house for most of this week. Knowing that I'd have time in the evening to myself, I grabbed a new 4 inch binder I had purchased, 2 packs of Ultra Pro 9 pocket pages and a my hobby box of 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen I've been sitting on for a few weeks.

The loose cards above the box were the only retail cards purchased up until this point

Andrew from The Iron Lion gave me a great deal on the box upon GQ's release date back in March. Between work, being tired and perhaps some laziness I finally got around to ripping the box today. My daughters sat with me at the kitchen table as I ripped open packs, listening to 80's hard rock, watching intently for me to pull then next Braves card. I have to admit...I loved every moment of my girls sitting with me "enjoying" my hobby with me. At one point, my oldest daughter, Olivia, 8, began telling me about Jackie Robinson. I asked where she learned about him and she said at school. She asked if I had a card of his, but sadly the answer was no...but I followed it up with a "one day, baby".

After dinner at Nakato (Japanese steak house), a round of mini golf and some ice cream I owed the girls, we came back to the house and I was finally able to finish collating the cards. I feel as if I put a pretty good dent into the base set. Up until this point I'd only purchased one rack pack of GQ from retail. Now that I know what I need to finish off the set, I guess it'll be retail and (hopefully) trading with other collectors from here on out.

Logo swap, missing team name, Bazooka back & blue parallels

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the various parallels in this years Gypsy Queen set, and for the most part I agree with the masses. The missing name plate, team name, logo swap and such are just dumb. While I did pull two missing team name cards of players I collect and plan to hold onto them, I will not be searching out any more of these. I like the set for the base cards and their design. I've been a fan of the GQ brand since the beginning and this year is no different.

I didn't really hit a home run in the autograph department (in my opinion), but at least the Carlos Carrasco auto is numbered 056/150. I do like the one card autos, something that seems to be slowly disappearing in the hobby.

Each Hobby box yields one GQ ClassWorks Chrome box topper. I was really hoping to pull Freddie Freeman, but ended up w/ Josh Donaldson instead. Any Blue Jays fans reading this that want to trade?

Oh yeah, I pulled this little no name RC from the box as well. Nope, it's not for sale or for's card #089 that I need for the set.

The inserts in GQ have been hit and miss since the beginning and this year...well at least I like one of the sets. I like the idea behind the Fortune Teller fits the Gypsy Queen theme...but these aren't real mini cards. I'd rather these be full size if they aren't going to be minis.

The Tarot of the Diamond inserts however are a lot of fun and look more beautiful in hand than scanned. The odds were right on the money with my box containing 3 of these. Only another 17 to go before I'll have the whole set. This is another interesting insert that fits the GQ theme quite well.

The thing about have a lot of image variation parallels that makes it hard on collectors is knowing what to look for. Well thanks to the article on Cardboard Connection I was able to find a whole list of the variations and it just so happened that my "duplicate" Trevor Story wasn't a duplicate at was one of the Jackie Robinson image variations. These were seeded 1:106 packs. Glad to have pulled it of a guy I also collect.

Overall I enjoyed ripping the box and had fun with my girls at the same time. It's memories like this that'll last far longer than the joy I get of opening packs. I really like this year's GQ set and look forward to trying to fill in my holes. Speaking of that, below is my want list that I threw together after opening the box. If you would like to help me in any fashion with these missing cards, by all means please let me know.

1, 10, 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 32, 35, 37, 39, 40, 52, 53, 58, 59, 62, 63, 66, 68, 73, 75, 76, 78, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 91, 93, 97, 98, 100, 102, 105, 108, 111, 118, 121, 122, 124, 125, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 140, 142, 145, 156, 158, 160, 163, 164, 166, 169, 172, 175, 177, 183, 185, 195, 196, 197, 199, 203, 208, 211, 218, 219, 224, 228, 230, 136, 240, 243, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 252, 255, 256, 260, 262, 265, 266, 267, 270, 274, 278, 281, 282, 285, 287, 289, 290, 292, 295, 296, 297, 300

301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 319, 320

Fortune Teller
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20

Tarot of the Diamond
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17, 19, 20, 21, 22

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Another one bites the dust!

1996 Leaf Signature Series Gold autograph

My side project, Rey Ordonez Super Collector blog hasn't been updated in 6 months!! Guess I've bitten off more than I can chew? Well I did get around to doing another update today, but I really wanted to spotlight this gold auto parallel I finally picked up off a fellow collector. This card completes my Rey collection from 1996 Signature Series. For a complete look at this set you can refer back to my original post.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2018 Panini Donruss - Who Wants to Trade?

