Sunday, July 28, 2019

Reds, Bengals, and Blue Jackets from Canada

Well, this was a surprise. I was expecting two packages to come in but then the same day the cards from P-Town Tom arrived, so did a surprise mailer from Canada, the land of ketchup flavored potato chips, poutine, and LaBatt beer. Of course, with it being from Canada, I knew right away it was from Doug at Sportscards from the Dollar Store, who always sends good stuff.

It's been a while since I've been able to add any nice Bengals cards to my collection via trade. These will fit in quite well in the Bengals section of my football binder. I'm really hoping that the Bengals have a decent season this year. Also, this is my first look at 2019 Score, I kind of dig it. It's got an old school look to it and features some great photos.

Some Reds Bowman cards. I couldn't begin to tell you what year these cards are from. A lot of the Bowman design look the same to me. The two prospects, Jeter Downs and Shed Long, are no longer with the Reds. Downs was part of the mega-deal that brought Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp, and Kyle Farmer to the Reds while Shed Long was shipped to the Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade who then shipped him off to Seattle.

Another Jeter Downs card, this time from 2018 Pro Debut and a Raisel Iglesias green parallel from this year's Gypsy Queen. That reminds me, I've got five packs of that to rip into soon.

Some cards from the revived Panini Prizm line. This is my first exposure to these cards and I gotta say, I really like what I see. I've always been a sucker for shiny cards and the two Luis Castillo cards go really well together with the colors.

Doug is also the only regular dude who sends over hockey cards. Here's a smattering of random Blue Jackets. I like the triple exposure Panarin. I knew he wasn't going to stick around Columbus once free agency hit as he signed a 7-year deal with the Rangers almost as soon as free agency started.

Some selections from last year's Upper Deck set.

These are from 2018-19 Upper Deck MVP but they're not the standard cards found in the pack. These are actually from the factory set found in retail. I'm not sure if the factory set was distributed only in Canada or if maybe just in hockey heavy areas because I sure didn't see any of those out here in southwest Ohio. Regardless, these are pretty cool looking cards and I actually these blue ones look better than the standard MVP cards.

Occasionally I see a random blaster or jumbo pack of Parkhurst on the rack at Walmart. I've never bit on buying them but now I can say I have some more modern Parkhurst cards.

Upper Deck ICE cards are always welcomed.

So are UD Artifacts.

My favorites though have to be any sight of O-Pee-Chee. The 2012-13 version especially screams vintage with the silhouetted player on the front and the general look of the card. You may not be able to see who the player is on the blue border OPC but I like it because it's the old Blue Jackets logo and I don't see much of those.

And finally to wrap things up, some OPC from last year's offering.

These are all great cards and I appreciate Doug sending them down from the Great White North. While it's tough for me to afford shipping a bubble mailer across the border, I'll definitely get a few PWEs over as thanks.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Opening Day Scan Dump

I was cleaning up my card corner the other day and came across this box of Opening Day I forgot I bought. It's the jumbo box variety and has the red parallels so that's a dead giveaway it came from Target. I had some time and ripped into it. While I didn't find anything groundbreaking, I did come away with some keepers and a few neat things. This will be pretty scan heavy and I guess could qualify as a "scan dump" and will also probably be quite brief.

Red parallels ... keeping most of these although I might send the Merrifield off to Dime Box Nick. Not sure yet.

Scenes of Opening Day. I was pretty happy to get the Reds card, even though it mentions last year's Opening Day was a rain-out.

Mascot cards are always fun!

Other inserts, parallels, etc. The "150 Years of Fun" cards are interesting but not really my thing, although I'm keeping the Aaron and the Carter pictured.

Reds and Indians highlights.

The best horizontal cards of the box. 

And lots of fun base cards. 

So that's the highlights from a box of Opening Day I'd forgotten about. Like I mentioned earlier, quick and painless, right?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dime Box Digging From the Card Shop

About a week or so ago now, I mentioned I made a trip out to Maverick's in Dayton with my aunt. During my visit, I happened upon a rarity in card shops I visit, a dime box. Of course, I couldn't resist digging through it. 

I grabbed a bunch of these "Salute" inserts from 2018 Topps. Randy Johnson was the first one I came across and wasn't too enamored with it but then I came across more of them and nabbed the ones you see here. Plus, who can pass up cards like this for a dime!

