Monday, April 16, 2018

2017 Topps Now: Atlanta Braves #44 (488 print run)

Last year the Braves opened their new home, SunTrust Park on April 14th. 41,149 fans were in attendance as the Braves hosted the San Diego Padres. This day also saw the first home win in the new stadium as Julio Teheran tossed a good game and Ender Inciarte padded the Braves' lead late in the game.

Over the weekend my wife asked me to take her back to Atlanta for a game as her birthday present. Turns out the Nationals will be in town that weekend so I'm starting to look for tickets now. Can't wait to get back as nothing beats taking in a game in person, especially at a beautiful ball park like SunTrust Park.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Box Break: 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen (and Want List)

My wife and girls' spring break this year pretty much fell one week after everyone else in the world. Turns out this wasn't a bad thing as we were able to stay at my mom's beach house for most of this week. Knowing that I'd have time in the evening to myself, I grabbed a new 4 inch binder I had purchased, 2 packs of Ultra Pro 9 pocket pages and a my hobby box of 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen I've been sitting on for a few weeks.

The loose cards above the box were the only retail cards purchased up until this point

Andrew from The Iron Lion gave me a great deal on the box upon GQ's release date back in March. Between work, being tired and perhaps some laziness I finally got around to ripping the box today. My daughters sat with me at the kitchen table as I ripped open packs, listening to 80's hard rock, watching intently for me to pull then next Braves card. I have to admit...I loved every moment of my girls sitting with me "enjoying" my hobby with me. At one point, my oldest daughter, Olivia, 8, began telling me about Jackie Robinson. I asked where she learned about him and she said at school. She asked if I had a card of his, but sadly the answer was no...but I followed it up with a "one day, baby".

After dinner at Nakato (Japanese steak house), a round of mini golf and some ice cream I owed the girls, we came back to the house and I was finally able to finish collating the cards. I feel as if I put a pretty good dent into the base set. Up until this point I'd only purchased one rack pack of GQ from retail. Now that I know what I need to finish off the set, I guess it'll be retail and (hopefully) trading with other collectors from here on out.

Logo swap, missing team name, Bazooka back & blue parallels

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the various parallels in this years Gypsy Queen set, and for the most part I agree with the masses. The missing name plate, team name, logo swap and such are just dumb. While I did pull two missing team name cards of players I collect and plan to hold onto them, I will not be searching out any more of these. I like the set for the base cards and their design. I've been a fan of the GQ brand since the beginning and this year is no different.

I didn't really hit a home run in the autograph department (in my opinion), but at least the Carlos Carrasco auto is numbered 056/150. I do like the one card autos, something that seems to be slowly disappearing in the hobby.

Each Hobby box yields one GQ ClassWorks Chrome box topper. I was really hoping to pull Freddie Freeman, but ended up w/ Josh Donaldson instead. Any Blue Jays fans reading this that want to trade?

Oh yeah, I pulled this little no name RC from the box as well. Nope, it's not for sale or for's card #089 that I need for the set.

The inserts in GQ have been hit and miss since the beginning and this year...well at least I like one of the sets. I like the idea behind the Fortune Teller fits the Gypsy Queen theme...but these aren't real mini cards. I'd rather these be full size if they aren't going to be minis.

The Tarot of the Diamond inserts however are a lot of fun and look more beautiful in hand than scanned. The odds were right on the money with my box containing 3 of these. Only another 17 to go before I'll have the whole set. This is another interesting insert that fits the GQ theme quite well.

The thing about have a lot of image variation parallels that makes it hard on collectors is knowing what to look for. Well thanks to the article on Cardboard Connection I was able to find a whole list of the variations and it just so happened that my "duplicate" Trevor Story wasn't a duplicate at was one of the Jackie Robinson image variations. These were seeded 1:106 packs. Glad to have pulled it of a guy I also collect.

Overall I enjoyed ripping the box and had fun with my girls at the same time. It's memories like this that'll last far longer than the joy I get of opening packs. I really like this year's GQ set and look forward to trying to fill in my holes. Speaking of that, below is my want list that I threw together after opening the box. If you would like to help me in any fashion with these missing cards, by all means please let me know.

1, 10, 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 32, 35, 37, 39, 40, 52, 53, 58, 59, 62, 63, 66, 68, 73, 75, 76, 78, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 91, 93, 97, 98, 100, 102, 105, 108, 111, 118, 121, 122, 124, 125, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 140, 142, 145, 156, 158, 160, 163, 164, 166, 169, 172, 175, 177, 183, 185, 195, 196, 197, 199, 203, 208, 211, 218, 219, 224, 228, 230, 136, 240, 243, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 252, 255, 256, 260, 262, 265, 266, 267, 270, 274, 278, 281, 282, 285, 287, 289, 290, 292, 295, 296, 297, 300

301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 319, 320

Fortune Teller
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20

Tarot of the Diamond
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17, 19, 20, 21, 22

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Another one bites the dust!

1996 Leaf Signature Series Gold autograph

My side project, Rey Ordonez Super Collector blog hasn't been updated in 6 months!! Guess I've bitten off more than I can chew? Well I did get around to doing another update today, but I really wanted to spotlight this gold auto parallel I finally picked up off a fellow collector. This card completes my Rey collection from 1996 Signature Series. For a complete look at this set you can refer back to my original post.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2018 Panini Donruss - Who Wants to Trade?

