Saturday, February 4, 2017

REVIEW:2017 Topps Baseball Series 1 (1/1 PULL!)


The first product to kick off the new season of baseball cards arrived earlier this week packed with things new and old. Sometimes literally.

How did my first baseball card break of 2017 go? Well, you will have to read on.

For some reason, my phone decided not to take a picture of the box and instead a picture of the pack uploaded. So you get the point anyways. It features World Series champion Kris Bryant who graces the cover. Boxes come packed with cards. 
 
Each hobby box of 2017 Topps Series 1 baseball comes with 36 packs of 10 cards. There is either one autograph or one memorabilia card per box. Hobby boxes have been running around $60 each.
 
The checklist is 350 total cards deep showcasing superstars, young players and the hottest rookies in the game such as Yoan Moncada, Alex Bregman, Dansby Swanson, Andrew Benintendi, David Dahl, Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, Orlando Arcia, Alex Reyes, and Tyler Glasnow. 

The base set design is a little offbeat compared to past years. I have seen a lot of mixed feelings on it. To me, I wasn't sure til I saw it first hand. I like it honestly as it reminds me of graphics you would see on MLB Network or ESPN. Of course I have been one in the past that has complained about the borders year in and year out, I like the fact Topps is taking it to the future and giving it a different look.

The base set features base cards (Ortiz) and many subsets with nicknames (Thor and Dark Knight)

 
League Leaders, Topps All Rookie, Rookie cards

 
And of course World Series recaps and

 
Team Cards which feature some amazing photography.

 
Speaking of photography, here are a few other cards I enjoyed. This Naquin may be my favorite of the entire group.


I guess while we are on the base card topic, as always, there are photo variations to find. This year is drastically improved however as they are extremely tough to pull and are rare. There are no Sp versions and only SSP versions to chase. I feel there isn't a huge overflow of them like in past releases and some of these this time are demanding big bucks because they are so tough to pull.

And to continue on with the base card talk, as always, there are parallels. But, not too many per box. At least in mine. That may help give these a tad bit more value as in past releases it seemed like a one per two pack find. Golds are tough to spot as you gotta look at the bottom corner to see them and are still numbered to 2017. 
 
I think the Rainbow Foils look pretty stunning especially with this design. They are not numbered however and fall at 1:10.

 
I was also fortunate enough to find a hobby/jumbo exclusive Negative parallel. No odds given and it's not numbered.
 
 
 Other parallels you can find are, 
  • Vintage Stock are numbered to 99.
  • Black are numbered to 66
  • MOTHER'S DAY HOT Pink are numbered to 50.
  • FATHER'S DAY POWDER BLUE are numbered to 50.
  • MEMORIAL DAY CAMO are numbered to 25.
  • Clear are numbered to 10
  • Platinum are numbered 1/1.
  • Printing Plates are numbered 1/1. 
Now onto the inserts. I found these to be a bit refreshing this year. I liked that fact you didn't find half a pack of them. On average, I saw 1-2 per pack. Much improved and makes them much more fun to find and chase.
 
Topps Salute commemorate early season events with special photography and highlighting customized MLB uniforms. There are many varieties to find. Look for themed cards celebrating Rookies, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Vintage uniforms and the greatest Legends of MLB. These fall at an easy rate of 1:4 packs



 
I wasn't impressed with these however after a second look. At first, I thought they were throwbacks. You look at the backs....

 
They are just ad fill-ins. Bleh.

Bowman Then & Now captures each player's original Bowman card with their current success on the field and is the closest I will get to their autographed rookies haha. These are inserted 1:8 packs

 
First Pitch returns again as my favorite insert again taking pop culture icons that threw out a ceremonial first pitch during the 2016 MLB season. These are inserted 1:8 packs

 
Love this John Goodman one. Really want the Jon Lovitz, Vicotria Justice and William Shatner ones to.

 
Five Tool gives you that Topps Fire feel as it was designed by the artist who does Topps Fire. These showcase players with 5-tools and are inserted 1:8 packs

 
MLB Network inserts. New to the insert lineup as well. Kinda cool and I like the design. These fall one-per-box.


1987 Topps Baseball makes it return to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of this iconic design with an insert set! These have stars of today, future and past and have the feel of the original. They also are each foil stamped with the 30th anniversary stamp. Wished I had pulled the Griffey. These fall 1:4 packs so you will find plenty of them. They also have red and platinum parallels.

 
Buyback cards fall 1 in every 6 packs and all but the most valuable cards will be stamped with a new foil "Rediscover" logo so they can be easily found. There will be multiple levels of rarity in the foil logos. I found two silvers in mine and 4 bronze. Not what levels there are or how tough they are.

 
I was actually fortunate to find this in my box as well. Not sure how tough the non-Rediscover foil pulls are as opposed the the ones with foil.

