Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015 Topps Series 1-- cuz it says so right on the back!

I always get excited when the new Topps flagship baseball comes out.  It's a new year, spring training and then opening day are right around the corner.  I'm not nearly as excited when Series 2 comes out or update, but Series 1, well that's all new.

I ended up going to Bosco's trade night last night.  I pondered not going, I hadn't been in in a few month and didn't have any tickets yet to the drawing, but I knew this would be the last trade night at their current location, they're moving into a new, fully renovated, custom designed nerdtopia on Valentines Day, that and Series 1 was out.

I've been trying to be good about my spending habits and I had even contemplated not buying any packs at all and just buying a cheap set somewhere down the line, but in the end I picked up 3 jumbo packs, because hey I love to rip packs!  So lets see what I got and look at some Topps.

There was a lot of talk about the base design.  After getting some of these cards in hand I really like the look of the border.  I'll give credit where credit is due and Topps really went outside their comfort zone with this one.  And I like it.  As a matter of fact I think the last time we got a base card this unique and colorful was way back in 1990.
 I also have to say they did an excellent job on the backs as well.  Large, readable card numbers in the upper right hand side will make for easy collation for those of us who still store our sets in boxes.  Topps even added the Series One over the number.  I'm not sure if that was necessary, but it really doesn't hurt, and it might foreshadow something to come in a later set.

Topps also brings back the Future Stars imprint.  Here's an example.
According to the Cardboard Connection checklist the Rainbow foil parallels fall 1:10, but I'm pretty sure you get one a pack in the jumbos.  I only found two, but I'm sure my third is still mixed in with the base.  They don't scan well and the two examples below look pretty much like their base counterparts.

 I also pulled two gold parallels.

Here's a look at the game piece for Topps' online promotion.

 Looks like once again I won't be able to participate.

Topps is once again ruining perfectly good vintage cardboard.  I pulled this 1974 Williams buyback.

 In years past Jumbo packs usually contained one of every insert, so you got about 40 base cards and 10 inserts per pack.  This year I'm pretty sure Topps scaled that back to about 5 inserts per jumbo pack.  I only pulled one of these Free Agent 40 cards in my 3 jumbos.

There seemed to be a lot of excitement over these First Pitch inserts.  I really don't understand why, the set doesn't really appeal to me and reminds me of those Fans of the Game inserts Donruss put out years ago.  I think the only one I'd be interested in would be the Jeff Bridges card, who wouldn't want a card of the Dude.

I got one of the Inspired Play inserts.  I like the overall look, design, and theme.

I also got one Baseball History.  These cards are set  up like Garbage Pail Kids with A and B versions, the A versions are World History and the B versions are Baseball history, I guess.

 I'm not sure why, but I really like these Archetypes inserts.  Maybe it's because I pulled a Hank Aaron.

Lastly I pulled 3 Highlight of the Year inserts. An interesting note on insertion.  All of the inserts were inserted in the middle of the pack, like they normally have been for years.  All except these inserts.  All three of these were inserts on the bottom of the pack.  I'm not sure if that means anything, but it did jump out at me as I opened them.

You can see I didn't really get anything to write home to mom about.  One note is that all of the inserts are numbered for this series.  Something I bitched about a lot when it seems Topps for some reason lettered all the cards in the Update series last year.  There are also a couple retail only inserts, like Robbed and the First Home Run cards.  You'll also notice Topps didn't do a mini insert this year and they also didn't do a large insert set.  I think the largest set is only 40 cards, where in years past they usually had a large continuity insert over 50 cards that usually spanned all three series.  It looks like the Highlight of the Year insert will be the only insert being continued into Series 2 and if it's continued into Update the set will have 90 cards, but that's a far cry from years past with the continued inserts sets reaching 150 cards or more.

Some of the bigger hits are just now starting to hit ebay and like usual I'm sure there are all sorts of variations and other surprises to find.  Overall I think Topps did a good job this year, shaking up the insert formula, going bold on the base design, and mixing up their insert themes so they aren't all so similar.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner - Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest is over!!! Finally

First off I apologize for not having this up sooner. I ended up coming home after the game and crashing.  Second, holy cow what a game!  That 30 second drive by the Seahawks at the end of the half to tie it up, the Pats comeback in the second half, that crazy catch, and that terrible call by Pete Carroll.  I have to say it was a great game.  I wasn't impressed too much by this years commercials, but at least the half time show was pretty decent.

