Monday, December 22, 2014

Red Sox Cards from Amazon

A couple of weeks back I was doing some holiday shopping on Amazon and it struck me to check to see whether there were any cheap card deals that I could add to my cart since I was already over the $35 free shipping threshold on my order.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a seller offering the 2011 Topps Red Sox team-issue set for just 65 cents with free shipping!

The first card in the set, despite being an airbrushed disaster, is an example of why I love these team sets.  You won't find this image/card on the checklist for the 2011 Topps flagship set, this photo was used on the card for the team set only.

Of course the cards are numbered BOSx to designate the team issued set.  This was a no-brainer at less than 4 cents per card, especially since I didn't have a single one of the 17 cards previously.  Here's a look at the other 16...

The majority of the cards feature the same image that was used in the corresponding flagship set, with the only real difference being the card numbering on the back.  David is one of only three subjects in the set who are still with the team just a few years later.


Kevin Youkilis' card is one of those with a slightly different image.  In the flagship set, the same photograph was used but just cropped tighter:



JD Drew's card features a different image entirely, and one I don't recall having seen before.  Here's the one from the flagship set, featuring Drew patrolling the outfield:



John Lackey's card is similar to Youkilis' in that it's the same image used in the flagship set just panned out a bit.  Here's the zoomed-in counterpart:


Jed Lowrie's 2011 flagship card uses an entirely different image, featuring Jed rounding the basepaths.  Unfortunately I don't have one to show you.  Looks like I've got some holes to fill in my 2011 team set...



Pedroia is the second guy in the "still with the team" category.


Completely different image for Adrian Gonzalez.  He'd get his own card showing him with Boston in Series 2 of the 2011 flagship offering:


The final of the three players still on the current roster.  As with every season so far in his career, the challenge for Clay in 2015 will be staying healthy and durable for an entire 162-game season...


In closing, my favorite part of the set year in and year out, your obligatory Fenway Park card!

While there wasn't a whole lot that I found worthwhile for the price, I'm glad I checked Amazon as a potential new source for cardboard and happened upon this cheap deal.  The same seller had a Mets team set from 2010 for around the same price, so I snagged that as well and sent the majority of them off to my buddy Mark at This Way to the Clubhouse.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Signature Sundays - Carl Soderberg

It's been a little depressing watching the Bruins the past few weeks.  If the season were to end today, they'd be out of the playoff picture.  Although he's struggled during stretches like the rest of the team, one of the bright spots on this year's roster has been Carl Soderberg.  I've been after an autograph of his for some time now, and recently I was fortunate enough to land one that I've had my eye on in particular:

I'm a huge fan of the layout of the 2013-14 Select rookie autographs.  Carl's John Hancock isn't that interesting, but I really love the design of this card.  Small detail, but the fact that the swatch matches the jersey being worn by the player in the photo is nice, something you don't always get for some reason.  The scan is a little dark, the card is much more vibrant in person under natural light.

There are a few different parallels of these auto/rookie/jersey cards, with this one serial-numbered to /199.  I didn't really have a preference for one over another, and ended up with this one simply because the eBay seller agreed to my $9 Buy-It-Now offer. 

If he stays healthy, Soderberg should have his best season yet in 2014-15.  He's definitely starting to heat up again in recent days.  Two games ago against Minnesota, Carl had a goal in regulation and then setup the game-winner in overtime.  Last game, an assist; and tonight another helper on the opening goal of the game against lowly Buffalo.

Right now I'm not sure the Bruins roster has the make-up of a potential Cup winning team, but I hope that if they make a deal Soderberg does not end up shipped out of town.  At just 29 years old, and with less than 2 seasons total NHL experience under his belt, I can't help but feel like his best days are still ahead...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quick Rip - 1995-96 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey

When I picked up my box of 2014 Stadium Club baseball from DA Card World on Cyber Monday, I threw a couple of other heavily discounted boxes into the order as well.  One of those was 1995-96 Upper Deck Series 2 hockey:

I've always loved this set.  Busted a box of Series 1 a few years ago now, nice to finally get around to Series 2.  A dozen cards per pack, with one guaranteed Electric Ice parallel.  Here's the first pack out of my box...

