Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 2011 Group Break - 2004 Fleer Platinum

We've finally made it to our last box of this month's group break.  This is another product I was excited about getting and it's been hard resisting opening...but the time is here so let's get ripping!  Who will the patch card be of this time around?

If you missed any of the videos or simply chose not to watch them I'll have a post coming up (hopefully) tomorrow recapping all of the hits that came out of the 3 boxes. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Postseason for the Braves...

Yes I'm upset.  What started off as a great season came to a screeching halt when the calender turned a page to September.  Why all the sudden could the Braves not score any runs and give their pitchers and run support?  Why couldn't the pitchers stay out of trouble?  Why did Freddie Gonzalez keep sending Derek Lowe to the freakin' mound?!

I didn't expect the Phillies to roll over and play dead for this final 3 game series, but I thought the Braves could at least get 1 game.  It's "funny" how Hunter Pence is the one that ended the Braves season since it was his old team (the Astros) that could've helped out the Braves by taking care of the Cardinals.  I knew there was a good reason as to why I cringed when I heard about Pence going to Philly.

Oh well, complaining doesn't help anything so I'll leave it at that.  I'm bitter.  I'm upset.  I'm disappointed.  All the while I'm happy about most of the season and the baseball that was played by my Braves.  If we all can forget about the month of September then most of us can agree that it's been a wild ride.  Thanks Freddie and the rest of the guys. We'll get 'em next year.

I guess I'll switch my focus over to the AL now and root for the Red Sox Tigers.  Oh yeah, if the Cardinals are facing the Phillies...I guess I'm now a Cardinals fan too!

September 2011 Group Break - 2004 Fleer Patchworks

The box I thought turned out really great.  Good selection of cards and our hits were nice, esp. if you are a fan of a certain team from up north!  Once the last video has been posted I'll do a re-cap post w/ all of the hits scanned in.  Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Acquisitions

Things have slowed down quite a bit here as my budget has all but disappeared and as I move all my crap around, but the mail man did brighten my day with a few bubble mailers the other day.

First up are 2 cards from the new 2011 Topps Chrome.  I'm holding out buying packs/blasters and hoping to trade for the singles I want.  I still haven't landed a Braves team set, but I did pick up this beautiful Sepia Tim Hudson card.  I believe I got it for 2 bucks.
The card looks so much better in person.  I don't think I knew however that the card was sequentially numbered and out of 99 to boot.  When I got the card I flipped it over and saw this:


#01/99!  I really had no idea!  I was happy w/ how beautiful the card looks so this was the icing on the proverbial cake.


I'm not actively pursuing a Heath Bell collection, but several cards of his have found their way into my possession since the All-Star break.  I'm a sucker for refractors and their variations so I was happy w/ this card - #077/100.

I've you've read my blog for long then you should know I'm a wrestling fan.  While I was a little let down by this year's Topps WWE inserts I was happy w/ the selection of wrestlers included on the relic and auto checklists.  For some reason Santino Marella has always entertained me since his introduction in 2007 as a "fan" in the audience.  


I was able to grab a new relic of his and while it's a plain white t-shirt piece I still find it a nice card.  I've seen other versions of this card with multi colored t-shirt pieces, but for now this one will do.  I like how on the back of the card it mentions this t-shirt was worn on a taping of SmackDown on February 1, 2011 in Uniondale, NY.  I wish Topps did this with relics in other sports sets.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Verse

Earlier in the week while trying to catch up on some of my blog reading I ran across fellow Braves fan Silver Slugger's blog where she was able to score in person some great autographs one Sunday afternoon @ Turner Field.  I noticed 2 cards autographed by former Braves 1B Sid Bream with the verse Galatians 2:20 underneath.  So thanks to Sid I bring you this week's Sunday Verse.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 Awesome, powerful verse.  Thanks Sid for this week's inspiration.

