The Harrowing Adventures of a Nerd Week Contest Winner!

A winner is me..

A winner is me..

The prize for winning The Junior Junkie’s Nerd Week Contest arrived yesterday, and I nearly paid for it with my life!  That’s an exaggeration, but the box was huge (over $18 to ship!), and I was on my way out, so I stupidly decided to carry it over to the parents’ place with me.  Conditions were also way worse than I was expecting, and my main shoes are super old generic Shape-Ups types with no traction left on them.

Basically, it was a recipe for disaster, and, long story short, disaster indeed struck.  I ended up crashing and burning pretty bad on hidden ice patch close to halfway between here and there.  I hit the back of my head on the sidewalk, but I popped back up pretty quickly without difficulty, no wooziness or anything that would indicate being concussed.  A couple of folks I had passed a short ways back quickly came to my assistance helped me get my bearings and everything I dropped.  Very grateful to them for that.

The pain was mostly gone within a couple of blocks of continuing on my way, and any lingering head pain has minimal and infrequent, though I will get checked out if the random, brief little twinges of discomfort persist.  I finally managed to make it over to the parents’ place without further incident, and after getting cleaned up, I was finally ready to cut the tape and dig into the box!

The box in question..

The box in question..

And so I dug, and dug, and dug some more!  There was a LOT more in there than the DVD.  Are you ready to be as blown away by the thought and effort and generosity that went into this amazing prize package as we (the parents were very impressed too) were?

The note..

The note..

Here’s the handwritten note TJ sent, congratulating me and running down the contents.

The original prize..

The original prize..

Of course, the DVD was in there.  Say what you will about Family Guy in general, but the Star Wars specials are always straight up inspired.  Gonna enjoy this. 🙂

Are you ready for some football?!

Are you ready for some football?!

I’m taking this back to the parents’ place next time I’m over, because it is small and plushy and can safely be thrown around over there during the rare lulls when we aren’t skewering anything and everything on TV MST3K-style or talking about generally geeky and/or nerdy things when dad, my little brother, and me are all there at the same time.

Original art by Jason Goad..

Original art by Jason Goad..

I love art.  I am an artist (allegedly), after all.  But I can’t afford much original art beyond relatively cheap sketch cards very often, so this is was a super awesome thing to find in the box!  It’s a fantastic piece and I absolutely love it! 😀

A trio of CDs..

A trio of CDs..

Styx and The Who will definitely get some airplay around here, and I’m not quite as down on Dane Cook as most, so I’ll be giving that a listen at some point as well.

Under the CDs, you can sorta see the corner of one of the pair of monstrously huge Pinnacle screwdown holders.  I swear I took a picture of them along with everything else, but I can’t find it.  Anyway, they are so ridiculously thick and heavy that they might legitimately be able to stop a bullet.

St. Joseph's Prosperity Bean..

St. Joseph’s Prosperity Bean..

I didn’t know what this was because I’m a lazy millennial, but mom seemed to recognize it and thought it was pretty cool.  I read a little bit about them when I got back to my place.  Very interesting, and I will be keeping it on me.

Mardi Gras Beads!

Mardi Gras beads!

I’ve always wanted to go to Mardi Gras (because I’m sure my antisocial arse being around hundreds of thousands of loud, crazy, drunk people for an extended period of time would go just peachy), but thanks to TJ, a little bit Mardi Gras has come to the frozen wastes of the Midwest.  He notes they’re the real deal in the above letter, so I can’t help but wonder what he had to do to acquire them…

Anyway, I’m just glad he sent beads and not the terrifying New Orleans Pelicans King Cake Baby.

The last thing you see before you die..

The last thing you see before you die..

There aren’t enough NOPE gifs in the world… My apologies for the impending nightmares, ladies and gentlemen.  We should probably just move on with a quickness.

Various Asian candies..

Various Asian candies..

There were four different things in pouches, and my trying them out went badly.  I definitely haven’t acquired these tastes yet.  The Lychee was the best in a walk, and it kinda tasted like accidentally getting fruit-scented soap in your mouth.  But the experience was still worth the while and very much-appreciated.

You know, we’ve gotten this far and haven’t even made it to the cards yet!

