Monday, February 4, 2019

Winnings From Wes

I'm pretty sure I just hit the motherlode.

As everyone is aware by now Wes of Area 40 (and various other blog names) has gone into blogging retirement but went out with a bang. In addition to the crazy box busting and pack ripping he did, he also ran a contest, that being to guess the number of hits (relics, autographs, and otherwise) he'd get in the mega-break and that person would win a prize pack. I believe the final number was 352 or thereabouts and on a whim I guessed 350. 

Well, wouldn't you know who won the pony.

It turns out I was pretty much right on the money so in addition to the cards from the break, I won the prize pack. I'll get into that in a bit, but first, the cards from the break.

Before the break, Wes announced that he'd only be sending out the hits and I believe donating the base cards. Serial numbered cards count as hits apparently. I'd forgotten that I'd claimed the Flames in the break so I was a bit surprised to see these. The Joel Otto card is my first hockey buyback.

The Bengals were the one team I remember I claimed in the break. I was expecting the Peter Warrick card but the Akili Smith relic was another nice surprise. I'm actually excited for the Bengals next season as they'll have a new coach and hopefully some new tricks up their sleeve after they (finally) parted ways with tired old Marvin Lewis.

That does it for the cards from the break and if that's all I would have gotten, then I would've been fine. But there was more .... oh, so much more ... and that's where the cards won in the contest come in.

First, there's this Jimmy Garappolo booklet card. I've never owned a booklet card until now and I have to say, it's pretty neat. It's a pain to store though. It came in a small case so I think I'll keep it in there until I figure out a way to store it.

However, this is a card that's easy to store ... and probably a sought after card, it being a Tom Brady rookie card. To be honest, I'm not a Patriots fan, however this is a card that I'm happy to add to my football collection. It's in good shape too. 

The majority of the cards included in the prize pack were rookie cards. This is a duplicate as I broke a Pro Set set last summer and donated the commons. For now, it's in the football binder next to the other one.

A few other rookie cards here of two top quarterbacks. I always find it interesting to see cards of Brett Favre as a Falcon, considering he only played 2 games for them as a backup quarterback before being traded to the Packers for a first-round draft pick.

Lastly, at least for the world of football, there's this. A 1968 Topps Bob Griese rookie card. Sure, it's miscut and looks like maybe it was trimmed or cut a bit? Not sure. Also, the back is a little beat up. However, it's still an awesome card and one I'm now lucky to have in my collection.

I'm not really one for basketball but I will admit, these are some pretty cool cards. I'm always down for vintage cards and the Robert Parish card fits that bill. Him and LeBron will go into my miscellaneous binder where all the random cards I have reside.

This was included in the prize pack as well. I've never bought any Benchwarmer cards and to be honest, it's not really my thing. I'm still not sure what to do with this as it doesn't fit my collection. (Update: This has already been claimed in a trade.)

Here's something very interesting, a 1/1 Dean Prentice game used stick printing plate. Prentice isn't someone I'm familiar with but it turns out he had a 22-year career in the NHL with primarily the Rangers but also with Boston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota.

I still collect UFC cards even though I don't really follow the product anymore. It's more of getting the cards of the stars I remember from when I actively followed the product. I think I've seen a few Kendall Grove bouts back in the day but I don't really remember them. I did the swatch on this card though.

This would be my second Archives Signature Edition card. Personally, I think these cards are pretty neat and I guess they could be considered buybacks. Bour had a pretty good run as Miami's first baseman and finished 5th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2015. His power dropped off a bit last season and Miami shipped him off to the Phillies as a waiver trade. He's since signed with the Angels as a free agent.

Here are a couple unique cards. The first is a 1985 Chong Mark McGwire card of him with the single-A Modesto A's (now known as the Modesto Nuts). If I had to guess, I'd say it's his first minor league card but not sure. Also, I'm not familiar with the card maker itself. The Craig Kimbrel card is  a 1/1 game piece celebrating a career saves milestone. As of this writing, Kimbrel is still a free agent.

The rookie cards just keep on coming here with Ozzie Albies, Aaron Judge, Rhys Hoskins, and Shohei Ohtani. I've made it clear before that I didn't like Donruss last year but it chromes .... ahem, "optics" ... up pretty nicely.

The Mike Trout card is definitely not a rookie card, one of the few in the pack that wasn't, but it's a 2014 Bowman blue parallel numbered to 500. Pretty cool card and a nice add to my Trout collection. The Stephen Strasburg card is from the 2009 Upper Deck USA National team set. It took me a minute to realize that the multi-player card is a David Ortiz rookie card. It's still amazing to me that the Twins cut him loose.

Rookie cards weren't the only thing included, there were also these cool autograph cards. The Archives Snapshots brand is something I'm not familiar with but I guess they're going for a Polaroid picture design? It reminds me more of the basic design most promo pictures of boxers and wrestlers use with the wide white border at the bottom and the thin borders on the other sides. The Paul Konerko card is really neat as it appears to be a minor league card. At first I thought it was probably a TTM signature but there's a tiny little logo on the side that says is an "authentic" autograph.

I'm nearing the end of the package here and I'm closing out with my favorites. First, this well worn and well loved 1953 Topps Jim Fridley. Sure, the corners are rounded, it's creased, and there's some paper loss in the bottom right corner but that's a sign that it was well loved. It's vintage, it's not meant to be perfect.

Next, three of the top baseball rookie cards of the 1980s, that being a 1983 Donruss Tony Gwynn, a 1985 Topps Kirby Puckett, and a 1983 Topps Wade Boggs. I'd been eyeing the Gwynn and the Puckett on COMC for a while now but now I can take them off my want list.

This card, though, is my favorite card that was in the package. As those who have been around here for a while can probably tell, I'm a big wrestling fan. I grew up a WWF fan but when I discovered classic WCW, Sting quickly became one of my all-time favorites. He was also one of the sole reasons I watched TNA/Impact Wrestling on a weekly basis. When he finally showed up in WWE in 2014, I was excited. However, he only had a handful of matches and his career was ended in a match with Seth Rollins when he suffered a neck injury. This card instantly becomes one of my top five favorite cards in my collection and I can't thank Wes enough for including it in the prize package.

This has to be one of the most epic mailers I've ever received from Wes and since he went into retirement, it's most likely the last. Thanks for sending these Wes and I appreciate your contributions to our humble little community.


  1. That is quite the package - and a great way to end, love that Sting card.

  2. Lots of great stuff. The big game used stick is cool!

  3. That 1985 Chong McGwire is sweet! That's one heckuva JBF package.

  4. Oh dang, that is such an awesome box of cards. Great Sting card for sure.

  5. That's one heck of a prize pack. He hooked you up. I was wondering what it would look like and there are so many amazing cards there. Great stuff.

  6. Great assortment of cards from Wes! I would be willing to work something out with you for the Benchwarmers card that does not hold your interest.