A Post? For Realz? ~~ Thoughts and Sox WBC

First, let me start by saying I’d like to post more often.  It’s not like I don’t have endless amounts of free time to post, because quite frankly, I do.  As you may know, I am Bipolar to a pretty serious degree.  As such, actual pressing responsibilities are pretty few & far between.  I don’t have a lot I have to do, though I have slowly been taking over more and more of my life the last 18 months or so.  The problem is, I just don’t have any useful discourse very often.  I don’t trade a ton because I’m so slow about it (again, no real excuse for the slowness, my baseball cards aren’t even horribly disorganized anymore) and my ability to scan stuff is limited to how often I go over to my parents’ place and actually leave myself enough time to scan between other stuff, since I’ve never gotten around to getting myself a scanner (not that I have room for one right now anyway).  And I’m not focused enough to stay fully up on the latest news, so I can’t really comment on the state of the Hobby that much, or whatever other pretty shiny piques my interest any given hour.  My funds are so limited that there’s no point in keeping that close of a watch on things anyway, since I’m not gonna be able to experience a lot of what the hobby has to offer, in pack/box form at least.

That all said, I do have a growing backlog of trade packages scanned and ready for posting.  So I’ll start with World Baseball Classic half of the still somewhat recent trade with Thoughts and Sox.  There were some great football cards too, but we’ll get to those another time.  Otherwise it’ll be daybreak before I finish this post, and I’m trying hard to not do that so much anymore.  So enough jibba-jabba, let’s get into it.

These are from 2006 Upper Deck Future Stars. Two or three cards shy of the 25 card base set, and I think one dupe.

These cards are super shiny and like Spuctrum, and are almost exactly as thin. They look ten times better though, with the solid colored world map in the background to even things out. The flags class things up a bit too.

Now we're getting to the parallels. The greens are #'ed to /499 and the red to /299.

The purples are numbered /1799 and are presumably the easiest parallel pull. Apparently there are three more levels of parallel as well, according to Upper Deck's checklist.

Not to be outdone, here is topps' chromed out 2009 Bowman version of World Baseball Classic subset/insert overkill. I love it though. The WBC is a fun event.

Last scan and then we're in the clear. Lots of shiny good stuff. Thanks again to Thoughts and Sox, and remember, if you want to dump your unwanted World Baseball Classic stuff, you can send it riiiight here.

.::~Outtro~::.

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Old School Group Break Loot & Stuff

I was a little late to the party so there weren’t many teams left to choose by the time I happened across the Old School Group Break, but there were a couple I thought might give me a chance at something of interest.  So, on a whim, I decided to enter and chose the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins.

I did okay I guess.  Three so-so hits and one insert that’s apparently a really tough pull.  Read that the Upper Deck Rivals inserts only fell around 1:240 packs on someone’s blog.  But I was really hoping for some crazy early 2000s inserts and parallels, so I was a little sad to be completely shut out on those.  It turned out okay though when I gave up my Twins base cards for a few Cubbies.  I just figured I’d get some nice base cards & maybe & insert or two, but woah!  Take a look…

I think I'm gonna keep a couple of the Franks. Think I'm going to pare down my Griffey collection too, and then just keep a few of each guy that I like. Also keeping the throwbacks from this bunch.

I had completely forgotten David Wells played for the White Sox for awhile.  And look at the size of Frank’s arms in that Studio card.  Great googly moogly…

Here's some backs and a couple of the Cubs I received in lieu of Twins base. The Gibson and Youk came from packs of topps and I don't know why I scanned them with these. Sorry. >.>

And what fine backs they are.  I don’t think I scanned but maybe half of the White Sox base cards I received, so there’s plenty more where these came from.

Here's the hits and inserts and extras and extra hits!

Amazing cards all around, but those extras just blew me away.  Though a bit unnerved by him turning white all of a sudden, I never could bring myself to dislike Sammy, so I greatly appreciate the three in the top row.  I for one loved what he did at the congressional hearings, because quite frankly I think the whole steroid thing was/is a bunch of BS.  And though his time with the Cubs ended poorly, the good times still override it for me.

The Kerry Wood/Rick Ankiel dual bat card is really nice looking, though I’m not sure I can keep it.  Why would you make a dual card of hated rivals in the first place, let alone a hit?  I’m not so sure a Cardinals fan would care to have it either.  Did Kerry make any fans with Cleveland yet?  W/e, the card itself is really nice looking and I have no dual hit cards to speak of.