Three boxes of cards..

Ah, there we go..

But they were there, and they were many.  I tore off the old shipping labels on the outer boxes before I took the pictures, just to be safe.

So many cards!

So many cards!

The top box had tons of Ryne Sandbergs, Mark Graces, and a random assortment of other Cubbies.  The bottom had miscellaneous non-sport stuff and some unopened junkwax era packs, most of which I will be drawing on the backs of at later dates.  Twas also home to the blue and silver beads.

The completely full box was bananas, with large amounts of 2012 Panini Golden Age, 2011 Panini Americana, and 2012 Topps Summer Olympics, as well as some Goodwin Champions, Allen & Ginter inserts, more random non-sport and entertainment cards,  and the occasional hockey card.

The big pack sittling in the middle of everything is a pack of 1986 Donruss All-Stars, which may be posted on A Pack to be Named Later at some point, and the rest will get a post of their own here once I’ve scanned some of them.

Since around half of the set was there, I’m definitely going to chase the Summer Olympics set now.  The other big stacks didn’t have enough for me to justify it, but I’m keeping a Single Page of both Goodwin Champions and Golden Age, as well as the vintage-ish Star Wars cards, and probably a fair amount of other things.

My canvas..

My canvas..

Finally, this card not part of the prize package.  This card is for a commission.  On the back of this 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Sr. card, I will be drawing Ken Griffey Jr. from his RC, the very next card in the same set.  I loved the idea and will get to work on it as soon as my body stops being so creaky and achy.

For this commission I was paid $12, and even the money was worth mentioning.  Check it out!

$2 bill!

$2 bill!

Yes, that is a two-dollar bill.  I’m pretty sure haven’t seen one of those since back in the late-1990s when I got one back as change at one of the last card shows held at the local mall.

The flipside..

The flipside..

Easily the coolest looking piece of US currency that still spends.

There you have it.  This has to be in the running for the single greatest card blog prize package ever made.  The amount of time, thought, effort, and money that must have went into this making it possible boggles the mind.  I know TJ puts a ton of effort into his collection and his posts, so maybe it comes as no surprise he’d go all-out on a prize package, but I am still beyond honored and humbled to be its recipient.

Thank you, TJ!  And thanks to everyone for stopping by!

It was worth the pain…

 

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Pack War Trade

At the end of 2014 I sent out close to 1.5 lbs of cards to Pack War.  I’d been desperate to move some of that stuff for ages, and fortunately it seemed to have found its mark quite well.  So now, I present the return.

Valor & Triple Threads..

Valor & Triple Threads..

Valor looks great.  I dunno about Marshall & courage going together, but that parallel is #’ed /399.  I like the way the Triple Threads kind of pop out of an actual background.

Chrome RCs, crazy shiny TD, '98 StarQuest..

Chrome RCs, crazy shiny TD, ’98 StarQuest..

For real though, even with the protector, you can see your own reflection in the silver parts of that wonderful Terrell Davis insert.  Unless you’re a vampire, in which case… *runs away*

...

*cautiously returns* Is… Is the vampire dude gone?  Okay… *deep breath*  Where was I?  Oh yeah.

I’m happy to have some of the year’s best rookies in Watkins, Bortles, & Beckham Jr.  I don’t chase RCs from any other sport near as hard as baseball, but I do like getting them when I can. 😉

Then we have these StarQuest.  But they are no ordinary StarQuest, oh no!  For when you flip them over, you reveal…

Tadaaaaahhhh!

Tadaaaaahhhh!

…They are also RookQuest!  Two of the finest to ever lace ’em up at that.  Such connections they have.  Can you imagine if they had put Ryan Leaf and Yatil Green on the back of Elway & Rice?  That would’ve been embarrassing.  And now Peyton and his giant forehead of doom is playing for ol’ horseface.  Even better.  I’m not high I swear.  MOVING ON.

'Nique Jamfest Artist Proof..

‘Nique Jamfest Artist Proof..

Here’s the lone basketball card in the package, and the obligatory “doesn’t scan well/looks way better in person” card, a Pinnacle Jamfest Artist Proof of Dominique Wilkins.