September 2011 Group Break Underway! 2002 Fleer Maximum

First off let me apologize for the long video.  I ran into the same problem I had with a jumbo box of mid 90's Score in a previous group break - the cards sticking together effectively making the packs a brick!  This took longer having to peel the cards apart.  I'll try to make it up to everyone by tossing in some extra cards into your stack.  After all 3 boxes have been ripped I'll do a summary post w/ scans of all the inserts and hits.  That said here is the video for the first box!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another look at 2011 Topps WWE...including a retail HIT!

This post is for all of 3 of us out there that read this blog and collect wrestling cards!  In the midst of moving my man cave at home I ran across a few packs of 2011 Topps WWE that I thought I had opened.  Don't you just love finding stuff you didn't know you had?!  I've got to get my cards better organized.  I know I already did a quick Pack Break post for this set, but I wanted to take another look at the various inserts and parallels that can be had.

Much to my surprise the first insert I pulled out of the packs was a hit!  Retail hit too...meaning much higher odds than if the same card was pulled from a hobby box.  I think the odds were 1:211.


From what I've read it appears Topps beefed up the autograph checklist from last year.  I'm not a huge fan of the Bella Twins, but at least it's a nice card...even if it's a sticker auto.  Hard to make out Brie in the signature, but at least I get a little peace sign.  A lot of the wrestlers this year added something small to their autos.  I'm not attached to the card and would like to swap it for Eve's auto.


Just like relic and game used cards in baseball and other sports are getting watered down I feel the same with wrestling.  While this is a decent card I just don't get the appeal of event used ring mat cards such as this.  And why does it seem all of my wrestling hits lately are of Sheamus?

Prestigious Pairings.  I miss the days of the true tag teams like the Rock 'n Roll Express, Midnight Express, The Road Warriors / Legion of Doom.  These days it's just single competition guys that team together for a special match or until a certain feud is over.  Not too wild about this insert set...but it is one of the better ones.

Catchy Phrases...this set had more potential in my opinion.  These are just...well...boring.  

I think the black parallels are retail exclusives.  They are serially numbered to 999.  Just like with other 2011 Topps releases the serial numbering is that crappy cheap looking black ink.  The other beef I have with these are the boarders.  I didn't crop part of the boarder when scanning the card.  A lot of these parallels have horrible borders / centering.  That and the photos look grainy.


Blue parallels are serially numbered to 2011.  There are even more levels of parallels exclusive to the hobby version.  Why?

Photobucket   Photobucket


Finally!  A nice insert set worthy of building!  While others may be tired of the '62 baseball design by now, Heritage continues here.  I like it.  I think it works.  Just wish the set was 50 cards strong.

I like the base design.  The recycled design works for wrestling again this year.  I like getting one insert card per pack.  I just wish more of the inserts were exciting.  While I do plan on building the base set and the Heritage set I don't see myself in a rush to do either.  The checklist is nice, but again the photos seem grainy and some of them seem lazy this year.  I didn't notice too many fuzzy shots in the base baseball or football sets this year so how come the WWE feature less than stellar photography quality.  I don't hate this year's effort, but I can't help but feel that something is really missing.  That said if you want any of the cards shown (minus the Heritage) let me know as they are all available.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Under Construction & September Group Break Update

I wanted to let everyone know that posts here may be a little light over the next few weeks.  I had some things come up at home that has led me to move my "man cave" downstairs in my home to the room over the garage upstairs.  In addition I'll be purging a large chunk of my Transformers toy collection and moving my toy room into my new man cave.  This is a daunting task and one that will take up a lot of my free time.  And my little brother is getting married this weekend and I'm his co-best man.

I hope to at least break the September group break boxes on video later this week.  I had a blast doing the live Ustream video so I wanted to see what people's opinion is one more time on doing a live video.  I'm going to list 3 viewing options along with the option of a pre-recorded video.  Please comment with your preference.  We'll go with whichever option gets the most response.