The Sam Fuld auto is epic.  I have high hopes for the guy.  I guess Nady is useful if he still has power, but I hope there’s room for Fuld to get a lot more playing time this year.

Oddly enough, I have no issues with the Morneau/Thome card.  In fact I quite like it.  I guess the rivalry thing just matters when it comes to your own team.  Huh…  Hard to believe it’s an Upper Deck card from the end of the decade, when they seemed to not be able to get much of anything right (I been there Upper Deck, no disrespect).  It was kinda cool to get both teams I picked on the same card though.  And as mentioned near the top, somewheres I read it was a very tough pull.

The hits were meh, as also mentioned.  Durbin’s yet to do anything of note.  I dig the Kip Wells just for the fact that it is an Autographics and the fond memories of the past I get from that.  The Mark Buehrle is easily the best player of the three, and the card is #’ed to /56.

Thank you very much, John.  If you do another group break in the future, you can count me in.  Hopefully next time I’ll get there early enough for the Cubs and maybe Mariners or Dodgers or some other team in my upper tier.  😀

Finally, while we’re on the subject of group breaks, I kind of have the itch to host a group break.  I enjoyed this one so much that I’d like to do mine in a similar style and price range.  I’d like to do pick out boxes from throughout the decade though.

This proposed group break wouldn’t take place until around opening day of the baseball season, because I want to get a lot of my ridiculously overbooked trading queue caught up on first, and besides, wouldn’t that just be an awesome time of year to do one?  Also, I’m still not going to have a scanner by then unless I get it one for free or win one or something, but the weather should hopefully be getting a bit nicer by then, so I will hopefully have a good bit more and faster access to the one I have access to now, so that I may be able to pull this off fairly efficiently, or what qualifies as such for me anyway.

The actual box bustin’ itself for this group break would happen on either my justin.tv or ustream channels over the course of multiple days, because I like to take my time when busting boxes of cards.  And that way everything will be documented, and people can come and go as they please during the breaks (hopefully a decent amount of people will bother to show up for them anyway; sorry in advance for not having boobs or an especially flashy personality :P), and they will be highlighted for those that can’t be there for the festivities, but do want to see what went on before the scanning.

So is anyone interested?  Let me know if you are, and please spread the word.  I think this would be a pretty exciting way to count down and kick off the baseball season.  I’d like to have enough people on board and everyone paid and get the teams chosen by mid-March at the very latest.  Otherwise we probably won’t be done in time.

We’ll start delving deeper into this should people start getting interested, deciding on the actual boxes to buy and cost to enter and whatnot.

I totally came up with most of these initial details on the fly, but is everything sounding sensible enough so far? 🙂

2008 Donruss Threads Baseball Box Break & Review

Get excited, it’s finally time to do a box breakdown.  This is for 2008 Donruss Threads Baseball, if you didn’t catch the title of the post.

I’m sure there’s plenty of reviews & stuff out there already, so I’ll make the summary bit short & sweet.

24 packs per box

5 cards per pack

4 hits per box (at least two autos)

Threads is all legends and prospects with nothing in between (though being from 2008, some prospects have already made their MLB debuts), so if you ain’t down with that, I’ve got two words for ya: DON’T BUY. 😛

Not being licensed by MLB, there aren’t supposed to be any MLB logos or team names anywhere on the cards, but the attempts to remove them from the photos are often half-hearted at best, though some are fully removed.  Overall, lack of team names and weakly obscured logos don’t detract from things, though the fully removed ones are slightly jarring if you’re paying enough attention to notice.

As you can see, any partially obscured team names are left alone, and most hat/helmet logos are half-assedly dealt with at best.

The design is pretty decent I think, and I like how deep into the legend barrel they dug to pull out Frank Howard and some others, including Hall of Famers, that you unfortunately rarely see on cards nowadays.  It definitely allows this set to tap into a bit of the epic fun factor of the topps Archives & All-Time Fan Favorites sets from the early aughts.  It’s nice to see Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe too.

O hai

The short set is 100 cards, and there are 120 per box, of which about 14-15 will be inserts/parallels (more on that shortly).  That leaves room for a few duplicates in every box, but you should still be able to complete the set.  Not so fast my friend.  I came up well short of the finish.  I haven’t gotten around to collating it yet, but I think I came up at least five cards short of the complete set.