Baseball Rookies!

Baseball Rookies!

Like I said, I’m always down for RCs of baseball stars, even when I have more than one, ala Mr. Posey here.  I have three of him now: Flagship Topps, Bowman Platinum, and this here A&G.  Or, and speaking of being high, in Ricky Williams’ case, baseball RCs of football stars.  Alleged egotistical weirdo Alex Rodriguez and 2005 World Series MVP Jermaine Dye round out the rookie card scan.

Ichiros, Big Hurts, & Rynos (oh my)..

Ichiros, Big Hurts, & Rynos (oh my)..

Coming down the home stretch, starting with a pair of low numbered (but not really) black parallels of Ichiro Suzuki from the infamous disaster that was Topps Moments & Milestones.  I like to think of it as the Showgirls of card sets, because I imagine its existence had to have ruined a few careers.  Next up a pair each of north and south side’s most recently retired Hall of Famers, including a nifty Jiffy Pop disk that’s just sliiiightly too big for its own good.

You'd think his lack of depth perception would cause problems playing baseball, and you'd be right!

You’d think his lack of depth perception would cause problems playing baseball, and you’d be right!

And that’s all for this trade.  Thanks, Shawn!  Hope we can do it again sometime.  And *points at screen and winks cheekily* thank YOU for stopping by.

It was fun.  Oh my…

A Trade Post?!

Ryno!

Ryno!

Yes indeed… Having successfully fished for artistic complements, now we’re going to do an actual, honest-to-goodness trade post.  I’m no good at getting these up even when I trade regularly, but here goes.

These come to us from Brad’s Blog.  Let’s have a look!

Old timey baseball mans..

Old timey-ish Cubby baseball mans..

New...timier...Cubby baseball...mans?

Mostly…new…timier…Cubby…baseball…mans?

The big fellas..

The big fellas..

Love dat Ichiro, although I’m unsure where exactly they pulled the black swatch from (the undershirt?).  But anyway, this is only my second relic of him even though I’ve collected him basically since I started blogging in back in the long long ago of 2008.  The manupatch is one Topps’ better efforts since they started doing them, in my never humble opinion.  The ® being on the patch itself also greatly amuses me for some reason.  And the Chris Sale is #’ed /50 and is a fantastic addition to my newly reinstated Single Page dedicated to him.

Seeing as this will basically be the first time I have managed to get out during daylight hours since it dipped below zero for three days straight a couple weeks ago, my end of this deal finally going to go out today.  It was supposed be out immediately before that stretch of frozen hellscapedness, but I didn’t make it out until like 8pm that Sunday, and my sleep cycle has been super broken ever since.  I am still a wreck of a human being, in case you were wondering.  But I did throw something extra I remembered I had that will hopefully make the wait a little more worthwhile.

That’s all I got for now.  A few other trades are being prepped for February, & I might be able slip one more small one into this month.  Who knows what happens next?

The Shadow knows…

2014

I’m not much for resolutions and I know anything I put here is going to fail miserably.  But what the hey.  These are my goals for 2014, in no particular order.

Collecting

1.) Mostly Finish Fergie Jenkins playing career run- Pending COMC shipment, I will have gotten all of Fergie’s solo, non-league leaders Topps cards from the 1970s.  So, barring oddballs and OPC, which are not major priorities. I’ll just need his ’68, some league leaders from the ’70s, any SSPCs, and most of his ’80s cards, none of which should cost too much.

2.) Get Ryne Sandberg’s other two RCs- I have a Fleer and two Topps Ryno RCs, so I need his OPC and Donruss.

3.) Complete 12 trades- Averaging one a month shouldn’t be too hard… right?  We already have one pending, two if you count Shot Not Taken being always pending.

4.) Complete any three sets- Propaganda Posters, Diamond Stars, and some year of A&G Highlight Sketches look like the easiest options, but we’ll see.

5.) Complete the following Single Page Sensations-

2011 Topps Legend Variation SPs

2011 Topps Diamond Legend Variation SPs

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cuts- Sale and Winfield Single Pages have been reinstated, so I need two to replace them.