OK lets get to it.  We need a winner.  Of course the Patriots won, but we'll need those tie breakers. The correct prediction would have been

Patriots over Seahawks, 52 Points, and 1 Field Gold

In the end we had 4 people pick the Pats to win, of those 4 none picked them to beat the Seahawks, and we had two! withing 4 points of the correct total score, this isn't the Price is Right, going over is fine.  That means we have to go to the final tie-breaker, something I don't think I've ever had to do in either of my big contests.

Superduperman99 - New England over Dallas, 48 points, 2 field goals
Robert - New England over Green Bay, 61 points, 4 FGs.
Fuji - Seattle Seahawks over New England Patriots, 57 points, 5 field goals
Josh D - Seattle over Denver - 45 points. 1 FG.
Corky - Seattle over Indianapolis- 49 points- 3 FGs
irondequoit36 - Seattle over Steelers 51pts , 4 FG's
Wilson - Seattle over New England, 45 points, 4 FGs - pimp
Red Cardboard - Seattle over New England. 40 points. 4 FG
Lonestarr - Seattle over New England ~ (27-21) 48 points ~ 2 FG
Bo - Seattle over New England, 45 points, 1 FG. - pimp

Jesus Hernandez - New England over Dallas, 56 points, 5 field goals
The Angels In Order - New England over Dallas, 30 points, 3 FG.

But in the end Superduperman99, aka Weston, pulls out the win!!!!

Now on to the door prize.  You got an entry for playing and a bonus entry for pmping the contest. I've randomize the list 3 times at

DaddyMike you are our Door Prize winner!!! You don't have an email in your profile so please email me your address.  

Thanks everybody who played.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest on the Web 5 - Pre-game warm up

Well here we go!  I'm still a little pissed that my Packers aren't in the big game, but the team has no one to blame but themselves.  I was torn on who I was going to root for.  Right after the NFC Championship I was sure I wasn't going to root for the Seahawks, but now with all the deflate-gate, I really hate the use of the term gate to mean a scandal, I'm not sure who I want to win.

But in all fairness to the Seahawks fans.  Enjoy the moment, you deserve it.  As bitter as I am that the Packers didn't make it. I can't say the Seahawks didn't try to let them have it and in the end the Seahawks won, although you'll have to admit they did have a little luck.

This year we had 12 players make it to the final round of the contest.  All I asked was which team was going to win and we can see by the number of people that pick the final two teams that we needed the tie breaks, we'll have to see how many of them after the game.  But that also means that of the 8 people who picked the Seahawks, 3 are already out, because the other 5 correctly picked the opponent, that might be the most surprising thing.  Of the 5 guys that picked the Patriots to win none picked the Seahawks as their opponent, so no matter who wins we'll have to go to the 2nd tie breaker, total points.

Here are the final 12 and their picks

Superduperman99 - New England over Dallas, 48 points, 2 field goals
Robert - New England over Green Bay, 61 points, 4 FGs.
Fuji - Seattle Seahawks over New England Patriots, 57 points, 5 field goals
Josh D - Seattle over Denver - 45 points. 1 FG.
Corky - Seattle over Indianapolis- 49 points- 3 FGs
irondequoit36 - Seattle over Steelers 51pts , 4 FG's
Wilson - Seattle over New England, 45 points, 4 FGs - pimp
Red Cardboard - Seattle over New England. 40 points. 4 FG
Lonestarr - Seattle over New England ~ (27-21) 48 points ~ 2 FG
Bo - Seattle over New England, 45 points, 1 FG. - pimp
Jesus Hernandez - New England over Dallas, 56 points, 5 field goals
The Angels In Order - New England over Dallas, 30 points, 3 FG.

Alright I'll announce the winner and door prize winner after the game.

Thanks again everyone who played.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My favorite card of the year 2014.

