Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heading out!!

I have been terrible.  Well terrible at getting trades made and updating this blog.  I could blame the holiday weekend or the fact that I'm leaving for a 10 day work trip, but it comes down to me being a little lazy.  So to Darren and Scott, both of whom have expressed interest in a trade, I'm sorry.  I'll be back in town on June 10th and then I get 5 days off straight and I'll get these trades done, if you still want to do them. 

It's that time of year again for me.  The field season starts in just a few hours.  For those who don't know I work as a Fisheries Biologist here in Alaska and my job pretty much is to travel the state and make sure that fish can get though culverts along Alaska's few but very long road systems.  This year we have 3 crews heading out and I'm heading to Juneau to train some people and enjoy the rain.

So my posts might get sparse for a week or so, but when I get back into town Series 2 should have hit the shelves, we can hope, and I'll be able to crack some packs.  So I hope you all had an enjoyable Memorial Day and I'll post when I can.

cb out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Bowman (A Collector's Crack Day Late and a Dollar Short review)

I went down to Don's, one of my LCS's in the area last Wednesday, and no Bowman, Don said that he got an email from Topps and the cards would be in tomorrow.  It was too bad to because that Wednesday was trade night at Don's and I'm sure he would have sold out of it. But I went down there after work on Thursday and lo and behold boxes of freshly opened Bowman. Don prices stuff on his costs and since this was the first batch and it was bought at introductory levels, that means that packs and boxes prices weren't threw the roof, yet.  I decided to pick up a couple jumbo packs of Bowman and play the Harper lottery.  I also picked up a Kimball Champions Mantle card from this years Topps for my Kimballs set. This was a score because everywhere I look people want at least 6 bucks for this card and I got it for cheap.

But, I digress, so late as always here is my two cents on this years Bowman.  It's as crappy as the last few years.  I remember talking to Don about how much money he's lost on Bowman over the years.  The only reason he made money last year was because of Strasmania and he'll sell out of Bowman this year due to the Harper lottery. I remember trying to put a Bowman set together a few years back and thinking this is terrible.  I mean the multi-numbering system.  More on that later, lets look at the cards and inserts I pulled and what I think.

Here is the base veteran card.  I opened the first pack and got this and one other Brewer coming up and thought man I just need to stop.  I was also going to pick up a rack pack of Retail to compare but couldn't find any.

The base rookie out of the main 220 card set.  Both of which aren't terrible, but not particularly great.

The regular Bowman Prospect's card.  Kinda looks like last years design.
Bowman Prospect's Chrome.

Bowman gold parallels.  One per pack, jumbo and regular hobby.  If you looking for these best to buy smaller, cheaper packs.

I also got one orange parallel.  These are numbered to 250 I do believe.

Oh is that candy??!!
This was actually the first card I saw when I opened my first pack.  Score!  Since I officially decided to be a Braun supercollector, any pack pulls are always welcome.  I think I like this insert set the best, I just wish this card would have been chrome etched like the originals.  These are on foil board and look like something Panini would put out.

My 2 Topps 100 cards.
And Topps of the Class. 

There are a few more inserts in this set that I didn't get any of and I'm looking for a Braun Finest Future's insert if anyone has one to trade. 

Now I realize that this review is only based on two jumbo packs, and to be honest I would have liked to bust a box to get a full feel, but I'm not dropping 150 bucks on a jumbo box on a set I don't want to collect.  A few observations first,  I wish Topps would just return to numbering all the cards into the set.  I don't mind the Bowman Chrome parallels or all the other color parallels.  It does seem like in Bowman, Topps takes the parallels to the extreme with the sheer numbers of different color parallels and refractors, but I actually like having cards to chase of certain players, and I understand that a lot of people like to pick up the prospect cards of future MLB players, so Bowman has it's place to that extent.  But as a set collector this set is a no go.  I mean I guess if I cared I could try to just put the base 220 card set together or go after the prospect set or the chrome prospect set but all of them together gets a bit overwhelming.  I think it would just be a better product if all the prospects were numbered in to a 500 card set, or what ever size set. Hell you could do what Upper Deck did with Champ's and number in every card issued into the set and really piss set collectors off. That and the price point for this product is way to high.  Topps has got super lucky with Strasmania and the Harper Lottery the last two years to make this product a success, but lets be honest the only reason anyone bought this product last year and this year were to try and snag some Strasburgs and Harpers. 

That doesn't mean I won't be trying to put a Brewer's set together. I will.  One of my goals was to complete a team set from all the offerings this year, not the super premium sets, but that would be nice too.

That being said Bowman is what it is and if you enjoy what it has to offer that's great.  To me I think my two packs of Jumbo will be all that I purchase and I'll be tracking down the remaining Brewers cards I need for my set through trades, ebay and other outlets.

I'm giving this product two Meh's.
Again I suppose if I'd had opened a full box, or pulled a sweet auto out of this product I might be a little more hot on this, but from what I've seen on the forums and blogs, no one is super excited about Bowman itself just the Harper and a few other prospects.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another sad day in the world of "Sports".

I just heard this on the radio and it is TMZ that is reporting this but appears that the Macho Man Randy Savage has died in a car accident caused by a massive heart attack. 

