Saturday, March 25, 2023

A repack and a first year Bowman Julio Rodriguez

 So a couple of weeks ago my wife’s van got stolen. Long story short, a group of 7 people drove 2 cars from Apopka to Deltona, robbed a bank, drove to DeLand, one of the cars broke down, they stole ours and abandoned the other 2 cars, attempted to rob a store in DeLand, and drove back to Apopka where they abandoned our car. They are still at large, our car ended up being totaled, and now we have a newer car, but 5 extra years of payments. Not the best outcome, but at least the car is a little newer and this mess is finally done. It probably means I have to be a little more selective with card purchases as the payment is a tad higher. 
I wasn’t expecting to get any cards yesterday when we went to Target, but my mother in law was taking Kyler out to dinner, and they went to Walgreens after, and she got me a repack. It had like 100 cards and a pack of ‘89 Score. 

The cards were mostly what I expected, a bunch of junk wax, most of what I already had, but there were a few fun cards, like the All-Star Game stamp 2017 Topps Rob Segedin and the ‘93 Upper Deck Zane Smith with the throwback uni. 
The Mike Thurman card was from a Classic set I had never heard of. I pulled 2 ‘89 Topps Shawn Hillegas cards. Classic repack. 
The Blue Jays hologram was a nice surprise. One day I am going to take all of my stickers/holograms of team logos and put them on my binders on the fronts. The Hershiser might be a new one, and the last card was actually a Steve Young football card. Anybody know who I contact to get a replacement baseball card for it?
The real highlight of the pack was a Julio Rodriguez first year Bowman. Didn’t think I would see it in a repack, but you can one good cards in them. 

I know he’s popular and this card is going to be worth a ton with all of the Homers he’s hit and the ROY award last year, but I’m keeping it in my collection right now and maybe getting it graded. 

While the repack didn’t have much firepower, there were some fun cards and new ones for my collection, so it’s a win in my book. Especially if retail cards are out of the picture for a little bit. 
Thursday we’ll be going to the Rays game and I’m sure I’ll have a post about it when we get back. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Can't stop giving Topps my $$$

 So I got sucked into the trap of getting more cards today. Probably cards I didn’t need, seeing as I plan on purchasing the complete 2023 Topps complete set whenever it is released. Jim from Downingtown commented on my last post something to the effect of me enabling Topps to continue doing things I don’t like by buying from them and flippers. I guess I don’t have the right to complain, and I will try to tone it down until I can curb my penchant for buying new product. 
This latest purchase was 2 hanging packs of 2023 Topps from Target. Karen picked them out as she went there after joining me for my lunch break, and I met up with her after I got off an hour or so after coming back from lunch. Apparently those were the last 2 hanging packs of 2023 Topps as I checked out the card aisle before finding her. The aisle was stocked pretty well with 2022 Allen/Ginter, Stadium Club, Mozaic, and a few random other products. I would've probably picked a Panini product if I had been shopping myself, but as always, Karen always is a good picker with the cards as we shall see later.
The collation wasn't good with the 2 hanging packs, with a few pairs of doubles, and combined with some of the '23 cards I've purchased earlier this year, I think it's time to switch to a new product as I've pulled triples of 1 or 2. 

I did pretty good with the Tigers. Pulled a Harold Castro, 2 Rony Garcia's and 2 Austin Meadows's. The Yandy Diaz is a new Ray, and I will take it and the Tigers I pulled with me to Opening Day in 12 days in hopes of getting them signed. The Max Scherzer is my first look at one of those new Aces inserts, and it reminds me of a printing plate with the shape and the silver color. I don't know if these cards come as printing plates, but if they do, I'm sure there wouldn't be too much of a difference.
Here's where the Karen luck showed up (besides for all of the Tigers and the Ray). I pulled a few promising rookies in Cade Cavali, Audley Rutschman, and that Peraza guy for the Bankee$, but the one that jumped out to me when I pulled it was an autographed 1988 Topps insert of Tyler Freeman. He's not the biggest name, but I beat the flippers as the pack was clearly searched (as you unfortunately can expect from any kind of retail pack). 

I've almost finished pulling out all of my current Rays and Tigers from binders to bring to the game in a week or so. It's been a little bit tricky as I expect the team to do something special involving the 1998 team for the 25th anniversary that afternoon, and you never know who will show up. I have a hunch that Wilson Alvarez (who threw the first pitch in their first game), maybe Fred McGriff (a new Hall of Famer and Tampa native), and maybe Wade Boggs (another Tampa native) will show up and throw a first pitch. Other people could be Larry Rothschild (their first manager), and Florida governor Ron DeSantis (who I will boo mercilessly). I hope to get some autographs and maybe make some memories of doing so with Kyler. We have seats by the bullpen, so I've stocked up my box with Rays relievers, and hopefully we'll get lucky. 

