Gint-A-Cuffs 9: Packs 7-12

Back again with part two.  I feel like the first fourth of the box was pretty solid.  Can we keep the momentum going here?  Probably not, but who knows.  I know it’s going to be an uphill battle without the foil hot box bonus on my side anyway.

7

Jose Abreu (+2 Favorite Player)
Greg Bird (-1 for being one of the Yankees we hear very little about)
Jose Altuve (+2 Favorite Player)
Bryce Harper – What A Day! (+2 Insert)
Noah Syndergaard (+4 Black border mini)

Okay, not a bad pack to start with.  The black borders are awesome this year.  Sure it looks like random scribbles a bored student would make in his notebook, but still cool.

Pack Total: +9
Running Total: +56

8

Reynaldo Lopez #/25 (+11 Black Framed Autograph)
Addison Russell (+4 Black border mini +1 Favorite Team = 5)
Fishing Lure (+2 Insert)

Wow.  This has to be the best fishing lure card in the set!!!  In all seriousness, I wasn’t expecting an autograph, let alone a black bordered one.  I don’t know much about Reynaldo Lopez other than he’s a rookie White Sox pitcher, but the auto is pretty nice.

Pack Total: +18
Running Total: +74

9

Jake Arrieta (+1 Favorite Team)
Roger Maris (-1 for the original asterisk HR record)
Fishing Lure (+2 Insert)

Just kidding about the last pack.  This is the coolest fishing lure.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t even read the backs so I don’t know anything about these things.  I’m sure they’ll appeal to some people, but they aren’t….hooking…me.

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +76

10

Francisco Lindor (+2 Favorite Player)
Fishing Lure (+2 Insert)
Bust A Move (+2 mini insert)

Dang, three lures in a row.  These scans are not in the order in which I opened the packs.  They’re just what ever order I grabbed them for scanning.  Anyway, how about that Bust A Move card?  That’s different.  The back kinda talks about the steps needed to perform the dance featured, but not really.

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +82

11

Ken Griffey Jr – What A Day (+2 Insert)
Gary Sanchez (+2 A&G back mini -1 for being the forgotten young slugger = +1)

After the auto, the points kind of trailed off a bit.  Even an A&G back can’t save it thanks to the Yankee curse.

Pack Total: +3
Running Total: +85

12

Statue of the Republic – World’s Fair (+2 Insert)

Last pack of the bunch and it’s clear that I front loaded those scans with all the good high scoring stuff.  I still have half of the box left, but we’ve seen two hits, so I doubt this 87 points average will last.  We do seem to be on our way to breaking 100, though.

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +87

Gint-A-Cuffs 9: Boxtopper and Packs 1-6

I’m back for another year of pack fighting.  Last year, I managed to grab second place.  It was a tough loss.  I found a nice book card in my box, but it was no match for a double rip card.  Them’s the breaks.  We’re not going to find another book card, but maybe we’ll be close to the top?

So, we have to pick the favorite player and favorite team again and I went with Rizzo and the Cubs just as last time.

Ready?  Fight!

Box Topper

Noah Syndergaard Box Loader (+4)

I like the different style of these.  They’re not just bigger base cards.  The Professor Plum border is snappy as well.  I don’t understand why Noah is pitching in a graveyard, but hey, maybe it’s a metaphor for the health of the Mets players?

Pack Total: +4

1

Giancarlo Stanton (+2 Favorite Player) – Starting off 50+ HR strong!
Robinson Cano – What A Day (+2 Insert)
Carlos Martinez (+3 Short Print Mini)

The scan lines are back once again, but this year’s theme is sloppy watercolor locket.  I actually dig it.  That oval frame is simple, but effectively different while still maintaining that late 1800s connection.  I scanned the SPs backwards because the scoring system wasn’t up yet and I wasn’t sure if they would be worth points.

I’m happy to grab a Frank Thomas in my pack as well.  One less I need now.

