Wicked Ortega Trade 2: (Insert Clever Sequel Title Here)

Now attached to the front of a binder...

Lest you think it’s only random packs I’ve gotten crazy awesome cards from packs lately, I present a selection of most of the cards I received in my second trade with Don Wicked Ortega.

Some Cards!

A guy that can hit close to .300 and steal 50+ at an 80% clip?  Why did we get rid of Juan Pierre again?  Aramis, D-Lee (recent official addition), and Big Z are specific player collections, and it’s always nice to get a Marmol.  I think that is only my 4th or so.  Chuck McElroy from any team are welcome cards are welcome.  Soto, where were you last year? We could’ve used you.  We had some bum catching last year that only hit .218!

HAWK, mini Shin-Soo Choo, and off-center Kosuke

Andre Dawson and O-Pee-Chee, two great tastes that go great together!  I need more Shin-Soo Choo, I think he’s gonna be a star one day soon.  That is my second Kosuke black parallel, and they might have both come from Mr. Ortega.  Indeed, he sent me all the Kosukes in this lot in the first trade, so umm… hey fellow Cubs bloggers, I think I should spread the love around.  I have a handful of Cubs dupes from The Don, from both trades, so if you be needin’ any early-’90s Upper Deck or the Fukudome cards, I got ya hookup.  I know I have a small number of extra Ryne Sandbergs from that era as well, so shoot me an email or leave a comment or something, and I’ll send all extras I have (there are a few newer ones too).

Ryno time!

Aside from the Hall of Famer, is future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux when he was young, and George Bell appears to be pointing Paul O’niell in the direction of some no-doubt fine tail.  Also, this trade has brought to my attention severely lacking I am in Mark Grace cards.  He lead the most awesome decade ever in hits!  I gotta get my grubby little mitts on more of him sometime soon, especially shiny ones like that Ultimate Victory.

More good stuff! I think we gots the wrong Jose Reyes though...

Actually, the Ticket to Stardom Fukudome wasn’t in the first trade, because the set wasn’t out yet!  Why do people hate on Artifacts/A Piece of History?  It’s now at or below $40 (not including shipping…) for a hobby box.  I encourage everyone to give it a shot at this way lower price point and see if they still don’t like it.  My box is on the way (or will be if they ever get and/or confirm the payment, was Dave & Adam’s closed the entire week?), and Field of Cards enjoyed his.  Right, what was I saying.  Ooh, look at the pretty Kevin Tapani card… @_@ *droolz* Taste the purple…

Shiny Fonsie!

It’s not as subtle as it’s UD3 ancestors, but it sure is effective.  The old cliche that I’ve been fortunate to rarely need to use holds true here, the scan doesn’t do this card a lick of justice.

Another try at the whole CF of the future thing, a card that made lmao, and... a Yankee?! Wat?

I think I need to start stocking up on Sam Fuld cards.  Well, I need ’em anyway since he’s a Cub, but here’s hoping he’s he real deal.  Anyone got any?  Eventually every Cubs, O’s, and Expos/Nats collector has to get themselves a Chipper rookie someday right?  But I still couldn’t help but have myself a hearty chuckle at getting a future Hall of Famer’s rookie because a guy from my team that didn’t do much happened to share his card.  Igawa?  I’ve dramatically pared down my Asian player wantlist from any and all to about a half dozen + the Chunichi Dragons (WBC I want all of, regardless of country), and he isn’t on it.  But I just wanted the card because it looks really cool.

Alright then, that’s all well & good, but only those that bleed Cubbie blue will think any of that is crazy awesome.  So let’s get CRAZY awesome… Behold!:

topps Dan Haren sketch card!

Isn’t is a beauty?  Gotta love that dreamy stare, lol.  And guess what!

It be a 1/1!

This card is awesome on so many levels.  I’m kind of a wannabe artist, as you know if you’ve been reading for awhile.  And precisely because of this, I collect sketch cards.  But they are very expensive, and thus hard to come by for someone poor like me (Fortunately the great CK Russell thought highly enough of my abilities to agree to an art trade for a personal sketch card from her).  So getting this (only my second at the time, got a third in my Fantastic Four Archives box), is mindblowingly awesome.

I’m so thankful to Alfredo for being willing to trade me this absolutely wicked awesome card.  I still don’t know what to say, because “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough.  Honestly, the whole time until I saw him post what I sent, pleased with the trade, I was fretting that the four or so hits I sent in return weren’t enough.  Granted, I do this with almost every trade I send out, but this was whole other level nervousness.  I said thank you didn’t seem like enough, but it seems that is all there’s left to say.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Alfredo.  Thank you so much…

I am curious about something though.  Can anyone tell me who drew this card?  They got mad skillz. 🙂

Finally, one more thing before I go.  I have more thank yous for everyone who has come by my blog the last few days!  For the first time ever, I received over 100 hits three days straight (today remains to be seen).  It doesn’t seem too long ago that I could barely crack double digits when I posted something, let alone on days that I didn’t, so while I’m sure most of you have long since felt this elation, I’m now starting to feel like maybe I’m actually getting somewhere with this thing.  So thank you everyone, and may you all have the happiest of holidays, no matter what you celebrate, this time of year.

I feel like I won an Oscar, thanking everyone like this… You guys rock!