I also pulled an Ultimate Card Giveaway card that I assume are one-per-box for a chance at a free Topps Now card. You can also win Free Topps Bunt '17 cards. Did I win (which would be my very first Topps Now card)...well... I will highlight if I won or not and show off what the Ultimate Card Giveaway card looks like tomorrow.

There are plenty of hits to find in Series 1. My typical find is usually a plain color swatch in flagship and update and that's what I expected. It's just what my going rate with baseball and football when they had the license.

But, three packs in and to my surprise....

In The Name Relics 1/1 Letter Patch from an All-Star Game Workout Jersey. Pretty slick looking card.
 
Other hits including relic cards, manufactured relic cards, autographs, autograph patch cards not found in my box are....

Topps Reverence Autograph Patch Cards, Major League Material Autograph Relic Cards, World Series Champion Autograph Relic Cards,Postseason Performance Autograph Relic Cards, Topps Salute Autograph Cards, World Series Champion Autograph Cards, Postseason Performance Autograph Cards, 1987 Topps Baseball Autograph Cards, Major League Material Cards, World Series Champion Relic Cards, Postseason Performance Relic Cards, In The Name Relics, Cut Signatures, MLB All-Star Team Medallion Cards and MLB Spring Training Logo Patch Cards.

As you can see, plenty of fun to find.

OVERALL, I was pretty happy with the break. Even if I had gotten that single color jersey card again I felt pretty good about the break and this years product. I hope Topps builds off from it for 2018.

Most of the product was pretty solid in terms of design and themes. There were a couple of less-impressive things especially those advertising cards but more positives in my opinion than negatives. Especially with lesser photo variations, lesser inserts, and less parallels to find per box. I think this years product will be worth a tad more down the road for those seeking key cards for their collections.

It will be interesting to hear your guys thoughts on the product especially the base card design. Leave them below!

Also look for a future giveaway with some of the cards you see above. I am working on how to run that giveaway along with future giveaways. Stay tuned and make sure to take a minute out to thank Topps for providing this box for me to review and to host nice giveaways with. Follow them on all social media sites and visit their site, HERE, as well.

Mail Day Saturday: Ryan Griffey Bombs Me AGAIN!

Like I stated twice on here already, when it comes to Ken Griffey Jr collectors, we are all family. We want to help each other out when we can and that's exactly what Griffey collector @ryanwsawyer24 on Twitter did for a THIRD TIME!
 
This time he padded my collection with 12 more new ones making my Griffey Jr total to 1,038 different.
 
Up first, some numbered Spx and a couple 90's cards I needed.

 
Crown Royale. Who doesn't love these die-cuts??!!

 
Some Fleer and one of my favorite designed cards in the Sp holoview.

 
I feel a SHOCKWAVE whooooooaaaaa. Love it!

 
Interesting trio put on this card with Lofton and Grissom with Ken, but cool foil card.

 
I absolutely fell out of my desk chair over this numbered Amazing Greats card. Wow, such a beauty!

And for a extra surprise measure, my first Victor Cruz Crown Royale rookie. This is one I have wanted for awhile. The other is the Plates and Patches rookie auto.
 
A huge thanks goes out to @ryansawyer24 for this sick mail day. I have a card to mail you at some point so keep an eye out. I really appreciate your generosity and strongly suggest everyone go hunt him down on Twitter and hit that follow button. 

Next week I hope to go back to the reader Grady M mail day posts as I still have many of those to do.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Iconic Childhood Designs Part 2:1995 Pacific Prism Football

This segment takes a look at some of my favorite designs from my early years of collecting. These are designs I will never forget and when I see them, they will take me down memory lane. 

Anyone else remember a department store called Ames? Well, I do and I believe that most of those who live or lived on the east coast in the 90's will as well.

Every time I see the design of today's featured cards it takes me back to that store. A store I bought not only cards but many of my action figures I had including my TMNT and Power Rangers. Man I wished I still had those.

So as most of you know by now, I collected a lot with my father when I was little. Cards were pretty much sold everywhere from gas stations to craft stores to department stores and one of those stores was a local one called Ames.

We were there on a typical necessity run, and no that didn't include cards, and we were going up and down the aisles when I noticed a random pack of 1995 Prism football sitting on a shelf with towels. It was as if the pack was calling to me so I went over and picked it up noticing that someone had already opened it. Two things came to mine, one, I gotta peek as I had never seen the product before and two, I want to look for more. 

So I did take a slow peek, inside was a beautiful rainbow-glowing Joey Galloway Prism rookie. I immediately was drawn in by the design and with the player being Galloway a top pick, I knew it was a hot card at the time so I continued to carry that pack around and proceeded to the card section to see if there was more. Which sadly, there wasn't.