Pack Total: +7
Running Total: +11

2

Eiffel Tower – Worlds Fair (+2 Insert)
David Dahl (+2 A&G back mini)

The World’s Fair is such a great subject for this set.  I wish there still was a World’s Fair as it’s one of those few things that make me wish I was born in an earlier time.  But, at least I’ve been able to see, and go up, the real Eiffel Tower.  I understand that the Paris locks are also a card in this set?  If that’s true, I do want one of those (didn’t appear in either of my boxes) as my wife and I have one on a bridge railing.

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +15

3

Tyler Austin (-1 for being the wrong Yankees rookie)
Anthony Rizzo (+4 My Favorite Player Choice)
Eric Hosmer – What A Day! (+2 Insert)
Jim Presley – Rediscover Topps (+1 Buyback)
Hunting Guide Dude (+2 Dude mini)

There’s our boy!  And our first dude.  I’ll talk about those more later.  What I can say is that it’s nice that the buyback cards don’t take the place of another one.  Boy are they pointless, though.  I guess some people like them.  Topps likes the easy extra content, but it ain’t my thing.

Pack Total: +8
Running Total: +23

4

Javier Baez (+1 Favorite Team)
Dustin Pedroia (+5 Full Sized Relic)
Battle of Lexington (+2 Insert)

I haven’t been talking about my score but two strong packs in a row.  Here’s our first hit, a nice deep red jersey piece.  I’m honestly happier to have the Baez, but that’s only partly because I find the relic look to be a bit more boring, despite the ornate bottom.

Pack Total: +8
Running Total: +31

5

Albert Pujols – What A Day (+2 Insert)
Sidney Ponson – Rediscover Topps (+1 Buyback)
Dave Winfield – Red #04/25 (+7 Brooklyn Back mini)

Maddux!  Oh, and also a crazy Brooklyn red back mini of Padres great Dave Winfield.  There are much worse subjects to have found.  That is certainly a nice surprise.  And a good scoring one to boot.

Pack Total: +10
Running Total: +41

6

Babe Ruth (-1 For cursing the Red Sox)
Westinghouse Tower – World’s Fair (+2 Insert)
Joey Votto (+3 A&G Mini +2 Favorite Player list = +5)

That Votto is going in a trade stack for a certain cheesy blogger, unless I hear otherwise.  Besides that, there’s not much to comment on here.  So, we’ll end here with a pretty strong first quarter.

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +47

Kerry Wood By the Numbers

Work, vacation, work, sickness, and work have kept me away from the blog for awhile again.  I will never understand how many of you post so regularly.  I have quite a bit to talk about soon and series to continue, new ones to start, National cards to show off, and trade bait to post.  Oh, and Gint-A-Cuffs.  That will be up next.  For now, I’ll get back into things with a draft post that was ready to go during this whole time.  Enjoy.

 

In between card shows (which are very infrequent for me), I’ve been known to go on a COMC binge.  To make that effort worth while, I usually go for a large amount of cards and try to find cheap stuff that’s tough to find other places.

That’s usually where Kerry Wood comes in.  His star has fallen in the hobby for the most part, meaning that there’s a metric ton of cardboard out there that few people want.  That’s translated to lower prices on serial numbered cards like the ones you see here.  A great way to pad the collection without spending more than $1.25 per card (usually my limit for non-relics).

We need a Topps Potential set

As the Century label insinuates, this is #/100.  Adding Mark Prior to the mix was great in 2004 but not 10+ years later.  Take note, prospectors. I’m patient.

Not my favorite color variation – too vanilla

Paper Bowman is usually lumped in with other “garbage cards.” Most people only care about Chrome, and only the prospects, and only the Autos.  The rest of that is worthless to so many.  Thanks to them, I have this #/120 parallel.

To be fair, if he played for another team it might be easier

Some parallels are good to find on that site because I don’t know if I would notice them in person very easily.  This blue foil really follows Upper Decks subtlety mantra, and if the stamped number were on the back, I don’t know if I could tell.

That’s not what home plate looks like

2006 Finest went a little crazy with the parallels.  I mean 2017 levels of crazy.  This is the normal X-fractor #/250.

Missing the regular card, if you can believe it

You also have plenty of colors, like Green, which is mid-range rarity.  This is #/199 and I still need the blue and black for the solid color ones.