1) Thursday evening, 9/22 at 9 pm EST
2) Saturday evening, 9/24 at 10 pm EST
3) Sunday evening, 9/25 at 9 pm EST
4) Pre-recorded to be posted sometime this weekend or next week

Once the dust settles I hope to be back with regular posts as I have some new things to share including a large stack of trades.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Verse

1 Timothy 2:1

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

2011 Topps Marquee Results!

Sorry for the technical difficulties we had starting out, but I finally got the video problem resolved.  The first minute or so of the video is my trying to get people back to the live broadcast so you may want to skip ahead to see the first pack being ripped.  Onto the results! 

Pack 1:
#65 Mike Schmidt (Phillies)
#55 Ryan Howard (Phillies)
#79 Jose Reyes (Mets)
#31 Mickey Mantle - Gold parallel #93/99 (Yankees)
#MM-BR Brooks Robinson - Monumental Markings Autograph Redemption (Orioles)

Pack 2:
#48 Ty Cobb (Tigers)
#54 Tom Seaver (Mets)
#31 Mickey Mantle (Yankees)
#68 Adrian Gonzalez - Bronze parallel #191/199 (Red Sox)
#GMQR-10 Roy Halladay - Gametime Mementos #024/199 (Blue Jays)

Pack 3:
#39 Cole Hamels (Phillies)
#42 Michael Pineda RC (Mariners)
#12 Bob Gibson (Cardinals)
#04 Christy Mathewson - Blue parallel #051/299 (NY Giants)
#TTJR-111 Alex Gordon - Titanic Threads #43/99 (Royals)

Pack 4:
#46 Derek Jeter (Yankees)
#08 Jim Palmer (Orioles)
#43 Stan Musial (Cardinals)
#13 Dustin Pedroia - Blue parallel #092/299 (Red Sox)
#AID-44 Daniel Descalso - Acclaimed Impressions #118/400 (Cardinals)

Pack 5:
#66 Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies)
#76 David Wright (Mets)
#60 Zach Britton RC (Orioles)
#08 Jim Palmer - Blue parallel #175/299 (Orioles)
#AIT-3 Drew Stubbs - Acclaimed Impressions #590/606 (Reds)

Pack 6:
#05 Ozzie Smith (Cardinals)
#06 Robinson Cano (Yankees)
#88 Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
#73 Eddie Murray - Blue parallel #077/199 (Orioles)
#TTJR-65 Shin-Soo Choo - Titanic Threads #44/99 (Indians)

Pack 7:
#96 Carl Crawford (Red Sox)
#30 Cy Young (Red Sox)
#28 Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies)
#65 Mike Schmidt - Bronze parallel #051/199 (Phillies)
#GMQR-49 Jason Heyward - Gametime Mementos #057/199 (Braves)

Pack 8:
#90 Joe Dimaggio (Yankees)
#78 Roy Campanella (Dodgers)
#40 Joe Morgan (Reds)
#35 Jason Heyward - Gold parallel #49/99 (Braves)
#MM-PON Paul O'Neill - Monumental Markings #56/75 (Yankees)

Pack 9:
#81 David Price (Rays)
#59 Ryne Sandberg (Cubs)
#83 Reggie Jackson (Yankees)
#53 Miguel Cabrera - Blue parallel #068/199 (Tigers)
#TTJA-84 Billy Butler - Titanic Threads Autograph #03/10 (Royals)

Pack 10:
#82 Tim Lincecum (Giants)
#02 Juan Marichal (Giants)
#87 Brandon Belt RC (Giants)
#15 Nolan Ryan - Blue parallel #003/299 (Rangers)
#TTJR-109 Mark Buehrle - Titanic Threads #68/99 (White Sox)

Pack 11:
#73 Eddie Murray (Orioles)
#61 Jose Bautista (Blue Jays)
#80 Evan Longoria (Rays)
#41 Justin Morneau - Gold parallel #19/99 (Twins)
#GMQR-55 Carlos Santana - Gametime Mementos #040/199 (Indians)

Pack 12:
#33 Tris Speaker (Indians)
#95 Roy Halladay (Phillies)
#75 Duke Snider (Dodgers)
#79 Jose Reyes - Bronze parallel #064/199 (Mets)
#54 Tom Seaver - Blue parallel #159/299 (Mets)
#MM-DST Drew Storen - Monumental Markings #259/600 (Nationals)