You may remember Randy from his years in the WWF and WCW and his wife and manager Miss Elizabeth.  Sadly Miss Elizabeth died from a alcohol and drug overdose in 2003. 

I really got into Pro Wrestling in the late 80's just as the WWF was hitting it's peak.   I think any fan of current or classic Pro Wrestling is a little saddened today. Savage was 58.

Just seems like a lot of high profile sports deaths this month so far, with Harmon Killebrew passing away earlier this week, to the college football deaths, and the death of Samuel Wanjiru, the Kenyan Marathon gold medalist.

We'll miss you Macho Man.

On a completely different topic Harold Camping has predicted that the end of days is tomorrow.  What time tomorrow?  Does the Rapture start on eastern standard time or central?  So I've decided to cash in my IRA and buy as many cases of Bowman as possible.  Just kidding.  I did pick up two jumbo packs yesterday, before they're gone and prices skyrocket.  Was I impressed? Not really,  but if I'm still here on Monday I'll have a post about it.

Have a good weekend everybody.

cb out

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oldest card ever revisted!!

Wow I really haven't had anything to blog about in the last few days.  I'm planning on heading down to the old LCS and picking up a few packs of Jumbo Bowman before prices skyrocket there.  That's all I'm going to buy, two jumbos, no boxes, no blasters, maybe a retail rack pack, but that's it.  And if by chance I hit a Harper auto, I'll put it up on ebay and put my future children through college, but I'm not going to get my hopes up.

Anyway, I blogged last month about a couple cool auctions over at Robert Edward Auctions and kinda forgot about them when they ended on the 8th.

So here is a recap of the final ending prices, if anyone is interested, of the three cards I featured.

First is the oldest baseball card in the world.
I was surprised this card didn't go for more, but it ended at $30,000.00.  Still respectable but slightly less then I thought it would take.

Next is the Honus Wagner restored T206 card.
Honus brought in $160,000.00. 

But the big winner for the auction was the T210 Old Mill Shoeless Joe Jackson card.

Joe brought in $170,000.00.  Wow hard to think that this card is worth almost as much as my house. 
I'll be back later with my day late analysis of this years Bowman.  I've already seen quite a few posts on it and they ain't good.

cb out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Collector's Crack keeping you up to date on all the Royal Wedding Trading Cards (when blogger will let me)

Didn't get enough wedding coverage?  Have you replayed the wedding so many times your DVR copy is fuzzy?  Not to worry Topps has you covered with a new 50 card set.

I was looking on Topps website to see if they had a Gypsy Queen checklist (ok stop laughing).  They don't, of course they don't.  As a matter of fact they never updated any of the information on the release.  According to the Topps website the set still has 450 cards in it.  Oh Topps you're not even trying anymore. 

Anyway, I notice a little sidebar...

Only available on the QVC website by the way.  Here are the promo shots.
Kate, I have to say you'll make a hot queen.

Speaking of the queen

Just saw the King's Speech last week, pretty good.

Billy!! Saw on the news he rescued a judge lost in the wilds of England instead of going on his honeymoon.

I don't think there are any actual wedding photos in this set you'll have to wait for Series 2 for those!

The set goes for $19.99 plus $4.22 in shipping, but you save 3 bucks with the QVC special price.  If you're really into it you can go here to see more.

Stay tuned for more indepth looks at cards you probably don't want to own.

cb out

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Come on now you know you want too...Cheap Break announcment Deux

Yo, Yo, Yo, Yep I'm back again. You can call me the Group Break Pimp!  One last time to tell you about the cheap group break over at Cardboard Collections.  I was just over there and there are still 12 teams up for grabs.  I'm not talking about the scrub teams either, the Cubs, the Red Sox, the Tigers are all still up for grabs along with others.  Hell there's still some great $5 teams too. 

Go here to check it out.. Cardboard Collection's May cheap group break!!!

And Colbey's added a bonus blaster already.  Hell if enough people sign up there's a bonus box to be thrown in as well.   Do it!!
Pimp out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Topps Gypsy Queen Retail, Hobby or None?

(I know, I know another Gypsy Queen post.)
I was looking forward to this product mainly because I got in on A Cardboard Problems group break.  I didn't do to bad.  I got 2 Prince Fielder Relics, the regular and framed mini, about 10 team sets, 4 paper framed cards, a bunch of minis, one black, and a few inserts. 
The Brewers team set consists of only 8 cards, I'm not sure if there are any SP Brewers cards, but from looking at the checklist I'm going to say no.  

So far I've opened 5 hobby,  10 card packs  and 5 retail rack packs, which consists of 3 retail, 6 card packs, and a bonus 3 card green framed pack and I also bought a  mini hobby bonus box out of a hobby box too.  So first lets do the math.

Just the pack math since I'm not shelling out 120+ bucks for a box of this. 

Hobby packs at both my LCS's are $6.00.
10 cards per pack = .60 per card, mini's, inserts, hits included.

