Friday, August 30, 2013

Awesome Bucs Cards from Ryan

The title says it all. Ryan from the awesome blog "O" NO!!! Another Orioles Blog hooked me up last week. I'd tell you to go check him out, but chances are you're well aware of him if you're reading this. But if you're not... check him out!

Ryan sent me a fat lot of Buccos cards, with a GREAT mix of players. Quite a bit of nostalgia here, thanks Ryan!

Let's start with this gem of one of my all time favorite Buccos. I'm not sure what's up with the vintage TV design here. Imagine how that design would go over now adays. Giles was one of few bright spots for the Bucs in the early 2000s, especially at home. He absolutely raked at Three Rivers and PNC, hitting over 35 homers in four straight seasons before he was traded to San Diego and his power numbers fell dramatically. 

Now that I say that, it makes me think that he was probably juicing. I will always love him regardless.

Here are his career numbers, take note of '99-'03. You be the judge!

These two also made me smile. The Topps Gold on the left is not a typo! Tim Wakefield actually started his career with the Pirates, before spending the rest of his career with Boston. He came around in '92... maybe the curse is his fault? On the right is Neil Walker in catchers gear which is absolutely awesome. He came into the minors as a catcher, and was then converted to a third baseman. He played in only 9 games in 2009, all at third base before being converted to a 2B for good. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he's a Pittsburgher through and through. He was also a star wideout in high school, proving that he's a complete athlete.

Here's the real gem of the lot. I was very excited about this kid when he came up last year, and he did well in his short time with the Pirates. He was dealt to Boston last year in the now-named "Hanrahan/Melancon deal." No hard feelings toward you Brock! A welcome addition to my collection. I'd love to see him do well with Boston if he can work his way into the daily line-up.

Thanks again to Ryan, and thanks so much for reading! GO BUCS!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Why We Collect

Blogging about my hobby has opened my eyes and changed my attitude about card collecting. Thanks to all of the wonderful blogs out there, I've learned that collecting cardboard is about so much more than card value and money. It's about making the hobby special to you, and collecting cards that you like because of the player, team, or unique image on the card- not the value of the card. 

With that said, I'm making a much greater effort to find cards that I enjoy, not cards that will make me money. As you may know, I grew up a Pirates fan, and I spent my summer in Pittsburgh this summer with much of my time being spent at PNC park. I've grown very close to the team this year- closer than ever, in fact- and it inspired me to focus my collection on the Pirates. I've been scouring eBay for some nice (cheap) Pirates cards, and I've started a special page just for my Pirates PC. If you've got a second, please check it out! Here's the link! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

2013 Bowman Platinum Blaster Box + Value Pack Break

I was peer pressured into this. Two days ago, I logged onto my blog seeking some good reading, and it seemed like all anyone was talking about was 2013 Bowman Platinum. Bowman platinum is an awesome product, no doubt about. I've never had the privilege of tearing open any packs, although I own several BP cards.

So here I am, reading through blog after blog, hypnotized by these shiny magical cards. The devil on my shoulder was kind enough to remind me that I had the time to make to make a run to the store to at least grab some repacks. The angel on my opposite shoulder reminded me that I'm broke. 

Guess who won? Not only did he win, he talked me into buying a blaster box AND a value pack. I'm not huge on blaster boxes, but I have read so many good things about BP blasters. I also read that autographs are possible when it comes to BP blasters, and that it's easy to get your money's worth. Damn you, internet!! 

I digress. I'll start with the value pack, which runs you $10:

The packaging promises three purple parallels, and here they are. 

The highlights are pictured here. I was ecstatic to pull an auto. Calixte is a top ten prospect in the Royals Farm system. He's supposedly a graceful athlete in the field, but has no concept of a strike zone. A beautiful sig, however. I really like the Tony Cingrani parallel. I saw him pitch against the Bucs at PNC Park this summer and his stuff is electric. He has serious potential. And from what I understand about this Taveras guy, he's good... really good.

Now let's take a look at the blaster:

Here are three more parallels. These cards are just gorgeous, and I couldn't be happier with the names. The Machado card is a real gem.

Three more interesting cards, each in their own way. Tyrone Taylor is another guy that's supposed to be a freak athlete, and he's rising through the shallow Brewers farm system relatively quickly. He looks great on an X-Fractor, too. C.J. Cron appears here on a strange but decent looking die-cut. He has been dubbed as Albert Pujols' heir... we'll see. The Duke Snider insert is different, but I like it.

Overall, I have absolutely no complaints. Some big names, an auto, some nice parallels and inserts, an x-fractor and a die-cut. A nice mix of everything! If you haven't had the privilege of ripping through some of this year's Bowman Platinum packs, I recommend that you cave into that devil on your shoulder and drop the 20 bucks for a blaster box.

Thanks so much for reading!

