Saturday, December 10, 2016

Northern Exposure

Ok, sure, that's not the most clever title to come up with when I get mail from Canada (or near it), but it's late when I'm writing and scheduling this post so forgive me. Anyway, let's see what arrived from the most recent round of mail from the cardsphere's two favorite Canadians.

Anytime I see something in my mailbox from Canada, I immediately know its from Douglas at Sportscards from the Dollar Store. As usual, it hit all the major collections, but mostly hockey and football. The top row of the scan is all Bengals and are definitely nice additions to the Bengals binder but the Donruss cards are just top notch. It's not often that Ickey Woods shows up in modern products  so seeing this included was really cool. Woods once did an autograph signing at the card shop I worked way back in 2002 but unfortunately I wasn't able to make it as I was working two jobs at the time and was stuck at my second job that day. Nowadays, you've probably know him from the Geico commercial:

Douglas also threw in some more Blue Jackets cards for my new team collection I've started of them. The Brandon Saad card is from last year's Upper Deck ICE release. I've always liked those cards but packs and boxes just don't fit my budget so I'll just opt for singles via discount bins and trades. Another neat card that was included was the card of Seth Jones from the most recent Upper Deck Champs set, which is basically their version of Allen & Ginter. The Rick Nash and Steve Mason cards were just icing on the top. Also, I had no idea Steve Mason played for Columbus.

A few weeks later I saw a small envelope had arrived from New York and that could only mean one thing, mail from everyone's favorite Browns blogger, Angus. Anytime I get a package from Angus I know to expect the unexpected and that's just what was included, the unexpected. First, four awesome old Stingers WHA cards from the 70s. I need double check to make sure that none of these are dupes although I think off hand the Robbie Ftorek card might be. If they are dupes, that's fine with me as eventually I'm going to start building the WHA sets.

Moving on, there was this seven card oddball Wayne Gretzky set that took me forever to find info on.  Turns out it's part of the 1999-00 Kraft/Post Collection. If you bought a boxed Kraft dinner (spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, etc.) at the store during this time, then you probably got one of these cards as a bonus. If I'm wrong on that, someone please correct me. This is the second Kraft Gretzky set that Angus has sent me as last year he sent an oversized four card set. I love oddball sets be it baseball or hockey so this will have a prominent place in the hockey binder.

Finally, there were these mini cards still in the wrapper. A little bit of research found these to be 1992-93 Humpty Dumpty cards. These were issued in two 26-card sets from the Humpty Dumpty snack food company, which is Canadian based company that makes potato chips and other varieties of bagged snacks. From left to right is Joe Sakic, Owen Nolan, Valeri Kaminsky, and Patrick Roy. These are completely wonderful with the full bleed photos and the small logos on the bottom right. I love getting cards of the Nordiques so I was really happy when these fell out of the package. I was even happier when I realized one of them was Joe Sakic not in an Avalanche uniform. I'm planning on leaving them in their little cellophane wrappers as that just adds to the charm.

A big thanks to Douglas and Angus for bolstering my collection with some really fun stuff. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Three Surprise PWEs

I'll admit, I'm way behind on these. Three different people have sent me PWEs over the past month or so (in some cases longer) so in the interest of time and space, I'm covering all three of these in one giant post.

First up, an envelope from Greg over at Night Owl Cards. I'd commented about the Kayla Harrison card back when he tore into some Olympic and Paralympic cards so he was gracious enough to include it. It doesn't hurt either that she's a local athlete, literally from the next town over. While I think the picture could have been a little better, it's still a nice card that will reside in my miscellaneous cards section.

Greg was also nice enough to throw in some Reds cards. Not pictured are the Topps Bunt cards of which I already had thanks to a previous package. However, everything else was new to the collection. I am all for anything Hal Morris since he was one of my favorite players growing up. Heck, anything from the mid-to-late 90s Reds is good! Case in point, the 1997 Stadium Club card of John Smiley. 

Rounding out the PWE from Greg were some newer cards of Reds prospects Jesse Winker and Robert Stephenson. Both of them should be competing for a roster spot come spring training. Of the two, I think that Stephenson has the best shot at making the club as he could round out the fifth spot in the rotation. Winker might need a bit more seasoning at Triple-A Louisville before coming up to the big club, especially with the outfield spots pretty well sorted right now.