2012 Bowman Chrome Legends in the Making Die-Cuts

2012 Finest Faces of the Franchise Die-Cuts- I was very on the fence about these until I actually got them in my hands.  I like them.  I will keep them (I  may still be willing to part with certain ones for the time being though).

2013 Topps Museum Collection Canvas Collection

Victoria/Tara

Luol Deng

Carlos Santana

Any combination of five others.

Any two from the Sketch Card Page.

The sketch cards might prove difficult, but none of the rest should require a great deal of expense or challenge.

6.) At least 30 new 1960 Topps Cards- This has really trailed off.  Out of the 30, I want a minimum of 5 superstar/Hall of Famer/common high numbers.

7.) Land at least 10 more key rookies- Andre Dawson, Ichiro Suzuki, Vlad Guerrero, Nomar Garciaparra, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, and Don Mattingly are the highest on my list.  I’d be very happy to land any one of them in the coming year.

8.) Complete 5 more trifectas- Almost everything I’m close on trifecta-wise is attainable, except Kosuke, because he has no autograph cards that I know of.  Peanut Tillman lacks severely in the relic department, but he does have one.  Even lesser Ladainian Tomlinson autos can be had for around $25 on occasion, so finishing these enough of these is just a matter of making them a priority.

9.) Break the 100 card mark of another player- I’ve been over 100 with Aramis Ramirez for a little while now.  Ichiro and Vlad are my next closest, and I feel like I might be able to get there on one of them, especially if trades pick up.

10.) Pay off my old debts- There are a couple trades from 2013 I still need to send out, and I found someone on twitter awhile back that I flaked out on like three years ago.  Those will go out soon, one possibly as early as today.

Blog

1.) At least 75 posts this year.

2.) At least 25 non-baseball card related- Art, crappy poetry, short stories, life in general, reviews, recipes, I’m up for any whim really.

Life

1.) Finally start hitting the gym-  This won’t start until I think the resolutioners have mostly cleared out though.

2.) Rededicate myself to running- I hit a wall last summer and never really recovered, even though I still walked a ton.  I’m starting to get it back though.  I’ve jogged the full, 2+ mile trip over to the parents twice recently.

3.) Rededicate myself to eating healthier- I don’t look hideous and haven’t gained a lot of weight, but I feel like I really fell off the wagon the last couple months of 2013.

4.) Finish most of the old sketch cards I’ve never gotten around to completing- I did a few awhile back, now for the other bajillion.

5.) Complete at least 30 new portraity sketches of real people- Well, I’ve started one so far.  Sketch cards count, but I’d like them to not account for more than half.

6.) Complete at least 50 new sketch cards- These could play into #5, but I’d like to get back to comic & such ones in a big way as well.

7.) Finish the first draft of a novel- I have a chapter or two written of several things and lots more character sheets to work from.  I really should have finished this already.

8.) Take at least one trip well outside of my town on my own- All I want to do is travel, so I just gotta start doing it.  No one is willing or able to help me with this.

9.) Watch more anime- I watched Trigun: Badlands Rumble over the holidays, and while I never got that into the series itself, the movie was pretty outstanding and reignited my love of anime.  I have a promising series called Fairy Tail queued up to watch in the coming days, so this is off to a good start.

10.) Play more video games- I want to finish my Gen IV Pokemon games, pick up and complete both games in Gen V, and maybe beat one or two of the oldern non-Polkamenz RPGs I have laying around by the end of the year.

That’s all I got right now.  Come back at the end of the year to see what an utter disaster this turned out to be!

1981-82 Topps Julius Erving SA

Your reward for slogging through my self-indulgent post..

#KeepMoving…

Ryno, The LCS, and a Jumbo Pack

We have a new card shop in town!  I remember dad telling me about it a couple months back, that the local paper profiled the owner.  Anyway, I had a chance to stop in a week or so ago.  It’s a little sparse, and super tiny, but it seems like it might end up being one of the good ones.  Better to get my Topps packs for mall sketch carding excursions from there than at retail anyway.

They didn’t have a lot to choose from outside of an unopened Panini Crusade box at $20 a pack or $120 to buy the box outright, all three series of the aforementioned 2013 Topps baseball at the same price as retail, and 2013 Topps Jumbo Football at $11.95 a pack.  So I grabbed a football jumbo just because that’s a thing I can do now, which pleases me to an unhealthy degree, and this:

Ryno auto..

