Monday, November 30, 2015

A Double Dose of Kaz

As I did the other day with Nick from Dime Boxes, I'm going to combine a couple of PWEs into a single post here in an effort to catch up a bit on trade packages.  For today I've got a pair from my good friend Mark Kaz of This Way to the Clubhouse fame.

We'll start with the older one first, which showed up at least a couple weeks ago now.  What's this, a Mets card?!?!  I've been (very) slowly chipping away at the 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes set, and Mark was observant enough to notice this card on my Zistle want list.  I love the raindrops coming down in the photograph.

This puzzle piece card from 2008 Opening Day definitely has to be one or the more unique/odd cards Mark has sent my way, but a new Sox card is a new Sox card!  Tracking down all of these and displaying them in a binder page would probably look pretty cool.

From there, let's move to a junk wax era classic, 1993 Upper Deck.  I love the face that Billy Hatcher is making here as he prepares himself for a slide into second base.

My list of Red Sox needs from the 2015 Topps Update set is really starting to dwindle, and I can cross another one off courtesy of this David Ortiz Tape Measure Blasts card.  I can't imagine anyone but a team or player collector would bother chasing these, but I'll take it!

This Trot Nixon is just my second card overall from the 2000 Pacific Paramount set.  Sports cards were about the furthest thing from my mind at the turn of the century, always nice to get new cardboard from this era.

Here's one I know I had as a kid, but was inexplicably missing a copy of in my collection.  Upper Deck did a great job with this Williams hologram, and it even scanned half-way decently to boot.  This one might be the under-rated star of this first PWE!

I have to say that the Prizm hockey releases look so much better since they're able to use the team logos and names.  I know it's not going to happen anytime soon, but I really wish MLB would allow both Upper Deck and Panini to make licensed sets again.

This '94 Finest throwback comes from the 2015 Finest set, and I think Topps did a great job with these.  Takes me right back to the mid-'90s!

Mark even managed to lay another new minor league card on me with this Rafael Orellano.  The Trenton Thunder were the AA affiliate of the Red Sox at the time, so according to my rules/OCD this counts towards my Red Sox collection.

Rounding out the first PWE is this Bob Ojeda Museum Collection parallel.  I know I've said this more than a few times before, but I absolutely love these Dufex beauties, especially the '94 set.  I grabbed quite a few of these during my Black Friday spending spree on COMC over the past weekend, as well as some of the Rink Collection hockey cards from the same year.

The back and forth mailings between Mark and myself have been going at a torrid pace lately, so before I even had a chance to post a thank you for that great PWE another arrived last week.

This one was the standard Red Sox fare that I'm used to, which is great.  It introduced me to an entirely new set with 2000 Skybox Dominion.  As I've said before, the sheer number of sets released in the early 2000s never ceases to amaze me.

Here's an unfamiliar name from 2010 Bowman, Ryan Dent.  Looks like Ryan advanced as far as AAA within the Red Sox system, but is now with the Cubs organization.  Theo Epstein must see something in him, because he was in charge when the Sox drafted him, and was also influential in signing him to the Cubs' system before the 2015 season.

Another new Upper Deck All-Time Heroes card courtesy of Mark!  This is one of those sets I enjoy so much that I could see myself expanding beyond just the Sox and trying for the complete set.  Beautiful design, and who doesn't like some quality black and white photos from the game's past?

Speaking of black and white photos, here's a shot of Boomer Wells against a backdrop of the Boston skyline.  Maybe not the most inspired Donruss Studio design of all-time, but I always liked Wells during his time in Boston.

Stefan Bailie's pro baseball career was plagued by injury, leading to his retirement in 2005.  He had advanced as high as AA Portland in the Red Sox farm system.

A nice Pinnacle rookie of Scott Hatteberg.  I like the Opening Day bunting in the background of this photo.

This is sort of my first Morgan Burkhart Red Sox card.  I have two others, but one is a minor league release and the other is a shared card with another player.  I guess now I can finally, and properly, cross him off my all-time Red Sox list.

I can't believe this is true, but Mark included a little note with this PWE that said this appears to be my first Gabe Kapler card, and sure enough it is!  The funny part is that a while back I picked up a lot of Kapler cards on eBay, figuring I could keep any Red Sox ones and send the rest to Mark for his collection of Gabes.  Well, when it showed up there wasn't a single Sox card in the lot, so I ended up shipping them all to Mark.  Now he's returned the favor!

Last card for today is this obnoxiously over-foiled Metal Universe Mike Stanley.  I can see how these sets might be way too busy for a lot of collectors, but to me they're a definite collecting guilty pleasure.  Maybe it's got something to do with being a child of the late '80s/'90s, but I really dig these.

Mark, thanks as always, it's been a pleasure trading with you in 2015 and I hope we can continue our PWE reciprocation for many years to come!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Box of Update - Part 3

Before I move onto other things, it's about time I wrapped up my lone hobby box of 2015 Topps Update.  It's been an enjoyable box so far, knocking out a great chunk of my set and providing some good trade bait as well.  Let's see the highlights from the final 12 packs...

Highlights from Pack 25

Finally got an Addison Russell rookie that wasn't an image variation.

Future PWE fodder for Joe Shlabotnik...

Trade bait!

Highlights from Pack 26

Since I know my buddy Mark Kaz likes the Gold parallels in particular, this one will be shipped off his way in the coming weeks...

Not much of note aside from the Gold parallel in this pack, but I did get 8 new base cards that I needed, including this perfectly timed shot of Ezequiel Carrera.

Highlights from Pack 27

Mike Kekich's '76 Topps release is my third buyback of the box.  Not terribly exciting, though I do enjoy these on the whole.

