#TBT part 2

23 01 2017

I really like what Topps has done with their online offerings this year.  Yes, they are a tad bit expensive.  And, yes, they’re not cutting out any other product to do this stuff.  But Topps Now is, to me, a phenomenal idea.  I wish it was half the price, for sure, but the way the multiples work you could theoretically buy 3-5 of one card and sell them on eBay to defray the cost.  Either way, the fact you could go to a game, and the next day potentially buy a card with a picture from that game?  Great idea.

Throwback Thursday is the other thing they’ve done.  I purchased a couple of these during the season – the first TBT set Topps did, and I’ve bought up cards of Griffey/Piazza from the HOF induction.

I also bought one Topps did right at the end of the season.  This set caught my eye because it’s mimicking a white whale for Topps collectors.  In 1990, Topps made a card for then-President George Bush.  It’s a card I’d love to own someday, but the price will probably deter that from ever happening.  I wrote a bit about it here.  But at the end of last year, Topps did a 6-card TBT card set of former presidents this year, which was pretty cool.  It took the theme of “Presidents attending MLB games”.  So I ponied up the $19.99 and got a set.

2016-topps-tbt-90t-presidents

One thing to note on these – they are very thick, which is nice considering the cost.  But they warp like 2010 Topps Chrome, which is surprising for this type of card.

I’m hopeful the new administration will surprise people.  Because of things like Dodd Frank, government has become so unnecessarily big that I believe it’s a drag on our economy.  At the same time, I’m hoping common sense prevails and the progress we’ve made in civil liberties isn’t undone.

 





#TBT

11 08 2016

A little while ago I bought into another one of Topps internet ideas.  On some level, I feel like a sucker, but I do think these things are pretty cool.

Last year, Topps started generating various 5 x 7 sets with a throwback theme.  These are usually numbered between 50 and 199, with a couple of rarer (1/1) variations available.  I bought the set of the 1990 Reds and one that has Ken Griffey Jr’s full run of Topps cards.  I think they typically run $19.99 for the cheaper stuff.

This year, they came out with Topps Now, which is a real-time effort at producing season highlight cards.  Each day, they pick a few highlights from the day before and memorialize them on a card.  You have 24 hours to buy the card, and however many orders come in are the number printed.  It’s $9.99 per card, including shipping, or $29.99 for 5 cards (you can’t mix and match cards of a given day).  I bought the first Reds card available and then bought a card if Ichiro passing Pete Rose for the most hist as a professional.  And I’m also gonna buy an Ichiro 3K card on eBay (I missed the Topps Now day) when I get around to it.

Next up, Topps started doing Throwback Thursday.  It’s a neat idea – once a week, they pick out an old set, then they do 6 cards of players and throw them on that set design.  They have been doing it for quite a while now.  I bought a set the 2nd week, which was done in the design of the 1955 Bowman “TV” set.  It’s pretty neat, and in all honesty, doing a set like this once a week is better than doing 4 to 6 cards a day for Topps Now.

2016 Topps Throwback Thursday

Here’s the set.  I actually bought 3, 1 to keep and 2 for speculative purposes because it’s only a bit more to get the 2 more sets.

I am also piecing together the Griffey / Piazza Hall of Fame set that came.





2015 Goodwin Champions box break #3

8 08 2016

2016 Goodwin box

This is my third box of 2016 Goodwin Champions, though I should have stayed at 2 if I’d have paid attention to how small the base set was.  These were all doubles.  

That said, let me show off 3 of the coolest base cards.  As I’ve mentioned (complained), they just don’t have any big names outside of cards #1-5.  But these cards are at least cool photos – all of them are horizontal.  The first one is David Boudia, who is a diver.  Boudia won gold in the 10 meter platform diving 4 years ago.  He’s going back to Rio after winning the U.S. trials in the event.  The picture is from the 2013 FINA World Championships – that’s Barcelona in the background.  

2016 Goodwin Boudia diver

Next up is Aly Raisman, who won 2 gold medals in 2012 – she took the top spot in the Floor competition, and was captain of the Women’s team champions.  She will also be back in Rio.

2016 Goodwin Aly Raisman

Finally, the next is Sasha Digiulian, a rock climber who has won a number of titles in the PanAm games.  There are a few rock climbers and it is a cool sport to highlight.

2016 Goodwin Sasha DiGulian climber

Here are the SP cards I got – 5 of them just as the previous 2 boxes.  These are all new ones, so at least I got 15 cards toward the 50 SP’s in my boxes.

2016 Goodwin box 3 SPs

Here are the minis.  I got the same as the other boxes – so no rare mini.  5 regulars, 2 canvas.

2016 Goodwin box 3 minis

2016 Goodwin box 3 mini canvas

Here are the Goudey inserts.  I got another female trail blazer in Danica Patrick in these cards.