Checkmate

All of those colors come in slightly rarer X-fractor forms as well.  The solid blue is 299, but this is #/150.  For X, I’m missing just the Green #/50 as the others are too low numbered for me to care.

“This set has how many parallels?”

Being the face of a franchise is tough when dealing with sets like this.  Kerry Wood is paired up with Derrek Lee, Mark Prior and Greg Maddux.  And when they have A/B versions, it means I’m looking for 6 versions of each color combination.  Six! This is the bronze #/150 with Wood on the left.

Determined to pitch again

See, now he’s on the right in this Silver Bronze #/125 with Mark Prior.  It’s fun!  Isn’t this fun?!?!

Must.  Look. Un-injured.

And this silver red #/100 sucker gives me 7 of the 55 total needed for the 2006 set. A whopping 12.7%  For just this one player.  I’m pretty sure I’ll finish off Maddux Moments & Milestones before this.

2017 Cubs – The Sixth 10 Games

Dang, I’m behind on this… Anyway, through the first 50 games, the Cubs managed an even 25-25 record.  Over this next ten games, they continued that mediocrity and split them 5-5.  It’s looking like a tough climb for the defending champs, but who knows.  Nobody seems to be fully taking over the NL Central the way we’re already seeing in other divisions.  I’m not going to hold my breath, so let’s breathe together by looking at a few more cards.

Yup, still at it

Strikeout #72
June 20, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

The second strikeout of the game came in the second inning.  After a single by Darren Daulton, Ricky Jordan took the third pitch of the at bat looking.  Unfortunately, the Phillies would score 2 before the inning would be over.

Captions on these are still tough

Strikeout #75
June 20, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

We move ahead in the action to the bottom of the 6th inning for the 5th strikeout of the game.  Cubs now trail 3-0 when Ruben Amaro starts off the frame by keeping his bat on his shoulder.  The batting team would score again later, however, and win the game.

It’s nice to have so many of these already

Strikeout #83
June 25, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

Maddux won his next start, notching 7 more strikeouts over 8 innings.  Greg even hit 2 doubles and drove in 2 runs.  This card marks the 6th SO of the game, which came in the bottom of the 4th against Howard Johnson with two men on and the Mets down 9-0.

I wish there weren’t so many to chase, though

Strikeout #91
June 30, 1992 – New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

5 days later from that, Maddux pitched against the Mets again and tallied 10 strikeouts in a complete game win. This was the 7th of those.  Anthony Young was up with 1 out in the 7th in a 1-1 tie, but couldn’t connect with the baseball.

Such is life of the player collector

Strikeout #92
June 30, 1992 – New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

The 8th and last of the post was the top of the 8th against Howard Johnson again.  He went down in 6 pitches swinging to start a quick 1-2-3 inning.

My First Craigslist Card Purchase

I recently started scouring some additional avenues for collectibles.  For whatever reason, I got it in my crazy head that I want to collect all of the games for the Original Nintendo Game Boy (not color or Advance, but original).  I love the system and it was the first console I bought with my own money.  I think many of the games are severely underrated as well.  I have a long way to go, because I only have about 70 of the 500 or so US released titles.

Ebay can only get you so far, and I doubt I’ll find anyone on here that would trade GB games for cards, so I need to expand my scouting.  I’ve downloaded a couple apps and looked at Craigslist periodically.  While I’m there, I might as well look at baseball cards, too.

Most of what is found is not worth the time or overpriced (not surprising).  But, I did find an interesting listing pretty early on advertising the Season Ticket Holder version of the 2013 Cubs set.  For those that don’t know, in 2013 the Cubs had baseball cards as their giveaway over 4 games.  I bought tickets to that package, but was not able to attend all of them due to personal issues or work commitments.

The season ticket holders were mailed a full set of these cards with their tickets, but their version was different.  It had a foil stamp in the corner.

I wanted this set.  I figured they may be pretty tough to come by at this point, but I got lucky.  This guy was offering the whole set for $40 (and would even ship them – no awkward meetings).  Considering I have been selling my extra non-foil stadium giveaway ones for at least $1 each on sportlots, and there are 82 cards in the set, this was a good deal.  Let’s take a look at a few cards that fit my newfound and old collections.