I know Panini's baseball card offerings aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I am enjoying most of what they are doing, especially with Donruss. While I prefer the base design of 2017 over 2018, I decided to make a run at completing the base set complete with all the annoying variations. Just by buying retail thus far I feel that I've done a good job so far. Below are the cards that I'm currently looking for at the time of this post.

Diamond Kings - 2, 7, 10, 11, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
Rated Rookies - 31, 37, 41, 42, 43, 47, 48, 49
Base - 53, 56, 57, 63, 69, 75, 76, 81, 91, 99, 103, 104, 106, 107, 113, 117, 123, 125, 130, 132, 133, 134, 138, 142, 145, 151, 155, 159, 162, 163, 167, 169, 178, 182, 186, 187, 190, 194, 195, 196, 199, 200, 202, 203, 205, 212, 217, 220, 223, 224, 225, 230, 239, 243, 245, 246, 250, 252, 259, 260, 262, 268, 270

Base Variations
64 Cal Ripken
86 Jose Abreu
92 Joe Morgan
100 Roberto Alomar
104 Charlie Blackmon
108 Reggie Jackson
134 Marcell Ozuna
143 Giancarlo Stanton
144 Noah Snydergaard
148 Aaron Judge (ROY)
154 Clayton Kershaw
155 Mike Trout
158 Cory Seager
159 Andrew McCutchen
167 Buster Posey (throwing image)
169 Andrew Benintendi (black & white)
169 Andrew Benintendi (nickname)
172 Nolen Arenado
173 Jose Ramirez
187 Nolen Ryan
189 Manny Machado
191 Mookie Betts (image/nickname)
200 Mickey Mantle
225 Anthony Rizzo
230 Yoan Moncado
234 Francisco Lindor

I also have several base cards, including base variations and parallels (see above) ready for trade. If you have some extra 2018 Donruss and are interested in working out a trade, please let me know!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday Verse

James 3:17-18

New International Version

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Opening Day is Finally Here!

Opening Day is finally upon us. For the first time in many, many years, all of the MLB teams were slated to begin their season on the same day. I've already heard that weather may have scrubbed the Reds/Nationals game, but my team...the Braves will be hitting the field in just over an hour to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Today is one of those days where I relish getting to work from home...however with so much baseball on TV today I can't say I've accomplished a lot of work! Shhh, don't tell my boss! Later today I also hope to rip into some baseball card packs and boxes I've had sitting off to the side. Some 2018 Topps Opening Day (seems appropriate, right?), some 2018 Donruss and last but not least a hobby box of 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen.

Back to my Braves. Today's opening day roster has quite a few changes over last year. On the mound will be the Braves' ace, Julio Teheran. He was very up and down last year so I hope we'll see a more consistent Teheran this season. The starting pitching is a big question mark for the Braves so we'll need him to step up his game and help anchor the starting rotation. 

The rest of the starting rotation appears to include new comber Brandon McCarthy (acquired in the Matt Kemp deal w/ the Dodgers), Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb.

The outfield will consist of Ender Inciarte (CF), gold glover who I enjoyed watching from the outfield at SunTrust Park last season. Preston Tucker gets the start in LF, a player that I'll be honest I don't know much about. Drafted by the Astros in 2012 and played in Houston his rookie year in 2015. While he does show some promise, I believe he will just be a place holder so to speak until they are ready to call up Ronald Acuna. Nick Markakis gets the start again in RF.

Infield consists of Mr. Reliable himself at 1B, Freedie Freeman. Ozzie Albies, called up late in 2017 gets the start at 2B vacated by Brandon Phillips. Dansby Swanson fills the hole at shortstop. He was up and down last year so I'm hoping we'll see more offensive abilities from him this year. 3B is another new face, Ryan Flaherty. Ryan previously played for the Baltimore Orioles, drafted in 2008 by the Cubs. Johan Camargo will most likely be the team's third baseman, but he is starting off the new year on the DL with oblique discomfort.

The bullpen has a lot of new faces as well and I'm really hoping these guys will hold up better than the bullpen of previous teams. A.J. Minter may eventually win the closing job from Arodys Vizcaino. A familiar face returning to the bullpen this year is the Aussie, Peter Moylan.

I'm so ready to go! Baseball is back! I'm having a blast with some of the early 2018 baseball card products and I can't wait to see what this season has in store for all of the teams, especially the Braves. Now let's go play some ball!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Affordable Group Break - 2nd Team Randomization

Now that all of the slots have been filled and everyone has paid, it's time to randomly assign the unclaimed teams.

01 - Cardboard Collections - Braves / Angels
02 - Cards on Cards - Cardinals / Rays
03 - Angus - Mets / Marlins
04 - Cardboard Conundrum - Cubs / A's
05 - Daily Dimwit - Astros / Rockies
06 - CaptKirk42 - Expos / Blue Jays
07 - Royals & Randoms - Royals / Brewers
08 - Chronicles of Fuji - Yankees / Mariners
09 - Jason German - Reds / Twins
10 - Daily Dimwit - Dodgers / Padres
11 - 2x3 Heroes - White Sox / Indians
12 - 2x3 Heroes - Pirates / Tigers
13 - Royals & Randoms - Giants / Diamondbacks
14 - Royals & Randoms - Red Sox / Rangers
15 - Royals & Randoms - Orioles / Phillies

If you'd like to trade a team(s), please comment on either this post or on the Facebook post. That way I can make sure I keep up with who's swapping who.