Ryno auto..

They had a small stack of them for $10 apiece.  So worst case scenario, it isn’t legit and I’m only out $10.  But if it’s real, while not a card, this takes care of my Ryno trifecta at least for the time being.  I have his Topps & Fleer RCs and some early-2000s Donruss bat card.  So yeah, I’m not getting his auto on a card for less than $30-40 if I’m lucky, so this old flyer thing will do. 🙂

And how did we do on the pack?  Enh… Let’s take a look.

Base..

Base..

Some nice action photos scattered throughout.  So good in fact I want to rant about the pointlessness of the photo variations, but it just boils down to this.  Of the 50 variations, only a half-dozen or so have a noticeably better photo, so what is even the point???

Rookies..

Rookies..

Pulled a pretty solid group of rookies though.  DeAndre, Gio, & Ertz are already making significant contributions, and I like Cordarrelle and Ball to start making bigger impacts next season.  And Travis Frederick has a magnificent beard.  Tremendous.  Now howsabout dem inserts though?

Eric Decker 1000 Yard Club..

Eric Decker 1000 Yard Club..

Nothing special, but I feel ’em on the design.  The back has his stats from each game of the season and adds them up at the bottom.

Romo 4000 Yard Club..

Romo 4000 Yard Club..

The same but with QBs.  Poor Romo, probably the single most simultaneously overrated and underrated quarterback to have ever played the game.

Hakeem the Not-Dream..

Hakeem the Not-Dream..

Dang, this Hakeem Nicks mini was so forgettable (looks nice enough though) I literally almost forgot to add it.  Anyway, unless someone else would like to claim it, I suppose I will set it aside for BA Benny.

LOLTrent..

LOLTrent..

Excellent design (just needs a border of some kind, in my opinion), but, err… moving on.

DeMarcus Ware Legends in the Making..

DeMarcus Ware Legends in the Making..

This card is just classy as balls, and it might not even be the best looking insert in the pack.

Jim Kelly Gridiron Legends..

Jim Kelly Gridiron Legends..

And that is because of this beaut of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.  Some real nice inserts in there.

Fred Jackson BCA parallel /399 + base..

Fred Jackson BCA parallel /399 + base..

With a 3:10 chance, I didn’t pull any hits.  But I did get the this pink Breast Cancer Awareness parallel (according the back of the pack, camo and BCA both parallels fall 1:9 packs, or roughly one per box).

The back..

The back..

Not the best player, but I saw Sportscards from the Dollar Store likes the Bills, so maybe the best two cards in this pack and the rest of my Bills might finally have a destination in mind.  We shall see.

Not bad overall, and I’m still just stoked to have an actual card shop again.  I mean, there’s another place downtown that still has cards, but that hasn’t been their bread & butter in years.  There’s also that infamous place at the mall I may have mentioned on rare occasion as having crazy overpriced stuff.  But yeah, this is a very cool development.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.  Whatever I have to say, I’ll try to start saying it a little more often.

Until our next…

Diamond Gallery #2: The Diamond Die-Cuts

As mentioned last time, my first Diamond Giveaway order (of four full 25-card orders total) arrived last Friday.  It was the free one, and contained most of my Diamond Die-Cuts. So here they are now.  Enjoy.

Shin-Soo Choo..

They are nice & shiny all over.  The only thing that could make them better is if they were in the much prettier blue or purple Walmart or Toys B Fun versions. They are great as is, but red doesn’t do it for me.  Give me the darker, cooler colors any day.

Andrew McCutchen..

The  diamond in the background glows almost as much as it shines.  This is especially true of the black diamond.  But we’ll get to that in due time.

Big Papi..

I ended up with most of what I was after, but I never was able to land Ernie Banks, and I’m still a little tweaked by that.

Dave Winfield..

There were way too damn many Yankees in this set, but it’s hard to argue with most of them.  Only Swisher and Teixeira are really debatable, and the latter only because he’s sucked in 2012.  Still, I’d have taken out both of them and either Maris or Munson and a few of the lesser Braves and added Johnny Bench, Joey Votto, and Matt Kemp, amongst others.