Shocked that two are still with the team, actually

I no longer have the unstamped version, because in the height of prospect mania, I sold them for $20 each.  Keep that in mind, Judge fans.

Gritty smiles

I didn’t mention that these are basically Archives cards.  They run through most of the historical Topps sets with contemporary players.

Reused smile

Some players got multiple cards and it’s not just current stars. There are plenty of all-time fan favorites mixed in.

Yay, Craigslist!

Don’t expect huge originality when the picture selection is concerned.  Recycled and recropped on “new” designs is the quick way to create these.

Ron Santo cap on Reed Johnson makes its blog return

But that’s not a bad thing really.  It’s still great to see a stadium giveaway set again.

The high school notebook set

I thought this was a straight up copy of one of the Topps mini sets, but it turns out I was wrong and Maddux was not part of that year’s set.

Different signature than his “normal” auto

This is significantly different than the 2003 Heritage card, but same basic concept as you well know by now.

Condition sensitive

Maddux was part of the 1971 mini set this same year, but the picture they used is different.  And the team was different too, so that makes sense.

No color swaps here

Here’s the last one I’ll show as I don’t “need” the rest of them.  If anyone wants some from the stamped set, let me know.  Otherwise, I’ll be listing them on Sportlots and probably make my money back after a while.  Gotta love a good deal!

A Twitter Trade Before the Storm

The dust is starting to settle after the 2017 National.  It’s been about a week since it ended and I’m slowly getting organized.  Work has put me severely behind and reduced my free time to an anger-inducing extent.  I still have to catalog and scan hundreds of cards, so posts about the show and updated want lists will come later.

I’m also behind on trade posts.  Part of that is I’m trying not to inundate the blog with them, and the other part is that whole time issue that always pops up.  Anybody looking to hire a person with Project Management skill sets for a telecommute job that doesn’t require insane amounts of overtime?

Anyway, a few months ago, I was able to finalize a trade initiated through twitter when I showed off some cards I pulled from a blaster or two.  Shane, also known on twitter as SportsManiaCard primarily will sell cards for cheap on his timeline, but we were able to work out a swap where I sent some Astros, Trouts and Harpers his way, and he gave me a healthy stack of new cardboard.  It’s more than I can show in one post, but let’s take a look at some of the new additions.

Should have the rank in the big circle

We start off with an Ultra insert theme they did for a few years.  Top 30 doesn’t explain where in the scale each player lands, but if card number is an indication, Maddux is #7

Really worried about that flaming ball

When the apocalypse hits, Maddux will still be the ERA leader, even if he is pitching with only two fingers.

Need the refractor one too

The mystery has been solved.  If anyone has an unpeeled one, I’d be happy to trade for that as well.  I know it may not be Maddux and could be one of 3 other players, but that’s alright.

Foil don’t scan

It’s hard to read, but this is for ERA leaders (not during the apocalypse).  Maybe if I find the chrome version, it will show up a bit better.

Don’t need a third as I don’t have a Clemens collection

I think I had this card for the Kerry Wood binder, but not for the Maddux binder.  Consider that rectified!

Also no Cecil collection

I’m shocked I didn’t have this.  It’s probably in my parents’ basement somewhere, but this is a much easier way.

Placeholder text replaced

In a bit of foreshadowing, here’s an MVP card before he won his first of back-to-back awards.  If only all cards worked that way.

Gallery Kings

I had completely forgotten that Triple Play had these art cards by Dick Perez.  It’s great to see classier cards in a budget release.

Suitable for framing

To finish off this edition, we have a second year Leaf card for the Big Hurt.  This was a big deal when I was a kid.  Not as big as 1990 Leaf, which was pretty much out of my price range except for a couple packs, but still big.  Hell, this card is still a big deal to me.  Speaking of 1990 Leaf, you may be seeing that in a blog post in the near future.  That’s a story for another time.

Thank you very much, Shane!  Please give the guy a follow if you aren’t already, and someday in the future we’ll see more of the Frank Thomas cards he sent my way. Time permitting, of course.

