Thursday, May 30, 2019

Scratchin' That Itch - Buncha Random Packs

It's a cloudy Thursday here in Rhode Island, seems like a good time to grab a few more packs from my recent Wal-Mart 50-packs-for-$20 re-pack.  Like last time, I'm certainly not going to show every card to spill out of these.  Years ago I'd have kept and painstakingly scanned each and every new card from the packs, but these days I'm much more of a minimalist and have been purging cardboard out of my household like crazy.  Kept a few highlights, and the rest have already been boxed up to go out the door to another collector...

Coming out of the gate here with three more junk wax packs, from left to right '89 Donruss, '91 Upper Deck, and '88 Donruss.  1989 Donruss kicked off this purchase on the blog, and it leads off today's post as well.  I did pretty well with the first five packs of it.  Did today's pack yield any keepers?

As a matter of fact, yes it did.  Pulled Yount's Diamond Kings card from this set last time around, and today it's the base card to match.

Got another of the MVP bonus cards, featuring the great Kirby Puckett.

One more keeper from today's '89 Donruss pack.  Fisk is wearing the wrong Sox here, but I won't hold that against him.

The 1991 Upper Deck pack was a pleasant surprise I have to say.  I ended up with a handful that I decided to hold onto, highlighted by this great shot of the ageless Jamie Moyer relaxing by the dugout.

Always fun to pull a Will Clark card, takes me right back to my days as a ten-year-old collector.

This one's not particularly exciting, but it's a HOFer nonetheless and I'm intrigued by that giant Braves cap in the background.

I love the contrast here between the sense you get of Deion Sanders' speed, and the ball-boy sitting lazily in the distance.

Decided to hang onto this one for now as well, just because I'm a sucker for Jeff Bagwell cards of any sort.

Finishing up that first trio of packs is '88 Donruss.  Ended up with a pair of keepers here in another Will Clark...

...and a new to me Red Sox card featuring pitcher Wes Gardner.

Let's take a brief pause from the Wal-Mart re-pack lot and take a look at a loose pack of 2019 Topps Series 1 that I grabbed a week or so ago in a moment of weakness while running some errands in Target.

I didn't expect much of note, and I pretty much got what I expected.  Was able to pull one new Red Sox card at least with this David Price World Series Highlights subset.

The inserts were boring, I guess if I have to show a second card from the pack I'll go with the rookie of Luis Urias, who's played all of 23 MLB games with the Padres over the course of this season and last.  Yeah, it was a dud of a pack to be sure.

Returning to the Wal-Mart lot, let's grab another trio.  Another '91 Upper Deck pack makes an appearance, but this time book-ended by a couple of 2015 Topps Series 1 packs.  This is not a great development for me in that A) the 2015 packs have only five cards each and B) I've nearly completed 2015 Topps Series 1 already.  Well, let's tear in regardless...

The first 2015 pack actually did, against all odds, spit out a single card I needed for my set with this Mike Foltynewicz RC.  I'll take that!

The Upper Deck pack wasn't nearly as exciting as the one above, with the lone highlight being this nice enough classic shot of Ryno.

All five cards in the second 2015 Topps pack were dupes, but I did pull a Joc Pederson RC so I guess that's something?  I realize I'm stretching here.

Here's where the Wal-Mart re-pack kind of takes a turn for the worse.  That's five more packs of 2015 Topps Series 1, and guess what?  All 25 cards contained within were dupes for me.  Into the giveaway pile with these!

Since I don't want to end on that note, I grabbed one more chunk of five packs to rip through before we call it a day for today.  Two more 2015 Topps packs (yuck!), supplemented with a 2010 Topps Update, 2013 Topps Series 2, and an older Upper Deck Future Stars pack.

The Future Stars (which contains just four cards) and 2013 Series 2 (five cards) packs were total duds.  Didn't pull any of the few remaining cards I need from the 2015 packs either, though I did scan one notable card from each...

...your 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich...

...and a Maikel Franco rookie.  Again, didn't need either of these, but at least they're halfway interesting.

Just one keeper from the 2010 Topps Update pack, this beautiful and unique photograph of fan favorite Gabe Kapler.  I don't recall having seen this card in the past, but I'll hang onto it just because the photograph is a breath of fresh air.