I'm glad that Karen can pick such good boxes and I've got some 2023 cards to bring to the Rays game on the 30th. Even if I can't stop giving Topps my money.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What about the kids, Topps?

 I was reading about Corbin Carroll’s extension and decided to see if he had a card in 2022 Topps. He didn’t, but when I was googling it, I stumbled upon a sell sheet for 2023 Topps Big League. Apparently they skipped the 2022 version. 
It was my understanding that the Big League set was a kid-targeted set. With the news on the sell sheet, Topps may claim that the set is for kids, but this set, along with the news that Opening Day is being shelved proves that it doesn’t. If you don’t want to look at the sell sheet, I’ll cut to the chase. 
The base set is broken down into tiers, 200 ‘common’ cards, 50 ‘uncommon’ foil cards coming at 1 per pack, 25 ‘rare’ blue foil cards falling at 1 in 18 packs, 25 ‘super rare’ red foil cards which are 1 in 90 packs, and 10 ‘legendary rare’ gold foil cards which fall 1 per case, which is 1 in 360 packs. 
I do applaud the company for putting mascots in as inserts (1 in 9 packs), but how do you make 10 cards in the set fall 1 in 360 packs and call it a ‘kids set’?!!  If Kyler wanted to put this set together, let’s imagine the blue and red cards don’t exist. Maybe a box or two and I can pull most of the foil cards. I’m either going to have to buy 10 cases, and have perfect collation in order to complete the set, or spend 20-50 bucks (I’m estimating) for 10 cards in order to complete the set. Not kid (or parent or low-budget collector) friendly!!!  I’m assuming since they are legends that I might not have Rays I have to chase from those 10 cards, but half a chance that one may be a Tiger. You can count this as another blow to team collectors as well. How do you basically put SSP’s in a kids set?!!!  I don’t mind if there are super rare parallels, but don’t put the case hit as a card in the regular set!!! Nobody is going to have the patience to build a set of you keep doing this, especially to the bottom rung sets. I swear if you don’t leave flagship alone and start putting SPs as part of the regular set, I’m done. This set is a kick in the gonads to kids who need a cheap product that they can spend money on that has a good number of players to get them familiar with them and no SPs so they can try to complete the set. It’s a kick in the gonads to team collectors because of the case hit cards and mid tier SPs have a good chance of knocking 15-20 teams out and people who collect those teams will either have to pony up the dough and get the cards they need  from flippers, or just have another uncompleted set to deal with. It’s a kick to the player collectors because you know Trout, Machado, and Judge are going to be SPs and they have to make a choice. This set is really a total win for the f-ing flippers since they control the market because they get the cards first and buy the majority of the boxes because of it. They will buy enough product to pull the SPs everyone wants and will be able to set the price as high as the feel they can get away with and just sit back and wait for bids. Way to appeal to all collectors Fanatics Topps!
With that being said, I’ll probably get a few packs in order to get some of the mascot cards since 2023 Topps Opening Day is not going to be happening. 2023 is a weird year in baseball cards with all of the late releases, no news on when products are going to be released, products being released at unusual times, a number of sets getting scrapped, and things being added or taken away from sets, but maybe if we endure a weird 2023, we will get some of the scrapped sets back (even if we might have to have them released at unusual times).  I just hope for the sake of the kids and team, player, set collectors, and average Joe collectors will have a set they can afford, have access to, and be able to complete without having SPs. Is that too much to ask, Topps?

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Some cards in the midst of chaos

