Monday, May 11, 2020

My take on 2020 Topps Heritage

Ah... the sweet smell of vintage baseball cards. Well, modern vintage. I'm talking about 2020 Topps Heritage baseball of course. Doing their version of 1971 Topps. Those glorious black borders. Made all the more tremendous after the horridly dull grey borders or the previous year.

As with any new release, I'm sure the blogging world has dissected this set to death already. However, I wasn't around then, so I'll just pretend I'm breaking new, never talked about before, ground. (Never talked about before ground??? Hmmm... I've been away too long) 

I opened a box, and was disappointed in what I found.... but I'll talk about that at the end. First, pictures!

Here we go … A Brave! Mr. Jackson showing how to throw a fastball. Grip it and rip it Luke.

Vlad Jr. The savior. According to the national sports networks here in Canada, they should be holding his enshrinement ceremonies in Cooperstown as soon as the lock down is over. Love that rookie trophy though.

A parking lot background! Wait. Wasn't that in 1973? Did Topps pull a boo boo here? I don't remember a parking lot background in the original set... Anyone care to corrext me on that one?

I do like the rookie cards set up like this.... A nice bold design with no annoying rookie logo disrupting the card front.

I've always loved leader cards. It's a great way to be able to acquire superstar Hall of Famer cards from their playing days at a somewhat affordable price compared to their regular base card.
(anyone of you familiar with Verlander's wife knows why he's always smiling)

YES! Horrible photoshop on a 2020 card. I hope Topps did a horrible job on purpose because they were trying to remind everyone of back in the day... They did... I'm sure.... Right?

Speaking of photoshop.... Yikes. Since when has Topps just cut ballplayers out of their existing surroundings and layered them over a new background???? Card after card after card I found where it was a cut and paste job. They haven't always done that with Heritage, have they? Yeeesh.

A DeGrom sighting on Tatooine. Who was it that collected Tatooine cards? Someone did. GCRL maybe? I dunno.

But I do know that it's not quite as epic as this......

Do they still make Royal Crown ????

By the way, that is my Ryan from my set. Only my set is of course, O-Pee-Chee. Which, as any card collector knows, is far superior to the Topps version because of this....

Oh! The backs! The great OPC backs! Whether it's 1971 or 1991.... OPC card backs were fantastically greater. Not too mention, readable.

Overall I really like the cards. They look good and a nice feel.  It was a fun opening, looking at the pictures, trying to figure out which one was an homage to anything in the '71 set. Decent player selection.
What I didn't love was the collation. Close to thirty duplicates. When you cannot get a base set out of one box, receiving duplicates is a sin. It's not that difficult to have an algorithm set to prevent this. It is already an overpriced product. No way you should have to pay $115 a box for this when Series 1 can be had for $89. Especially considering chasing down the 100 short print high number cards seeded at only 8-9 per box.

But, we're suckers. Topps knows this and doesn't care. Thankfully after a couple of swaps over the last week or so I think I'm damn close to having the base set. Still sitting at 9 of the high numbers though. It's tough to swap for those when you don't get duplicates.
Oh well... it's not a race, right?

What say you? Heritage, Hell Yeah or Nah? Did you open any? Who's chasing the set?

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Spahn is a Giant!

One of the neat little things I've acquired lately is a card of the Great Warren Spahn. Capital "G". 
Ok, so it's not so little. It's big. Like, giant. A 1964 Topps Giant in fact.

These are fantastic cards. And can be had for cheap. A Spahn like this one, in near mint condition can be had for under $5. Unless you live outside of the U.S. In which case American sellers will charge you a MINIMUM of $24 shipping for just one card.
But that's post for another time.

I recently read a post about someone laying the smack on modern cards. They're garbage. They're the same every year, etc... I think it was Owl, maybe? Anyway, the point is, is that I can't argue. Sure I want the shiny new cards of Freddie and Ronald. But …… after I get them and they go in the binder.... that's usually the end of it. That's where the appreciation stops. Where if I find a 1965 Topps #487 Woody Woodward (still missing that one), I'll coo over it for weeks. AND I'll revisit said card repeatedly over the next few months. I'll remember how and where I got it. How good it made me feel to fit it in it's home. It's not a binder. It's a home.

Maybe that's just me.

So for those not familiar with the 1964 Topps Giant series, it's a 60 cards set, including 7 short prints.
For size comparison, Tom Glavine popped by to help out.

Do any of you have any of these at home in your collection?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A journey to the dark side....

Way back in the day, I ranted about graded cards. I didn't like them. I still don't like them. But despite what my girlfriend says, I'm not a dinosaur.
I understand the need for them. The hobby is changing. And graded cards are where it's heading. Heck, it's already there. 
In an online world, buying and selling graded cards is easy. No muss, no fuss. Each party knows exactly what the value is. With raw cards? Not so much. Extremely subjective. 
Now don't misunderstand me... I'm not running around acquiring these hunks of plastic all willy nilly. But I'm not cracking them out of their cases like I used to either.
Well, almost never.

There are a few exceptions... like when I literally trip over one at a local card show that slides into my wheelhouse. 

There it was. And cheap too. I had no idea just how cheap until much later. I now feel bad about it. If I run into the seller again, I might throw some cash his way. Somehow a hockey collector ended up with a baseball card and didn't know what it was worth. Being junk wax, I mistakenly assumed it was priced correctly.
Ah well, I was probably going to hell anyway.

What say you? Do you like graded cards? Do you crack them out of their wee prisons?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Card Show Pick Ups....

One of the advantages to not having blogged in a significant amount of time, is that I do have fodder to share. Provided I can find it again....
I present to you a find at the last card show in these parts before the world ended.