And there you have it!  It was so much fun opening these packs.  I'm glad several of you guys that participated are happy w/ the cards that came out of the boxes.  I only wish the hits would have been a little widespread.  I'll do my best to get these cards out in the mail ASAP.  I should have everyone's mailing address by now.  Thanks again to everyone that participated.  Remember to let me know if you guys want to try this product again if there is a price drop or sale somewhere.  If you have any other suggestions of product you'd like to see featured in a future group break let me know and we'll see what we can do. 

September's group break will happen next week - mid-week most likely.  My brother is getting married next weekend so I'll try to squeeze it in before the weekend.  I'll do video again.

2011 Topps Marquee Group Break Happens TONIGHT!!

**UPDATE**  I got the video working again!  Feel free to join in (again) if you'd like!

The boxes have finally arrived!  If you want to join in for the LIVE video then join me over @ this evening at 10:00 pm EST.

I hope I can get this live thing to work and I hope you all can stop by.  Sorry for the delay - I didn't get any sort of shipping notice from Blowout Cards letting me know the boxes would arrive today.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Panini acquires baseball license! Move over've got some competition again!

Woohoo!  For a full story head over to Panini's blog.  I know these cards aren't fully licensed yet, but at least it's a step in the right direction for Panini.  I like the player selection for marketing.  So, who else is excited about this news? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do you smell what Cardboard Collections is cooking?! Pack Break: 2011 Topps WWE

Photobucket Yes - I admit.  I'm a wrestling fan.  Have been for a long time.  Granted it's changed A LOT since I was a kid tuning into the pay-per-view events that happened a few times a year (like Starcade!) I still find it a fun escape from reality every Monday night.  Being a card collector I have found an interest in wrestling cards too.  Topps has been doing a pretty good job w/ the WWE license in my opinion and this year's flagship ship WWE set looks to be on par with the last 2 years.  While I'd love to buy a hobby box since this year Topps has upped the guaranteed hits I simply can't afford one so I'll have to settle with a retail pack here and there.

For 2011 Topps is using none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the spokesman if you will.  I'm not a huge fan of the Rock, but he looks good on a wrapper.  Retail packs will set you back $1.99 and comes with 7 cards.  It seems the new trend w/ Topps is you get one parallel or insert per pack.  This trend continues on here.  The base design is the same that was used for both baseball and football.  It surprisingly works well here.  The name banner is either red or blue = red for Monday night RAW or blue for Friday night Smackdown.

Several new inserts can be had this year as well.  Parallels include blue (1:8, numbered to 2011), black (1:9, numbered to 999), Topps Heritage (1:4), Electrifying Entrances (1:8), Prestigious Pairings (1:8), Catchy Phrases (1:8), Autographs (1:211), Dual Autographs (1:990), Swatch Relics (1:126), Gold Parallel Swatch Relics (1:2020), Mat Relics (1:69), Gold Parallel Mat Relics (1:1464), Ringside Relics (1:180) and Gold Parallel Ringside Relics (1:1800).

#102 Yokozuna

Like with past WWE sets there is a mixture of current and retired talent.

#051 Alberto Del Rio

This guy is more annoying as the WWE Champion than the Miz was...and that is saying a lot!


#047 Drew McIntyre

The card backs are just about the same as with other base 2011 Topps offerings this year.

Photobucket  Photobucket
#EE-08 Big Show - Electrifying Entrances

In addition to the smack talking and signature moves of each wrestler the other thing that a lot of the wrestlers are known world wide for is their entrance into the arena.  

#025 CM Punk

This guy has got to be the "wordiest" guy in the WWE currently.  Good lord watch out when he grabs a mike.  I'm starting to confuse his voice with that of my wife's as I drown him out pretty easily now!  (just joking honey, put down the frying pan please)

#036 Matt Striker

Yawn.  Unless the announcer card is of someone like Jim Ross I'll pass.

