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Saturday, December 2, 2017

2017 Star Wars Masterwork

So the wife and I spent a little on each other at Thanksgiving and we got some Star Wars Masterwork cards! We were very impressed and happy with the cards! They are high quality and the checklist is pretty good in terms of signers, relics and such. Here's the loot:
The top two vertical autos are the base version, the bottom two are the foil variation /50. The top horizontal auto is foil /50 as well. Then there is the silver border /10 horizontal! Man it's awesome in person, heavy! Love the auto variations and designs. Each master box has 2 autos. I feel I did pretty fair with mine, there are two more lurking lower in this post that are AMAZING!!!! I love the artist sketch card I got as well. It's a "wood" variation and I think it just looks awesome, may keep that one. Finally, the animation cels, which I think are an awesome addition to this set. They are each 1/1, and while they don't sell for a lot, I just think it's awesome to have REAL animation cels included in a product instead of another "manufactured" relic... oh, how timely...
These medallions...hmmmm... the only good thing I can say about them is that they are numbered to /150. At least there is some sense of scarcity to them. The film relics are cool too, I had hoped they would scan better, as I got some good ones with major characters showing up in each.

Ok, so now for the autos I teased! Behold!
Yea, I couldn't bring myself to remove them from the mag holders to scan them. First is Forest Whitaker and it's a gold variation /25! WOW! I was pretty happy to get this well known of an actor! Then there is the purple /10 beauty that has Gwendoline Christie and John Boyega. These are both headed to eBay eventually - I think I'm going to wait until after the 15th to post the dual auto! That is, unless one of you fellow Star Wars nerds makes me an offer I can't refuse! 

Have a great day, and do yourself a favor: pick up a box or two of this product! It's well worth it!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Whole Lot of 2017 Goodwin Champions!

Good evening folks... every year my wife and I tend to go nuts over one or two products. This year we bypassed Allen & Ginter and focused in on it's bastard cardboard cousin: Upper Deck Goodwin Champions. We had a blast opening a bunch of this product! I have tons of base cards and minis if anyone needs cards to complete their set!
We'll start with one of my least favorite "hits" in this product. Manufactured "MAP" relics. At least the National Parks (bottom left) are hand numbered and limited. There really is no correlation between the map piece selected and the picture, they may be near-ish to the subject, but it's not like it was a real vintage map either. They just printed off maps and cut them up. Lazy lazy lazy work by Upper Deck. You can't claim "vintage map relic" then state "manufactured map relic" at the top of the card. It's duplicitous and just wrong. Sorry Upper Deck, you get an F- on this crap.

Next up, DOGS!
My wife and I have two dogs and two cats, they are the only "children" we'll ever have, so getting dog patches is fun. Even if they do fall under the "manufactured" hit - at least they have a theme and are collectible. I doubt I ever find anyone for those damned maps, at least there are other dog lovers out there! Of course, these are scarce based on their card number with 100 being the most scarce. The rarest from the above is #60, no fabulous, but not horrible either.

Next up, we'll enter the grand world of redundancy:
Notice a bit of a theme in the above autographs and relics? Yea, lots of hits from the same subjects in different formats! At least there aren't any true duplicates. But seriously Upper Deck, let's work on paring down the auto/relic list by reducing using the same fabric in slightly different cards. Dan Severn didn't sacrifice a onsie for this.  Luckily, the Dan's will be headed to a friend in Hazel Green - the rest are all trade bait. I don't know who any of those people are!

And now for my most despised "hit" from a product that costs at LEAST $85 a box w/ 3 guaranteed "hits":
UPPER DECK: These are cool inserts. These are NOT HITS! Even the last one "Alien Black Hole" which is the "Artist Signed" Variation /25. Between the maps and these "lenticular" cards, it's a waste of 2/3 of the box if you end up with two of these. And if you happen to get a lenticular, map and dog patch, you get three "hits" that aren't worth $10 in value. Seriously, bad job Upper Deck, bad job. F- on these bastards as well.

