Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank You Justin G!

A while back Justin G of "The Hopeful Chase" dangled some 2011 Topps Heritage trade bait out there, and I bit. I didn't buy more than a couple packs of this stuff, and am not likely to buy any more going forward, so I asked for the Jon Lester to add to my Red Sox collection. Last week a package arrived containing the card:

As far as Red Sox from this set, I now have Lester, John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis and a League Leaders card with a floating Clay Buchholz head on it. I'm interested in trading for any Red Sox other than those.

The back talks about how promising a young lefty Lester is, logging between 15 and 19 wins in each of his first three seasons, and becoming the first Red Sox lefty with back-to-back 200K seasons.

Justin also threw in a bonus card:

2010-11 Donruss Tough Times - #8 - Jay Miller

I saw a ton of these on other blogs earlier this year, but I didn't really buy any Donruss hockey, so this is the first I've seen in person. Very cool card!

As has been my experience with basically every single Panini card I've seen this year, the back is hurting. Not much going on here, and we get the same recycled photo from the front. Still a nice card though, and one I'm happy to add to my Bruins collection.

Thanks for the cards Justin, I've got a small stack of Lightning cards heading your way soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Break - 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Blaster

No, Gypsy Queen blasters did not suddenly reappear at the local Target. I actually bought this over a month ago but never got around to posting it until now. Seems as though this will be my one and only Gypsy Queen blaster. Since I've bombarded you with value packs recently I will skip showing every single card and just pick my favorite from each of the 8 packs instead. Short and sweet, here we go:

Pack 1:

#FS17 - Clay Buchholz - Future Stars

Pack 2:

#68 - Gary Carter

Pack 3:

Mini #74 - Tom Seaver

This goes against my every instinct but for some reason I love the mini cards in this set. The Hall-of-Famers are especially nice.

Pack 4:

Mini #318 - Hank Aaron

This would've been my choice regardless, but it doesn't hurt that it's the red gypsy queen back variation:

Easily my favorite card from the entire box...

Pack 5:

#GO13 - Lou Gehrig - The Great Ones

#SF13 - Kevin Youkilis - Sticky Fingers

Okay, so I chose two from this pack. The Sticky Fingers inserts are great and I pulled a Sox player on top of that. That being said I couldn't leave out that great Lou Gehrig card.

Pack 6:

#GO27 - Cy Young - The Great Ones

One of the best pitchers ever, my favorite team, a no-brainer...

Pack 7:

#107 - Brian Wilson

Insert was a dupe and the mini was Mark Teixeira, so I chose the Brian Wilson base card.

Pack 8:

#163 - Russell Martin

I did get a short print in this pack, but it was a double. My insert was also a double. My mini was a rookie I'd never heard of, so I was left to choose between two Yankees and another rookie I've never heard of. I regretfully went with Martin.

Well that's my quick and dirty blaster break for you. I have two more rack packs to post at some point and then I'm finished with retail Gypsy Queen, unless it miraculously shows up again...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

So, What's in a 2011 Topps Series 2 "Cereal" Box Anyway?

It appears, as GCA put in a comment on my last post, that the Gypsy Queen retail ship has sailed. I haven't seen so much as a single pack, rack pack or blaster in weeks. I'm bummed that I finally got on board with hand-collating a modern baseball set, and now I'm stopped dead in my tracks unless I want to pay $160 for a hobby box. Until those come down in price, if they ever do, I'm going to bide my time and collect the 2011 Topps flagship set. The cards look great, probably my favorite flagship Topps set since I returned to collecting in 2007, so why not.

Last time I came up empty on the Gypsy Queen front at Target, I noticed they had these large 2011 Topps Series 2 boxes out. They are larger than the cereal boxes I remember from 2009, but basically the same deal. 72 cards for $9.99, plus a Diamond Giveaway redemption card.

