Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pack Rip - Another 2011 Gypsy Queen Value Pack

Since I enjoyed my first 2011 Gypsy Queen value pack so much, and was fortunate enough to pull an auto of a pretty solid starting pitcher, I figured I'd give it another shot and grabbed a few more value packs. Here's my second one in its entirety, starting with the Framed Green parallels:

#64 - Josh Hamilton

#35 - Pee Wee Reese

Awesome! Any new Brooklyn Dodgers card is alright in my book. Sure I prefer it when they're from the 1950's, but I'll take what I can get.

#26 - Adrian Gonzalez

Pee Wee Reese and my first card of Adrian Gonzalez (who is absolutely RAKING so far this year) with the Red Sox! I think I did better with my framed green cards here than I did in the first pack.

Pack 1:

#100 - Nolan Ryan

Some day I'll gather all my Nolan Ryan's in one place for a final count, but I'm betting I'm up over 300 or so unique cards.

#104 - Lucas Duda

#300 - Franklin Gutierrez

#GQA-CB - Clay Buchholz - Autograph

I was beyond excited when I flipped the Franklin Gutierrez out of the way and revealed this card. I know my luck can't keep up like this, but two autos in two value packs is pretty damn good. This one blows the Gio Gonzalez auto out of the water! This is my first autograph of the young Sox pitching phenom, and if I'm not mistaken it's the first time I've ever pulled a Red Sox auto from a pack.

Mini #217 - Adrian Beltre

#HH24 - Home Run Heroes - Rogers Hornsby

In my last rip I commented that I could do without the Home Run Heroes insert set. Well, in retrospect I think my opinion was tainted by the fact that Mark Teixeira was the lone Home Run Heroes card I happened to pull. These actually look much nicer with a retired Hall-of-Famer on them than with a dirty Yankee. I retract my previous statement, this is a nice set.

Checklist 3 of 4

Pack 2:

#82 - Starlin Castro

#172 - Ryan Zimmerman

#265 - Stephen Drew

#WC3 - Wall Climbers - Nick Swisher

Mini #133 - Pablo Sandoval

#HH20 - Home Run Heroes - Johnny Bench

Yup, definitely do enjoy the Home Run Heroes inserts. This insert saved what would've been an awfully dreary pack.

Pack 3:

#36 - Vladimir Guerrero

#250 - Joe Saunders

#259 - Aubrey Huff

#272 - Felix Pie

Mini #326 - Chase Utley

I asked this last time as well, but I'm assuming there are no short prints when it comes to minis, and that all 350 minis are seeded at the same rate?

#349 - Xavier Nady - SP

Well that was a winner. Packs 2 and 3 weren't all that exciting, however I did get another short print and the Buchholz auto. Throw in the Nolan Ryan base card and the Adrian Gonzalez framed green parallel and I think this value pack was even better than the first.

I've got a few more of these to get through. Bob, maybe when I get back in a couple weeks we can get a trade going?

Friday, May 27, 2011


I don't think anything out there can put me on the brink of cardiac arrest like playoff hockey can. One of the most entertaining games I've seen. Incredible pass by Krejci and Tim Thomas comes through once again. Great job by the refs of letting the players play, not a penalty called in the entire game. How refreshing.

What a Cup final this is going to be!

One more thing. Steven sir, are the man.

Let's Go Bruins!!!...and a Vacation!

My wife and I are leaving tomorrow for an 11 day honeymoon trip, so you may see a lull in activity here for a couple of weeks. If I can find the time I'll try to schedule some posts to go up while I'm away, but no promises.

In the meantime, the biggest hockey game of my life as a fan will be taking place tonight as the Bruins and Lightning square off in a game 7 for a seat in the Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver. I was a Whalers fan until they left Hartford, and only then did I (regretfully at first) begin rooting for the B's. Since the Bruins have never even reached a conference final since (until this year) this is the closest that the team I like has ever come to making a Cup final.

Since I'm flying to Europe tomorrow I'm trying to resist the temptation to pick up two tickets for the game in Boston tonight. Instead I'll be screaming from my couch and hoping David Krejci can have another night like he did in game 6.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pack Rip - Some More 1978-79 Topps Hockey

A couple of weeks ago I picked up 17 packs of 1978-79 Topps hockey. Here's the second pack:

#66 - Penalty Minute Leaders

PIM leaders get no recognition in the hobby these days.

#69 - Game Winning Goal Leaders

Pretty impressive lineup right there, three Hall-of-Famers on one card (four I guess if you consider that Bob Bourne is in the Islanders Hall-of-Fame)...