I gotta show off these two mini's! Very cool!
The on the left is obviously of the "Cheetah" but it's also the "wood" variation /8! On the right is the 1/1 "Presidential" gold foil variation of Rudi Ying. Again, I have no idea who Rudi is, but I did read on his base card that he is a Chinese hockey player, and I'm guessing that is pretty rare. I also have a /25 John Adams Green mini variation that I forgot to scan. So, I like the way they do their mini variations - a bit different from Topp's A&G brand. Both look great and are very low numbered!

Finally, we kept busting boxes hoping to get one of the many "WWII Relics". The first one we pulled is in Colorado and I don't have a picture, but it's Lloyd Parthemer relic. The other one we pulled carries much more gravitas... 
So this is one of the rarer Museum Relics that could be pulled - and it's a little disconcerting that on the back it says "Congratulations". This card represents a very dark piece of history. So, while I embrace it as part of our collection, forgive me Upper Deck if I don't feel Congratulations are in order two sentences after you describe how the SS were in charge of the concentration and extermination camps.

Overall, we enjoy the product. There are aspects that definitely need some find tuning in the way boxes are put together, etc. Of all the cards in this post, only the WWII Relic is not for trade. If you have interest in any of these or are working on any of the sets, inserts, minis or whatnot, shoot me an e-mail.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Some Triple Threads

This is a bit of a delayed package, as my LCS held a bunch of my cards for a bit. I had opened one box of Triple Threads this year and got in a couple of box breaks... I wasn't too happy with the product and well, here's what I ended up with:
Votto, Verlander, Toles, Shipley, Fulmer, Bour, Sheffield and Kiermaier. Not exactly bursting with superstars there to justify the price point, but at least some of them are hard singatures? All will be added to t he trade bait team pages.

A couple of vertical cards as well:
Well, are you thoroughly underwhelmed?

I'm working on updating the team pages tonight, so hopefully you'll see new trade bait listed soon! Let's make some deals!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

An Amazing Friend and 1/1's galore

Years ago when I met my wife, I was quickly introduced to her friend Lauren - who was married to a guy named Matt. Matt and I became quick friends, as we carried a similar passion: BASEBALL. And I kind of take credit for his getting back into the collecting game, although he had a history of it.

Anyways, Matt runs the fine blog DocHoloday. His passion in digital design, baseball and custom card making came together together recently, despite the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. Not to mention the absolute uncooperative nature of a certain custom card maker who refused to be even a little bit helpful in sharing the ins-and-outs of custom card making. Luckily, Matt is a smart and inventive guy and figured out the secrets of printing the cards and final presentation on his own through trial and error (and a bit of luck). You can see his whole process and recommendations on his blog, as he isn't quite so secretive or a jerk about it. He wants people to share in the fun, if they have a desire to do so, rather than hoard knowledge. Ok, I'll step off my soapbox now and show off some cards...

All of the cards have this placard on the back:
Pretty cool!
This is a full 5 x 7 that will probably travel with me to a signing opportunity at some point, then get framed! Next up, my two favorite 2B-men of all time!
The top two are a standard and a "diamond sparkle" variation! In the middle row is the ultra-rare Mascot variation, SP Action variation and then the standard card! Finally, the Biggios... wow, that's a standard card and then a SUPERFRACTOR variation next to it!

Finally, we have Nolan, Carlos and Bregman!
That Superfractor Nolan Gypsy Queen is even more beautiful in hand. Sorry, I screwed up and cut the scan off too far on the left side of this photo, makes it look mis-cut when they aren't!

Matt, thanks so much for these beautiful cards. I'm sure you'll see them again soon when the next TriStar show hits Houston and I bring them for autographs!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Using Trump to Trade Up!