Found two new Jim Thome cards to add to my Indians binder. 

A lot of the newer cards in the box were of the Bowman and Topps base card variety from 2018. That's not too say that those aren't nice cards but I'm not really a Bowman collector and I've already got a bunch of 2018 Topps. I was more on the lookout for cards like this. Random cards, like the Wil Myers Heritage Minors card or Jose Abreu in a throwback Sox uniform.

I also like finding cards like this from a time period that's pretty foreign to me at least in the world of card collecting. I always forget Zack Greinke started with the Royals and I think this might be my first Royals card of his. Barry Zito and Ben Sheets on a card together? Sure, ok. 

This may look like any standard Yoan Moncada card from 2018 Donruss on the front but there's something I didn't notice about it until I prepped these for scanning.

It's a blank back! I'm not sure what the odds were on the blank backs or even if these are classified as a parallel or short print, but regardless, it's cool.

I'm attracted to cool shiny cards like these when I find them in bargain bins. The Addison Russell card qualifies as a zero-year card since he never officially suited up for the A's before being swapped to the Cubs.

Late 80s Donruss Rated Rookies? Yes please.

Once I got past the mass of 2018 Topps and Bowman singles, there was really good stuff to be had. While I'm not actively building the set, I'll still grab some 1980 Topps singles just for the heck of it.

I'll also grab any random mid-80s cards that catch my eye. Honestly, how can you pass up any Mariners card with the old-school trident logo?

More random 80s. I might be able to use Julio Franco for my 1984 Topps set (which reminds me I really, really need to go through that and update what I need/have) otherwise, he'll find a home in the Indians binder.

And what's a dime box without oddballs? These pop-ups are from 1989 Donruss All-Stars. It's a 20-card set featuring the starters from each league and the two managers. I might need to find more of these.

Speaking of cards I need more of ... do you realize how long it's been since I've actually had one of these cards in my possession? Probably since these came out and I got rid of my original collection long, long ago. If you're not familiar, these cards are from Kraft and were found in packages of Kraft cheese slices. I know what you're thinking and no, they were not in the same wrapper as the cheese slice. These were found at the bottom of those multi-packs of cheese slices in the grocery store.

Here's what the backs look like. Honestly, it's easy to confuse the front and back sometimes but the card number helps. You'll notice the pull tab at the top as well. If you were to pull that, the player would pop out of the card and you'd get stats. I don't intend on pulling the tabs on any of these but I'm definitely going to try to find more of these.

All totaled, I dug out 35 cards from the dime box on just a quick rummage through it. That's 35 interesting cards I can now add to my collection. Just goes to show if you see a dime box, start digging ... you never know what you'll find.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Year 4

Well, wouldn't you know ... this blog has made it another year! Today officially marks 4 years since I started this blog. I'll try not to bore everyone with a long, rambling post but a few quick notes as I do every year on this day ...

1) First and foremost, thank you to everyone who has read my ramblings here, anyone I've traded with or interacted with, or anyone in general who has sent me cards. If it wasn't for you reading and trading and interacting with me, I probably would've given up on this a long time ago.

2) My posting schedule has decreased dramatically over the past month or so. This is partly due to summer and also due to the fact that the family and I are expecting our third child in December. My writing time now boils down to a couple hours during the week and an hour or so on the weekend (mainly every Sunday when my oldest son and I do our weekly library run). I'm still planning on writing new stuff through the fall but I'll probably do another pause come November like I did a few years ago with our last baby was born.

3) I'm also in the midst of doing my yearly card purge where my extras and unwanted cards will either land in the trade box or in a donation box for the Salvation Army or Goodwill. I am trying to get as much as I can neatly into binders. That being said, I'm in need of lots and lots of nine pocket pages. If anyone has any extra pages they don't want, please feel free to email me and let me know. I'd be willing to swing a trade for some. Binders would be welcomed too but aren't necessary.

4) I still have literally tons of cards from the mega haul my mom brought me last spring that I've yet to show off. I need to get those organized here soon and in their proper place. Look for more posts on those cards soon and I managed to fill in some gaps in my 84 Topps set and I have a heck of a starter set for 86 Topps as well.

