Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Topps Gallery: Not Bad, Not Bad at All

I've thoroughly enjoyed ripping the three blasters of Topps Gallery that I bought earlier this month.  Of course, it didn't hurt any that one of them held an autograph that I was able to sell for about the price of two of the three blasters. 

The last time I found myself at Walmart, I figured I'd try my luck with a fourth blaster of Gallery.  Could lightning strike twice?  Read on to find out.

We'll begin with the pack of Artist's Proof parallel cards.  My first three packs of parallels were nothing but a disappointment so I wasn't expecting anything much this time around either.

Artist's Proof pack:
18.  Addison Russell
22.  Ryon Healy (my second one of these)
41.  Brett Phillips
131.  Matt Harvey

The Phillips card is already in a trade package which I guess is about as good as I could hope for from the parallel pack (also nice that I didn't pull yet another untradeable Rays card or Marlins card).

Now for the main event, the first three packs out of the blaster:

Packs 1 - 3:

Well, I spoke too soon about not getting a Rays card, didn't I? 

The Heritage cards are seeded 1:11 packs.  I have to admit that the design is pretty nice...and the Kluber card in particular is great looking.  Easily my second favorite card out of the first half of the blaster.  Why not my favorite you ask?

Well, it's not every day you get to pull an insert seeded 1:105 packs!

That's Carlos Correa as part of the uber-rare Expressionists insert set.  Pretty cool design - and it's actually kind of cool that Topps made a super rare insert set...it makes the insert "feel" special!

Despite no sign of an autograph, I have to say that the first half of the blaster was a rousing success.  At this point, no matter what the second half holds I think I'll consider the purchase worthwhile.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Trade Stack 86: Vintage, Minor Leaguers, and a Relic

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 12/11/17

Old cards, new cards, cards of stars, cards of guys you've never heard of, cards with bits of cloth in 'em.  Seriously, what doesn't this Trade Stack have?

Remember, you can claim the current Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off my want list (or anything LEGO since I've been getting more and more into collecting LEGO as well)!

1999 Just:
1. Hector Almonte - Kane County Cougars
3.  Ryan Anderson - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
210.  Ntema Ndungidi - Frederick Keys

1981 Fleer:
197.  Dave Concepcion - Reds
200.  Tom Seaver - Reds

2012 Topps Heritage:
Clubhouse Collection relic:
CCR-JS.  James Shields - Rays

If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  

Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  You must leave a comment on the trade stack post in order to claim the card - no more claims via email!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!

Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  1 card by Potch
Stack 35:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  8 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 40:  1 card by Kyle4KC
Stack 41:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 42:  1 card by AdamE
Stack 43:  1 card by madding
Stack 44:  10 cards by Commishbob
Stack 45:  1 (almost complete) puzzle by Baseball Dad
Stack 46:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 47:  5 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 48:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 49:  9 cards by Swing and a Pop-Up
Stack 50:  9 cards by Commishbob
Stack 51:  3 cards by Need More Cardboard
Stack 52:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by Night Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  15 cards by Dayf
Stack 78:  29 cards by Chris
Stack 79:  26 cards by John H.
Stack 80:  14 cards by David G.
Stack 81:  3 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 82:  6 cards by Matt S.
Stack 83:  26 cards by Gavin
Stack 84:  1 card by Gavin
Stack 85:  29 cards by arpsmith
Stack 86:  ?? by ??

Barry Larkin Collection 566: 1997 Topps - #420

Barry Larkin
Year:  1997
Brand:  Topps
Card number:  420

In general, I think most collectors probably prefer a card's colors to match the featured team's colors.  Barring that, most people would probably at least prefer that a card didn't look like it was going out of its way to be misleading in terms of the featured team.  And then, there are people who like 1997 Topps.

You see, that's a Barry Larkin card up above...as a Cincinnati Red.  You know, the team he spent his entire career with.  However, other than the minuscule Reds' logo at the top corner, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a Green Bay Packers card or maybe a Michigan State card (don't tell Larkin, a Michigan guy, that though).  You see, this one is almost all pure green...both the border, the card back, and even the image itself (which is a nice enough image, but it's lost in the sea of green).

I don't hate the card - but man, the amount of green on a Reds card does make me a little bit sad.  Also, the tiny logo?  That makes me sad too.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

I'm Not Built for Gambling (Larkin 1/1 Edition!)

A couple of weeks ago, I found out about the Topps Archives Signature Series Postseason Edition set.  Basically, the gimmick of the set is that each box contains exactly one slabbed card - and that card is an autographed buyback card of a postseason hero of yore.  Each card is also serially numbered, though the exact numbers of each card and each player seemed to range quite widely (and without any apparent rhyme or reason that I could discern).

This set is a gambler's dream in that while you know you are getting an autograph, you don't know which autograph you'll receive.  Furthermore, a lot of the so-called Postseason Heroes aren't exactly big names...and as such, there cards aren't going to be worth anywhere near the price of the box.

That's where the large eBay sellers come in handy.  In another first for me, I participated in a group break where you bid on only a single player.  The break I entered was for a 5 case break of the product (which means 100 boxes - aka 100 autographs).  You see, Barry Larkin has autographs in the set and I couldn't resist the chance to add some to my collection.

Unfortunately for me, there seem to be a lot of Larkin collectors active out there these days...and so bidding for the Larkin slot in the group break ended up going over $50...and yes, I won it using money that I probably didn't really have to spend on cards.

You can imagine my dismay as I watched the break live and through the first four boxes there hadn't been a single Larkin card pulled.  In the end, I only ended up with one Larkin...but given my bad luck through the first four boxes I was happy to see a Larkin show up in that final box.  I was even happier when the breaker announced that it was a 1/1 Barry Larkin - my first 1/1 in my collection in fact!

The card I ended up with was a 1999 Topps Finest card, numbered 1/1 with the on card autograph.  I don't know that it was worth $50 in the end...but since it was my first true 1/1 Larkin card, I think the novelty was worth the cost (even if the slight anxiety during the break was not).  Clearly I am not a fan of gambles where my chances aren't so great!

I would be remiss if I didn't give the seller some extra props because of the included goodies with the single Larkin card.

That's two full bags of card sleeves (always useful)...and a new pack of 2017 Topps Update (hobby edition) which I haven't opened up quite yet.

Now I'm curious.  Have any of you entered a similar player-centric group break?  I like the idea of only getting cards that I'll actually want/keep...but the risk/reward was almost too much for my blood pressure.  What do you say?  Is this a better option than team-based group breaks like I do on my blog?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Blaster #3 is in the Books: Final 4 Packs (Another 1:252 Packs Card!)

My third blaster of 2017 Topps Gallery is in the books...or at least it will be as soon as I write this post!  My Artist's Proof parallel cards were slightly better this time around, at least in the sense that some of them are tradeable:

  • Trevor Story
  • Luis Severino
  • Dinelson Lemet (ok, that one is probably living with me forever)
  • Joey Gallo.  

It definitely could have been worse.

Moving on the to "real" cards from the final three packs.  There were 10 base cards, of which I needed all of them (which is awesome).  I also got two more inserts, the first being a Reggie Jackson Hall of Fame card.

And the other?

My second orange parallel in three blasters!  This one is numbered 01/25 which means it is serious eBay mojo hitz!  (oye)  I will say the orange border looks great on an Orioles card!

Alright, so that wasn't the most exciting conclusion to a blaster...but getting a pair of cards seeded 1:252 packs in two blasters is kind of cool, even if I don't collect the player.