Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 Topps - Thoughts & Want List

Now that 2017 Topps has been out for a little while, I thought I'd finally sit down and collate all the retail packs I've bought and see how much of Series 1 I have and what I need. I also thought I'd share my initial thoughts of the set, it's design and some of the inserts.

I was going to buy a hobby box as I knew I wanted to build the set after seeing early pictures of the new design and such. However I never quite got around to that, instead I've settled for buying a few singles, several rack packs and a good many of those $9.99 hanger boxes. I just kept opening the stuff here and there and adding the new cards to my stack. Before long I had two decent size stacks so I decided now was as good as anytime to get them in order.

I don't know how everyone else collates a big stack of cards, but I first start off by making seperate stacks for 0-99, 100-199, 200-299, etc. then I go back to each stack and break it down by 10s. Finally taking each smaller stack and putting in numerical order. It takes awhile, but I've done it this way since I started collecting cards nearly 27 years ago.

I was a fan of the 2016 design, but I know a lot of fans could have done without the "smoke" look. The new design I like, however it does eat up a good bit of photo's real estate if you will. Topps did a great job capturing some great shots, as I'm sure many of you have seen by now. I particularly like the bright colored backs. I know they don't have career stats and for some that is a deal breaker, but the backs stand out and I like that. While I'm don't use Twitter as much as I do Facebook, I do appreciate the social media handles for the players listed on the backs.

The inserts this year are a mixed bag for me. I kinda want to build the 1987 set as I feel Topps did a great job with this set. I like the thicker, brown cardstock that was used for these. I also really like the 5 Tool insert set. It's got a great theme and overall design. Something different, kudos Topps. The other inserts are just 'meh'. The Award Winners, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Bowman Then & Now...they are bad, but I feel no desire whatsoever to build those sets. I'll keep any cards from these sets of players that I collect, but I can't see myself trying to track these down.

Here you'll find links to my new 2017 Topps Want List. I'm ready to jump back into the trade game so if you've got some commons you are looking to let go of, I hope you'll give my list a look to see if you can help. On the flip side, I've added all of my doubles as well as the inserts I'm not keeping to my Trade List.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Free Cards - Round 2

Now that I'm getting to sorting through these monster boxes that have been stacked in the corner of my office for some time, I'm coming across cards that I no longer wish to hold onto. I've tried selling low value cards in my eBay store and frankly it just isn't worth my time to list these, so I've decided to just give them away!

I'll cover the postage for 1-3 cards. For larger lots or sets if you wouldn't mind throwing a couple of dollars my way to help cover postage I'd appreciate it.

I really just want to put these into the hands of others that will enjoy them, otherwise they may end up keeping me warm this winter! To claim a card or a lot, just leave a comment letting me know what you want. Then simply send me an email (flywheels at yahoo.com) with your name, address and what you wanted and I'll reply w/ my info. 

To keep this fair, I'm going to limit this to two (2) cards or lots per person per week. I have a good bit I plan on letting go so if you don't see anything that interests you this round, stay tuned as there will be more to come. I've even got some hand collated sets that will be up for grabs.


2011 Panini Threads
base set, plus a few SP RCs
and several inserts including a jersey card

2011 Topps Cam Newton / Blaine Gabbert RC lot

Vintage lot

1998 Press Pass Grant Winstrom auto
2011 Panini Gridiron Greats Brandon Jacobs jersey (118/299)

Friday, February 17, 2017

2017 Topps Now Spring Training

I got home yesterday afternoon after being on the road for a few days for work. As I checked the mail I ran across a small envelope from Topps. I wasn't expecting anything so I really wasn't sure what they had sent me. I opened it up and found this card inside:

Wow, first a "Christmas card" from Topps and now this Spring Training card? Topps' marketing department has really picked it up lately! As you can see from the above image, Topps is again thanking it's customers who purchased 2016 Topps Now cards by giving you a free card showcasing the new design for 2017, as well as giving you a code to save 25% off Topps Now Opening Day team sets.