Friday, August 9, 2013

4 Repacks of 2012 Bowman Football

I recently had the privilege of picking up some 2012 Bowman Football packs for a very reasonable price. With preseason football underway, it may be time for me to focus on some football cards! 

 They make it very clear that there are three rookie cards in each pack, which is awesome news for such a loaded draft class. I hoping to pull some big names, and I was lucky enough to do so!

 Mr. Griffin III made a double appearance in these packs! Even better, both are inserts! I'm not a huge fan of the base card design, but these two inserts are on a better level. The Accolades insert is very sharp. I love the fact that the Bowman logo and RC stamp are both in gold. It adds a nice touch. 

I also pulled a Russel Wilson base card. Overall, very fun repacks to tear open! 

As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Need your help! 2013 Topps Cut to the Chase Set Update

Hello again friends. If you haven't already read it, I'm working to compete a set of the 2013 Topps "Cut to the Chase" inserts. I'd love to make some trades and try to obtain some more of these cards. To see what I need/already have, please click HERE.  

As far as what I can offer in return, there's lots of options. I have lots of cards from Topps baseball- 2012. 2013, and Gypsy Queen. I also have a mix of other cards.. please see HERE for that. I have a pretty large collection, don't hesitate to ask about a favorite player, team, etc. I'm a generous trader! My e-mail is Let's chat!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Hobby Box Break and Review

BASEBALL FANS! I have finally purchased a baseball hobby box! Since I've recently began to blog about my hobby, I've been reviewing only basketball cards. I've connected with many collectors, almost all of whom are baseball guys. Hopefully this will be refreshing. This was a sensational break for many reasons. I hope you enjoy!

 Here are the base cards, with two of my main men. These are really sharp cards. I was fortunate enough to pull almost all of the Pirates base cards in one box. I missed Burnett and Stargell. 

Manny Machado made a double appearance. On the left is his mini variation card, bearing that "RC" which we all love to see. On the right is his base card.

Moving on to the inserts! On top is an example of the Collisions at the Plate cards which highlight one of my favorite parts elements of the game. The lower card is part of the Sliding Stars set, with none other than my man Cutch! Gorgeous card.

To the left is the Dealing Aces insert, picturing Fantasy Baseball stud Matt Moore. To the right is the No Hitters insert.

 (L) Glove Stories insert, and also the highlight of Travis Snider's career. That wraps up the inserts.
(R) Paul Goldschmidt Blue Border Parallel, #ed to 499

(L) Josh Rutledge Green Mini Parallel. /99
(Middle) Russel Martin Sepia-Tone Parallel /50. This box was VERY generous with the Buccos!
(R) Ian Desmond Black Parallel /199

Here are my two relic pulls, two nice cards! Evan Longoria mini, and an awesome Paul Konerko jumbo, numbered to 25. I'm a bit burnt out on relic cards- they don't too much for me any more. The Konerko card, however, is a different story. This is a really neat card. On to the autos...

 (L) Anthony Rizzo Base auto. I love Rizzo's potential, and his signature is very attractive. Blue ink looks great.
(R) Wilin Rosario base auto. Not bad!


 A little bonus. Actually, a big bonus! I have never had the privilege of pulling a printing plate, and I couldn't ask for a better name for my first. It's interesting to think that I was booing this guy at PNC park just a few weeks ago for initially failing to select Pedro Alvarez for Home Run Derby. Now he's reason I have an awesome card. Thank you Mr. Wright!


Overall Design:  The photography is excellent- specifically the contrast. Topps did a superb job of blurring the backgrounds and making the players jump off the cards. Some of the poses are incredible.

Box contents: The base set is made up of 350 cards, and I've heard it's an awesome set to chase. A hobby box will bring you a total of 240 cards, so it's a great place to start. The inserts could also be fun to chase. As I mentioned earlier, I love the Collisions inserts. The Sliding Stars set is an interesting choice, because... all baseball players slide... but I guess there's only so much you can do! The mini cards also add an awesome element for collectors.

The Hits: The base auto set contains several mediocre players, and in my mind is nothing special. There are several other autograph sets however, and there's some huge names there. Lots of Trout, Justin Upton, Freese, Trumbo, etc. The mini relic cards are average, but there are other types as well, such as jumbos and triple swatches. The availability of serial numbered cards, parallels, and variation cards (or any combination of the three) make a box break very exciting.

Positives: Card design, availability of serial numbers, variety of hits, retired players mixed in, variety in checklist

Negatives: Some teams are underrepresented in base set. A tad bit pricey, but certainly not a ripoff. 

Design is very similar to past designs. I dearly hope they change it up for 2014.

Rating: 9 out of 10. Granted that I was pretty lucky in this box, this product is great nonetheless. It's a staple for Topps, and hopefully will be for years to come.