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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Group Break Update

Still have 8 slots to fill in order for this break to happen. $18 will get you two spots (1 team of your choice & 1 randomized). We'll have at least 20 hits plus a bonus box or packs. Tell your friends, let's fill this up!

For more information or to sign up, please refer to the original post HERE.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hidden in Plain Sight

Between work, family, hobbies and the multitude of blogs I try to maintain each day, each week, each month, there are going to be things that slip through the cracks. I've been taking advantage of my boss' 2 week vacation and get caught up on a few things and get my home office desk cleaned up a bit. While doing so I found a simple plain white envelope and inside was a folded 9 pocket sheet that contained several 2017 Donruss cards I needed for my set. Marc from Remember the Astrodome was kind of to send these, yet it's taken me this long to publicly say thank you.

I'm now 7 cards away from completing the base set, minus the short printed Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies and the base variations. I've yet to jump into 2018 Donruss, but I plan to eventually so I'm glad I'm so close to finishing out the 2017 set.

If you want to help, here is what I'm still missing:

Diamond Kings - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
Rated Rookies - 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45
Base - 171, 172, 176, 179, 182, 185, 193

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nachos Grande 2018 Topps Heritage Group Break Results

Chris from Nachos Grande has thrown his hat recently into the ring of hosting group breaks. I grabbed the Braves in his recent 2018 Heritage break. I don't usually buy much if any of Heritage, so I figured this would be a good way to get the Braves cards I wanted without having a lot of cards I didn't want.

I feel as if I did pretty good, getting multiples of every non-SP Brave in the set. I did manage to get one SP, Nick Markakis.

The Detroit Tigers ended up being my second team that was randomized to me. I only got 3 cards, but it appears all 3 are SPs. I'm keeping the McCann for my Faith Brothers collection, but the other two will be available for trade.

While Chris was waiting to break the actual boxes of Heritage, he opened a few bonus packs. Nothing too exciting, but I love the junk wax era and even though I may already have these older Braves cards in my collection I'll still gladly take them.

Thanks Chris for hosting the break and getting the cards out to me so quickly!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

April 2018 Affordable Group Break - 20 Hits/Autos/Relics!

*** 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.

The next edition of my Affordable Group Break will be a little different than in the past. This time we'll be busting a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection (hobby exclusive). The Clubhouse box alone will yield 20 hits! The box has 10 packs, with 2 cards per pack - both being either an auto or a hit! For a more detailed look at the set and the checklists, click HERE and HERE.

We'll also break a hobby box of 2002 Topps Gallery. The box has 24 packs with 6 cards per pack. For a more detailed look at the set and the checklists, click HERE or HERE.

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 $18 shipped. All cards pulled will be shipped. Packs will be opened Live in the Facebook group, including randomization of second team(s).


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)

Tentatively we will go Live on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 9 PM Eastern...unless this break fills up quick, then we'll look into moving up the date. Once the break is full and everyone has paid, I will place the order for the product. Please help spread the word to others that you know may be interested, I'd really appreciate that.

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 - Angus - New York Mets (PAID)
04 - Cardboard Conundrum - Chicago Cubs (PAID)
05 - The Daily Dimwit - Houston Astros (PAID)
06 - CaptKirk42 - Montreal Expos (PAID)
07 - Royals and Randoms - Kansas City Royals (PAID)
08 - The Chronicles of Fuji - New York Yankees (PAID)
09 - Jason German - Cincinnati Reds (PAID)
10 - The Daily Dimwit - Los Angeles Dodgers (PAID)
11 - 2x3 Heroes - Chicago White Sox (PAID)
12 - 2x3 Heroes - Pittsburgh Pirates (PAID)
13 - Royals and Randoms - San Francisco Giants (PAID)
14 - Royals and Randoms - Boston Red Sox (PAID)
15 - Royals and Randoms - Baltimore Orioles (PAID)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Want to Trade?

I'm still looking for trading partners, primarily to finish off various flagship Topps sets, Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen and some other sets. Looking mainly for base cards to fill in holes. I don't even care if it's a lopsided trade on your end. If you have base cards from some of the sets I'm looking to finish and you can find something I have you want, make me an offer!

I updated my Trade List this evening with:

* 2017 Topps Update base & inserts
* 2017 Topps Chrome Update base & inserts
* 2017 Topps Holiday base & parallels
* 2018 Topps base & inserts

All of my want lists can be found by clicking on the link in the sidebar located on the right of this blog or by clicking here.

Sunday Verse

Zephaniah 3:17

New International Version

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Friday, March 9, 2018

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

Dansby Swanson didn't take long to make himself feel at home in the new SunTrust Park. On April 17th, he had his 1st career walk-off. Tied 4-4 against the Padres and down 1-2 in the count, Dansby would fight off a few pitches until he got the one he was looking for.

