Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Living The Americana Dream Part 2:Box 1

In my latest trade with the great Shane from Project Pedro Blog, I was able to trade for some boxes from him from the Black Friday sale on Dacardworld.

I could have chosen baseball, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport. But what did I end up with? Well, three boxes of 2015 Panini Americana.

My love of non sport cards continues to grow and my love of this product has as well. The price of a box being around $25 and under along with four hits is so enticing you just can't ignore it. The checklist of autographs and wardrobe relics you could hit has a good mix of superstars and people you may not know as well but it was enough to entice me to want more.

Over the next few days I will break down the hits of each box I opened and today we kick it off with box #1.

I absolutely dig these Freeze Frames and consider them hits more than I do inserts. The inserts were very boring and plain but these look fantastic with a "slide" inserted in them. I am chasing this set as well. My childhood was revisited some with Winnie find
My first autograph is Tony Sirico. He is best known for his role on the Sopranos. I think he has a really nice signature. Maybe he should give others some lessons.

Next autograph is DJ Kool. Let me clear my throat, see what I did there, before showing his card off. He was a late 80's rap singer. The DJ is really cool looking on his signature.

Next autograph is of Vince Neil. I think he could have used some work on his signature that for sure. He was the lead singer for Motley Crue.

My last hit was these nice swatches from Eva Marie. The card is numbered 7/10. She is best known for being a professional wrestler but has had other professions as well.
For $22 you really can't go wrong with a break like this. Honestly, it's foolish that this product is still sitting on the shelves so cheap. 

Box 2 will be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Living The Americana Dream Part 1:The Inserts

In my latest trade with the great Shane from Project Pedro Blog, I was able to trade for some boxes from him from the Black Friday sale on Dacardworld.

I could have chosen baseball, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport. But what did I end up with? Well, three boxes of 2015 Panini Americana.

My love of non sport cards continues to grow and my love of this product has as well. The price of a box being around $25 and under along with four hits is so enticing you just can't ignore it. The checklist of autographs and wardrobe relics you could hit has a good mix of superstars and people you may not know as well but it was enough to entice me to want more.

Over the next few days I will break down the hits of each box I opened. Today's post I combined all of the inserts from all three boxes to showcase them. And before you ask, yes I am trying to build the base set and all of the insert sets including the blue parallels. I will update my Set tab with needs as I go along in putting them together.

For now, just enjoy the gallery of the inserts I found in three boxes.

Winners Circle Die Cuts:

Winners Circle dual

On The Tube featuring stars and some I haven't ever heard of:

Lots of big names here for Silver Legends. Sadly I ended up with a couple dupes.

Same goes for the Silver Legends Duals

More On The Tube but this time it features legends of Hollywood.

It took me awhile to see that these are actually two sets not one. There are silver singles and silver albums. Makes my chase just a bit more.

The blue parallels just look spectacular. But, I have a good amount of dupes of these as well. However I was able to add some key ones like James Earl Jones and Roger Moore.
I will try to update my needs on all of these by the weekend I hope.
Tomorrow kicks off Box #1 so come back to see the hits!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Binders Reorganization Update #2

Last year it was the Super Box Attack that took me a year to do. A few weekends ago I started digging into my biggest hobby project in since then and one that may take even longer....The Great Binder Reorganization!

I showed you part 1 of my reorganization of football inserts, football rookie inserts and rookie cards that took me a couple of weeks to do. I know the post was only four days ago, but I got that up a bit later than I should have. But, this one is a as-of today post.

Today's post takes us to my next step in my project, baseball inserts.

I had originally wanted to put these by-team, but then decided that would take way too long. Than I thought about putting them by product and then incomplete set, but thought it would take up even more binder space that way and my real purpose was wanting to condense them. So I took the same approach with baseball as I did with football.

I pulled out the star players, sets I wanted to finish, missed rookie cards, and more cards for my "Sets Of My Childhood."

The sorting got so in-depth that it overflowed my card trays so I went to a backup idea, a deep cardboard box.

This project has been very tedious but rewarding at the same time. Not just from the sorting aspect but from some of the treasures I have found.

I didn't give an update on my football finds, but these gems I found in the football rookie insert binder,


And so far I found this gem in my baseball insert binder I didn't know I had. I heard these are numbered to 56 and are tough finds. I know I busted many boxes of Golden Age and this was the only one I found.

This is still just the beginning of this possible year long project. I can only fit in doing this when I am not busy or need a blog post to do instead. Which has been kinda restricted with my new blogging format of blogging daily instead of once-a-week. But, it seems the new approach is working in terms of views and comments on the blog.
More updates on the completion of the baseball insert stage as I will move on to the toughest and longest stage of the project, baseball rookie cards to come when I get there.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The 22-Year Search Is Over!