Just like the '09 cereal boxes, the 72 cards just come in one cellophane-wrapped brick. I've scanned in all 72 so you can see exactly what $9.99 gets you. Enjoy:

#591 - John Axford

#395 - Tyler Flowers

#349 - Drew Stubbs

#622 - Matt Thornton

#390 - Danny Valencia

#406 - John Lackey

#603 - David Murphy

#542 - Mike Pelfrey

#579 - Jeff Niemann

#509 - Michael Bourn

#453 - Joe Saunders

#331 - Carlos Guillen

#626 - Dan Haren

#566 - Jordan Zimmermann

#645 - Adam Wainwright

#460 - Cole Hamels

#477 - Franklin Gutierrez

#605 - Brandon Belt - Rookie

#548 - Ryan Franklin

#555 - Madison Bumgarner

#449 - Austin Kearns

#635 - Jason Heyward

#479 - Justin Duchscherer

#346 - Jose Bautista

#580 - Chris Young

#600 - Neftali Feliz

#THP-22 - Ian Kinsler - Ruby Red (Target Exclusive)

#487 - Chris Snyder

#437 - Jordan Schafer

#420 - Ryan Howard

#615 - Shaun Marcum

#567 - Dallas Braden

#459 - Frank Francisco

#427 - Brad Emaus - Rookie

#608 - Casey McGehee

#392 - Kris Medlen

#588 - Rajai Davis

#583 - Ryan Spilborghs

Gold #528 - Bobby Abreu (#'d/2011)

#DD-10 - Adrian Gonzalez & Kevin Youkilis - Diamond Duos

Alright, an insert I actually want to keep! I'm not a fan of these cards whatsoever, but Gonzalez is absolutely raking the ball for the Sox so I'll gladly add another of his cards to my collection. Most people predicted he'd have a monster year at Fenway Park, but I think he's exceeded nearly everyone's expectations. As of this post he's leading the AL in batting average, hits, doubles, RBI, and total bases! Dude can hit.

#T60-27 - Andrew McCutchen - Topps 60

Annoying that they used the same numbering scheme as Series 1 for these Topps 60 inserts, and didn't do anything to indicate this is a Series 2 card. Now there is a Topps 60 David Wright insert from Series 1 that has the exact same number as this card, T60-27.

#565 - Mark Teahen - Diamond Anniversary Parallel

I thought these were the greatest thing ever for about a week, but now I've cooled on them. I'll still take any Red Sox I don't have though.

#TDG-12 - Topps Diamond Giveaway - Mike Schmidt

Here's the guaranteed Diamond Giveaway card. Mike Schmidt brought me some good luck, I'll save what I got for the end of this post...

#KC-89 - Duke Snider - Kimball Champions

Night Owl, if you need this just leave a comment and it's yours.

#TT2-47 - Jay Bruce - Ticket to Toppstown Series 2

So they thought enough to number the Series 2 Toppstown cards as #TT2-xx, why didn't they do this for the Topps 60 inserts?

Add Image#DS-24 - Ryan Braun - Diamond Stars

#60YOT-90 - Steve Garvey - 60 Years of Topps (1982 Topps In Action)

Useless insert. I wish they put the actual '82 Topps In Action Garvey in my pack, I need it for my set.

#647 - Jeanmar Gomez

#396 - Adam Jones

#596 - Anibal Sanchez

#442 - Brad Bergesen

#499 - J.A. Happ

#434 - Mark DeRosa

#332 - Melky Cabrera

#416 - Everth Cabrera

#358 - Paul Janish

#362 - Shane Victorino

#489 - Marc Rzepczynski

#648 - Cody Ross

I've seen this one posted on a few other blogs. Absolutely awesome photo.

#560 - Chris Iannetta

#378 - Mark Reynolds

#646 - Los Angeles Dodgers Checklist

#589 - Seattle Mariners Checklist

#334 - St. Louis Cardinals Checklist

#529 - Maicer Izturis

#413 - Derek Holland

#658 - Mitch Maier

#636 - Chris Tillman

#428 - Brett Myers

#446 - Brandon Beachy - Rookie

#391 - Phil Coke

#581 - Fernando Rodney

Not a bad deal all in all. Close to 60 base cards and some inserts I can use for trade bait. I'm keeping the base cards and the Gonzalez/Youkilis insert, anything else is already on my Zistle trade list. Here's what I got when I redeemed my Diamond Giveaway code:

Very cool. I've redeemed 5 codes so far and this is the best card I've gotten by a long shot. I love 1959 Topps, I only hope that when I have this shipped it's in similar condition to the Dick Groat I got last year.

I think collecting Topps' 2011 flagship set will keep me occupied for a while. At least I know when I get the urge to rip a pack I'll actually be able to find it.
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