This is one of the higher print runs of all the Topps Now cards I have, mainly because of the RC designation I imagine. I hope to see this young kid show up in more Topps Now cards in the 2018 season because that'll mean he is living up to his hype.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Time to Clean Out my eTopps Portfolio

Surely I'm not the only one that kept getting those emails from Topps advertising shipping discounts for cards left in your eTopps portfolio. The fact that the Topps has still be maintaining the eTopps website still amazes me. The program ran for 12 years, but I only bought cards for a few years after discovering what the program was.

I thought the idea behind eTopps was great and sometimes I wish the program was still going today. Topps Now essentially replaced eTopps years later, but when you compare the actual eTopps cards in hand vs. Topps Now...well there is no competition. The eTopps cards are beautiful, but the high shipping rates I'm guessing is what helped kill the program.

Recently I decided to cash in on the 30% off shipping discount and clear out my portfolio. I requested delivery for the majority of my cards some time ago, however for some reason I left some cards behind. Now that I have them in hand, let's take a look at the last cards from my portfolio.

2001 Tim Hudson #38

2005 Tim Hudson #6 (179/499)

2011 Freddie Freeman RC #2 (1478/1499)

All 3 of these cards look beautiful in hand, especially the Freeman rookie. I'm surprised I never had that card shipped before.

2004 Stephen Davis #38 (/1,250)

2011 Cam Newton RC #11 (1677/1999)

2011 Tim Tebow RC #32 (073/599)

I had all but forgotten that I even had some football cards left in the portfolio, but I'm glad to see the Cam Newton and even the Tim Tebow.

2005-2006 Emeka Okafor #3 (/672)

2005-2006 Sean May #59 (/1000)

I rarely buy basketball cards period, so I too had forgotten I had these two cards sitting in my portfolio. At the time I decided to take possession of these two cards, their online "value" was like $.10 each! They'll look nice in my Charlotte basketball collection none the less.

Like I said earlier, it's been awhile since I've had cards delivered from my eTopps portfolio, but I don't remember the cards coming shipped in one touch holders. It seems as if my past order the cards were almost slabbed. I recall the card holders used were in were very tough to open. All I've got to do to remove these cards from their holders is remove the little hologram sticker and the holder should open up rather easy. I do plan on freeing these cards from their slabbed prison so I may add each of them to their respective boxes.

Do you have any cards left in your eTopps portfoilio? Do you have plans on taking delivery if you do? What were your thoughts overall of the eTopps program? I'd love to hear from you so leave your answers in the comments below.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

March 2018 Affordable Group Break Results

Saturday evening I opened live on Facebook two boxes of early 90's Pacific baseball as part of my new formatted Affordable Group Break. While I had a few issues at the beginning and I admit the video was rather long, I had fun opening the packs and interacting with the participants that came and went during the live video.

If you missed out on the beginning, here are the results of the 2nd team randomization:

Colbey (host) Braves Mets
Samuel Pair Astros A's
Nick Vossbrink Giants Pirates
Tom Tessier Angels Mariners
Mark Eisenman Brewers Tigers
Angelo Mazza Yankees Phillies
Jim Hall Dodgers Blue Jays
Kirk Andersen Expos Indians
Josh DenHartog Royals Padres
Marc Brubaker Rangers Marlins
Chris Reed Reds White Sox
Nick Dusenberry Orioles Twins
Kerry Biggs Cardinals Red Sox
Trevor P Cubs Rockies

This break was more or less all about base cards. While there were some inserts available in both sets, the odds didn't appear to be in our favor...however we did get lucky and pulled a few. Overall I hope everyone is happy w/ the overall results. Below is a small highlight for each participant, but by no way is this indicative of the number of cards the teams received. 

A couple of Barry Larkins and Bip Roberts

We pulled a Latino All-Star team card of Ivan Rodriguez!

A few killer B's

The Angels ended up w/ the Gold Prism out of the 1994 box - a Tim Salmon Prism at that!

The Brewers weren't out done as they ended up w/ a Silver Prism of Robin Yount!

This may have been the first break were the Yankees didn't get the majority of cards. Ended up with a nice small stack w/ names such as Mattingly and Williams.

Personally I love that '93 Strawberry.

Couple of Gwynns.

Red Birds!

While no one claimed the Mariners (The Angels in Order got in the randomization) he walks away with the only hit from the '93 box, a Estrellas de Beisbol of Omar Vizquel and a nice base card of Griffey Jr.

The Cubs ended up w/ one of the largest stacks in terms of overall cards.

The Rockies didn't get much, but we did pull this Silver Prism from the '94 box of the "Big Cat".

I worked most of Sunday afternoon on sorting the cards and getting them ready to be shipped. I should have everything in the mail come Monday, 03/05/18. I'll do my best to send each participate your tracking number soon. Thanks again to everyone that joined in. Stay tuned for the next break announcement.