2016 Goodwin Goudey box 3

I again got a card of a “Supernatural” as one of my hits.  For the third and last time – this shouldn’t be considered a hit.  It’s an insert card, and kind of neat – but not a hit.  It’s Faunus, the horned god of the forest, plain and fields from Roman mythos.  This one had odds of over 1,000.

2016 Goodwin Supernaturals Faunus

The one autograph I got in this box was kind of cool – it’s these Museum Collection cards that have WWII veterans signing them.  Cool to read on the back that Mates fought the Japanese in Guam as a Marine.

2016 Goodwin Museum Signatures Don Mates

It’s always great to pay tribute to our history, and particularly to our troops.  And while this is pretty cool, it also kind of feels like when the NFL honors veterans but gets paid to do so.  My grandfather was a WWII vet – so I try to think of it this way – I’d love it if he got a card!

Last up is the memorabilia card – Justin Gatlin.  I mentioned in my previous post that I think UD could have gone with an Olympic theme.  They did have a bunch more Olympians than I thought – but still not even as good as some prior years when big names like Michael Phelps were included.

Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack – 4 cards from packs with relics = 96 cards

76 of the 100 card base set (77% set completion)

  • 5 SP cards

81 of the 150 card full set (54% set completion)

  • 5 Minis
  • 2 Mini Canvas
  • 5 Goudey
  • 1 Supernaturals
  • 1 Memorabilia (J. Gatlin)
  • 1 Museum Collection Signatures

Including all three boxes:

  • 100 / 100 of the base cards (100%)
  • 115 / 150 of the full set (76%)




2016 Goodwin Champions box break #2

7 08 2016

2016 Goodwin box

Next up is my second box of Goodwin Champions.  This box didn’t have a bigger hit like the first box – in fact, all 3 were pretty minor.

 

I did get a relic, which I didn’t get last box.  It’s Miesha Tate, who beat Holly Holm after Holm beat Ronda Rousey for the bantamweight belt in UFC.  I knew who this was.  I was bashing this product for having fringe sports, and while this card probably makes that point more than not, she isn’t a complete unknown either.

2016 Goodwin Memorabilia Miesha Tate

Next up was my autograph.  Tom Shields.  I definitely didn’t know who this was.  He’s an Olympian this year.  Which got me thinking – I feel like Goodwin could have saved this product if they had gone with some type of Olympic theme.

2016 Goodwin auto Tom Shields

The last “hit” didn’t used to be considered a hit.  It’s the Supernatural insert set, and in this case the God is Baal.  I think this is pronounced “Bail” – and I kind of remember him as a pagan God from the Bible.  Kind of interesting.

2016 Goodwin Supernaturals Baal

OK, so that’s the hits, so here’s the rest of the box.  I finished up the non-SP portion of the set with this box, so I’ll have a lot of doubles of some people I’ve never heard of!

Here’s the SP cards I got.  I’ve heard of the first 2.

 

2016 Goodwin box 2 SPs

And here are the minis.  Same as the first box, I got 5 regular minis.

2016 Goodwin box 2 minis

And I got 2 Canvas minis

2016 Goodwin box 2 canvas minis

Next up are the Goudey inserts.  I got 5 of these as you’re supposed to.

2016 Goodwin box 2 Goudey

 

Below are the “stats” for the box.

I got 21 cards toward the set from this box – finishing that part of the set for me.  I need 40 SP cards to finish the whole thing.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack -4 cards (in packs with hits) = 96 cards

76 of the 100 card base set (78% set completion)

  • 5 SP cards

81 of the 150 card full set (54% set completion)

  • 5 Minis
  • 2 Mini Canvas
  • 5 Goudey
  • 1 Supernatural
  • 1 Memorabilia (M. Tate)
  • 1 Autograph (T. Shields)

Including the first box:

  • 100 / 100 of the base cards (100%)
  • 110 / 150 of the full set (73%)




2016 Goodwin Champions box break #1

5 08 2016

I’ve collected the Goodwin Champions set ever since Upper Deck lost its MLB license and came out with this product back in 2011.  It’s a retro set that was originally based on a set from almost 130 years ago – retro products always hook me and I love the design of the original Goodwin Champions from 1888.  It’s Upper Deck, and honestly I kind of missed them being in the game.  It’s a multi-sport set, but I viewed it as a way to get something different that still had a baseball background.  And some of the non-base cards were always interesting.

2016 Goodwin box

I’ve enjoyed it every year, and I usually buy 3 boxes.  I have a little buyer’s remorse after this year.  Here’s a look at the base card design.  I like the design, and though it does kind of infringe upon Allen & Ginter, I think it’s well done.