The year was 1996.

The setting was the local card show hosted by the LCS owner.

My father and I had been walking throughout the show checking cards out and kept hearing great things about a product called 1996 Pinnacle Zenith football. We didn't always have a lot of funds, but we tried to purchase a new product here and there when we could. We mostly spent time at cards shows interacting and trading with other collectors. I miss all of these things today as there is no LCS, card shows or other collectors in-person to trade with in my area.

So we headed for the LCS owner's table, he was the only one to set up with boxes and packs of cards, to find us a few packs to open. Sadly when we had gotten there, the card show king Ted, who seemed to had have endless money, had bought the last few packs of the box. As we started to walk back awaym Bubba, as we all called the owner, asked us if we needed something and we explained how we wanted to open a few packs of Zenith but it was gone.

Luckily for us, it really wasn't as he opened up a brand new box for us to buy packs from. I am not sure which one of us was more giddy, my father or I.

So we each snagged a couple of packs, my strategy was to take one from the front and one front the back and we began to open. It was a tradition for our small local card show that purchasers did their opening there for others to see.

The foil wrapper was fun to peel and was the most unique thing I had opened to that time. I slowly took the cards out and was immediately in love. The base cards looked superb. The black background with a nice gold football touch. This is like nothing I had seen before.


The rookie cards didn't look as impressive, but still had a nice design and technically they were not rookies since they were from the 1995 class.

As I started going through the cards in my second pack, my father went hitless in both of his, I noticed something a bit shiny in the middle. It's always been a thing if I see a hit of any kind in the middle of a pack, I always go around it leaving it for last to have a slow reveal with. As I slowly peeled back the card that was sitting on top of the pull, I saw the words Z-Team...then it had a blue/white uniform and then when I fully revealed the card, holy moly! I had hit an Emmitt Smith Z-Team!! It was not only of the hottest player of that time, but the card was not an easy find. 1:72 packs or 1:3 boxes. I was blown away. It was by far my biggest hit of my young hobby career at the time.

I immediately had offers from Ted, what a surprise, and my best friend Brian's uncle who was a big Cowboys fan really wanted the card as well but I wouldn't budge. It was my big hit. It was a sweet looking card. I vowed never to let it go.

Well, that was all fine and dandy til I moved out of my parents house and mistakenly left it behind. My father suspected I no longer wanted it and sold the card. I didn't think of the card once I moved out, I was in my hobby dark years of not collecting because I thought a girl was more important-bad decision by the way- and pushed the hobby to the side. But, after a couple of years , I came back.

So I went back through my collection and realized that the Emmitt was missing and my father apologized and let me knew it was gone. The biggest problem was after I found that out, there was no more LCS, no more card shows, and no collectors around. The person he had sold it to had moved as well. I didn't have internet access or even knew of eBay. I just had to take the loss and realize the card was gone possibly forever.

Years had passed and I had actually forgotten about the card. I had come on here to start blogging back in 2012 and as I was retelling some of my stories, I started to remember the Emmitt Smith that got away. Which also brought back my love of my favorite collecting era.

So I began a journey of trying to find it.

There were still no LCS or card shows, but at least this time I knew about eBay thanks to my wife. So I began to search. Some were overpriced, most were the promo versions. There were very few of these out there and I wasn't going to overpay for one even though I desperately wanted one. Then I looked to trading, nobody had one available. It started to look like I wasn't going to be lucky finding one at all.

Earlier last week however, one popped up at a fairly reasonable price. I checked, double checked and even triple checked to make sure it wasn't the promo version and was the one I had wanted. It was the correct version and I felt a huge sigh of relief.

So here it is for the very first time in 22 years in my hands to now officially stay there. I present you the 1996 Pinnacle Zenith Emmitt Smith Z-Team!!
I know this isn't the hottest card on the market today or even has the value it had years ago, but to me, none of that matters and never has. What does matter to me most in this hobby is the memories and nostalgia attached to those. Those are things much more valuable and this Emmitt Smith card even from a Giants fan will always have those.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

It Was 1980something...

It was 1980something and not only was I was born in it, but it was also a time when Garbage Pail Kids were first introduced (1985) and it is the setting for the show, The Goldbergs that is on TV Wednesday nights on ABC. And no, I am not a commercial.

Those three things play a role in today's 1980something post.

I recently found out that Topps included a Goldbergs subset in their latest Garbage Pail Kids release and I knew I had to have 'em. Not only is there the subset, but there is also parallels to them along autographed versions from the cast. Yes, autographed versions. I really want to collect some of those but I have heard the odds of finding them is the odds of being hit by lightning twice in a day. They are extremely rare is where I am going with this.