Recently, I was able to sell the 1/1 Donald Trump card that I had pulled. With it, I pulled off a massive trade with Tyler over at the twitter account @inc_ty. Along with some cash and a bunch of Team USA autographs, I was able to haul in this massive collection of hits!
ALTUVE!!!!! A sweeeeet frame auto from Allen & Ginter! Love the Musgrove autos, I know he has a bunch lately, so if any of you are looking to offload them, let me know. I'll gladly take them! Love the 5 swatch Springer relic. David Paulino spent most of the year suspended for PED's. Hoping he's just as promising a prospect when he returns next year, and if so I have some decent RC autos of his now!
This was a purchase with the remaining funds! Bregman RC graded auto for under $85? Sure. I have a feeling Alex is going to develop into a true superstar and we'll basically have All-stars at 3/4 of the infield positions for the next few years. Speaking of Bregman, below is the final piece of the trade reference above:
I know it may be hard to tell, but that's the Majestic laundry tag poking through the die-cut last name. 1/1 laundry tag out of National Treasures! SCORE! And they even got the photo done in a way that doesn't make it super obvious that they don't have the MLB license. Great job Panini.

Well, it was cool owning the Trump, but I'm much happier this this stack of loot!

Hopefully tomorrow I will get another post up, with a BUNCH of 1/1 cards that I recently obtained. Yes, I'm teasing a post, sue me...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Big News - Going Big Time

Hey everyone! I've got big news. I've joined up with a new card shop in Colorado Springs - The Iron Lion Collectibles. They will be offering sports cards as well as comics, MTG and all kinds of pop culture stuff. How do I fit in? Well, I'll be their official ONLINE BREAKER and blogger. We have started a new Facebook group - The Iron Lion Breakers. We will be doing live personal box breaks, draft breaks, and case breaks all via Facebook Live.

Currently we are working on getting the inventory and supplies ready to go, but I would anticipate we'll start breaking shortly after Thanksgiving. The store in Colorado Springs should open around this time as well, if any of you are in the area!

If you're active on Facebook, I would really appreciate you stopping by and asking to join the group. I plan on being live a few hours a night, 3 or 4 times a week. With all purchases shipping out the next day. Let me know if you have any questions!


Saturday, November 4, 2017

My Thoughts on an Astros WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

Well, well, well... I'm sure you all are highly disappointed that you didn't get twice daily blog posts from me (minimum) on my emotional state over the past two weeks. Honestly, there are things you all just don't need to see, and my fragile emotions, heartburn, stomach upheaval and more over the course of the playoffs just really shouldn't be public knowledge. My wife, the dear blessed soul, is the only one who should have to put up with this and that's only because there are VOWS involved. But I would be remiss to just pass over this glorious topic: The Houston Astros are World Series Champions. (I almost started crying, again, typing that last sentence). One second, I'm verklempt, talk among yourselves... here's a topic: a chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea... discuss... ok, moving on...

And not only that, they did it in one of the most amazing World Series ever played. I'm 37, I've paid attention to and been able to watch probably the past 27 World Series at a level of awareness and understanding to be able to somewhat rank them in my head. I won't go through all 27 because, well, there are people paid good money to do that and I don't see any checks coming from the Dimwit Brigade. But I will say, with some admitted bias, that this 7-game series ranks as the best series of my lifetime, and I would say should rank in the top 5 of series across all of history. Two heavyweight teams, slugging it out over a full 7 games, back and forth. It had drama, and controversy, and a beautiful non-heart-attack-inducing finish. I couldn't have handled it if it was another Closer-Vs-Star-Hitter finish like Blue Jays-Phillies. Game 7 not being a nail biter is probably the difference between me typing this and the Hotwit having to get on here and tell y'all I'm hospitalized. There was more than once during the ALCS and WS where I literally could not sleep because my heart was pounding and my heartburn was killing me. Maybe the next time we make a playoff run it won't be as stressful, but I don't see how fans of teams who are more regularly in contention do it. I slept until almost 9:30 this morning, and I'm generally up by 5:30. My body is catching up on sleep and rest it's missed over the past two weeks and I can't imagine how crushed I'd be if we hadn't pulled it out. Totally worth it.