So here I was holding a $5 opened pack of cards. I knew the card inside was at least worth that and after some begging, I was allowed purchase the pack of cards in which the cashier never noticed it had already been opened. It took away some of the excitement from it already being opened, but at least I knew I was buying a worthy card.

I still have that Galloway card but due to my big sorting project I couldn't locate it for this post, however, I did find a few more cards I have from it and they are here. Some pictures never uploaded for some reason but you get the idea of why these were such a draw-in.

I loved the rainbow shine and the split-screen set up.



 
Sadly, that Galloway pack was the only one I ever "opened" until a few years ago when I got some packs from Jammin JD Sports Cards in which I did pull a gold parallel from as well. They were never re-stocked in Ames. 
 
To this day I still can't figure out why that pack was left behind if someone was trying to steal it. Was a good card inside. Maybe it was just my destiny to own it. I will never know but that's the way I will always look at it.

So what do you guys think of these? Cool? Nah? Leave your thoughts in comments!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

CAPTION THIS CARD!

This card is crying out for a Caption.
 
Leave a caption below for this card. Please keep it free of language and clean please for our younger audience  
Mine would be....
"Huh? Did you just say free tacos?."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Seeing Double

During my big sorting project, that is currently still ongoing, I have found some interesting cards along the way and noticed things along the way as well.

Today's post I found myself seeing double.

When I was sorting through a stack of basketball, I found two Michael Beasley cards that were one after the other and I was like, man, those cards look the same. Well, they somewhat are.

I have seen others point this out before and for the first time I am seeing it first-hand, the usage of the same photos but in different products.

I couldn't decide before if it bothered me or not, but now seeing it first hand.....I don't like it.
I know early on in the season it may seem to be the faster way to put a player in a new uniform or to help pump out some products quickly, but I would rather wait a little longer and see a new photo of the player rather than the same one I saw one product ago. Especially in products like the ones above that don't use in-game shots and have a white background. This goes for any sport.
The Beasley's are also photos from what appears to be a photo shoot, but I have also seen in-game doubles from other sports. If anything, they could have taken a few images of Beasley at this shoot and used a different photo in the other product. When it comes to in-game shots, there should be no excuse for why there isn't different images even if from the same game.

So what do you guys think? Re-use of photos in different products bother you? Are you okay with it? At what point are you okay or not okay with photos being used like this? Let me know in comments!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2016 Elite Extra Edition Winner+Prize Shipping Update!

Another contest down and time for another winner.

Not many entered in on this contest either with only 20 participants looking to add this card to their collection.

So let's see which of the 20 will. I asked for you to see the numbering on this card....
 
Well here it is...
 
And here is our winner 

J-Mac January 26, 2017 at 11:59 AM

Thanks Tracy Hackler, and Panini.
Pro, I also like this set for price point, pulled a Swanson on card die cut /5 last year which was awesome.

Con: sticker autos sometimes, and also no liscense.

I would guess #14/100
Twitter- @jimmymak22

Our winner was only 2 off! Congrats to @jimmymak22. Please email sportcardcollectors@hotmail.com with the subject line EEE and your address within the next 48 hours to claim. If not, the card will be re-given away in a future contest. Please give a shout out when the card arrives.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Look for more contests coming up soon!

SHIPPING UPDATE: I HOPE TO HAVE ALL PRIZES OUT THIS WEEKEND!

Why I don't Watch Basketball, But Collect The Cards

In this new segment, I take a look at sports I don't watch anymore or maybe haven't at all. As the title states, I give you reasons why I don't watch it, but still collect cards from it.

The NBA in the 90's growing up was awesome. I spent countless hours watching every game the Knicks were broadcasted on NBC. My family couldn't afford cable, so we could only watch what the "make shift" satellite signal would give us.

Names like Starks, Ewing, Houston, Johnson and Oakley were my type of Knicks to watch The words STARKS FOR THREE made me stand on my feet in excitement and every year the Knicks were in the running to try and give Patrick Ewing that ring he so desperately deserved.
 

The competition was also so fierce when they played their biggest rivals, Bulls with MJ, Pacers with Miller and especially the Miami Heat with Alonzo that led to many bench clearings. It was the kinda stuff that kept your attention all throughout the season and playoffs.

The game in the 90's was the best it ever was in my opinion and had the best player to ever take the court playing in Jordan. I will say this again, there will never be another MJ.

Fast forward to today, the Knicks are a joke and have been since the early 2000's with signing overpriced free agents that don't pan out and simply not looking like a team. The game has changed drastically that even teams that are 10 games under .500 can make the playoffs. There are no big rivalry games anymore, only a few teams load up on good players and make championship runs leading to no parity. The bad teams are always expected to be the bad teams and the good the good.