5) Everyone should know by now how much I love Halloween and fall. That being said, I'm going to try to incorporate some fall and Halloween posts during the months of September and October (maybe even late August once Halloween stuff starts rolling out). Some of it might stray from the usual fare of cards and such but it'll still be fun and I hope it'll bring others some enjoyment of season as well.

Also, if anyone is interested in finding out more about the blog, be sure to check out the interview I did with Ryan over at Sumo Cards earlier this year. I think you'll enjoy it.

In closing, I really appreciate everyone's support over the past four years. I hope to keep this blog going for a good while longer!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Reds and Donruss from Tom

Recently, P-Town Tom at the "Waiting for Next Year" blog offered up a ton of junk wax to any suspecting victims. While there was a lot available, there was nothing really notable that interested me or that I didn't already have. I did, however, email Tom and ask about 87 Donruss and 94 Topps. While there were no 94 Topps to be had, Tom did have a handful of 87 Donruss he bestowed upon me along with some other Reds cards.

Before I get to the Donruss, I'll mention the Reds cards. First up, there's this 1969 Topps Deckle Edge Tommy Helms cards. Vintage is always welcome in trade mail and it's oddball-ish vintage as well.

There were also a handful of other Reds. I'll have to check and see if any of these are dupes. I don't think the Larkin is surprisingly enough. The rest I don't recall. My organization of base cards is horrible.

When Tom told me what was available, he just listed card numbers. I didn't bother to check to see who they were as I wanted to be surprised. One thing I've always liked about 1987 Donruss is the black borders with the random baseball design on the sides. 80s Donruss in general is always cool because they used the full team logo. Anyway, highlights of this batch are the middle row of Gene Garber, Andy McGaffigan (points for the white Expos uniform), and of course, Dennis Eckersley.

This batch isn't as impressive as the last but there are still appearances by Mike Krukow, Ozzie Guillen, Lonnie Smith, and Alan Trammell.

Thanks to Tom for sending these over. Lots of new 87 Donruss to add and some new Reds cards as well.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Cleaning Up at the Card (and Video) Shops

I finally had a bit of down time this weekend. The family and I went to visit my mom and my aunt who was staying with her as she was in visiting from Tulsa. We went out and about yesterday, had lunch, took the kids out and got them toys and school supplies for my oldest. Then we dropped the kids off at my moms and then back out on another excursion, this time to two of my favorite places in Dayton, Mavericks Cards and Comics and then GameSwap Kettering.

I looked around Mavericks for a bit, saw a few interesting things but then I came across a dime box, which is a rarity for them. I dug through the box and it was mostly Topps and Bowman base cards from this year and last year but I did manage to find a number of good cards, 35 in fact, that I need to scan in. To save space here, I'll cover them in a future post.

 In addition to the dime box cards, I nabbed the last five packs of Gypsy Queen. You never know what'll be left in the box when there's just a few packs left. I'll take my chances on these and open them up soon.

After Maverick's, I headed a few doors down to GameSwap. I've mentioned it before but GameSwap is a super cool place with movies, VHS tapes, arcade games, and all kids of other miscellaneous stuff. Think of it as a tribute to a video store. I need to do a post on them someday. Anyway, I always like to check out their VHS section for old wrestling tapes and I found two good ones.

WCW tapes are extremely hard to come by and usually when I do find them, they've got a serious markup on them. This tape of WCW Uncensored from March of 1999 was only four bucks. 

They also had the pay-per-view event that followed it, Spring Stampede, for five bucks. This is a pretty notable show in that it featured DDP's first WCW world title win.

I also took a gander around the DVDs and Blu-Rays. They didn't have any of the movies on my want list but I did happen across this WWE Blu-ray from a few years ago. I picked it up from the local library when it came out and I really, really enjoyed it. For eight bucks, I couldn't pass this up either.

Finally, I noticed these at checkout. I was like "wait, you have Fright Flicks cards?!" I had to grab a two packs to put towards my set build. Plus these cards are just plain fun to open anyway.