The ALDS: The Red Sox. I'll be honest, I didn't think this series would be much of a problem. Sale was faltering down the stretch as it was, and Boston was pretty much a perfect match up for our offense and pitching. Game three was an eye opener, but the boys got back on track and wrapped it up in 4. I feel for my Boston fan friends, that is a team with some talent but it seems to me like they are putting together a puzzle with pieces from several different puzzles and can't figure out why they don't fit together to make a pretty picture. Boston is on the edge of either building to a real contender or completely falling apart. Luckily for them, they stole Alex Cora from our staff to try and get it together. I think they'll be alright.

The ALCS: The Yankees. Good god, I dreaded this series whether we played the Yanks or the Indians. Both of them weren't the greatest of match-ups for us, but I did feel we had a slighter better chance against the Yanks. Again, amazing series and I love the fact that the home team took home each and every game. But definitely didn't like the feeling of being down 3-2. I also don't think my wife appreciated the cussing and screaming at Joe Buck either - but I will say that even she noticed the hard bias against the Astros from the media in this Series. She doesn't follow baseball super close, but she paid attention a LOT during the playoffs and between the MLB crew and Joe, she caught on to how HARD they were pushing to try and MAKE Aaron Judge be amazing. He's a three outcome hitter, and if you make a mistake he will drill it - hard and long and most likely over the fence. But he obviously can be struck out. I still don't understand why ANY pitcher would give him a fastball. Low and away breaking pitches... over... and over... and over... Get them close enough to the strike zone and the kid can't lay off. Anyways, I digress. The series coming back to Houston... man, doesn't that seem like 6 months ago... with each "majestic" Judge HR, there seemed to be the mundane Astros offense doing it's job. It took us 7 but we go through the Boston/NY juggernaut and into just our second World Series.

The WORLD FREAKIN' SERIES: I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe this team met/exceeded expectations and got to the promise land. Yes, the Verlander acquisition was HUGE and I truly believe that had it not happened, we'd be sitting here talking about the Yankees and Dodgers - with the Dodgers winning in 5 or 6. Verlander didn't win a game in the WS, but he was a difference maker in the field and in that clubhouse. (And no I don't care that he went to Italy to marry Kate rather than go to the parade). Game 1 was exactly what I thought it would be. A game that came down to Dallas making two bad pitches, and Kershaw only making 1 bad pitch. It was a GREAT game. Game 2, now that was a classic. Marwin somehow hitting that homerun in the 9th. And then Altuve & Correa going back-to-back... the Dodgers coming back for 2 more... and then Springer's HR that won it. Game 3 was our first look at Darvish in Dodger Blue, and I couldn't have been happier sending him to an early shower.

Game 4... I start a new paragraph here because this was the first game I went to in the World Series. The Hotwit was all in for getting tickets and I found a couple on Stubhub in my range. Turns out we were two rows from the very top of the stadium but it was still awesome: I was at a game in the WORLD SERIES. Now, it didn't end well for us. Most of the game was a pitcher's duel and then Ken Giles decided he was done having "control". It was a great experience, a bucket list item, as I didn't have a chance to go to the World Series in 2005.

So we moved on to Game 5, one that I felt would be pivotal in determining who was end up with the title. And my hopes were not high - with Kershaw on the mound, I felt we were in for a repeat of game 1. Two innings in, it wasn't looking good. In a 4-0 hole. Then our offense came to life and tied it up. And then Dallas gave up three more. And we came back and tied it again. Then Springer misplayed a ball he shouldn't have dove for. Then he tied it with a mammoth shot of his own. Back and forth with HRs and worn out bullpens. Again, a heavyweight slugfest. This was Holyfield and Tyson landing hay makers. I knew it would come down to who got the last AB, and with it being in Houston, I felt pretty good. Bregman with the HUGE single to score Fisher. Crowd goes nuts. Houston goes crazy - we have a 3-2 lead. But we have to go back to LA and win another.