#044 Sheamus

It's funny to see him and John Cena recently wrestle together as a tag team after their heated rivalry in the not too distant past.

Topps has done a solid job with this set as I knew they would.  I look forward to trying to build this set.  That said if anyone reading this is also buying packs or what not and would like to trade let me know.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cam Newton & Panini

Now that the Panthers and Cardinals have played and rookie Patrick Peterson had a big play in the game, I wonder if Cam still really enjoys watching him play?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A fantastic performance even in a losing effort

Cam Newton began his NFL career this afternoon leading the Carolina Panthers on the road against the Arizona Cardinals.  While there certainly has been a lot of buzz in Carolina over Newton and how he would impact the team, I don't think ANYONE was expecting to see the performance and numbers he put up today.

Newton set a new NFL record for a starting rookie QB - 422 total yards, 18 rushing, 2 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD and 1 interception.  Those are some crazy numbers for any QB in the NFL - rookie or not.  I'm not expecting the Panthers to win more than 5 games this season and I really didn't know how Cam would fair in his first NFL start.  Certainly no one expects a repeat performance next week in the home opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, but this does give us fans in Carolina a potential peek into the future.  If former QB Jimmy Clausen hadn't been kicked to the curb yet, I think he has now.  

It was also nice to see WR Steve Smith have such a huge game today too.  It seems those private sessions that Smith and Newton conducted during the lockout are starting to pay off.  Cam looked confident and comfortable standing in the pocket passing and Smith looked equally confident that he would be able to pull down whatever Newton threw in his direction.  Sure the Panthers lost...but the game was close, exciting and fun to watch.

On the cardboard front I fully expect to see Cam's cards go crazy on the secondary market after today's game.  I wasn't really chasing anything of his that was super fancy as the prices were already high thanks to many speculators.  I'll just stick to buying team sets this season and if I get lucky pulling a Newton from a pack then it'll just be icing on the cake.

Sunday Verse

Psalm 119:114 (NIV)

You are my refuge and shield; I have put my hope in your word.

I still can't believe 9/11 was 10 years ago today.  I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news.  My job just about immediately sent everyone home to be with their families during the tragedy that was unfolding.  On the anniversary of this horrific event I wanted to try and find some encouraging words.  There was no shortage of scripture I could've shared, but I've limited myself to just 2 verses.

Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

The world lost a lot of good people that day and even 10 years later there are families out there that are still hurting.  A lot of people turned towards God that day...but have are their eyes still fixated there?

I pray that today is a day of reflection and people directly or indirectly affected be on that path of healing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekend in Atlanta

My wife and I were able to spend part of our extended Labor Day weekend in Atlanta taking in a Braves game and a few other local sights.  We had a great time, but because of my lack of time management we were running a little late getting to the game.

We didn't get a start until around 11:30 AM last Saturday morning.  I forgot a few things so we had to turn around and go back to the house to retrieve them.  When we finally hit the highway it was closer to 12 noon.  Surprisingly we didn't hit any real traffic traveling down I-85 essentially from Charlotte so at least that part f the trip went smooth.  We had our 2 month old daughter with us as well and this was the first long car ride we have taken her on.  Thankfully she slept the first few ours of the trip.  Towards the end of the drive...well that was a different story.

Thanks in part to exchanging some marketing I did for the last company I worked for we had a free nights stay at a hotel.  We ended up booking a room not too far from the MARTA station in Doraville.  This made getting around the city really easy and pain free for most of the weekend.  We got to the station at around 6 PM.  I thought we were doing good on time as the game didn't start until 7:15 PM.  I didn't realize however how long it would take us to get from the station in Doraville down to Turner Field.  The train ride was...interesting.  Not many people got on with us, but with each subsequent stop more and more people poured into the train.  Most of them were Georgia Bulldog fans that were headed downtown for a game against Boise State I believe.  It's been a long time since I've been in the thick of college football fans.  Wow, these people are serious about their football let me tell you!