I know Panini's baseball card offerings aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I am enjoying most of what they are doing, especially with Donruss. While I prefer the base design of 2017 over 2018, I decided to make a run at completing the base set complete with all the annoying variations. Just by buying retail thus far I feel that I've done a good job so far. Below are the cards that I'm currently looking for at the time of this post.

Diamond Kings - 2, 7, 10, 11, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
Rated Rookies - 31, 37, 41, 42, 43, 47, 48, 49
Base - 53, 56, 57, 63, 69, 75, 76, 81, 91, 99, 103, 104, 106, 107, 113, 117, 123, 125, 130, 132, 133, 134, 138, 142, 145, 151, 155, 159, 162, 163, 167, 169, 178, 182, 186, 187, 190, 194, 195, 196, 199, 200, 202, 203, 205, 212, 217, 220, 223, 224, 225, 230, 239, 243, 245, 246, 250, 252, 259, 260, 262, 268, 270

Base Variations
64 Cal Ripken
86 Jose Abreu
92 Joe Morgan
100 Roberto Alomar
104 Charlie Blackmon
108 Reggie Jackson
134 Marcell Ozuna
143 Giancarlo Stanton
144 Noah Snydergaard
148 Aaron Judge (ROY)
154 Clayton Kershaw
155 Mike Trout
158 Cory Seager
159 Andrew McCutchen
167 Buster Posey (throwing image)
169 Andrew Benintendi (black & white)
169 Andrew Benintendi (nickname)
172 Nolen Arenado
173 Jose Ramirez
187 Nolen Ryan
189 Manny Machado
191 Mookie Betts (image/nickname)
200 Mickey Mantle
225 Anthony Rizzo
230 Yoan Moncado
234 Francisco Lindor

I also have several base cards, including base variations and parallels (see above) ready for trade. If you have some extra 2018 Donruss and are interested in working out a trade, please let me know!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday Verse

James 3:17-18

New International Version

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Opening Day is Finally Here!

Opening Day is finally upon us. For the first time in many, many years, all of the MLB teams were slated to begin their season on the same day. I've already heard that weather may have scrubbed the Reds/Nationals game, but my team...the Braves will be hitting the field in just over an hour to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Today is one of those days where I relish getting to work from home...however with so much baseball on TV today I can't say I've accomplished a lot of work! Shhh, don't tell my boss! Later today I also hope to rip into some baseball card packs and boxes I've had sitting off to the side. Some 2018 Topps Opening Day (seems appropriate, right?), some 2018 Donruss and last but not least a hobby box of 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen.

Back to my Braves. Today's opening day roster has quite a few changes over last year. On the mound will be the Braves' ace, Julio Teheran. He was very up and down last year so I hope we'll see a more consistent Teheran this season. The starting pitching is a big question mark for the Braves so we'll need him to step up his game and help anchor the starting rotation. 

The rest of the starting rotation appears to include new comber Brandon McCarthy (acquired in the Matt Kemp deal w/ the Dodgers), Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb.

The outfield will consist of Ender Inciarte (CF), gold glover who I enjoyed watching from the outfield at SunTrust Park last season. Preston Tucker gets the start in LF, a player that I'll be honest I don't know much about. Drafted by the Astros in 2012 and played in Houston his rookie year in 2015. While he does show some promise, I believe he will just be a place holder so to speak until they are ready to call up Ronald Acuna. Nick Markakis gets the start again in RF.

Infield consists of Mr. Reliable himself at 1B, Freedie Freeman. Ozzie Albies, called up late in 2017 gets the start at 2B vacated by Brandon Phillips. Dansby Swanson fills the hole at shortstop. He was up and down last year so I'm hoping we'll see more offensive abilities from him this year. 3B is another new face, Ryan Flaherty. Ryan previously played for the Baltimore Orioles, drafted in 2008 by the Cubs. Johan Camargo will most likely be the team's third baseman, but he is starting off the new year on the DL with oblique discomfort.

The bullpen has a lot of new faces as well and I'm really hoping these guys will hold up better than the bullpen of previous teams. A.J. Minter may eventually win the closing job from Arodys Vizcaino. A familiar face returning to the bullpen this year is the Aussie, Peter Moylan.