Here's the Electric Ice parallel, you can see the foil right over Brett Hull's face at the right of the card.  The foil used for the player name and Upper Deck logo is also silver; on the base cards it's gold.

The photography is top notch, as we've all come to expect from Upper Deck over the years.


Love the reaction of the fan in this shot, and of course the Boston Market advertisement.




A great shot of Corey Hirsch's Alfred Hitchcock/Bates Motel mask.

The Star Rookie subset has a slightly different design, but the full-bleed photography is still the focus.

Oleg Mikulchik enjoyed a very brief NHL career.  I think this may be his only official hockey card.


Finishing off with an early-career Mike Peca.  Love that old Sabres sweater.

Nothing earth-shattering there, but I'm looking forward to the 35 packs still to come!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Boatload of Crap

Sort of describes my week.  Sort of describes how this post is going to go.  As I attempt to get somewhat organized heading into the holidays, here are a bunch of scans that have been sitting in a folder waiting to see the light of day on the blog...

Grady Sizemore's 2014 Topps card was one of my favorite baseball cards from this past season.  Given that he lasted just over 50 games with Boston Grady's not going to have many Red Sox cards, but this horizontal beauty certainly makes up for the lack of quantity with quality.  This particular card is the Gold Refractor from Topps Chrome.

My copy was the second of 50 in the print run.  I happily shelled out a 5-spot (with free shipping) to add this somewhat scarce card to my Red Sox collection.

This Xander Bogaerts blue framed parallel from 2014 Gypsy Queen is much more common, at 499 serial-numbered copies.  I've really soured on Gypsy Queen over the years, but the framed parallels continue to look great as far as I'm concerned.

I typically shy away from anything "USA Baseball", but this Will Clark card was a surprise throw-in from an eBay seller, and I will never turn down a new Clark card.

A gloriously off-centered (from top to bottom) '71-72 Topps Gary Smith.  In great shape overall, and I love anything Golden Seals.  Wouldn't mind someday knocking off '71-72 Topps hockey either.  Plucking this from the dollar box at my local hobby shop was an easy decision.


This one's from the shop as well, but from the 6-for-a-dollar box.  Marcel was just surpassed by Jaromir Jagr on the career points leader board, and now sits in 6th place.  An early '80s OPC HOFer for around 17 cents seemed too good to pass up.

This 1958 Topps Gene Baker is from the same shop.  Paid $1 for this one, just because the condition is fantastic.  Gene is in much nicer shape than all of my other '58 Topps cards, with strong corners and just about perfect centering.

1958 Topps is one of those sets where I think the card backs are much more interesting than the fronts.

Here's one from a recent COMC order.  I'll say it again, Panini Prizm cards look great when they don't have to mask or erase logos and team names.  I thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup this summer, and though I didn't buy any of this product when the set came out (a little expensive and not really available in my area), I've picked up a few singles from COMC in the months since the tournament ended.  Aguero was an obvious choice as one of the top players in the world today.  In fact, he's currently ranked as the #1 striker in the Premier League.  I don't think I'll ever bother trying to complete this set, but these really are sharp looking cards; job well done Panini!

...and we go from that to a total stinker.  I picked this one out of a dime box at the one and only card show I made it to in 2014.  I liked it for two reasons; it's just a terrible photo, and also Canseco never played a game for the Angels.

Last but not least, another card from the same dime box as Jose.  This Bobby Hull was totally new to me, I don't recall ever having seen this set before.  Found out thanks to Zistle that this is from the 1992-93 Future Trends Canada Cup '76 set.  I love the photograph, something I don't recall seeing on a hockey card before.

While the write-up leaves more than a little to be desired (in fact it sounds like an excerpt from a fourth grader's book report), both photographs on the card are just awesome.  Well worth the ten cents it set me back.

Hope to be back with some thank you posts, as well as some other more structured ideas, in a day or two!
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