Monday, November 26, 2018

Welcome Home Brian

I was on my way home earlier today from working in Spartanburg, SC when I got a notification on my phone from MLB's At Bat mobile app that the Atlanta Braves had signed Brian McCann to a 1 year deal. Of course there had been a lot of talk in Braves Country of what we were going to do after Kurt Suzuki signed w/ the Washington Nationals. Sure, there was some talk of bringing back McCann, similar to how everyone had been talking about re-signing Craig Kimbrel too. However I'm not sure how many fans actually believed we'd see either of these guys in a Braves uniform again.


I can certain tell you that this Braves fan is very excited to have a familiar face returning to the dugout. I am tempering my expectations however on what he'll be bringing to the know outside his veteran presence. I hated seeing Suzuki go, I really did. This signing however takes away the sting.

The Braves didn't stop here however with the signings as it was also announced that Josh Donaldson had also been signed to a one year deal pending a physical. Of course this raises the question of what are the Braves going to do w/ Johan Camargo?

Well right now I'm just going to sit here, smile and just look forward to the 2019 season that much more now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

On the Receiving End of a Group Break

I'm often on the hosting end of group breaks and even though I usually claim my team in the break, it's different than being the participant watching the packs being busted. Recently I decided to jump in a very cheap 2018-19 Panini NBA Hoops group break, claiming the Charlotte Hornets. I'm not a huge NBA fan, but I've followed my hometown Hornets since their inception. The changes made in the off season has resulted in some exciting games in  this young NBA season. This excitement has carried over to cardboard and my desire to pick up some new Hornets cards. What better way than to claim them in a group break?

I went with Hobby Legends, bidding on a half case break they had listed on eBay. Not surprisingly I won the Hornets slot for just a few bucks. I missed part of the live video on YouTube when the packs were busted, but I saw a good bit of the cards pulled. It was fun holding out that hope that my team would get one of the 3 autos from each box. It never happened, but it did keep me hanging on during the video!

I'm not going to bother sharing the base cards, outside of these two RCs of Miles Bridges and Devonte Graham. I was happy to get cards of these early rookies. Panini did a good job w/ the Hoops brand this year. I particularly like the wood court background and how it extends past the white border onto the right side of the card. The team color is also a nice touch.

What modern set would be complete without a smattering of parallels? I ended up a with a purple foil parallel of Marvin Williams and a holofoil parallel of Malik Monk, numbered 21/25! The purple foil looks great for a Hornets player, but not so great for other teams. The holofoil is really nice in hand, however I don't think I would've bothered buying either card.

Two inserts were pulled for my team, Amplifiers and We Got Next. Any new card of Kemba Walker is welcomed and this foil Amplifiers, while odd, was a welcome sight while I watched the packs being ripped. The We Got Next Miles Bridges insert doesn't do much for me if I'm being honest. Glad to have the card, but another theme I would have passed over.

I do want to mention that when I received my group break cards in the mail, the guy that runs Hobby Legends included a few extra random basketball cards as well as a pack of UltraPro card sleeves. Cards were well packaged and he shipped them the day after the break. I was very impressed overall w/ the service I received and for that reason, I may give them more business in the future.

The other break I joined was for 4 boxes of 2017-18 Panini Cornerstones from a different YouTube breaker. I must not have read the description very well because apparently it was just for the hits. I hate breaks like this and I think they are a scam. I ended up with one card...which is better than nothing...but I was hoping to flesh out my Charlotte Hornets collection with some newer cards - even if they were base cards.

Thankfully this non-numbered Michael Kidd-Gilchrist jersey card was pulled for the Hornets and represented the lone card for my team. The jersey looks more navy blue than teal or purple and it makes me wonder if this is a hold over piece of jersey from Charlotte's Bobcats years.

This ended up being a lot of fun as I'm always looking for ideas on hosting breaks. Once the holidays settle down I may have to try this again and if I do, I'll share the outcome here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2017 Topps Now: Brandon Phillips #262 (172 print run)

I was thrilled when I heard the Braves had signed Brandon Phillips to play 2nd base alongside Dansby Swanson and on June 17th he made an impact that I'm sure the club was hoping for. In the bottom of the 10th inning Brandon singled up the middle and allowed Johan Camargo a chance to score the winning run. Thanks to Christian Yelich's botch trying to field the ball, Johan was able to score and the Braves won the game 8-7.

This game took place two days before my birthday so it was an early birthday present to myself. Brandon would go on to continue to flash the leather and brandish his bat in a big way in June. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 5, 2018

2017 Topps Now: Sean Newcomb #234 (234 print run)

The Braves have always featured good, young pitching and in 2017 Sean Newcomb got to show the MLB what he was capable of. Against the Mets he went 6 1/3 innings, only surrounding 4 hits and 1 unearned run. Since then he has been pretty steady, though in 2018 he had some grip issues at times in high heat/humidity, but still appears to be part of the young starting rotation for the club moving forward.

I'll also have to mention the low print run...that just happened to match the card number. The Topps Now program has grown year over year and I find it a little refreshing that this RC of Sean has a low print run versus the crazy high print runs that Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna's cards received this year. I still love the program, but the some of the cards seem to be losing some of their "limitedness" (is that even a word?) with more and more people coming to the program and purchasing cards. None the less, I'm already looking forward to the 2019 season and the smattering of product that will follow.