For Exhibit B, we have a pretty football-centric PWE from Trevor at Bump and Run Cards, who sent me these cards along with his updated address. The Bengals have been nothing short of disappointing and awful this year, which means I've watched hardly any football. However, getting new Bengals cards in the mail makes up for the slog it's been watching them stumble and bumble this year.

Panini Prestige always has a pretty cool design. I bought a few retail fat packs last year but barely got anyone I liked so most of them ended up getting traded away. Since then, I've sworn off buying football packs. Anyway, the middle row is made up of cards from the 2013 Prestige issue and features BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who was comedically nicknamed "The Law Firm" when he played here. Everything else was a nice mishmash of recent cards of Gio Bernard and Vontaze Burfict and a card of Rudi Johnson from 2007 Score. 

Trevor also threw in two Reds cards to fill out the envelope. Joe Oliver was the primary catcher for the 1990 World Series squad and hung around until after the 1994 season when he was released after only appearing in six games. He came back for the 1996 and 1997 seasons after which he bounced around for a few more years. LaValley seems like he's been in the farm system forever, but he's only been playing since 2014 and projects to either High-A Daytona or Double-A Pensacola next season.

Continuing on with the Bengals theme and wrapping up this post is an envelope I received from AJ at the Lost Collector blog with players made up of a few players I've heard of and others I've mostly forgotten. Most of these cards were numbered in some form or fashion as well, including the Jon Kitna card which is out of 3216 (side note, that's a random number, must be his passing yards or something). The only thing I remember Kitna for is backing up Carson Palmer is the ill-fated playoff game years ago against the Steelers after Palmer got his knee torn to shreds.

Speaking of quarterbacks, my absolute favorite card from the envelope is the Andy Dalton Topps Valor card. Valor was one of those sets that Topps issued rather hurriedly at the end of last season before their football license ran out. I really, really like the design on it with the big logo in the background and the artsy look of it. I don't go after many football cards these days but I might have to track down some of the legends cards from the set. 

That puts the bow on these fun PWEs. I got a good amount of cards to add to my Bengals binder, one for the miscellaneous collection, and a few more Reds cards. I'm nearly caught up on all the trade packages, only a few more to go. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tribe Cards from Out West

I've never been to Colorado but sometimes I have the urge to visit. Denver I hear is a happening place with all manner of wacky restaurants, entertainment, and sports teams. If I ever went, I think the main thing I'd have to do is eat at the Denver Biscuit Company and see either and Avalanche game or a Rockies game. One person who I know had seen his share of Rockies games (but not sure about any Avs games nor am I sure he's ever been to Denver Biscuit) is Adam K. of the Infield Fly Rule blog. Recently, he sent over a box full of Indians cards which helped fill in some gaps in my ever growing collection of Tribe cards.

The contents of the package was a good variety of junk wax stuff up through mid 2000s. The cards show above are all cards I don't have a lot of currently in my collection. I was pretty happy to see some mid-90s Score and while 1992 Donruss isn't exactly my favorite, it was pretty neat to get an Eddie Taubensee Rated Rookie card in there. 

Some more junk wax that will fit in nicely. I really like the photo on the Mark Lewis card as it's him in the uniform of Hamilton High School which is about 20 minutes from where I live. Joe Carter cards of him as an Indian are always welcome too. I've always preferred the 1989 Topps design over 1990 which just seemed a little bland, but there are a few gems in there.

Here's some more recent stuff, including back when Upper Deck was still making baseball cards. I forgot how good the Indians pitching was back when they had C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Jake Westbrook. Team cards are always neat and in the future I might make that a mini-collection. Not sure yet. Also, there's a shiny card in the form of Bowman Platinum!

I'll end with some Manny Ramirez cards. I think I've got every Manny rookie card now from the 90s, not that I'll really complain. The middle card is a Sportflics card of some sort, I can't really tell as it didn't scan all that great. This package definitely helped bulk up my Tribe collection, including filling in some much needed stuff from the 2000s. I'm nearly to the point where my Tribe cards will be moved to their own binder sooner rather than later. 

Like I said in the beginning, Colorado seems to be a happening place, just like this trade package. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go make some biscuit sandwiches and watch an Avalanche game, just like they to in Denver.