When I had asked Topps on Twitter about the set and told them how much I loved the show, a really nice guy I had never talked to on Twitter before asked me if I wanted the complete subset set of cards out of nowhere. How could I turn down that deal? So I gave him my info and a few days later my mail day from @CoachDaveOski arrived. Really cool of him and he packed them nicely and even sent some parallels along. Huge thanks to David for his generosity.

Now let's take a trip with these cards. So, if you haven't seen The Goldbergs yet, you are really missing out and you need to tune in. Just putting that right out there. If you have, kudos to you. But, if you haven't I will use the cards as a quick guidance of the show.

The cast is amazing, the show is hilarious, the characters are quite interesting, there is tons of nostalgia, memorable songs and plenty of touching family moments. It's everything you would want in a TV show wrapped up into one.

The show premiered in September of 2013 with my high anticipation on it and it did not disappoint. I even got to tweet my thoughts on the show with the real Adam F. Goldberg on Twitter and he responded. He doesn't anymore but I still tweet my thoughts on episodes just to let him know I am still watching and haven't missed one yet.

The show is loosely based on the Adam Goldberg's childhood, during which he videotaped events from it, and those events have been reenacted/re-imagined on the show. The cool thing about it is you get to see the actual clip from the real taping at the end of each episode and it's pretty darn near spot on.

The series is narrated by an adult Adam Goldberg in present time, well Patton Oswalt,

and showcases the 80's through child Adam's eyes in which you get to know his family, friends and the faculty at the school. You also see the struggles of each of the characters and how they in the end as a family sort out each situation.

Barry "Big Tasty" Goldberg is Adam's high strung/bit dim-witten big brother who likes to pretend he is either the next sports or rapping superstar. He tries so hard to dominate at everything he does but usually fails. He is a good kid however.

Erica Goldberg, who in real life didn't exist in Adam's life as he had two brothers, is the oldest sibling and is extremely talented at singing. She at times can be a bit rebellious especially if Beverly tries to overprotect her from something.

Speaking of Bev, Beverly Goldberg is the smother, I mean mother. She smothers her kids in kisses atan alarming rate and goes to the ends of the earth for them including marching in at school and letting the principal and teachers know her thoughts and opinions. She usually gets her way. She is overprotective, but she loves them.

Murray, the grumpy old furniture salesman, but sensitive dad, likes calling all of his kids morons but you can tell he loves em. He also enjoys sports and lounging in his favorite chair in his underwear. My kinda guy as I have gotten older.

Pops is Adam's right hand man and who Adam considers his best friend. Adam gets him to do crazy stunts for his videos and uses him for advice whenever possible. Pops is also Beverly's widower father.

I don't know why Topps didn't tackle more of the teachers but they did focus on Coach Mellor who really likes to wear the tightest shorts possible as Gym teacher. He is a no nonsense kinda guy who teaches kids lessons through sports.

I would have liked to have seen a card of Tim Meadows as Jonathan Glasscott the schools hapless Guidance counselor. His character is extremely funny when he appears. Maybe they will do a follow up set to include even more characters since there are so many fun ones.

So once again, if these cards and little tidbits on the show haven't enticed you yet, I encourage you to do so. I also encourage you to check out the newly released this week spinoff to The Goldbergs called,  Schooled, which covers the 1990somethings. I really liked the premier episode and hope it carries on as many of you know how much I love the 90's.

To end this post, I wanted to show off the parallels David nicely sent me as well,

I Really need to find myself some autographed versions of these somehow now that I have all of the subset cards. If you see any, feel free to send a trade my way!

Another thanks goes out to David for these and if you have seen The Goldbergs, let me know your favorite character or episode in comments and your thoughts on Schooled.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Rodney&Friends (Much Better Than Barney)

Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown and I pulled off yet another trade, our first of the New Year, this time it was a bigger one as opposed to our blind trades we usually do.

 And as usual my end from Gavin did not disappoint.

The Giants just hired their new coach this week who is supposedly an offensive genius in Pat Shurmur. So Hopefully I will see these guys tear it up on the field together next year with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr and a fully loaded Giants offense for Eli. Speaking of those guys, here are some cards of them. I also like the Nassib. Didn't have that one.

I am also not quite sold on the coach hire yet as he failed as a head coach the first time around. But, many other Hall Of Fame worthy coaches failed their first times as head coaches to. Some guys named Pete Carroll and Bill Belicheat. Yes, I will never stop calling him that.

Gavin also sent along some more Eli's, another Nassib (I think he is still with the Saints as Brees backpu or third string) and a couple Rueben Randles I needed. I haven't added to that PC in some time. Hopefully Randle will return next year after a year on the IR for the Bears.