As I mentioned, I'm working on scanning the dime box cards from Maverick's and I'll have a post up about those soon! I'll also share the contents of the Gypsy Queen packs and Fright Flicks packs in future posts as well. The Fright Flicks packs might wait until closer to Halloween and as I might go grab a few more between now and then, if they have any left.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Blog Bat Around: My Favorite Things

I suppose I should jump on the bandwagon here for this. This latest version of the Blog Bat-Around was created by Chris over at The Collector blog. His idea, list your favorite card design, song, and movie from each decade beginning with the 1950s, has spread throughout the blogosphere and has been really fun to read. So, I've decided to take the plunge here and see what I can come up with.

For the sake of my sanity and having to dig through my collection for cards, I'll be using scans from COMC.

1957 Topps - [Base] #165 - Ted Kluszewski [Poor to Fair] - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy:

Favorite card set: 1957 Topps
The obvious answer here for favorite card set would be 1952 Topps since it's pretty much the start of modern baseball cards. However, as much as I like 1952 Topps, I also like 1957 Topps much better. It's the first set with recognized trading card dimensions, has great full color photos on it and the names at the bottom along with the team name and position fit perfectly.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: House on Haunted Hill (1959)
I'll confess ... I really haven't seen too many movies from the 1950s so I had to really rack my brain to find a decent movie from the 50s I enjoyed. My initial pick was from 1946 so that wouldn't work so I finally came up with "House on Haunted Hill" from 1959 featuring Vincent Price as an eccentric millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people who can survive the night in a spooky mansion.

Favorite song: "Come Go With Me" - The Dell-Vikings
Here's a case of me coming up with the first 1950s song I could think of. There were a number of songs I had in mind for this but the problem was they all came out in the early 1960s. I picked this song as I remember it from a tape called "50's Sock Hop" that I somehow acquired as a kid.

1965 Topps - [Base] #355 - Vada Pinson - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy of
Favorite card set: 1965 Topps
Within my collection itself, I don't have many 1965 Topps cards. As a matter of fact, I think I could count on one hand the number of 1965 Topps cards I have. Regardless, this is always set I've liked because of the colorful pennants, the team logo. It's just a generally fun design. I need more of this set in my life.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: Night of the Living Dead (1968)
I know I've seen movies from the 60s, I just really can't recall what they are. They must've been that good to leave an impression on me. Speaking of movies that left an impression, "Night of the Living Dead" did just that. About 10 years or so ago, AMC TV ran the movie on Halloween night as part of their annual "Fearfest". That was the first time I'd actually seen the movie all the way through and since then, it's been one of my go to horror movies when I'm in the mood to put something on.

Favorite song: "Runaway" - Del Shannon
This is one of the songs I'd considered for my 1950s list but then I realized it came out in 1961. However, it's still a good song. It's got that 50s "sock hop/drive in" feel to it and when I think of the oldies, it's one of the songs that instantly comes to mind.

1971 Topps - [Base] #230 - Willie Stargell - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy:
Favorite card set: 1971 Topps
There were really a lot of great card sets in the 70s so it was tough to pick just one. I could've gone with the wacky colors of 1972 and 1975, the colorful pennants of 1974, but for me there was only one true clear winner ... 1971. It's such a unique design with the black borders, the attempt at action photography for the first time, and the last Topps set to feature the Washington Senators. Next year's Heritage set is based on this and I for one will be picking a lot of it up.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Favorite movie: "Halloween" (1978)
You may be noticing a theme here with the movies I've picked so far. When it comes to 70s movies, for me there was really only one clear choice, the original Halloween. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'll say it again, the Halloween series (for all of its ups and downs) is my favorite movie series ever and this is the one that started it all. Even today, I think it still holds up as more of a suspense/thriller movie than a slasher movie.

Favorite song: "Run Through the Jungle" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
CCR is probably one of my top five favorite bands ever. They have so many good hits from "Bad Moon Rising", "Who'll Stop the Rain", "Down on the Corner", and "Lodi" to this classic from 1970. It's not your typical CCR fare to start out with but once it gets rolling, its such a good song to jam out to. It's a song I find myself singing too whenever it comes on the radio or when my phone plays it over bluetooth in the car. This honestly may be my favorite CCR song ever.