2016 Goodwin Aito Iguchi

That’s not the problem.  UD is just getting to where their player list is a problem.  The non-SP part of the set is 100 cards, but it’s really 50 cards.  Because the second 50 cards are a mirror of the players from the first set – with different pictures.  And the next 150 cards have the same 50 players.  Sorry, but that’s just not OK.  At least not at $85 a box.

It’s basically these 5 big names, and then a lot of fringe sports.

2016 Goodwin Jordan Gretzky Tiger Lebron Lemieuz

Sorry – but cards like this:

2016 Goodwin Paige VanZant

while interesting, don’t make me want to buy this set.

They still had some really big names last year aside from those 5 guys – Shaq, Emmitt Smith, Rory McIlroy, Griffey, Carl Lewis, Jerry Rice.  But for some reason, it just fell of a cliff this year.

Here’s the SP cards that I got in this box.  Glavine, by the way, is the only baseball player out of the 50 athletes.

2016 Goodwin box 1 SPs

Goodwin has mini cards – you get 7 in a box.  I got 5 regular, which have a gold border and actually look pretty nice.

2016 Goodwin box 1 minis

And 2 canvas minis.

2016 Goodwin box 1 canvas minis

Here’s the Goudey insert set that has been included over the past few years.  It does kind of look like it could be from the 1930’s, but, again – the player selection just isn’t there this year.

2016 Goodwin box 1 Goudey

There was a 3D, sportflics-like insert set called “Supernaturals”.  Last year it was “Game of Chance, the year before it was “Monsters”, this year its mythological gods.  This one is Eshu, who acts as a messenger between Gods and mortals, but also likes the occasional prank.  The 3-D effect on these cards is really cool.  It looks fuzzy in the scan, but in person I definitely like the effect.

An additional way Upper Deck has stripped value out of this compared to the prior year.  This counts as a hit – in the past the equivalent set did not.

2016 Goodwin Supernaturals Eshu

My autograph wasn’t anything to write home about.  This is Goudey version for Christie Rampone, who was a former captain of the U.S. soccer team and is still playing professionally at 41.  I like the subscript to her signature – wish more athletes did that.2016 Goodwin Goudey auto Christie Rampone

I also got a Museum Collection Relic – the 2016 historical era is World War II.  Now this is considered a pretty big pull – they’re going for around $150 on eBay.  I guess I could have offered it up on there – but I’m all for using these things, so I went online and redeemed it.  It’s for a booklet relic, which is 1:1,293 packs.  I could get sand from Iwo Jima, pieces of German or U.S. helmets, or pieces of military uniforms.  Kind of weird in some ways, but kind of cool in others.

2016 Goodwin box 1 museum booklet redemption

Below are the “stats” for the box.

20 packs per box * 5 cards per pack – 1 card in the Supernatural pack = 100 cards

79 of the 100 card base set (79% set completion)

  • 5 SP cards

84 of the 150 card full set (56% set completion)

  • 5 Minis
  • 2 Minis Canvas
  • 5 Goudey
  • 1 Super Naturals
  • 1 Goudey Auto (Rampone)
  • 1 Museum Collection Booklet Redemption




Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers

9 07 2016

This is my 5th insert set completed from 2013 Topps Heritage.  Basically, I’ve now knocked out all the easy ones – both Flashbacks sets, Then & Now, Memorable Moments and now New Age Performers.  What I’m still passively going for are the Bazooka (retail only and rare) and Giants (box topper and rare) sets.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Top current players whose past performances have eclipsed the giants of the past″.  The set jumped from 15 cards to 30 cards this year.

The front shows a waist-above cropper photo of a current Major League star with a colored diamond and white background.  The player’s team name is shown in large capital letters at the top, mirroring the 1964 Topps set.  The Topps Heritage logo sits just below that in the white area.  The back also mirrors the 1964 Topps set as far as color scheme and font.  There is a write-up to the right that compares the “New Age” player to someone who was a star 48 years ago (i.e., Adrian Beltre is compared to Brooks Robinson based on Robinson’s 1964 season), with a few selected 2012 and career statistics of the current player and a cartoon at the bottom.

Set composition:  30 cards, 1:8 odds (2013 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  None – as they’re all active players.  Though there are a lot of Hall of Famers mentioned on the back.

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from my 2 hobby boxes
  • 5 cards from trades
  • 9 cards from Sportlots
  • 8 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 2 cards from Check Out My Cards

Card that completed my set: #NAP-YD – Yu Darvish

As I mention above, there are twice as many cards this year.  Which is probably why it was the last of the “easier” insert sets for me to complete in 2013 Topps Heritage.  The cards are easier to come by on a per pack basis, but 30 cards is a lot.

I got the last card as part of a Black Friday COMC purchase in 2014.  Yes, I’m over a year behind!