This card reminded me of a few things. How much I miss the Giants glory days, how much I miss Upper Deck football products (I mean Panini would never put anything out like this with this photography) and how much I loved Super Bowl 42. This card will be re-featured in a post about that Super Bowl later on.

A lot of people only remember the Tyree catch, but this play right here was the real game changer.

Giancarlo or otherwise used to be known as Mike Stanton the newest Yankee. This is his Bowman rookie, one I didn't have and wanted. Gavin had stuck these up to claim so I went and snagged it fast. I hope all of the hype of having him in the Yankees lineup lives up. I worry sometimes they invested too much into Stanton money wise, I mean the Marlins got nothing in return for him, and he will get hurt or hit like 15 home runs.

And with all of my recent trades with bloggers, some Rodney's have been found and I am digging it!

Black Diamond triple diamond. Loving that gold look. 1998 Black Diamond had many levels of diamonds to chase from single to quad. I believe I have all of the first three, but the quads that were rare I may never find. If any of you find it, please trade it to me!

These King B "mini circle card thingies" I never understood where they came from but glad to finally have one of them I need crossed off my checklist. There are a few others I still need to add as well.

I showed off a mini supial card a few months ago from Pacific which is the mini version of this card but now I have the large version. Which isn't as big as a oversized, it's actually a normal sized card.

This card has actually two sides. Bernie Paramalee is on the other side but I got lazy and wanted to focus on the main character to this card movie.

Next card was this autograph of Odighizuwa. I was really hoping he would pan out but field performance and off the field issues just didn't help his case much. Thought he was the future at DE. But once again, another one of Jerry Reese terrible draft picks.
And finally was this, sweet, sweet Rodney Hampton back plate! Yes, a back plate. I have never seen one and never seen one listed for Rodney. I also believe I have the front plate to it once I find it I will post both together. It's my third Rodney Hampton plate.

I didn't show the back as plates in the 90's didn't have a write up like today's plates do. 90's plates simply had a metal back and that was it.

A huge thanks goes out to Gavin for yet another awesome mail day. I look forward to our next trade big or small.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Player Profile 2: Ichiro

Player Profile is a series that breaks down players I have pulled from my collection and designated as a player collection. These are mostly stars from the past and present and only include base cards and inserts. Hits and rookie cards are not counted. Some players I pulled because I was a fan of their game, others are obvious because of their play. Some players I actually look for cards of in packs while others get just placed in these boxes. This series will break down how many cards I have of the player, what my Top 5 favorite cards are of the player and why I pulled the player for a player collection.

This series will also cover all four sports I collect. 

Player By The Numbers For Ichiro: 98 Different Cards. This number does not include NY Yankee cards of him as they are in my Yankees binder and not included in his player collection. My Yankee card numbers will be updated on here at a later time.

What can I say about Ichiro, the guy is a super star who needed to be a by-the-player. He put up 10 consecutive seasons of 200+hits including an MLB record of 262. He is an MVP, Gold Glover, All Star, All Star Game MVP, and has a ton of stolen bases. This guy was/is the real deal.

He has played for the Mariners, my Yanks and the Marlins with his best numbers coming from his time with the Mariners.

Having 98+ cards of the guy it was a little tough narrowing down my favorite 5, but I did somehow.

#5 shows off Ichiro's swift base moves. Either that he is doing Chubby Checkers The Twist.

#4 has me wondering what Ichiro is doing. Is he posing for cameras? Does he spot Superman? Bird watching? Thinking if he should retire? Or is this a wax figure or future statue?
#3 is just just shiny cardboard and my best numbered card of him

#2 is not only my favorite product and the only refractor of him I own, but it's such a cool photography angle. The prism refractor just adds another level to this card.
#1B is on here because it pairs him with Griffey Jr. There is no way this card doesn't make the list.
#1A has always been a favorite of mine. I can't explain why. It's probably my most valuable Ichiro, that's not saying much. It's also a nice gold parallel and the photo isn't too shabby either. But this one has just always caught my eye.
Well, that's the end of my Ichiros for now.
The bigger question is, is this the end of Ichiro now? He is currently a free agent and it's not like teams are chasing him down as a top one anymore with his age. Current rumors have him connected to the Reds but I think the fairy tale ending for him would land him back with the Mariners just like how Griffey ended his career. But, I am torn on that as well as I would like to see him play for a contender instead but the place where he started it all to me would be the best ending.
Which Ichiro card above to you like the most and which card do you own is your favorite of his? Let me know in comments and if you want leave input on how you think Ichiro should end his career!