Biggio here's already in my trade box...

Highlights from Pack 28

I would say this has to be one of the better Gold parallels you could pull, right?  I'll be hanging onto this one, probably a top five pull from the box overall.  This was a pretty stacked pack, too.  In addition to the Trout it also contained the one Snow Camo parallel I pulled:

These are serial numbered to /99 copies, and while I do like the design, Joey Butler is not really of interest to me.  I'd be up for trading this one for a cool Sox card.

Highlights from Pack 29

Rainbow foil.  Up for trade.

The buybacks really fell heavy in the final third of the box.  This one's a keeper for sure, as I love both '71 Topps and the Montreal Expos.  Certainly could have done a lot worse than this for a buyback.

Yup, I got two more of these damaged cards in this final portion of the box.

Highlights from Pack 30

Yet another buyback.  Splittorff was coming off a 20-win season in 1973, and how about that outfit?

No real interest in keeping this one, trade bait!

Here's the base version of that Trout I pulled the Gold parallel of...

Highlights from Pack 31

Trade bait.

Trade bait.

Highlights from Pack 32

Trade bait.

Oh man!  This is probably the card of the box.  A nice Black parallel of Mets rookie hurler Steven Matz.  What a beauty, and numbered to /64 to boot!  Gonna hang onto this one, at least for a while, as I've wanted a nice rookie of Matz for my collection since he spilled onto the scene this summer.  I didn't expect to pull a Black parallel at all, much less one this interesting.

Pack 32 was a great one, in addition to the Black Matz it also produced probably the most sought after base card in the set.  Nice not to have to track this one down on the secondary market.  I love the photograph selection.

Highlights from Pack 33

Trade bait.

Highlights from Pack 34

I'm just showing a few base cards here and there, but I did very well with this box in terms of chasing the set.  Out of the giant stack of base cards I ended up with, only 15-20 were dupes.  Can't beat that!

Trade bait.

Highlights from Pack 35

A buyback snuck into the penultimate pack, and it's another '71 too.  I wouldn't mind hanging onto this one, but Nick if you read this and would like it let me know, I definitely owe you one from the Red Sox team checklist buyback you shipped me!

This pack also delivered my guaranteed hit.  I'll probably end up mailing this off to The Underdog Card Collector whenever I get another package together for him.

Highlights from Pack 36

Finally, an insert that I plan on keeping!  Since Babe is pictured with the Braves here I'll be hanging onto this one.

How cool is this?  The very last pack I opened yielded what was probably my #1 overall favorite card of the entire break (though that Matz is certainly close).  This is one of the better buyback cards in my collection, and you couldn't ask for much more as a Red Sox fan.  Rico was signing at the show I hit up on Friday, and part of me is regretting not bringing this one up to have it signed.

In any event, this was certainly a fun box.  To me, the trifecta of the Petrocelli buyback, Matz Black parallel, and Eduardo Rodriguez Gold rookie made this an absolute win.  I don't open much new wax compared to a lot of collectors, but I thought this was every bit as enjoyable as my box of 2015 Stadium Club, and that's saying a lot!

I know I owe a couple of you cards that you've claimed in the last two posts.  Let me know if you see anything here and I'll try my best to reach out to everyone this coming week.  Bear with me, I haven't forgotten about you, just a little hectic this time of year.

Alright, that's a wrap, thanks for reading as always!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Canadian Whalers & Sox

Before I get to the rest of my haul from yesterday's card show, I've got some catching up to do in the trade post department.  A quick and easy one here to get the ball rolling, featuring a nice PWE that made its way to my mailbox all the way from Canada a few weeks ago.

Whalers cards from Canada can mean only one thing, another trade package from Douglas at Sports Cards from the Dollar Store.  Douglas has increased my Whalers collection more than any other trader, and his envelopes are always spot on.

This particular PWE led off with a trio of Hartford players from the Canadian version of the '90-91 Score set.  Three players who were a big part of the team during my childhood days too!

It's amazing how quickly card production techniques evolved in the '90s, isn't it?  It's hard to believe that these beautiful '95-96 Select Limited Edition cards came out just 5 years after the Score cards that led off the post.

These are really impressive in hand.  Nice, thick card stock and they reflect the light much better than they come across in my crude scans.

Douglas managed to include a couple of Whalers cards from the height of the junk wax era that I can hardly believe I didn't already have, but sure enough I didn't.  This card is sort of a visual representation of the trade that brought Eric to Hartford (along with Sean Burke), but sent a very talented player to New Jersey in Bobby Holik.

Closing out the Whalers portion of the package is the other card I can't believe I didn't have already, a '92-93 Parkhurst Andrew Cassels.  Actually, looking at my collection on Zistle it seems as though I have very few of these overall.

Douglas made a nice contribution to my Red Sox collection with this delivery as well.  He must have come upon a nice stash of Bowman Chrome recently, because there were quite a few in this envelope.

Definitely my favorite out of the Red Sox cards that were included.  I love the image of a floating Dustin Pedroia that Topps used on his 2012 flagship card, and will never get tired of obtaining new versions of this one.

Another Bowman Chrome, featuring a guy who I foresee as maybe the #5 starter this coming season, depending on whether further trades take place.  Still very young.

I'm not sure Ty Buttrey will ever make the big league club, as he struggled a bit in high A ball this past year at age 22.  Still grateful for the card though.

Finally, my very first taste of 2015 Topps Heritage Minors.  Definitely some uncertainty here with Kopech, who earned himself a nice 50-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs this past summer.

Thanks for the cards Douglas, and sorry for taking so long to post them.  I promise I'll be quicker with the bubble mailer of Expo goods that arrived recently, and I did manage to send a return PWE off to you a few days ago...
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