Well, that lone 2019 Topps pack aside, that was another 16 packs down out of my Wal-Mart lot, bringing me to 21 packs in total ripped and posted to the blog.  I've ended up with 31 cards that are new keepers for my collection so far.  To be fair though, I'm getting a lot of the less interesting packs or sets that I've nearly completed out of the way first here, so I expect these numbers to improve as I continue through the remaining packs.

I'll be back with another batch of these in a few days, until then thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Pair of Shiny Rookies

Since my posting of a David Krejci card prior to Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals has been scientifically proven to be a major factor in the Bruins winning that game, I might as well keep up the trend for Game 2.  Ahead of tonight's match-up, here are a pair of sparkling rookies, both of whom have made significant contributions in the Bruins' run to the Finals...

From the 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum release, here's an "Ice Blue Traxx" parallel of defenseman Brandon Carlo's RC.  Upper Deck's O-Pee-Chee Platinum releases have consistently had some of the best parallels in the hockey card world since the set's inception a few years back.  Thanks to the e-Pack promotion with COMC, these can be had for relatively cheap coin too.  That small remnant of set collector that still exists within me would love to put together an entire set of these, but as it stands right now Carlo is just my third.

Brandon was a really great second round draft choice (37th overall) for Boston back in 2015.  The hulking (6'5") D-man has been a rock on the Bruins back line for the past three seasons now.  Frequently paired with Zdeno Chara, Carlo has eaten up significant minutes and has already appeared in 230 regular season games across his first three NHL seasons.  He may not have the reputation of a Chara, or the flash of a McAvoy, but he's the type of good defenseman that any NHL club needs, and I hope to see him remain in Boston for a good long while.

Let's move to the offensive side of the game for today's other sparkling rookie, a "Violet Pixels" parallel of Jake DeBrusk's 2017-18 O-Pee-Chee Platinum card.  It scanned alright, but in hand this one is even more bright and shiny than the Ice Blue Traxx card above.

Jake was taken in the same draft as Brandon Carlo, but in the first round.  He was actually the sandwich pick when the Bruins infamously had three straight draft picks in slots 13-15 overall.  DeBrusk is the only one of those three to pan out so far, and he enjoyed a breakout year in his second season with 27 goals in just 68 games played.  As a fan I'll say that he does, at least to me, seem to disappear at times, but his breakout speed is so exciting to watch.  When he's on his mark, he's a scoring threat just about every shift on the ice.

So, there you have it, a couple of bright young Bruins cards.  Let's see if the B's can bring the same energy tonight that they did in the second two periods Monday night and ride it to a 2-0 series lead.  Go Bruins!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

One Card Post - Hammerheads Yelich

What:  2013 Topps Pro Debut #127 - Christian Yelich
Where: Hobby Shop
How Much?:  Quarter box!

Why?:  Threw this one into my quarter box stack a couple of years ago just because I enjoy a good minor league card, and because Yelich seemed like a promising young player at the time.  Certainly looks like a solid quarter box pick-up nowadays!  Wish they would have had his standard Topps Update RC in there, but I'm pleased with this one.

After all, I don't have too many Jupiter Hammerheads cards in my collection!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Killer Krejci - Let's Go Bruins!

Just one card tonight, getting ready to watch the Stanley Cup Finals kick off shortly!  The Boston Bruins will be taking on the St. Louis Blues, and I'll be on the edge of my seat hoping that Boston can bring home their second Stanley Cup during my lifetime as a fan.

I'd be particularly pleased to see my favorite player, David Krejci, raise his second Cup in a week or two here.  I used to be a hardcore Krejci collector, but realized many years back that modern player collecting wasn't really my thing.  I sold off a couple of my nicer Krejci cards to fun a graded Mario Lemieux RC (which I don't regret in the least), but I held on to this beauty and never managed to post it until today:

Oh yeah!  I'm not a big "look at that sick patch!" guy but...look at that patch!  Three different colors and some nice, thick stitching there.  These Rookie Materials relic cards were actually found in the Upper Deck base set in 2007, as they've been for many years, but the patch versions are really scarce.  I'm glad I hung onto this one all these years, because looking around today I couldn't pick up a replacement even if money was no object.  This would be one of my best Krejci cards, period...

...if it weren't for the fact that the patch is "event used".  Cue the sad horns.

A nice looking card nonetheless.  I hope David and the rest of the team come out firing on all cylinders tonight following a lengthy rest after their Easter Conference Finals sweep.