Gabe Kapler Sketch Card

Here’s the aforementioned Gabe Kapler card I mentioned in my last post:

Oh look, it's a 1/1! :P

Oh look, it's a 1/1! 😛

It’s up to Sooz if she wants it colored the rest of the way.  It will still be awesome either way, cuz that’s how I roll. 8)

Watch out for slow devoloping trades… they tend to expand exponentially.

2008 TriStar Projections Box Break

I bought my first ever box online in the latter half of last month, from Blowout Cards.  The box was of 2008 TriStar Projections, because it promised lots of hits (4 or 8, depending on your definition) for low low price.  Good enough for me, and minor league cards are cool sometimes.  At the time, I got it for $32 & change shipped, though last I checked, the box had itself jumped up to higher than that, after bottoming out at a couple bucks less than I paid.  But that’s not why you’re here… you came for a box break!

So let’s break it down:

24 packs per box, 8 cards per pack, 192 cards per box

Base

I got around 3/4 of the base set with no dupes.  Forgot to scan the base cards though.  I pulled base of most of the (future) stars, including (off the top of my head) Matt Wieters, Matt LaPorta, Rick Porcello, Jason Heyward, Andrew McClutchen, Colby Rasmus, and Evan Longoria, who already is a star.

The design is pretty slick, but there are two notable problems with the set:

1.) Because the rest of the image the picture of the player is taken from is shoop’d out, leaving only the player, a few players have disembodied body parts encroaching on their action shots (see the Adrien Cardenas parallel below).  It’s very very weird looking and distracting, but there are very few like that, so it’s tolerable.

2.) The stats on the backs of the position player cards are misaligned.  Every.  Single.  Card.  The batting average is supposed to be at the end of the statline, but instead, it is the first thing listed, throwing off the entire line.  It is a pretty bad mistake, which is a shame, because this set is nicer looking than 75% of Topps & UD’s releases from the past year.

Reflectives Parallels (1 per pack)-

I think I got 22 of these, also without dupes.  The reason there are only 22 is because a couple of the #ed parallels were Reflectives, which, except for one memorable one, replaced the regulars.  (Future) Stars included David Price, Matt Wieters, Jed Lowrie, Andrew McClutchen, and Max Scherzer, who’ve all seen major league action, if nothing else.  Jason Heyward is a highly touted prospect as well, it seems.

Reflectives

Reflectives

The Reflectives are freakin’ gorgeous, by the way.

#ed Parallels (4 Guaranteed per box; Green #ed 50, Yellow #ed /25, Orange #ed 5, and Purple #ed 1/1)-

Ben Revere Green base #ed 40/50, Adrien Cardenas Yellow base #ed 13/25, Jesus Montero Reflectives Parallel #ed 12/50 (Reserved for Sooz of A Cardboard Problem), and Wilmer Font #ed 11/25.

2008 Tristar Projections Scans- Parallels Front

I see Rainbows... @.@

2008 Tristar Projections Scans- Parallels Back

Numbered ones... @o@

I actually pulled a 5th #ed parallel too, but we’ll cover that in a bit.

Autographs (4 Guaranteed per box; same parallel numbering as the non-autos)-

Matt LaPorta base, Casey Weathers base, Chris Withrow Green base #ed /50, Balbino Fuenmayor ORANGE base #ed 3/5(!)

2008 Tristar Projections Autos

Withrow has a really nice sig.

2008 Tristar Projections Scans- Autos Back

And the backs...

All four of these guys seem to have some promise, Matt LaPorta with tons of hype, Casey Weathers being a high draft pick (though Tommy John’d at the moment), Withrow I’d heard of before this pack, and Balbino is struggling but has huge expectations and is still only 20.  Plus he’s freakin’ #ed to /5~!

That’s not all though, oh no.  I did say there were five parallels.  And here is the 5th:

2008 Tristar Projections Jon Still Purple Ref Back

For realz 1/1? Believe it~!

Bonus~!!!!

Bonus~!!!!

Jon Still Purple Reflectives Parallel #ed 1/1.

I will not be saying mojo, because that would be wrong. But it is the first true 1/1 I’ve ever pulled, so it is still really exciting going on two weeks later.  However, being in the Red Sox organization, I did offer it to Shane over at Shoebox Legends if he wants it.

I was going to try and score this box, but I really can just give it a number or letter grade.  I really enjoyed opening this box.  The cards look really nice, there were a lot of hits for a low price, some of them may even end up being good, and I greatly enjoyed taking the time to open them, because, well… minor league cards are “Hope in a Pack”-incarnate.  It’s not just hoping you get something good of someone good, it’s getting something good of someone you *hope* turns out to be good, of someone who hopes *they themselves* turn out to be good.

I don’t know who, if anybody, from my box will become major stars (aside from Longoria, who already is), but it doesn’t matter that much anyway.  I got a whole lot more than what was promised for my $27+ shipping.  Two cards whose print runs equal six… combined, a possibly record long box break (somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 hours, due to having to type to chat with people the whole time), three blog posts, and probably many soon-to-be pending trades as a direct result of the pulls.

What more could I ask for?  Besides posting the pictures and getting them where I want being less of a pain in the @$^%Z4$&%¢@#%$.