Friday, October 23, 2015

Pack Break: 2015 Topps Valor Football Value Pack

I mentioned in my last post that I would be making the transition from baseball to football and what better way to do so than breaking a new pack of NFL football cards? 

I think I've made that transition back to more of a casual trading card fan when compared to myself just a few years ago. While I'm not totally oblivious to the trading card release calendar, I have to be honest when I say that I knew very little of Topps' newer set of NFL cards, Valor. Most sets have a theme or gimmick and Valor fits the bill, but what do the cards look like? I hadn't a clue so I grabbed a value pack for $6 bucks from Target the other day...and let me say that I'm very impressed!

The first card out of the pack was a keeper for me, Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson. Now while I don't care for images of the players in their practice gear, the design and look of the card make up for the short comings of the picture.

I love how the photo has been given that "ginter" or "magic" treatment. It has that artistic canvas like look. The background has a painted feel and when mixed with the art it makes a beautiful card. The Valor logo is the only foil stamping, done in bronze, which is a fresh change of pace from most card releases full of foil stamping. The image is done in a glossy manner, while the card background has a matte feel.

Overall I'm very impressed with the overall look of the cards, even the base and rookie cards.

A few more cards into the pack yielded me the next Panthers card. Luke Kuechly is the beast in the middle of the field for the team. He missed games 2-4 with a concussion, but re-joined the team last week and caused all sorts of trouble for Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. This Gridiron Warriors card appears to be an insert, however the pack didn't list any odds for these. It's another beautiful card as it shares some of the same designs as the base/rookie cards have. Another keeper for me.

Isn't this guy supposed to be pretty good? Sorry, my team is 5-0 going into Sunday night against the Eagles so I haven't paid much attention to the rest of the league.

I love sets that mix in a few cards of older, retired players. I can't say I was watching many NFL games back with Bo played, but I know he was a force to be reckoned with on the field.

There are a ton of serially numbered parallels. I ended up w/ this Glory parallel numbered to 99 of Ameer Abdullah. Pack odds show these come at 1:17 Value packs.

I can see myself grabbing a few more of these packs as I really like the look. Not sure at this time how many cards are in the set, but this was a fun pack to open and much nicer than Topps flagship football offering in my opinion.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Last Baseball Post

The baseball season is over...well at least for my Braves. Even though I'll be tuning in this evening for the one game playoff between the Cubs and Pirates, and possibly watching the Cardinals some...I'm done with baseball for 2015.

What a sad season it was for Braves fans too. I guess I should have known it was going to be a tough year with a lot of players being shipped off during the off season and even the day before the season started (the bullpen misses you Kimbrel!).

From a baseball card perspective by buying dropped off tremendously. Not sure if it's a combination of being burnt out a little, busy work schedule or a combination of both. I only bought 2 hobby boxes all year long. While I did buy a handful of packs here and there of various Topps products, I was only actively going after building two sets, Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter. Even that mission has kinda fallen to the wayside.

All is not lost though. I still have a few random packs to share and Football season is upon us my as of this post my Carolina Panthers are 4-0! Going forward I anticipate most of my posts to be football oriented. While I know that means I'll alienate some readers, it's what I'm passionate about right now...well that and toys of course (see my other blog, Random Toy Reviews).

Before I make that transition to the pigskin, here are a few cards that I picked up that I don't think I ever got around to sharing.

I miss hosting group breaks, yet I know I have way too little time now to try to do that again. Also because of my lack of time to blog like I used to, I find myself reading other blogs and getting in on group breaks like in the past. However a month or so ago I jumped on one of those group breaks by bidding on the Braves on eBay. I grabbed my team in a 2015 Topps Chrome half case break. Didn't wind up with anything too exciting, but I'm glad to add these cards of Folty to the collection.

The Donruss Elite cards really do nothing for me, but I ran across this RC of Folty for $.50 shipped so I figured, why not?

This Chrome Refractor came from the aforementioned group break. The GQ Mini Relic was a early cheap score off eBay. Usually I buy a lot of Freddie's cards, but with my dwindling buying and his stint on the DL this season I guess I just lost some of my Freddie mojo.

Ah, Evan Gattis. I usually don't buy a lot of cards of former Braves players, but how could I not pick up this card? I really miss "El Olso Blanco", though AJ Pierzynski made the loss of Evan a little easier to swallow. One of the best things about this card was it's cost, just under $5 shipped!

Long time readers know that Tim Hudson is my guy and I've got a pretty decent collection of his cards. This makes finding non-super premium cards of his hard to find, yet someone I had missed picking up this 2004 Leather & Lumber game used spikes card. 

I think this card of Minor is an Xfractor, but Topps quite putting the parallel name on the back of Chrome cards so I really have no idea. I think I got the auto in a trade with a reader here, but then again I'm so unorganized right now I can't recall if it was a trade or an outright purchase. I do know that the Braves could have used Minor's arm in the lineup this season.

The lone new Simba card is another Refractor from the group break I participated in. Maybe I should have rotated this image horizontal?

Freedie Freeman spent a good bit of time on the DL this season, unusual for him, however that created opportunities for others to step up. Long time AAA Gwinnett player, Joey Terdoslavich, got a chance to show the fans in Atlanta what he is capable of doing. I picked up this nice wooden RC of his from Panini's surprisingly nice set, America's Pastime. 

And finally we're to Alex Wood. My hometown guy who was traded away to the Dodgers earlier this season in a trade that would bring Hector Olivera to Atlanta. I gotta admit, this one hurt. I can see wy the team made the trade, but it doesn't soften the blow any. This is about the time I think I hung it all up. I haven't looked for any new Alex Wood cards. I've only seen him in a Dodgers uniform once. He's a guy I'll probably continue to collect, but man does it suck that he sports the LA blue now.

Well that's about it. I think I have a pack or two of baseball cards I may spotlight on a Pack Break post, or I may see if A Pack To Be Named Later is in need. It wasn't a horrible baseball season for me, but it wasn't the most ideal for me either. However I'm a true Braves fan and I'm not giving up...on the team, on collecting or on the blog. It's just time for me to move the spotlight over to the Carolina Panthers and root them on to their 2nd Super Bowl appearance!