1987 Donruss - [Base] #617 - Steve Carlton - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy of
Favorite card set: 1987 Donruss
This was a tough one. There's a lot of really good card sets in the 80s from Topps, Fleer, Donruss and all the other folks like Upper Deck and Score who popped up towards the end of the decade. I could've gone with Topps on this but I really have always liked the mid-80s Donruss sets and 1987 is probably my favorite of those. The baseballs on the side, the team logo, just everything about this screams fun to me. By the way, I'm on the lookout for that card shown above.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "The Fog" (1980)
This first time I saw this movie, I wasn't sure what to think of it. Since then, it's really become one of my favorites. Sure, I could've picked "Big Trouble in Little China" but I think this is a really good movie that gets forgotten by time. It's got all the usual John Carpenter suspects in it ... Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers but Hal Holbrook to me steals the show as Father Malone.

Favorite song: "I Hate Myself for Loving You" - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
There's so many songs on my phone from the 80s, I didn't know where to start. I could've gone with Mellencamp or Springsteen or even Duran Duran. In the end, I went with my favorite Joan Jett song. It's loud, it rocks really hard, and has some great drums in the beginning to kick it off. Play this one loud for maximum enjoyment.

1992 Upper Deck - [Base] #443 - Wade Boggs - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy:
Favorite card set: 1992 Upper Deck
I considered a few sets for this spot, 1991 Donruss Series 1 and 1992 Topps, but in the end, 1992 Upper Deck won out. The main thing I always liked on this set as a kid was the funky script the team name or city was used in. It wasn't the team logo. It was like Upper Deck created a script logo for each team themselves. I think it makes it unique.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "The Big Lebowski" (1998)
And so stops the string of horror films. This movie is definitely not for everyone ... there's bad language (lots of it), nudity, drinking of White Russians, and bowling. I'm not sure what draws me to this movie but its one I always enjoy putting it on when I need something funny and mindless to watch since I've seen it literally hundreds of times.

Favorite song: "Faded Love" - Asleep at the Wheel w/ Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett
The 90s was the decade I grew up in and with that was being watched by my grandparents while my mom was working. They listened to a lot of country music which in turn led me to listen to it. While a lot of it now is too twangy for my tastes, this is one song that has stayed with me all these years. 

2001 Topps - [Base] #593 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy:
Favorite card set: 2001 Topps
2001 was about the time I started to fall out of collecting but the one set that I remember from that time is 2001 Topps. I always liked the design of it with the green borders and the team logo. I also like the fact that it captures legends like Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn at the tail end of their career while also including the next generation of stars like Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Wainwright on multi-player rookie cards.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2000)
The first time I watched this movie I didn't like it. I didn't get the whole story, the music, anything. However, it slowly grew on me and now it's one of my favorite movies ever. The music from this really hits home to me too as two songs from the soundtrack were played at my grandfather's funeral in 2012. The movie itself is weird, quirky, and really fun.

Favorite song: "Downfall" - Trust Company
This song came out right around the time I was a sophomore in high school and a lot of the songs from this time period remind me of working with my friends at a run-down movie theater, having my first summer of freedom after graduating high school, and just generally having a good time. Nowadays, I'll put a playlist together of songs from this period and just jam out with a big smile on my face.

2016 Cryptozoic Ghostbusters - [Base] #08 - Ready to Believe You - Courtesy of
Scan courtesy:
Favorite card set: 2016 Cryptozoic Ghostbusters
I'm guessing this may seem like a bit of a surprise, considering the other sets have been all baseball so far but I have yet to find a card product or set that I've liked as much as this. I actually purchased a whole box of the thing and it was one of the most fun products I've ever opened, especially considering I'm a fan of the original movie.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "Wonder Woman" (2017)
I had a hard time picking a movie from this decade, especially considering that a lot of the "big" movies have been of the MCU/comic book variety. This movie though was just fantastic and is actually one I ended up getting on blu-ray last Christmas.

Favorite song: "Take Me Down" - The Pretty Reckless
Most of the music on my phone is not from this decade so I really had to search through and find a good song. I settled on this from the Pretty Reckless. It's a good jam and sounds like the band is just having fun playing it. I still can't believe that the singer from this band played little Cindy Lou Who in "The Grinch" from 2000.

So, that's a bunch of my favorites. Hope everyone enjoyed it.