Thoughts on the set:  I like the design on this one.  The 1964 Topps design lends itself to a number of derivations, so I’ve liked most of the insert sets from 2013 Heritage.  That said, I wish they’d kept it at 15 cards.  And I definitely wish they had numbered the card set instead of “lettered” it.

And finally, the cartoon at the bottom is the same for every card!

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers cartoon back

Best card (my opinion): #NAP-MT – Mike Trout

I would tend to not pick the most notable player in the set (which Trout probably is, at least in today’s baseball world).  But he’s shown on the basepaths, which is a much better picture for this particular set.  And the comparison on the back is Mickey Mantle.  Every time I see Mike Trout, I think “that must be what Mickey Mantle was like, minus the torn up knee.”

Best Reds card: There are none.  Which is ridiculous.  The Reds were arguably the best team in baseball in 2012 – I always felt like they blew their best chance at a World Series in that San Francisco series.  So having no player in this set is bad form!

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete_0001

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete_0002

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete_0003

Any other tidbits:  Here are the comparisons on the back.

  • Adrian Beltre – Brooks Robinson
  • Andrew McCutchen – Tony Oliva
  • Albert Pujols – Orlando Cepeda
  • Billy Butler – Ron Santo
  • Bryce Harper – Tony Conigliaro
  • Buster Posey – Joe Torre
  • Curtis Granderson – Leon Wagner
  • Clayton Kershaw – Sandy Koufax
  • David Price – Jim Kaat
  • David Wright – Dick Allen
  • Felix Hernandez – Jim Bunning
  • Gio Gonzalez – Mickey Lolich
  • Joe Mauer – Elston Howard
  • Justin Verlander – Don Drysdale
  • Kris Medlen – Gaylord Perry
  • Miguel Cabrera – Harmon Killebrew
  • Matt Cain – Bob Gibson
  • Matt Kemp – Willie Mays
  • Manny Machado – Ed Kranepool
  • Mike Trout – Mickey Mantle
  • Prince Fielder – Jim Gentile
  • Ryan Braun – Frank Robinson
  • Robinson Cano – Billy Williams
  • R.A. Dickey – Hoyt Wilhelm
  • Starlin Castro – Lou Brock
  • Stephen Strasburg – Dean Chance
  • Wade Miley – Whitey Ford
  • Yoenis Cespedes – Rico Carty
  • Yu Darvish – Juan Marichal
  • Yadier Molina – Tim McCarver




2016 Topps Archives – the hits

14 06 2016

I got 2 autographs, just like you’re supposed to, in my 2016 Archives box.  I didn’t get any of the insert theme autographs like Father-Son or Topps Super.  It would have been especially cool if I could have pulled a Bull Durham auto, but nobody on this planet ever really chooses each other.

I did get 2 of the Fan Favorite Autographs.  The first one was a regular version of Charlie Hayes.  Hayes is card #308 in the SP portion of the set, this is just the autographed version of that card.

2016 Topps Archives FF Auto Charlie Hayes

The other card I got was the blue version of Miguel Sano’s autograph.  This is #/199, which I bet isn’t that much rarer than the regular versions of the autographed cards.  Sano’s regular card is in the 1991 portion of the set.

2016 Topps Archives FF Auto Miguel Sano 83

There are 45 of those Fan Favorite autographs.  The guys who aren’t in the regular set are:

  • FFA-AB Andy Benes 89
  • FFA-BB Bob Boone 79
  • FFA-BC Bert Campaneris 71
  • FFA-BS B.J. Surhoff 89
  • FFA-BW Billy Wagner 90 (not a really FFA – he didn’t start playing until 1995)
  • FFA-CE Carl Everett 90 (not a really FFA – he didn’t start playing until 1993)
  • FFA-DS Darryl Strawberry 86
  • FFA-EP Eduardo Perez 90 (jumping the gun – he didn’t start playing until 1993)
  • FFA-FH Frank Howard 71
  • FFA-FT Fernando Tatis 83 (not a really FFA – he didn’t start playing until 1997)
  • FFA-JB Jeff Burroughs 71
  • FFA-JK Jim Kaat 71
  • FFA-JL Javy Lopez 91 (also not really a FFA – he made his debut in 1992)
  • FFA-JN Jeff Nelson 85 (he also didn’t start playing until 1992)
  • FFA-JR J.R. Richard 79
  • FFA-JV Jose Vizcaino 89
  • FFA-MA Moises Alou 86
  • FFA-PH Pat Hentgen 91
  • FFA-RB Ron Blomberg 71
  • FFA-RF Rollie Fingers 71
  • FFA-RM Rick Monday 71
  • FFA-SA Sandy Alomar, Jr. 90
  • FFA-SAJ Sandy Alomar, Sr. 71
  • FFA-SG Steve Garvey 79
  • FFA-TF Terry Francona 84
  • FFA-TH Teddy Higuera 86
  • FFA-VL Vern Law 53