Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Secret Santa Goodies - Part 2

While I'm sure everyone will be posting about the Hall of Fame inductees tonight, I'm continuing on with part 2 of my Secret Santa package. As I mentioned in the part one, Andy from Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard won the draw to be my Secret Santa this past Christmas. Picking up from where I left off, here's the remainder of what Andy sent over.

No Christmas package would be complete without some of the snowflake cards from the Topps Walmart exclusive Holiday boxes. I opened one box of them myself and I though it was a pretty fun break, especially with the guaranteed relic card. I'll share my findings on that in a future post. The Cubs cards were a nice surprise that were thrown in. 

All of these were packaged together with a note that said they were part of a "parallel universe". I couldn't agree more. Of all of these through, I think the chrome Robert Stephenson card is my favorite.

While I didn't have this Barry Larkin card on my most wanted list, it was one I had my eye on here and there. I really enjoyed the 2015 Panini Contenders baseball set and was disappointed when I didn't see it make a return, although I guess it kind of did as inserts in the Elite Extra Edition set. Vintage cards like the Griffey card are always welcomed to my collection. I've got a special section in my vintage binder reserved for Reds cards just like this.

Finally, to close this out, there were some Bengals thrown in as well. While I've cut back on my Bengals collecting, I'll still welcome new cards for some of the top players. The bottom two cards are my first experience with the Gridiron Kings cards and I must say that I really enjoy them. While I'm not going to race out and buy any packs, if there are a few Bengals cards like this in bargain bins the next time I hit up a card show, I'll definitely consider picking them up.

This was an awesome secret Santa package and it went way above and beyond what I expected. Again, a big thanks to Matt at BWTP for organizing everything and thanks to Andy for the great cards.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Secret Santa Goodies - Part 1

Where to start.

I suppose I could start by thanking Matt from Bob Walk the Plank for organizing and running the whole Secret Santa deal. I guess I could also thank my Secret Santa, that being Andy from Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard. He dropped a package on me the likes of which I'm still in awe of. It had so much stuff, in fact, that I'm going to have to split it up into two posts. This particular post will feature the hits that were thrown in.

Here's the lone football relic card, a basic A.J. Green card. Nothing wrong with this at all, as a matter of fact I actually kind of like it. It's not a basic plain white swatch, no it's a basic black swatch. I think it fits in rather nicely though with the orange and black color scheme of the card. I'm hoping that Green has good comeback next year as he ended the season on injured reserve and this was the first year with less than 1000 receiving yards

Chris Gruler was, at one time, a promising pitching prospect for the Reds, even being rated #77 in pre-2003 rankings by Baseball America. However, injuries constantly derailed his career before it even began. He spent four seasons in the Reds minor league system, never advancing above low-A Dayton and only appearing in 25 games over the course of those seasons. I think a fun article one of these days would be to go through the cards of Reds prospects that never reached the majors and see just how far each of them got.

When the Reds were hot from 2010-2013, Chris Heisey was a formidable fourth outfielder with some good pop off the bench when needed. However, he got too expensive for a Reds team that fell from grace pretty fast after 2013. He was traded off to the Dodgers for Matt Magill, a trade that amounted to more than a salary dump than anything. This is a really nice looking card and anything Gypsy Queen I definitely enjoy.

These were probably my two favorite relic cards included in the package. I really like the look of the Kearns card, not to mention its got the pinstripe going down the left side and the blue on the sides gives it a pretty unique look. Speaking of unique looks, the Paul O'Neill card has a pretty unique way the jersey piece is put in the card. O'Neill's stint with the Reds seems to always get forgotten about so getting a card like this is nice in the grand scheme of things.

A couple cards with plain grey pieces, not that there's anything wrong with that. Scott Rolen has never officially retired, unless I missed something somewhere and felt like a steal when the Reds got him from Toronto in 2009.

To close out the hits, this orange parallel signature of Tony Cingrani, who has one of the most illegible autographs I've ever seen. Seriously, it looks like the number 3 and a squiggle afterwards. Oh well, it's still a really nice card.

That's just part one of the awesome cards Andy sent over, part two with all the parallels and other craziness will be coming up in a few days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Cards

It's been nearly a week since I've had time to sit down and write about cards. If you follow me on Twitter, then you'll know why. Last Thursday, my three-year-old son had to go in the hospital with an intestinal blockage. We went in to the ER, thinking they would take care of it there. They did but there were other issues the doctor was concerned about so they admitted him. He was there from Thursday night until Saturday afternoon and my wife and I spent the whole time there with him (save for the hour or so it took me to run home and gather up overnight bags for each of us). I'll save you the details but suffice to say he had to be "cleaned out", as the nurses put it. What that means, I'll leave up to the imagination. Saturday afternoon they released him and now he's doing much better and is back to his normal little self. So, aside from my "Four Favorite Cards" post that was already scheduled before the hospital stay happened, I've been nowhere near the blog scene. I'm just now getting all my bearings back and having time to get writing again. 

Since I'm behind on everything, I figured what better way to start getting caught up on stuff is to combine a bunch of PWEs I received during Christmas time into one post. Yes, I know it's nearly mid-January and I'm just now writing about cards I got at Christmas. Heck, we still have our tree up! While no presents will be going under it anytime soon, here's what I was gifted by fellow bloggers when the Christmas tree was still relevant.

The first PWE was from Oscar over at ATBATT. Actually, he sent me two PWEs, the second of which I'll cover next. The first one though was stuffed with what else but Reds cards. Some of the early 90s ones are duplicates but that's fine. The Tony Perez Gypsy Queen card though is something else. The artistic style of Gypsy Queen is always nice but take a look at the background of that card. It's great isn't it? I'm not sure what ballpark that is but I'm almost certain it's not Crosley Field as Perez is in the road grey uniform. Regardless, it's a pretty awesome card.

The second PWE was more focused on some of my side collections and they were all touched on. First, there were two nice additions to my Dennis Eckersley PC and then two Expos cards, but the ones I were really excited about were the bottom three. I had no recollection that Manny had ever played for Oakland so I took to the ever helpful Baseball Reference to confirm. Turns out that he didn't. He signed with Oakland in February of 2012 and was released later that summer. Guess what, that makes it a zero-year card! The other two cards are parts of collections I'm just starting up, that being buybacks and throwback uniforms. The Valbuena card you've already seen in the latest Walgreens repack.

Next, we have a small four-card PWE from Trevor at Bump and Run cards. The two 1984 Topps cards will help out toward the set build. It's one of my collecting goals to either finish or nearly complete that set this year. I still need to track down the Don Mattingly rookie but I'm waiting for a decent price before I grab it. The other two cards will help out with both the Reds collection and the aforementioned Eckersley PC. 

Closing this out is a nice selection from Adam K. at Infield Fly Rule, the man who benefits from all my unwanted Rockies cards. There were some Indians cards, a nice card of Harmon Killebrew, and some Reds "cameo" cards, which I have to admit are pretty cool. One card I need to touch on though is the 1993 Donruss Freddie Benavides. I've mentioned before that 1993 Donruss is one of my favorite sets but almost everything I have is from Series 1. Being that it's an expansion draft card, it's from Series 2 and I really like the fact that he's sporting a Reds uniform while having the Rockies logo and colors on the nameplate.

A big thanks goes out to Oscar, Trevor, and Adam K. for the great additions to my collection. Hopefully things will settle down some and I can get back to a regular posting schedule and possibly even get my Christmas tree down.