Topps Bunt – An Examination of Two Extremes in Parallel Construction

Topps Bunt has only been around as a physical product for a couple years now (as opposed to the digital app) but it’s made a pretty big impression on me.

I think the most appealing part of it is that it’s a budget product that isn’t just a simple rehash like Opening Day or a Sticker (although I love the stickers and collect all of the albums).  I’ve even decided to go ahead and collect the 2016 Master set.  Undecided on 2017 because I haven’t bought any packs yet, but I do have a few parallels from ebay.

Boy has the product changed.

Spot the difference

Here’s what the 2016 base cards look like.  Note the smokey circle border and the Fleer Ultra inspired nameplate and team logo.

Frank’s looking for the differences

And this is what we call the platinum parallel.  Notice the foil stamped number at the bottom third and what is supposed to be different looking border.  Need another look?

He doesn’t know what he’s looking at.

Here you are.  Keep in mind there’s no foil or other markings.  Very, very subtle and you have to be looking for it.  I imagine there are a lot of kids (and adults) that have one or two without realizing it.

Bronze at best

Here’s the Topaz version, which is easier to see, but still actually pretty subtle when looking through a pack.  Depending on what the natural background is, it could blend in just as easy.

I think they probably got some feedback about how hard they are to spot, because in one year, they went from that up there…

These are very cheap to buy on account of how they look

To this right here.  Now, look hard at the two Javier Baez cards at the bottom.  I’m not sure if you can’t tell the differences between the #/99 and the #50, but it’s there for the trained eye.  You see those 4 on the left are green.  Like, really, really green.  And the 2 on the right are blindingly orange.

So, you know, slightly different approach.  Perhaps a bit too extreme in the other direction, but at least they’re visible.

Digging Out From the Trade Backlog (Trade with Nolan’s Dugout) – Part 5 of 5

If you missed part one of the loot I received from Kyle at Nolan’s Dugout, then click on this link.  If you missed part two…here.  And three. And four.

As a quick recap, I sent him some Topps online exclusive code giveaway die cuts, and he sent me stuff I could actually use. A lot of stuff.  So much stuff that it took five posts to get through it all.  And, I have completed another trade, as I mentioned before, so that won’t be the last we hear from him either!  There may be another trade beyond that, too! I just need to get off my butt and see what the National gets me first.

We’re going to finish things out with more Kerry Wood cards and we’re extending a little past my new normal of 9 cards or less to squeeze things in.

Weird digital outline. Not so hot

I’ve only ever received other people’s Hot Prospects scraps.  Was this meant to be a Bowman competitor with a bunch of minor leaguers?

Can’t even paint a smile

Another question for the group. Are there variations on these?  I have two different Maddux cards and they have different paint stroke patterns on the same image. Nothing else is different aside from the raised texture.

The only one I needed

I’m not familiar with this year of SPx.  There are a lot of competing hash lines and vector spots in there.

Need the refractors

This would be an interesting product to see resurrected. Unnecessary. But interesting.

I don’t know why that mascot never took off

I will NOT scratch off.  You scratch off.  I might scratch off if I ever come across another one.

Card does not stand on its own

Here’s another set that’s done (for Kerry, at least).  I like these simple ones that only have a card or two.

Game cards without the game

Victory is not one of those sets.  I still need the Orange, Blue and Purple versions of this and they are increasingly rare. I opened a box of this back in the day and that gave me 5 orange parallels and 1 blue #/650 and none of the purples #/50.

I don’t think he has an auto in this set

As is the case with a lot of the Fleer sets from the 2000s, I barely recognize the set and I need a few numbered cards to finish it off.

He does have 3 autographs in this one

I remember as a kid I would dream of pulling an Autographics card from a pack.  Of any player.  Now autographs are so prevalent that people only get excited if it’s someone they can collect or flip for a lot of money.

I’ve never liked this photo effect.

Not exactly the same quality as the Playoff Portrait cards.  I don’t know what’s going on in the background either.  Pretty poor choices made all around, really.

But does the gray line go downtown or the black?