CarGo..

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with CarGo and the others that aren’t players I specifically collect or are otherwise spoken for.  Ya better bring it if you want one though.

Longo..

I’d like one of the few of these I still want or need in return (Ernie Banks, Carlos Marmol, Tyler Colvin, Jackie Robinson, and Reggie Jackson, amongst others I potentially accept).  In lieu of that, make a specific offer of something pretty darn nice.  I sunk way too much time into this and I’m not just going to accept any ol’ thang for these bad mamma-jammas.

Chris Sale..

Alexei..

These are the two White Sox I picked up for my dad’s little collection of things I pull or pick up cheap.  I miiiiiiiight be able to let one go if you have the ammo to deal, but I’m not moving both.

Adrian Beltre..

2012 All-Star starter, future Hall of Famer?  After the unspectacular-yet-steady early years and lone monster contract season with the Dodgers and somewhat awful stretch with the Marinerds, he’s really turned it on since leaving the M’s and seems to be getting better with age.  The numbers are starting to look Hall of Fame quality for 3B.

Aramis..

Speaking of guys closing in on Hall of Fame numbers at the hot corner.  Aramis maybe isn’t aging quite as gracefully (or perhaps it’s just the Brewers relative irrelevance when not in the playoff hunt), but he’s still playing fairly decent up there in Milwaukee.  And if the Brew Crew completely fall out of playoff picture, look for Aramis to catch fire and look and make people take notice of his offensive prowess again.  It’s what he does, kinda.

Ichiro Suzuki..

To hell with that one name BS.  It doesn’t matter if how amazing someone is, this ain’t soccer!  And “Fred” ruined it for soccer anyway.

King Felix..

And now the pitching half of what was a two man team for most of the last few years, King Felix.

Vlad..

Why is this guy not in the majors right now?!  He had his worst season last and still hit .290!

David Wright..

One of two die-cuts likely bound for Long Fly Ball.  Don’t worry though Wright fans, because I have another on the way.  For the same reason I couldn’t get Ernie, I’m a little tweaked to still have the second David Wright.  I tried EVERYTHING to deal the second Wright for Ernie, but no matter how ridiculously lopsided in whoever the offers were going to’s favor, I got jack and diddly to show for it.

RickyRo Black Diamond #’ed 48/60

Check the black diamond’s dark, ominous glow.  This is what made this order free, and the other die-cut most likely bound for Long Fly Ball.

Starlin Castro..

Goin’ bigtime with the last two.  2011’s NL Hit (and error) King, Starlin Castro!

Ryno!

Finally, one of the only two die-cuts I actually hit myself (though I guess I only unlocked 34-ish cards total), Ryne Sandberg!  Although, come to think of it, I hit this and the Black Diamond Gaby Sanchez that eventually became RickyRo in just 30-some shots, so I actually did incredibly well, I guess.

That’s it for this one, sports fans.  The Diamond Giveaway (which I keep wanting to hash tag and not space…) is over, so please make your final selections and proceed to checkout.  Thank you for shopping your local Diamond Giveaway.

Until our next…

The Lonestarr Personal Collection- 1983 Fleer Ryne Sandberg RC

One of the better couple dollars I’ve ever spent..

Picked this beauty up on COMC not too long ago for around $2.40.  I already have two Topps Ryno RCs, so now I just need OPC and Donruss I think.  I’ll never be able to afford the TCMA card.  Also, those early-’80s Cubs unis are ridiculous, but still better than the fugly White Sox’ early-’70s Sunday alternate throwbacks.

I wish I had more to say about the card itself though.  It’s definitely worthy of an insane Night Owl post.  Maybe I could use it as an excuse to continue down the ridiculous uniform rabbit hole, or lament the lack people naming their kids Ryne these days or something.  But alas, I’m not that focused or seasoned or good.  If I was, I’d have my silly tween genre fiction novels written & published already & no longer be living in this dump & I’d be able to afford more cards &… Err, anyway, just suffice to say I absolutely LOVE this card.

Until our next…