After the train ride and a walk through Underground Atlanta we made it to the buses that would take us to our final destination of Turner Field.  By this time it was close to 7 PM when we were walking through the gates on the third base side.  I didn't get any time whatsoever to walk around the stadium and take in the atmosphere which I was a little bummed about.  I've been to Turner Field several times though so it wasn't a complete bust.  On the upside was our seats.  We grabbed our tickets last month off of Stub Hub...which I had never used prior to this transaction.  Not only was it easy, but we scored great seats for cheap.  I believe the seats were $55.00 cover price and we got 'em for like $13.50.  We were only 10 or so rows from the field - third base side.


Upon finding our seats I noticed a small mob of people by the wall.  Matt Kemp was signing autographs for people.  Even after the National Anthem was over he promptly returned to that same spot to sign more autographs before the line-ups were announced.  Very cool on his part in my book.

I was sent off to find some food for myself and my wife so I missed the first pitch my Mike Minor unfortunately.  After finding some (expensive) food I made my way back to our section.  I have a tray with 2 foot long hotdogs, a large Coke and a bottle of water basically pressed up against my chest so I wouldn't drop anything.  Then at the top of the steps leading down to my seat the usher asked me for my ticket.  This was the same usher who just took me to my seat maybe 10 minutes earlier.  Needless to say I didn't have a free hand to reach into my pocket to retrieve my ticket.  I know the woman was just doing her job, but she really came off rude to me.  In hindsight I'm guessing she has had plenty of rude fans sit in her section so perhaps her attitude was necessary to deal with certain people.

Usually when I attend a baseball game I like to sit either behind first or third base depending on what team I'm there to watch.  I've never sat in the outfield on either the first base or third base side.  I was really impressed by the view from our section.  Despite there not being much offense in the game we had a great time.  Everyone (minus the usher!) was very friendly and seemed to be enjoying the warm evening as much as the next person.  Even the beer guy in our section was funny and appeared to be having a good time himself.  Among other things he shouted out as he walked up and down the steps was "What are we here for?  To drink beer!"  I'm not a drinker, never have been and will never be...but even I found the humor in this guy.

I wasn't able to get a lot of pictures while of the stadium I did manage to get shots of the scoreboard as each Braves player came to the plate.  The scoreboard at Turner Field was really impressive and we had a good viewing angle from where we sat.  While the evening may not have gone as smoothly as I would have liked it was a great evening spent at the ballpark.










Her first Braves game!
Oops!  I cut the baby's head off in the photo!
Playing around w/ the zoom on the camera.  Glad to see Chipper was playing that night.
I was hoping Diaz would get in the ball game.  He was pinch hitting for (I don't remember) in the bottom of the 7th.


Eric Hinske followed...but struck out.
Jonny Venters was up next pitching for the Braves in the 8th
Ethier didn't start the game, but was the first pinch hitter of the game for the Dodgers
I wasn't fast enough to snap a pic of the scoreboard when Craig Kimbrel entered the game.


Result was the 12th strike out of the evening for the Braves pitching staff
Late night snack!
Constanza was brought in the bottom of the 9th hoping to put some speed on the base paths
Slaps one into left field just beyond the reach of the 3rd baseman
Getting late, but she's still kicking...barely
My wife was hoping her favorite player would perform some more late game magic and deliver the winning hit
...but Brooks struck out for the 2nd out followed quickly by the game ending 3rd out

The Braves ending up losing to the Dodgers 2-1 in 10 innings.  It wasn't the most exciting ball game I've seen live, but the whole evening was lots of fun.  I hope to be able to bring my 2 year old daughter to a Braves game next year.

On Sunday before we left to head back home we stopped on over at the World of Coca-Cola museum - weaving our way through the hordes of Dragon*Con foot traffic.  I would have loved to have had time to attend Dragon*Con as parts of that convention appeal to the other side of the collector in me.


I won't bore you with much of the details from the Coke tour, but I did catch some old Coke ads featuring baseball players so I thought I'd at least share those before wrapping up the post.