 For a month or two, it’s just been feeling hectic and chaotic in my life. Kind of like I have a ton of things I want to do but not enough time to do them, even when I have a day off. I think some of this is due to the fact of me trying to input cards into TCDB and getting a list of all of my Topps needs, and I think I’m ok with that. All of the NL teams are finished as far as Topps entering. I still need to put in the Topps cards I have for all of the AL teams, and favorite player, Rays, Tigers, rookies, etc, but the project is basically almost halfway done. When that’s finished I’ll have to basically start over from scratch, this time imputing all of the non-Topps cards in. Maybe I’ll be finished by this time next year. 
I have a few people I’m kind of actively working trades with, and I feel like I need to put that near the top of my list on my days off, and I have made some progress going through binders looking for stuff, mainly some 1997 Collectors Choice needs for a Tigers fan that emailed me, and some ‘97 Collectors Choice team set and 1997 Fleer Ultra cards for reader Poison 75 who has commented on many bloggers posts. I also have someone on FB looking through their stuff and getting me some Rays and Tigers. Good thing about that is I will just input those after the AL is done, so no need to add another thing to my plate. Really, anything after 2019 is fine to add to my collection, as I have complete Topps sets from 2019-2022, so any stuff I add will be non-Topps or just inserts or non-flagship and can be entered at the end of this whole TCDB project. 
I feel like work is stressing me more lately. I bake mostly at work. We bake donuts, breakfast pastries, more cookies than you can shake a stick at, pies, regular pastries, rolls, and about 20 different varieties of breads. On a Saturday (our busiest day) before the pandemic, I would bake 18-20 packs of regular 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Post pandemic, more like 23-24. We had some apartments go up by the store, and now a Friday it wants like 25-30. ITS LIKE THAT WITH EVERYTHING!!!  The store is making record profits!  A wise person once told me profits are just unpaid labor. I could really use a baking assistant just to help set things up for me while I throw stuff in an oven and take it out. I go in at 4:30, take an hour lunch, and most days get out between 1:30 and 2. I feel stressed because I have to pick up Kyler from school at 2:30, and I have about a 15 minute drive and on bad weeks where cookies or some other time consuming product is on sale, I barely make it. I’m getting to bed at 10, 10:30, and I just don’t have enough time to cook dinner, make my lunch, do dishes, to a little light housework, shower every once in a while, and have time for myself. Karen gets home between 5-6, and on days when she is actually feeling well (not many lately), there’s not much she can get done in the few hours before bed. Wish I could get to bed a little earlier, but it’s just not in the cards most days. 
There is a little light in the tunnel as we’ve been planning a vacation, and I’m going to opening day. It comes with a little extra work as I’m trying to get cards out of all the Rays and Tigers to try to get signed, and there is the packing and planning involved with the vacation. 
We decided to tentatively hit up Niagara Falls and Washington DC (are you close to Niagara Falls, Night Owl?  Maybe a blogger meetup?). We are planning sometime in June, and although the Nats don’t have a game on my 40th birthday (June 14), they are in town later in the week, so we might have to plan the trip to fit a Nats game in as well. Not sure where else we will go, other than probably the historic stuff in DC and see some people my wife knows from when she lived there in high school. Maybe hit up North Carolina and see some relatives on the way down. 
The trip was kind of in jeopardy as of yesterday. As if we didn’t have enough going on, we got up on Sunday to go to church, go outside, and Karens van isn’t there. We got ahold of the cops after going to church in my car and then coming back home. Both of us have Kia’s, and hers has the push button start. Apparently idiots can break into a Kia, pop something open in the front, use an app on their phone and a usb cord to turn the car on and just drive off with it. It’s a Tik Toc trend and everything. How these apps aren’t banned and videos shut down is beyond me. Should Kia be held liable for a design flaw?  Perhaps. We are fortunate (I think), and the cops called this afternoon and said that the car popped up in Apopka, about an hour and 15 minutes away. The touch screen monitor was smashed in, but other than that, they said it looks normal. Tomorrow we will figure out towing it, getting it evaluated, and hopefully be able to fix anything thats messed up. If you own a Kia, lock it up, maybe get some extra security feature, because these crooks are getting high tech. 
Enough of my whining. You read this blog for cards and I won’t disappoint. I got a hanging box of ‘23 Topps and hanging packs of Prism and Mosaic this afternoon, and here is what I got (minus some stuff I’ll probably send out to some bloggers when I can catch my breath). 

Just your NL base cards. Too many Padre$, but what can you do?

2 too many Yankee$, but that’s not bad with the amount of cards I got. I may be unpopular for it, but those Stars of MLB inserts are beautiful. Even the regular Topps ones just look elegant with the Diamond/jewel and rainbow foil board. Have you pulled a Chrome one yet?  If you think it doesn’t get better, it does. 

I finally pulled a Jonathan Aranda card, and it will be going to the Rays game with me. I’m surprised that’s my first card of him when Im basically known as the ‘Rays guy’. I pulled 2 nice looking Akil Baddoo Prizm cards, got some rookies I never heard of, some snazzy Prizm cards, and a Rainbow of a checklist. Thanks, Topps!  I’ve also been pulling multiplayer cards and putting them in a box, and once I update my Topps lists (and perhaps stop by John’s house again, I’ll put those cards in the binders I want them in and put all of my loose cards (almost 3 4,000 ct boxes full now) in binders. 
Most of the stuff in the pictures is up for trade, so if something looks good, hit me up. 
Hopefully I’ll get a few days off with nothing to do in the future, and I can get my cards input to the database, and the car/insurance stuff gets straightened out pretty quick. The plate will eventually get less full, I’ll see the Rays Opening Day game, get through the next 2-3 months, and be on another fun road trip while on vacation, and get to see some beautiful scenery, get some good food, and make some good memories. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.