Aparicio & Trammell, just because...

Now then, the regular inserts and parallels.  You are promised 10 per box, one each of the following: Diamond Kings, Century Stars, Century Legends, and Green Century Proofs.  The other six are a random assortment of the above, as well as #ed base parallels, College Greats, Dynasty, Generations, and I guess Baseball Americana.  With six being random, there’s a good chance you won’t pull everything.  I didn’t get any Baseball Americana or Generations in my box, whereas Drew from drewscards pulled two Baseball Americana, but no Generations or Dynasty inserts.  I pulled one of the latter.

Century Legends Duke Snider & Ernie Banks (Keeper!), and Century Stars Nolan Ryan

The Century Legends are designed to look classy, and the Century Stars are designed to look fun I guess.  Both succeed.

Bob Feller base parallel #ed 15/100

My awesome base parallel pull. 😀

Pulled three Diamond Kings. Nolan Ryan and Ernie Banks are #ed /250 because the Threads logo is shiny I guess. :d

There are a crap-ton of Diamond King parallels, starting at /250.  Fuller is the regular base version, which isn’t numbered.  They used the same picture for Mr. Cub’s Diamond King and Century Legend (The two Century stars I pulled share the same photo as the players’ respective base cards, as well).  The photo recycling thing is annoying to start with, but within the same set?  Pathetic.  Come on, man!  And for the love of pizza, quit using the same picture of Joe Morgan already!

How many freaking times has that same picture of Joe Morgan been used with various cropping and/or filtering since the beginning of the '00s now??

It’s a cool card & all, but that picture’s been used on seemingly every single Joe Morgan card made since 2000.  Ask Field of Cards about that.  Poor guy’s haunted by that image.  He was even in attendance for my live box break on Jtv when I pulled this.

Halman Green Century Proof /250 & Molitor College Greats..

Halman came out of the pack in bad shape, with a dinged corner damage along the bottom edge.  Disappointing, and the damage will continue…

Emilio Bonifacio /1874, Keaton Hayenga 1/100 (woohoo eBay 1/1!), and Ryan Patterson /775 sticker autos..

Bonifacio was pretty beat up right out the pack, and Hayenga wasn’t minty fresh either, which is unfortunate because it’s the first time I’ve ever pulled the first or last of a print run.

Now, you see I pulled three autos.  There were two game-used cards, so that means I pulled an extra hit.  Donruss was always cool like that.  Getting more than promised seemed to be the rule rather than the exception for them.  Here’s my other two hits:

Century Stars Dale Murphy jersey /100

My weak link of the box.  Dale Murphy would be a really cool pull usually, and I guess he kinda still is, but considering how great the legend checklist is, this is probably one of the weakest possible legends you can get.  And, this is the only legend hit I got.  Oh wells.

Time for the grand finale!

Madison Bumgarner game-used something?... /100

Even at full size it’s kinda hard to see, but there are two parallel grooves in the swatch running the length of the swatch vertically.  I dunno what the deal is, but the swatch is super thick too.  It’s practically bursting from the window.  Whatever the case, I’m calling this a patch… err, being Donruss, Prime Jersey (which is probably more accurate than calling most special swatches a “patch” anyway), until proven otherwise. 😛

Now for grades.

Price: A This is a great product at under $50.  It’s fun and there’s a fair chance at a great pull.

Condition: C I think only the three cards were noticeably damaged, but they were kind of important ones.

Pulls: B Bonifacio has made it to the majors already but not been great.  Hayenga has potential.  Patterson is going on 27 and hasn’t made the show yet, though he might be decent if he ever does.  Murphy is cool but a weak legend.  Bumgarner is easily the hit of the box.  The regular inserts and the Bob Feller parallel are what bring it up from a C to a solid B.

Fun: A+ This was easily the most fun I’ve ever had busting a box of cards.  I may get another box of Threads in the future.

Final Grade: Solid B It has it’s flaws, but it’s just a fun product.  You’ll be close to the complete short set even if you do get too many dupes, the regular inserts are fantastic, there’s pretty decent big hit potential for the price, and it all looks pretty good, sticker autos aside.  There is much to like here.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Until our next…

Victory By Default #2

The bootay has arrived!  If you remember, I won a contest at the end of September that was put on by Mario from Wax Heaven.  Well, not so much won, as was just quite possibly the only one who participated (I think that’s how I got that wrestling recapper job last fall too…).  Anyway, the winnings by default are here!  We’ve got 8 autographs (including one dual auto), 10 jerseys (including one Hall of Famer and one Patch), some much needed distraction, and some sensible advice.