Go Bruins!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Scratchin' That Itch - Five Packs of '89 Donruss

Though most of my hobby purchases in recent years have been hand-picked single cards, I still can't completely resist the allure of the unopened pack.  So, when I heard recently about the 50-for-$20 repacks offered online by Wal-Mart, I grabbed two of them.  100 packs for $40 seemed like a good way to restock my pack stash without breaking the bank.

I won't likely post the contents of that many packs here on the blog, but for starters I grabbed five 1989 Donruss packs to rip.  I'll admit that I grabbed these first to "get them out out of the way", but they actually ended up being more entertaining than I'd figured they would be.

I'm not going to show every common here, just some miscellaneous highlights from across the five packs, like this Ryno.

Crime Dog rockin' the powder blue Toronto uniform.

Skinny Barry!  I've really turned over a new leaf collecting-wise when it comes to Bonds.  Years ago I read Game of Shadows cover to cover and got on my soap box about what a jerk this guy was, and how he ruined the game.  While I still think Hank Aaron is the true home run king, Barry doesn't really bother me anymore, and I even kind of enjoy pulling his cards a bit.

Ozzie Smith was always one of my favorite players to pull back in the day.  As a kid I was enamored by his acrobatic defensive skills.

Here's a card that would have been pretty hot back in '89.  I've already got the McGwire from this set, and this completes my Bash Brothers duo.  Side note, if you have a Netflix subscription there is now a 30-minute rap musical by Andy Samberg about Canseco/McGwire.  It looks so random and hilarious; can't wait to check it out.  Anyone seen it already?

Expos HOF content.

Another one of those stars who was a king of the '80s.  Great cropping of the photograph here.

By contrast, a fairly terrible photograph on Wade Boggs' card.  Still, I'll never turn down a new Wade Boggs, provided he's wearing the proper laundry, as he is here.

This Robin Yount is the best of the two Diamond Kings subset cards I pulled.  Yount has now appeared on the blog for consecutive days.

It's amazing just how many HOFers five packs of cards yielded.

I didn't pull a Griffey Jr Rated Rookie, but I did get a Sheffield!

It looks a bit strange that the Cubs patch on Goose's jersey here is an exact match for the logo in the upper right.  Not that surprising I suppose, but just looks odd.

Oh yeah, I didn't just pull the Canseco base card, but also landed his MVP Bonus Card insert.

Here's my other Diamond King, Big Cat!

Eddie Murray sporting a very orange Orioles jersey, complete with matching wristbands.

'90s hero Joe Carter, from his Cleveland Indians days.

Another pretty solid rookie in Sandy Alomar Jr., who played just a single game in 1988 and won National League Rookie of the Year in 1990.  Sandy had half a dozen All-Star appearances over a 20-year career.  Maybe not good enough for Cooperstown, but certainly good enough to get me to hang onto his rookie card.

We'll close it out for tonight with one of my favorite current color commentators, Dennis Eckersley.  Man those were some powerhouse teams the A's had around the turn of the decade.

Ended up with 18 keeper cards across those five packs, not too shabby at all!  If this is a sign for how my 100 packs are going to go overall, I'll have no problem getting my $40 of value out of this purchase.  I'll have some more packs from this purchase in future posts, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Buyback Franken-set: Nothin' But '90

I better pick up the pace here if I ever hope to finish my Buyback Franken-set, or my 1990 Topps buyback set (which I'm not even sure is possible, but I'm going for it nonetheless).  In an effort to make some progress on both in one fell swoop, let's take a look at ten new 1990 Topps buybacks today.  My franken-set takes priority, but I'm secretly hoping many of these won't make the cut there and can be shuffled into the dedicated 1990 set instead...

1990 Topps #37 - Domingo Ramos

1990 was the end of the line in Major League Baseball for light-hitting infielder Domingo Ramos.  He accumulated just 261 total hits over an 11-year career.  Great news as far as the franken-set goes though, as this is my first #37 buyback and thus makes the binder by default.

Even better, it completes a page!  To me, the best card here is a runaway with that Friendly Foes combo card, but maybe you disagree.

1990 Topps #465 - Kevin Gross

1990 was Kevin Gross' final of two seasons in an Expos uniform.  He'd been a respectable starter with Philadelphia prior, but seemed to slip a bit with Montreal.  His numbers improved when he moved to LA for the 1991 season, so maybe it was just something about Canada?  Believe it or not, this is a brand new number for the franken-set as well...