I've ripped a lot of packs, sorted through thousands of cards, and flipped though the dime boxes this year, but one card that I pulled stood out. 

I'm not a Lions fan or a Megatron fan, but this card just kind of blew me away.  It epitomized what I think professional football is and how it should be played. And it also shows how good Topps photography is sometimes.

We can even date the card.  Thanks to Cary Williams sharing the card and looking back thought the 2013 Lions schedule I can say that this was the December 8th game played in Philly. The weather was bad which made for some great football and a great picture.

Oh and the Eagles won the game 34-20.

Anyone else have a favorite from last year?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 - State of the Blog Address

Well with 2015 well under way.  The Super Bowl just over the horizon and Spring Training only a couple month away it's that time again to access the collection and the blogs.

Well last year I really didn't accomplish much on the list with a few exceptions, but I look at the State of the Blog address not as a to-do list, but as a vehicle for looking back and ahead.  Pretty deep.

Last year was a big year for me. Not in the blogging or card collecting world, but in my personal life.  I welcomed my son into the world and that put a huge crimp in my collecting.  For one, about this time last year I cleaned out my man cave to make room for a nursery.  I also pretty much lost most of my disposable income to the diaper fund.  But for the almost 30 years that I consider myself a card collector I've never stopped being part of the hobby.  Sure there were times and situations that I wasn't as fully immersed as I had been, but I never considered myself out of the hobby.

So lets look forward to this year.

1. More TTMing.  I have a big list of former Brewers that sign that I'd like to send to.  And Spring Training is just around the corner and there are a ton of prospects I'd like to send too as well.  After my original Spring Training send off last year I really didn't do anymore mailings and that can be seen in my success rate.

2. Limit my box buying and the number of sets I put together.  This is a carry over from last year and to be honest I really did do a good job.  Near the end of the year I kept finding fantastic deals on boxes so I did buy a few, but my baseball box buying was very sparse. I don't even think I sprung for a box of Allen and Ginter and that's probably my favorite set of the year.  We'll see how much Topps baseball I buy, but it's not looking good.

3. Trade more.  I really, really mean it.  I was terrible last year, but you know work, baby, etc.

4. Work harder on my Packers and Brewers collections.  Having mothballed the majority of my collection hurt this one as I wasn't going after cards to fill holes because most of my collection was boxed up.

5.  Keep up posting on my other team and player-centric blogs.  I really like how my Robin Yount blog turned out this year.  I was able to feature great cards, do checklists and galleries of current releases, do general news, and publish more posts then all the previous years combined.

6. Draw more.  I don't know if most of you know this, but I do like to dabble in art.  And not to toot my own horn, but I'm not too shabby.  I even started an art blog.   To be fair that blog originally started off as a rant blog, but I decided to use it to post my art.  And I've been terrible about keeping that blog up as well.  Let me just say having this many blogs was probably a bad idea.  But my wife has challenged me to produce one to two quality pieces per month this year and she would try and get me my own showing.  That would be cool.  However my drawing space has been relegated to the kitchen table.

7. And finally lose 30 pounds.  Maybe I'll actually try this year.

Actually that's a pretty lame list, but I'm working on my 6th year of blogging here folks and I don't really plan to change to much.

Alright  cb out.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Blue Sunday....and Monday

I'm a sad Packer fan today. It's not as bad as yesterday afternoon, but I'm still pretty shocked at the Packers implosion.  I can talk about the missed opportunities, the chain of worst case scenarios that kept coming true, but in the end it's still just a game and while I would have loved to see my Packers in the this year's Super Bowl in the end Seattle won fair and square.  I'd even say that the officiating was pretty decent and even heavy in Green Bay's favor.  No I won't be rooting for them this year.

Anyway I figured I post a quick and dirty watercolor I did years ago.  I'm not sure if I painted this in 2005 or 2004. I ended up putting a 2005 date on it, but I do know I painted it while out in a field camp one fall.  I was in the middle of nowhere, but we strung an antennae and could get Fairbanks sports radio in camp, so on Sundays we would huddle around the radio and listen to football.  I actually got to listen to a Packer game out there and if you can't tell they lost.

Just seemed fitting to post.