I like the new design, even if some of the image is covered by the graphic at the bottom. I haven't yet logged onto their website to check out these Opening Day team sets, but I'm sure I will shortly. I trying to cut back some of my spending right now so I'm not sure if I'll bother w/ the team set, but the coupon is a gracious offer by Topps and it just might sway me and others that are on the fence.

I've got an extra Mike Trout card that I don't intend on keeping. Somehow, just like at Christmas, I received two of these mailings. The first to comment on this post and show me a picture of my favorite sandwich (peanut butter & banana) will get the card FREE!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Ordonez

In my effort to get my card collection more organized, I'm also trying to focus on working on less new sets and more on things I already have, such as my effort to collect one of every Rey Ordonez card in existence. I'm working on scanning every card of his that I own for my Rey Ordonez Super Collector blog if you're interested in checking that out.

Finding new cards of his isn't always easy as I already have a good many of his cards. However lately I've discovered that he has a few cards that I originally didn't have on my master want list. This has led me to different avenues online searching for cards of his that I don't own. I've had some luck recently and here are a few of those.

I don't remember what the print run was on these 1996 Select Certified parallels, but the Mirror Blue and Mirror Gold versions have eluded my grasp. I recently came across this Mirror Blue and was able to talk the seller down to where I could apply my eBay Bucks so it wouldn't cost me any out of pocket money. The card looks so much better in person. Now to track down the Gold version.

I knew there was a Chrome version of this 2000 Stadium Club card, but how did I not know of the First Day Issue parallel? Grabbed this serially numbered (147/150) on the cheap. Love the photo and check out the info on the back. My boy Rey broke Cal Ripken's consecutive errorless games with 100 in 1999!

While browsing a trading card group on Facebook recently, one of the members sent me a message asking me about my collecting of Rey Ordonez. By dumb luck he had a card I didn't have and offered to give it to me. I couldn't let him do that so I sent him 2 bucks for shipping. It was the least I could do. These numbered Pacific parallels aren't the easiest to come across...at least when I look. This is the 2000 Pacific Crown Collection Holographic Blue parallel.

I've got a few more new cards of his coming. It's taking me more time scanning my cards than I anticipated. This is caused less new updates to Rey's blog, but I'm still chugging away. At least this is 3 less cards I'll have to scan now!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

NC State Wolfpack vs Miami Hurricanes: 02/04/17 @ PNC Arena

Last weekend my wife and I drove up to Raleigh, NC (kid free) to catch my first official NCAA Men's basketball game that wasn't apart of a conference tournament. The tickets were a Christmas gift from the wife.

I grew up in Charlotte, NC so ACC basketball was (and still is) a big thing. I guess you could say Charlotte is a part of "Tobacco Road" seeing how the ACC Tournament has been held in Charlotte on a number of occassions. My dad was a UNC Tarheels fan, so me being the little rebellious kid that I was (not really) latched onto the NC State Wolfpack from an early age.

I grew up watching the Wolfpack play my dad's Tarheels and I can somewhat remember State's last NCAA Championship and coach Jim Valvano's enthusiam on the court after the win. Most of my memories though came in the mid-90's as I was working my way through high school. Even though my playing days were over, sports really started to take more of an importance. My dad took me to an ACC Tournament when I was in high school and I remember what a great time it was...even if we didn't have the best of seats. While I didn't get to see the likes of Rodney Monroe, Chris Corchiani or Tom Gugliotta play, I did get to see Todd Fuller play when he was at the peak of his college game.

Being a fan of the Wolfpack ain't easy. If you're from the NC area or a fan of the ACC then you should know what I mean. This year's basketball team has been so frustrating to watch. To have the talent that they have, yet to lose and lose games in the fashion that they have is tough. Freshman Guard, Dennis Smith, Jr. is pretty much all but gone after this season. If he doesn't declare himself for the NBA I'll be surprised. Malik Abu has been fun to watch grow and develop and he's turned out to be a good player for the Wolfpack, but Beejay Anya (on the cover of the program) confuses me. Seeing him in person on the court...the dude is big. He reminds me of Anthony Mason (Knicks/Hornets forward, RIP). He's got some decent offensive skills, but you would think a guy of that size would be a good, shut down type of defender. He's not. The Wolfpack's most recent game (a blowout by Florida State) Beejay didn't even travel with the team. Guess he's in coach Gottfried's dog house. I wonder if Gottfried knows he is in the fan's dog house?