I'm so ready to go! Baseball is back! I'm having a blast with some of the early 2018 baseball card products and I can't wait to see what this season has in store for all of the teams, especially the Braves. Now let's go play some ball!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Affordable Group Break - 2nd Team Randomization

Now that all of the slots have been filled and everyone has paid, it's time to randomly assign the unclaimed teams.

01 - Cardboard Collections - Braves / Angels
02 - Cards on Cards - Cardinals / Rays
03 - Angus - Mets / Marlins
04 - Cardboard Conundrum - Cubs / A's
05 - Daily Dimwit - Astros / Rockies
06 - CaptKirk42 - Expos / Blue Jays
07 - Royals & Randoms - Royals / Brewers
08 - Chronicles of Fuji - Yankees / Mariners
09 - Jason German - Reds / Twins
10 - Daily Dimwit - Dodgers / Padres
11 - 2x3 Heroes - White Sox / Indians
12 - 2x3 Heroes - Pirates / Tigers
13 - Royals & Randoms - Giants / Diamondbacks
14 - Royals & Randoms - Red Sox / Rangers
15 - Royals & Randoms - Orioles / Phillies

If you'd like to trade a team(s), please comment on either this post or on the Facebook post. That way I can make sure I keep up with who's swapping who.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Affordable Group Break: Sign-Up Deadline 03/27

*** UPDATE 03/26/18 ***
The Break is full! Boxes have been ordered. Should be able to break live this Saturday evening at 9 PM Eastern.

Alright, in order to break these boxes next weekend (March 31st) then I need to fill a minimum of 5 of the final 6 slots. The deadline to claim a slot will be Tuesday, 03/27/18. If I'm unable to fill 5 slots by then, I'll be cancelling the break and refunding everyone's money that has paid.

I was really hoping that I'd get enough interest in doing something different, but with the overall cost I simply can't afford to absorb that kind of a hit. Hopefully everyone understands that.

Please help me spread the word via Social Media and let's fill up those spots. Remember, if you've already paid and would like an additional slot, you'll receive a $2 discount. 

For all of the details and to sign up, please go HERE.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blog Bat Around: Mini Collections

I've noticed another topic going around several trading card blogs I follow and I decided I'd chime in on this one. As Fuji so elegantly wrote on his blog, when I first got into collecting I didn't really have a player or a team I collected. I was brand new to baseball cards (thanks to a friend) and knew nothing about them. All I knew was each card had a number and I thought the goal was to collect them all. I never have looked at myself as a set builder, but looking back at my humble beginnings of card collecting I guess I am.

As I got more and more into collecting, I eventually adopted the Atlanta Braves as my team and started to specifically put aside those players. That led to collecting certain players, but a lot of us do that. I'm here to talk about those "other" collections.

It wasn't until I got into blogging that I realized some people had, well odd mini collections. Whether it was BA Benny (what ever happened to him?) and his collection of cards that featured the American flag or a cup, to collections that featured a play at the plate or someone bunting. That lead me to creating a few small mini collections of my own...

Being more a fan of the National League than the American League, I particularly like to see cards that depict a pitcher at the plate. There are tons of cards featuring the pitcher perfecting his craft, but few with wood in their hands. I'm working on scanning all the cards in this collection to share one day. I don't have a lot because they seem to be far and few in between. I actually did a post on this 7 years ago.

Another smaller collection that I have that unfortunately I haven't been able to add to much is my Cards with Kids. It seems like the 90's had more candid shots of players. I wish the Topps would use some photos of the players with their kids during the All-Star break. I love seeing the kids with their dads watching the events such as the Home Run Derby. Those would make some great cards, possibly a great insert set in Opening Day?

Outside of those two collections, I obviously collect other players that aren't Braves or Hall of Famers. Why I collect some of these players may have not been obvious, but I've recently re-branded these collections on the right side bar. My faith plays a big part of who I am so it made sense to me to find players that share my faith. It wasn't long before this list really started to grow and now I'm lucky just to get a few base cards of these players.


Another collection of mine are players that played ball for NC State University. The baseball side of this collection is small, but I love to pick up cards, especially football and basketball of the players in their college uniforms.

I also collect players from my hometown of Charlotte, NC. I may have added a few players that are from NC, but not from Charlotte (Madison Bumgardner - he's from Hickory which is an hour or so away). I'm really trying to expand this a little more lately and now have a few players from the late 50s and from the 60s that I'm looking to pick up.

I always love seeing what others collect and the whys behind the collections. This was a great topic and I'm glad I was able to participate.