Game 6... so the Hotwit and I start a conversation Monday around lunch time. Can we get to LA for game 6? Should we? Well, we DO have these credit card points racking up... and we DO have a "rainy day" account that we can borrow from... and tickets for game 6, FIELD LEVEL, are cheaper than the game 4 tickets I bought. Next thing I know, after a whirlwind day of travel, I'm sitting in my seats in Dodger Stadium. I actually got interviewed by the Houston Chronicle too! We are picture #4 if you're curious... But alas, this game didn't go very well for the Houston squad either. Justin Verlander pitched remarkably well. It just happened that Rich Hill and the Dodger bullpen pitched better. Springer got his solo homerun, but that was all we could muster. If you had told me in advance that Justin would go 6 and give up only 2 runs, I'd have bet you a lot of money we win that game. But it wasn't meant to be. As much as I would have loved to, we just couldn't stay for game 7. And after seeing some of the Dodger fans react to winning game 6, I don't know if I'd have felt real safe at game 7 anyways, win or lose.

So, game 7... magnificent pitching by our Astros staff. Most notably Charlie Morton. Can you believe that the 4 most important innings of the entire season were pitched by Charlie Morton???? A guy that people scoffed at when we handed him 2 years and $14 million? A guy many thought should have gotten a minor league deal based on his performance (or lack thereof) with the Phillies last season. A guy with major injury history. This was redemption. This was Charlie going out and pitching the game of his life. 4 innings against that vaunted (if not deflated) Dodger line-up. Wow. George may have gotten the series MVP, but Charlie was amazing throughout the series and pitched remarkably well. Not bad for a guy slotted in the #4 or #5 spot going into Spring Training. I should also touch on the offense. They rocked Yu Darvish again. And I saw an article highlighting Eduardo Perez's take, that Darvish may have been tipping his pitches. And if he was, good job for our guys figuring it out and bad job on the Dodgers for not noticing it as well and correcting it. Either way, if you basically tell the hitters what you're about to throw, it's really hard to get them out. It was a bit of a boring game after we put up a 5 spot and our pitching showed they weren't going to open the door to let the Dodgers back in. Those last three outs. It was amazing. Standing in my parent's living room in Houston. Throwing my arms up in the air. Feeling the wave of emotion flow over me. They had done it. They did it for Houston. They won. The Houston Astros had something that no one could take away. A trophy. A championship. It is our first. And hopefully not our last.

Before I go... I'll address the whole Yuli Gurriel controversy. I won't gloss over it, but I will say that my feelings on it are conflicting. Should he have done it, absolutely not. Should he be vilified and made out to be some kind of walking monster, absolutely not. The media kept saying it was "targeted" and an "attack". I don't see it that way at all. He wasn't on the front step of the dugout, yelling at Darvish, pointing at him, etc. He was in a place where he thought he was out of sight and out of mind. He was relating a story to teammates who possibly couldn't understand him really well, and in the language he is accustomed to in his homeland. This is a story that would have never caught local or national attention in another era. But we live in a world dominated by social media, and an ever disappearing line between private and public life. Biased or not, I don't believe Yuli is some kind of racist monster. I think he made a poor choice in the way he communicated, had a big lack of situational awareness and is going to pay a hefty price for it. And he'll learn from it. I think we all need to look no further than Yu Darvish's statement on the matter. We aren't perfect. Yu isn't. Yuli isn't. The sooner we all learn to get off our social media soap boxes (yes, I see the irony), the better of we'll be. If EVERY person's most private mistake were to become a matter of public record and social commentary, I believe we'd all want to pull the veil back over our lives and disappear. So, Yuli will be suspended for 5 games next season. Obviously the Dodgers fans wanted a stiffer penalty, but the CBA would never allow it - and the appeals process would last well into the off season. There was no way he would be suspended for a game in the World Series. He's a good guy and been a good teammate. He's not a villain.

Alright, I'm down off my soapbox. The World Series was all I hoped it would be. And I made it through without my first heart attack. Win/win.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Biggio Pick Ups!

So I was able to pick up a couple of awesome Biggio cards lately off eBay with money I made off sales. The both happen to be numbered 4/5! First up, this awesome die cut from Pantheon with a SWEEEEET patch! 4 colors!

The picture that the seller used had a light or flash mark along the bottom edge, thus hiding the damage along that bottom edge of the card. I thought about complaining, but I'm happy with the card overall so I'l keep it. It just won't ever win a high grade, but lets be honest I have never submitted a card for grading so it wouldn't be likely that I'd do so here either.