I don't know what is wrong with the last few Wolfpack teams, but year after year we are teased with signs of great things to come...only to end up disappointed. However can you be disappointed when you really didn't expect much out of your team? Regardless, it was a great experience and I love that my wife thought to do something like this. PNC Arena is also home to the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, and the building was beautiful. Hard to believe it was built in 1999. Now that I've been, I really would like to try to attend another game in the near future. Maybe if I keep attending games I'll finally see them win one for a change? One thing that I didn't expect to see at the arena was the student section was so small. On TV it looks much bigger, but in reality it was maybe 5-6 rows deep? I also didn't expect the NBA type atmosphere...the introductions, music and such. Lots of fun, can't believe I've never experienced this before last weekend.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Surprise Christmas Package...That I'm Just Now Getting to Posting About

Right around Christmas I came home from work and was greeted at the door by my lovely wife...although she didn't have that lovely look on her face. Nope, I walked in the door to her stink eye. She was standing there, holding a rather large USPS Priority box.

You see, I have a lot of hobbies and tend to spend too much money at times. Whenever a package shows up she wants the 411 on it and this was one time that I couldn't tell her what was inside...because even I didn't know! I thought the return address looked familiar, but I wasn't sure so I proceeded to open up the package.

To my surprise I found new, sealed Kenner Starting Lineups of Braves players David Justice and Kevin Millwood. There was an empty Pinnacle Inside can featuring Chipper Jones, a Topps Screen Plan tin again featuring Chipper (and the card inside too!), a large tin of Donruss Preferred featuring Carolina Panthers QB Kerry Collins (and some guy named Aikman) and a 100 count box of cards. Inside the box was a slew of Braves and Panthers players, including some nice older cards of Phil Neikro. Inside the Preferred tin were a few more cards. An autographed card of Bruce Chen (of who I share the same exact birthdate), a Stefan Lefors football/jersey card and a very cool Keary Colbert card featuring cut pieces of his helmet mask. Yeah, those players never really lived up to their expectations and did much in the pros, but the cards none the less are very cool.

So, who sent me all of this loot? It was none other than Dennis from Too Many Verlanders. I'm really embarrased that here it is the 10th of February and I'm just now typing up my thank you post. Dennis' gift absolutely came out of left field and I really, really appreciate it. I know I haven't been as active with my blog, reading and commenting on other blogs or trading as I would like. I'm sure there are plenty of other Braves fans that blog so I'm humbled to receive this loot. Looks like it's time for me to Pay It Forward. Thanks again Dennis!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Vintage cardboard, I think I'm starting to come around

A friend of mine got me into collecting baseball cards in 1990. Topps, Donruss, Fleer and Score filled my mind and it wasn't long before I was hooked. Up until recently I've never really looked at cards prior to 1990 that often...with the exception of some Hall of Fame players. After I started this blog it wasn't long before fellow bloggers started to unload their unwanted Braves cards and from time to time I'd find cards of players I vaugly remember, yet alone remember watch play the game. I had always put those cards off to the side and never considered them as a part of my main collection.

As I've been trying to get some better organization in place I've recently came across a few vintage cards from the late 50's and early 60's of...you guessed it, Braves players. First of all, thank you to whomever sent these cards. They aren't in "mint" condition by any means, but I could care less. I don't know what changed, but has I held these cards in my hands while changing their penny sleeve I was impressed. Now I'm looking at these old pieces of cardboard in a different light and possibly looking to acquire more in the near future.

I've always wondered why guys my age (40) collected cards from the 50's and 60's. Part of my relationship to baseball, Braves and the players I collect is that I grew up playing the game, watched the Braves and other players throughout their career. However as I said above, something has changed and I'm thrilled to own these few cards in my collection.