The distraction and advice are from and in regards to my would-be romantic entanglement.  Thank you Mario, every bit of both is MUCH-appreciated.

Now then, without further ado, here is the glorious prize that nearly doubles my autograph and game used collections!

Autos First, cuz the jerseys are better.

2007 Bowman Heritage Brad Lincoln Signs
of Greatness AUTOGRAPH #SG-BL… Smile!

2007 Topps Chrome Joaquin Arias RC
AUTOGRAPH #346

2007 Topps Co-Signers Matt Albers/Chris
Iannetta DUAL AUTOGRAPH #CS-AI

2008 SPx Emilio Bonifacio RC AUTOGRAPH
#102

2008 SPx Bronson Sardinha RC AUTOGRAPH
#127

2008 SPx Rob Johnson RC AUTOGRAPH #138

2008 Topps Co-Signers Bronson Sardinha
RC AUTOGRAPH No.108

2008 Topps Co-Signers Arthur Abraham
(Boxer) Solo Sigs AUTOGRAPH… He’s got an excellent record at least.

I really have no idea if any of these guys are any good or not.  Arias shows some promise, looking at Baseball-Reference.  And I’ve heard of Bonifacio at least.

Now for the Jerseys…

2003 Donruss Studio Lance Berkman Big
League Challenge JERSEY #BLC-4… I’m seriously considering trying to track down this set.  I really liked the Pujols Pants card I recently traded to Boxbusters, and I straight up LOVED the Big League Challenge. This card is also somewhat fabled, as it features a unique blue Berkman jersey swatch that your not likely to find anywhere else.  It has also been passed between bloggers twice before in trades, and may be again if I decide not to go after the set.

2004 Leaf Certified Materials Roy
Oswalt Mirror White JERSEY no’d 058/100 #166… Mirror White is pretty… *drools*

2005 Bowman Jesus Cota Futures Game
Gear JERSEY

2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic DON
SUTTON
Classic Materials JERSEY… Don Sutton as an Astro.  This card will go nicely with in my Hall of Fame Hits binder page, with my ’05 Donruss Champions Frank Robinson swatch of something, Donruss Americana 2 Willie Mays swatch of something, and beat up 2002 Diamond Kings Roberto Clemente Gold Parallel #’d to /100.

2007 SPx Justin Verlander Winning
Materials JERSEY #’d 015/199

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Mark
Mulder PANTS

2007 Upper Deck MLB Artifacts Michael
Young Divisional Artifacts JERSEY

2007 Upper Deck Spectrum Khalil Greene
Spectrum Swatches #’d 154/199

2008 SPx Kenji Johjima Winning
Materials PATCH #’d 10/40… This was the reason I entered in the first place.  I loves me some patches, and this is a nice one.  I’m expecting a bounce-back year for Johjima-san (is that the right title to use there?  I’ll have to ask Yuta…).  I think he can be a top 10 or so catcher again.

2008 Upper Deck Spectrum Jacque Jones
Retrospectrum Swatches JERSEY… One for the Cubs Collection, even though he is depicted as a Twin, and is unfortunately hardly remembered and even then not thought highly of as a Cub, despite being solid both years he was with the team.

Pretty nice lot eh?  A little Astros-centric with the extras for my Cubby blue bleedin’ heart, but all of them are bonafied superstars and/or Hall of Famers, and that Mirror White is soooo shiny *@_@*, so I’m down with that.  I love the lot Mario.  Thank you so much for everything.  You’ve been a good friend to me, and I will try to return the favor in the future, just as soon as I have something to offer back.

As for this lot, I’m for sure only keeping Sutton, Kenji, Jacque, the boxer (for novelty’s sake), and maybe Berkman for my Personal Collection, so it might just be coming time for BTHE to hold it’s first ever contest *inadvertantly sponsored by Mario*.  Assuming anyone in the Sports Card Blogosphere actually regularly reads my nonsense, of course.  If nothing else, please inquire if you want/need/will die without any of the cards I’m not keeping.  We’ll see if we can’t work something out. 😉