#254 - Dave Burrows

This photo looks like it's from a dream, that's some heavy airbrushing right there.

#109 - Jere Gillis

After his hockey career came to a close, Gillis began work as a stuntman in films. He's actually worked on a couple of movies that I enjoyed, including The Fountain and Secret Window.

#235 - Walt Tkaczuk

Often overshadowed and under-appreciated, Tkaczuk was among the best defensive forwards of his day.

#177 - Ron Duguay

Boston Bruins Team Sticker

Sweet, I hope this is a good sign. With any luck, after this evening the Bruins will be headed to their first Stanley Cup final since 1990!

#9 - Craig Ramsay

If the Thrashers move to Winnipeg, will Ramsay remain the head coach?

#8 - Larry Patey

#59 - Mike Milbury

I couldn't pick a better pack to post on the day of Game 6 than this one! Let's go Bruins!!!

#143 - Bernie Federko (Rookie)

Very nice! It's not every day that you get to pull a rookie card of a Hall-of-Famer from a pack of cards from the 1970's. I only had the 2001-02 Topps Archives version previously, it's nice to have the real thing in the collection.

#240 - Borje Salming

Back to back members of the Hall. Not a bad way to wind down the pack if you ask me. This pack's "card whose back is wax stained" award goes to...

#41 - Dave Farrish

Nothing against Dave here, but I'm glad his card was stained rather than the Federko rookie or the Salming.

That's a wrap. Don't worry, I won't bore you with all 17 of these packs, but I do plan to show off at least one more.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pack Rip - 2011 Gypsy Queen Value Pack

I've seen 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen busted on just about every baseball card blog I read, but until this week there wasn't any available at the local Target. When I was there grabbing the last 2 rack packs of Pinnacle hockey, I picked up a "Value Pack". In case you've been living under a rock, this consists of 3 retail packs and a bonus 3-card pack of green framed cards.

My apologies for subjecting you to Gypsy Queen for the millionth time in recent weeks, but as usual I'm going to show every card in the pack. Let's start with the green framed pack:

#55 - Evan Longoria

#80 - Stephen Strasburg

#39 - Johnny Mize

Alright, well I can see why there's been so much hype around the framed cards. I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, the cards look great in person. This Johnny Mize is the nicest looking baseball card I've pulled from a pack in some time.

Here are the 3 packs:

Pack 1:

#94 - Buster Posey

#217 - Adrian Beltre

#204 - Neftali Feliz

#229 - Alex Gonzalez

Mini #311 - Hisanori Takahashi

#FS-13 - Future Stars - Stephen Strasburg

Does anyone know if the mini cards numbered 301-350 are short prints as well?

Pack 2:

#273 - Chad Billingsley

#113 - Jose Bautista

#279 - Josh Thole

I have to admit I'd never heard of Josh Thole. I only catch a handful of NL games a year, what can I say...

#SF10 - Sticky Fingers - David Wright

Mini #199 - James Shields

#339 - Omar Infante - SP

I really like the Sticky Fingers inserts, I will be collecting that set for sure.

Pack 3:

#28 - Tony Gwynn

Finally, a base card of a Hall-of-Famer.

#275 - Ruben Tejada

#224 - Drew Stubbs

#GQA-GG - Gio Gonzalez - Autograph

Believe it or not I was actually pretty excited by this one. As someone who doesn't bust any high end wax, I hardly ever pull autos. When I do, they're usually someone I've never heard of with little to no MLB experience.

Gonzalez is a solid pitcher though, another example of Oakland's ability to find and groom quality starters. Last year he went 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA, 171 strikeouts to 92 walks, and a WHIP of 1.311. So far this year he's been even better than that, sitting at 5-2 with a 2.31 ERA, 48 strikeouts to 21 walks, and a WHIP of just 1.164! Plus, the autograph itself is fantastic.

I might be willing to part with this one but it would take a good card for me to consider giving it up.

Mini #323 - Shin-Soo Choo

#HH4 - Home Run Heroes - Mark Teixeira

Well, that was fun. The base cards are solid, but nothing spectacular. Maybe I'd be more excited about them had I pulled more retired players (Gwynn was my only one in 3 packs). I could do without the Future Stars and Home Run Heroes inserts, but I do like the Sticky Fingers cards. These value packs are all about the green framed parallel cards though. Even though I didn't get a single Red Sox card, those framed parallels and the Gio Gonzalez auto made this one a winner.

The value per card may pale in comparison to the Pinnacle pack I posted yesterday, but these are a lot of fun and I can see why there's been a lot of hype around this set. I will likely pick up some more, if I can find them...
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