If I were to block out the upper right corner, how many of you could tell me what year of Elite this was from?  Worse than Bowman in that regard.  The only way I can tell Elite years apart is through inserts.  Speaking of, I still need 21 total more from Kerry for 2005.

That’s a lot of brown plants

This card helps me to understand why some high end sets are abandoning the base card.  It’s weird having a “Prime Patches” card with no embedded cloth. Stick with the meat and ditch the veggies sometimes.

No real autographs here either

With all of these crazy, specialized sets from back in the day, I couldn’t imagine trying to collect in the mid-2000s. It seems like it was the wild west full of a bunch of throwaways.

Hot and cold zones

And we end everything off with another potential Bowman competitor (?). The fact that I don’t know means that we know who won that battle.

I’m biased, but I think I won this trade, too.  A huge thanks to Kyle for all the great cards, past, present and future.  We’ll be seeing your name show up on the blog again soon.

2017 Cubs – The Fifth 10 Games

I might as well keep the series going, right?  I mean, it’s an excuse to show M&M cards after all.  I sporadically watch the games but as I mentioned, the Russell thing bothers me so I’m less invested again.  Anyway, they’ve played 40 more games after this batch.  We’ll worry about that later (at least they’re playing .500 ball, so few scans are needed).  For now, we have 4 more to add to the bank.

Back at it again

Strikeout #55
June 1, 1992 – San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs

The first strikeout of the month came in the second inning with the Cubs trailing 1-0.  The last batter of the frame was Dan Walters and he went down looking on three straight to retire the side without further damage done.

At one point I calculated the percentage of these I had

Strikeout #56
June 1, 1992 – San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs

The very next batter was opposing pitcher Andy Benes and he was able to run up a full count before swinging and missing to start the third.  The Padres would not score again after the first.

I don’t remember what it was and I’m too lazy to do it now

Strikeout #63
June 10, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

This card is for the first of this game as well.  In the first inning, Ozzie Smith came up and did nothing in the battle of future Hall of Famers. The Cubs took the lead against their rivals in the next half-inning and never looked back.

But overall I’m doing well, but still a long way to go

Strikeout #68
June 15, 1992 – St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

In the top of the 4th, Maddux notched his third strikeout of the game.  A couple innings earlier, Greg singled in the Cubs first run.  Now he’s keeping the Cardinals scoreless by making Felix Jose’s bat miss the ball.

2015 NSCC #9 – Preparing for 2017

I’m very much itching to get back to the National and I finally bought my tickets.  It’s been hit or miss as to whether or not I would be able to get there, but as of now, I’m going to make it.

Work was (and still is) the biggest obstacle.  I requested the days off, but there’s this massive project that should have been done already and isn’t.  It’s planning to go live to our 5,000 users that week.  If that were to happen, I’d have to stay and deal with questions and issues from multiple sides of the process.  The group that I work with is delaying the launch until the day after the show, so there’s less concern now.

That would have been disappointing if I had to miss the show I’ve been looking forward to for two years due to another department’s problems.

Precursor to Prizm

Work has already prevented me from blogging regularly for a few years now.  I’m trying to get back into it semi-regularly, but this project has thrown these backwards.

There aren’t enough one per team inserts these days

If life included a “normal” schedule, maybe I would have gotten through all of the cards I bought two years back.

Rip off of 1994 Pacific

Then again, it’s tough to find a good topic to put these things in post-worthy groupings.  And I bought a lot of cards.

Never an MVP winner, but I think they Cy Youngs are good enough

I mean, a LOT of cards.  Hundreds of them.  And I really want to top myself this year.

I don’t remember without looking it up if this is starburst or something else

I want more crazy parallels.

Traded for a bucket of balls

I want more gimmicky cardboard and oddballs.

Alternate poster for Jem and the Holograms

I want more shiny stuff.  And numbered cards (not pictured). And relics (also not pictured).  And hopefully some autos (clearly not pictured).

This insert doesn’t…produce

Now I have a bunch more players that I’m chasing, so that will make things interesting.  I also am credit card debt free, so I’ll be looking for some bigger ticket items.

Just a couple more weeks and I can start a whole new backlog of fun, unrelated cardboard.