...and it completes another page!  The Pierce in the lower left has to be my favorite here, but don't overlook that Cy Young winning year Santana buyback across from it.

1990 Topps #390 - Ruben Sierra All-Star

Here's an All-Star subset card, featuring Ruben Sierra.  Ruben had an absolute beast mode season in 1989, leading the league in triples, RBI, slugging percentage and total bases en route to a second place finish for American League MVP.  1990 saw pretty steep drops across the board statistically for Sierra, maybe fatigue was a factor having played in every single game the season prior?  Either way, he'd bounce back and earn more All-Star nominations later in his career.

Already had this Darryl Strawberry All-Star from the '89 set in slot 390.  I like this card quite a bit, so it's going to stay put...

...and Sierra shifts to the 1990 set binder.

1990 Topps #382 - Jeff Musselman

1990 was the final Major League season for 27-year-old Jeff Musselman.  Strictly in a relief role by this point, he finished the year with an ERA well on the wrong side of 5.00 over 32 innings.

This '72 Joe Gibbon already occupies slot 382 in the franken-set binder.  Another easy call here, the Gibbon is a much more interesting card for the franken-set and stays put.

1990 Topps #512 - Gary Pettis

Gary Pettis was known more for his glove than his bat.  In 1990 he earned his fifth and final Gold Glove.  He won it with the Rangers though, not the Tigers, as Texas had signed him as a free agent in the winter of 1989.  Once again we've got some previous competition for the franken-set here...

Dalton Jones, and a decent amount of pre-game activity behind him, already sits snugly in slot 512.  Not a real strong attraction to either card here, so I'll go with the obvious move of keeping Jones in the franken-set...

...and pushing Pettis over to the 1990 set.

1990 Topps #64 - Danny Darwin

Guess who paced the entire National League with a 2.21 ERA in 1990?  Yep, Danny Darwin!  This card seems like a great candidate for the franken-set given that fact, right?  Not so fast...

Speedsters Lou Brock and Bert Campaneris have something to say about that.  This one's a tough call, and had this card not been such a great one I was prepared to shift Darwin into the franken-set.

Gonna stick with Bert & Brock, off to the 1990 binder with Danny.

1990 Topps #86 - Paul Kilgus

Paul Kilgus didn't record a win or loss in 1990, despite giving up 11 earned runs in just 16 innings pitched.  That kind of tells you he likely saw some mop-up duty, and didn't perform particularly well.  A pretty dull buyback all in all, not exactly the finest that 1990 Topps has to offer.

He gets obliterated as far as franken-set competition goes, getting pitted against this 1971 AL Batting Leaders card from 1972 Topps.

No surprises here.

1990 Topps #173 - Tim Belcher

1990 was an off-year in an otherwise stellar five-year stint with the Dodgers to begin his career.  In each of the other four seasons in Dodger blue, Tim finished with a win percentage above .500 and an ERA in the 2.00 range (I had no idea he was that good, even for a short stretch!).  In '90 though, he finished 9-9 with an ERA of 4.00.

John Lowenstein's mighty bat barrel has been resident in slot 173 of the franken-set for a long while.

It'll remain that way, with Belcher strengthening the '90 buyback set instead.

1990 Topps #265 - Pete O'Brien

Pete O'Brien spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Rangers, and the final four with the Mariners.  Sandwiched in between was a lone season in Cleveland, in 1989.  By 1990 he was with Seattle, and his stats were on the decline.  Pete has zero shot at making the franken-set...

...because this killer Robin Yount buyback blocks the way.

Sorry, Pete!

1990 Topps #490 - Dan Plesac

Last buyback for today, pitcher Dan Plesac.  Good Lord this guy got a lot of use over the course of his career.  He appeared in 66 games for the Brew Crew in 1990, and that's not even anywhere near his career high!  Over the course of 18 seasons he appeared well over 1,000 times.  This is my first #490 buyback to date, and enters the Buyback Franken-set by default.

Not a bad run today, three new entrants into the franken-set (two of which completed pages!), and seven cards closer to a 1990 buyback set as well.  I'm hoping to get back to more frequent and regular posting for this project as the summer rolls in here, got plenty ready to go. 

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress: 649/792 (81%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 118/792 (14%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 586
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,353
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