Next up, an AWESOME auto from Prime Cuts!

Looks like this may have been a redemption, as it has the Panini sticker across the top of the mag. Love it. Great to add two low numbered autographs to the collection!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Trade Updates!

I am trying to get caught up a bit around the house here! I got some stuff scanned in, lets dig in!
 First up is my loot from a trade with Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders. I sent him some Tigers and he went out and found me some Astros! How about those Correa swatches!!!! Dennis also sent along some sweet vintage magazines with Astros and Nolan on the covers! Thanks Dennis!
Next I've got a trade with Tyler! He saw some cards on my trade bait page and sent me along this sweet manu-relic of Dallas and the Matt Duffy auto! Matt spent a lot of time in our minor league system but wasn't ever really able to break into the majors with us!
My buddy Brian, a Rangers fan and frequent collaborator on Team USA card collaborations (we need to do another case of Heroes & Legends!) sent me this awesome Cat Osterman autographed picture! Thanks Brian!
I picked up this Altuve on the cheap from a Facebook group, just to find out that I already had a copy... haha... so it's for trade!
Next up, a trade for this BEAUTIFUL Altuve autograph. I love picking these up now, as I have a feeling they are soon going to be priced much higher! This was another Facebook deal and was very happy with adding the Altuve to the books!
Next, we have a quick trade with Jeffrey, a frequent trade partner, where I was able to pick up this Conner Biggio auto!
Finally, a trade through Twitter for these SWEEEEEEEEET Bregman autographs! Was very happy to pick these two up! Hope you all have a great weekend!

If you want to trade, please let me know, I have plenty of trade bait and definitely looking to make some moves to add Astros to my collection!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Trade Bait Updated

All, if you go to the main page of the blog, I've made some changes - I've added an area on the right hand side that lists all the trade bait pages! Also, I went through and added all the trade bait I have acquired in the past couple of days - over 85 cards!

EVERY page in the trade bait section (except the oddballs), has been updated with new cards. Please go take a look! There are HOF autos, graded cards, rookies, patches, 4-player relic card, HOF RC and more in there! Plus tons of TEAM USA additions including a Dansby Swanson auto, two different Blake Rutherford autos and a bunch of other guys who have either been drafted in the last two years or who will be drafted this next go around!

Thanks for stopping by. Each time I update the pages, I'll let you all know!

Trade Bait - Oddball, NFL & NBA Edition

I've decided to take this last bunch of Oddballs, NFL cards and NBA cards and make one post! So here we go:
 Plenty of A&G relics from last year of non-sport and non-baseball sports folks!
A mix of Space, Olympics and Star Wars!
 Olymipcs, rock climbing and full color variations from Americana!
 How about some dinosaurs and art?
 Football, I blame pack wars for these being in my collection at all!
 More football!
 I REALLY don't collect basketball, please, someone take these!   - UPDATE: OLYNYK relic is gone.
How about them relics?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Trade Bait - TEAM USA & College Edition

Wow, it wasn't until I started scanning them, that I realized how much I had... yikes!
 Couple of Carson Fulmers, one being a cracked ice!
UPDATE: 11/13: Rutherford is gone.
UPDATE: 11/13: Corey Ray is gone
UPDATE: 11/13: Trenton Clark patch/auto is gone.
UPDATE: 11/13: Chen is gone.
That's a heck of a lot of TEAM USA cards! I'll let you go through and find names you recognize! Let me know what you're interested in and I'll let you know what they are numbered to if not visible!
UPDATE: 11/13:  Swanson is gone.
UPDATE: 11/13:  Rutherford is gone.
UPDATE: Forrest Whitley staying in PC, NFT.
UPDATE: 11/13:  Rutherford is gone.
UPDATE: 9/3/17 - Added 7 more scans.
Update 11/29/2017: Added Bregman relic


Thanks for stopping by! Two more Trade Bait Posts coming: ODDBALLS and NFL/NBA!