Whoa. My scanner dislikes cards in holders. Steve looks a wee blurry.
Anyway, Mr. Avery was sitting there, looking all lonely amongst a plethora of modern hockey singles. Our eyes met, we shared a moment, and he came home with me.
All for $5.
Kinda like Tinder.

For those of you younger than the t-shirt I'm currently wearing, Steve was the number four starter for the Braves for many years.
Behind Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine. So yeah, he never really got much of an opportunity.
He was an All Star in '93, winning 18 games.

But I'll always remember him for his post season heroics. Especially in the 1991 NLCS against Pittsburgh. He held the first place Pirates scoreless over 16 1/3 innings. One of the best "where the hell did that guy come from?" moments that everyone loves.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Your Topps 2020 Braves! Uh.... 2021? 2020 1/2?

Awhile back, when there was still optimism in the world and the only threat was that winter would never end, Topps put out their latest "effort" in 2020 Series 1. As per usual, the card design and quality is crap. But that's for another discussion.
Also, as per usual, I tried to grab as many of the Bravos as I could. (there's no way I'm wasting money on the rest of this set) Let's see who I've managed to acquire...

Shane Greene. Pitcher. May be our closer. He's no Kimbrel, but I do like the high socks.

Dansby Swanson. Shortstop. Put together a nice year last season. I like him.

Was the photographer trying to do one of these and just got his angles wrong?
(Photo of 1991 Topps Weiss ganked from the interwebs as I have no idea where my set is to scan it)

Charlie Culberson. 2B? LF? PH? Just one of those guys that plays anywhere when needed.
Got him from the Dodgers in the Kemp deal. Free agent as of last December. Shouldn't have a card.

Tyler Flowers. Catcher. Re-signed as a free agent to back up Brian McCann. No. Travis D'Arnoud?

Ron Acuna. CF. The Headcase himself. Let's hope he pulls it together and stops getting benched for swollen empty head syndrome.

Nick Markakis. RF. This guy's still alive? Wasn't his rookie card in '84 Donruss? No. Wait. That was Nick Esasky. I've been away from this too long.....

Julio Teheran. SP. Julio!!! Going to love watching Julio tutor the young starters like Soroka this year. A great pitcher.
What? They didn't sign him? He's in the Inferior League now with Anaheim? uh... California... uh... Los Angeles?

Luke Jackson. RP.  According to the back of Luke's Topps card, Luke is the Braves closer. Someone might want to pass that along to Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Will Smith. Maybe Brian Snitker while they're at it.

The Braves. Featuring Johan Camargo. Not sure if I'm comfy with him at third this season.

Austin Riley. LF. 3B. Oh Austin.... you came out swinging. Find that again, won't you?

Billy Hamilton. OF. He garnered a grand total of 26 appearances before being jettisoned off to the Giants. And yet here he is. Should not have a card.

Mike Soroka. SP. Let the pigeons loose! Hark! The Angels sing! (Not a Teheran pun, promise) The Man Himself. Lives just down the street from me. Calgary's own! Thank you Chris Reitsma.

So those are the base cards. Let's see what inserts I'm missing....

SP Variations
47 Chipper Jones
150 Ronald Acuna Jr.
SSP Variations
150 Ronald Acuna Jr.
156 Hank Aaron

Meh... Not too worried about those. Although maybe the Chippah...

1985 Topps Baseball
85-7 Chipper Jones
85-8 Dale Murphy
85-9 Hank Aaron
85-10 Mike Soroka
85-11 Ozzie Albies
85-12 Ronald Acuña Jr.

Alright, those could be cool....

Decade’s Best
DB-4 Hank Aaron – Milwaukee Braves
DB-5 Warren Spahn – Milwaukee Braves
DB-12 Eddie Mathews – Milwaukee Braves
DB-20 Hank Aaron – Milwaukee Braves
DB-40 Phil Niekro
DB-47 Dale Murphy
DB-59 Chipper Jones
DB-67 Chipper Jones
DB-77 Tom Glavine
DB-78 John Smoltz

Again, interested... I already have one of the Chippers

Decade’s Next
DN-2 Austin Riley
DN-5 Ronald Acuña Jr.
DN-16 Ozzie Albies
DN-30 Mike Soroka
Home Run Challenge
HRC-2 Ronald Acuña Jr.
HRC-4 Freddie Freeman

starting to get a wee ridiculous now.... How many damn inserts does one set need?
Whatever. If I find them, I find them. I'm not going fanatical about them.

How about you? Did you track down all of the possible cards for your team?

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Testing...Testing.... Is this thing on.........?

Well.... It's been awhile. Is this even still a thing? But while the zombie apocalypse rages on, I've found myself with a wee bit of time on my hands. I'm probably the only one though.
So I've been doing a bit of organizing, a bit of cleaning... and I found a small stack of cards that I had acquired quite awhile ago, but had never found their way into their permanent homes. From that, I discovered that they hadn't been removed from my want lists either. Maybe I should actually update my want lists... 

 One of those cards is this handsome fella.

 I am slowly building my Braves team sets for all of the A&G years.... Unfortunately, I don't think I have anything after..... 2014? Ugh.
I suppose I have to start somewhere....

Oh! And look who I found in a pack just the other day...

They're still pumping out CHIPPAHS in 2020!!!!!!!
A beautiful thing.

Anyway, if anyone is still out there, I hope all is well with you and yours.... Wish me well on this journey.
If you don't, I'll get distracted and disappear down a different rabbit hole again.....

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Italy Fails To Qualify for 2018 World Cup

with a draw today versus Sweden, Italy has failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

That is all.