Pretty lame.

I have tried to watch a game but just couldn't handle it. The players efforts seem to be lacking as well. Nobody wants to chase down an offensive rebound it seems because they pull up and take a shot then go back to play defense. How about aggressively going after your missed shot?????? Believe me, there were many in a few games I tried to watch.

But enough with my complaints about the game. I could go on for awhile.

The cards are still worth collecting to me. I still try to chase down the top rookies of today at least to have one of each. Unique memorabilia cards are nice additions as well. Of course anything in redractor/shiny form too. I mainly chase down the cards from the late 90's with the cool inserts of players I liked to watch and of course MJ. He was a player I couldn't stand back then being a Knicks fan after seeing many defeats, but appreciate now because of what he had brought to the game.


I have also targeted my favorite Knicks of the 90's in today's products with memorabilia cards and autographs. So far I only have an auto of Houston, but still want an autograph of Ewing and especially Starks. Maybe even an Oakley at some point. I do have a few memorabilia cards of Ewing as well.

So what do you think? Do you watch basketball and collect the cards? Do you not watch it like me but still collect? Do you watch and don't collect? Or do you not even look at either? Let me know in comments!

Monday, January 30, 2017

REVIEW:2016-2017 Donruss Basketball

Donruss has been a brand name staple in my collection for years and Panini's revival of the product brought much excitement with many fun parallels.

However, this years basketball was a bit different than past releases.

Read my thoughts on this product below.


In every box of 2016-2017 Donruss basketball, you will find 24 packs of 12 cards. There will be one autograph and one memorabilia card per box along with a decent handful of inserts. Boxes run around $60.

The base card set pictures I had got deleted by mistake. But, you will see them in a second when I break down the parallels. But anyways, the base card set is 200 cards deep. 150 of those are stars of today and the last 50 cards are rookies including Ben Simmons which I found two of in my box.

As you can see, the base card design is pretty similar to past designs. The parallels this year break down as follows,
Holo Laser Parallels: Green & Yellow, Green #/99, Red #/99, Blue #/49, Yellow #/25, Red & Blue #/15, and Purple #/15.
Press Proof Parallels: Silver #/299, Purple #/199, Red #/75, Blue #/25, Gold #/10, Black 1/1.
 
In my opinion, the parallels lacked this year. In past years, they were bright colorful and shiny. This years, simply lacked.


Same goes for the inserts in this years product. Donruss baseball and football this year stuck with the colorful, bold creative inserts and basketball seemed to had fallen short of that. 

The inserts have the following parallels, Press Proof, Press Proof Blue #/99, and Press Proof Black 1/1.


Elite Series was lacking it's usually crackle of colors. This years, was just basic.


The Champ Is Here breaks down past champions with current and legends involved.


There are 3 versions of Court Kings this year with Court Kings, Hall Kings and Rookie Kings. All have a canvas texture to them.


Other insert not found
The Rookies Set and the really rare Optic Preview Se.

Now onto the hits.

I pulled a Jersey Kings of Jimmy Butler. Design I will say is pretty solid.


And my Next Day autograph pull. Not a bad one with it being on-card and of the 6th overall pick.
 

Other hits not found in my box are,

Newly Crowned Rookie Jerseys, Back to the Future Materials Set, Dominator Signatures Set, Elite Signatures Set, Jersey Series Set, Rookie Materials Signatures Set, Swatch Kings Jumbo Set, and Timeless Treasures Materials Signatures Set.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed in the parallels and inserts as they felt like fillers as opposed to past releases. But, price isn't too bad here and Donruss is deep with hits that can be found. The on-card autograph cards are a nice find even though not all are like that. 

I hope next years release goes back to the former inserts of releases past. I think my favorite this year was the Court Kings with the canvas feel. 

What I like about Donruss also is the price for the younger collectors. I think this product is simple enough for them to be engaged and possibly led into the hobby world with. I felt this way for baseball and football as well.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday's With Rodney:1995 Topps Finest Refractor Uncut Proof With Junior Seau

Like I stated last Sunday, I recently picked up some new Rodney Hamptons at some great prices with a eBay Gift Card I had gotten for Christmas. A few of them are unique one of one finds that didn't even appear on my checklist of wants for him including today's dual uncut refractor card.

As soon as I saw this, I knew I couldn't live without it so I made an offer in which I wasn't sure would be accepted or not, but it was and I was happy to add this. You all know by now how much of a refractor freak I am.

Here is the front side, completely intact with the protective plastic

 
The backside has the official card back even with the R for refractor. The card is a bit of a miscut but that was expected as it's an uncut proof.
 
 
This marks Rodney Hampton 439 and adds a new unique addition to that PC.
 
Thoughts on today's card are welcomed and let me know if you have anything like this in your PC>