Retail rack pack. Rack packs are $8.99, I've only found them at Target up here in Alaska so far.
3 Retail packs @6 cards per pack + 3 bonus framed card = 21 cards = .42 per card, mini's, inserts, hits, and bonus included.  Even if we take out the 3 bonus cards the per card average is .49, actually it's .499 so we should probably round up and just say .50 per card.  That's pretty pricey either way you look at it but retail offers you a slightly better deal especially when you figure in the 3 bonus cards.

Don't get me wrong I fully support buying cards at your LCS, but another reason to buy this product retail is the latest in Topps quality control fuck ups.  The missing auto.  This makes buying hobby packs even more of a waste of money when you consider that your odds of getting an on card auto went from 1:12 to 1:24.  As a matter of fact there are very few boxes I've seen opened, either on youtube or posted on forums or blogs that didn't have the missing auto.  So why would I blow 6 bucks a pack when the odds of me getting that auto hit doubled?  Now don't get me wrong, there are still some nice hits to be had in Gypsy Queen and the artist patch cards are hobby exclusives.  But Topps also includes some retail exclusives like the Sticky Fingers and Wall Climbers inserts and of course the bonus rack pack green framed cards.  Now the green framed cards aren't numbered like the copper framed ones, and I'm unsure if the copper are hobby only (as I found out they are not, read on).   

Now the 50 SP's in the set.  I just don't get it.  I mean I do, Topps wants to sell more cards and if you have short prints it means you need to open more packs to get them but all Topps really does here is shut out the casual set builder.  Not to mention the price point is awfully high for a casual set builder as well.  I'm glad Topps reduced the set by 100 cards but if they had just eliminated the 50 SP's the extra hundred wouldn't have been so bad and actually would have made for a nice set to build.  Why not add variants in the set.  This gives the completists something to chase and the casual set builder, which I consider myself, a chance at putting a great looking set together.  

Another thing is I don't understand why Topps just didn't lower the cost of the cases.  Again I do understand the main reason, money, or money in hand.  Topps already got there order money so why give it all back.  And it must have worked out to be cheaper to organize and mail out a replacement then just say hey knock 20 bucks off a box.   

So out of the 5 hobby packs I pulled one Auto or rather the one auto out of the box and out of my 5 retail rack packs I pulled one auto, one framed relic, one regular relic and two bronze paper framed cards and I also got 15 green paper framed cards in the bonus.

The Tomlin auto was my hobby hit.  Seems like all the box breaks I see have one of these cards in it.

The Byrd was my first retail hit.  Oddly enough in the same rack pack, I also got these two copper paper framed cards.

My relic hits...

Jayson Werth...

And the Wizard!!! Framed relic.  I really don't understand the need for two relic inserts.  I'm not sure what point they serve having a full sized card relic and then a framed mini relic in the set. 

Here is also a smattering of the Green Framed cards I got in the bonus packs.

Over all I'd have to say this is another Topps product that's better bought retail then hobby.  My reasoning is this, with the missing auto you need to buy full boxes to get the extra auto, the only real advantage with hobby is that packs have more cards so more base cards for the set, and there are a few hobby exclusives like the 1/1 artist patch cards and I think gypsy jewels (although they might not be hobby only), but the odds of hitting one of those is astronomical. The odds alone of hitting a Royal Crown jewels card is 1:6200 or so. That's about 1 in 25 cases With retail, you only get 6 cards per pack, of those one is the mini, at least one insert and most times two inserts, so you only get 3 base cards.  Now if you not interested in putting the set together it's even better.  Plus you get 2 other insert groups and 3 bonus green framed parallel cards. 

So this begs the question in my mind, with Panini and Upper Deck instituting programs aimed at helping LCS's, or at least in there mind trying to help LCS's, it seems Topps is doing the opposite.  Making retail packs the more desirable option, sending customers to Wal-Mart, Target and any other big box store that stocks trading cards. 

Of course you can say F U to Topps and just not buy any of this.  I really hate SP sets, like this and Heritage, and Topps Magic Football.  All great looking cards just a set collector's nightmare. 
Anywho most of these cards I put up on eBay already to help defray the cost of my addiction, but anything I have left over or doesn't sell  I'll offer up for trade later this week, save your Brewers parallels for me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pow Pow Pacquiao!!!

I don't know how many of you out there follow the world of martial arts, which yes I consider boxing a martial art, but last weekend pitted one of the greats of boxing against one of the... well.

This weekend Manny Pacquiao took on Sugar Shane Mosley, and it wasn't even really a fight.  I missed it.  I couldn't afford the Pay-per-view and I kinda forgot Saturday about it but I've read all the article so now you know I'm an expert.  Hopefully I'll be able to watch some online video of the fight tonight, but from all the articles and reports there's not much to watch.  12 rounds of Mosley trying not to get his ass kicked too bad.  What a shame.  Manny is currently the top ranked pound for pound fighter on the planet. And for good reason, he's pretty good.  As a matter of fact, he's so good it's hard to find people that will fight him.  For good reason Pacquiao ends careers, just as Oscar De La Hoya.  Pacquiaos even gained weight to move up in class to fight bigger opponents and it hasn't stopped him.

Talk is now that Manny might fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time or maybe Floyd Mayweather Jr

I use to be really into the whole boxing world.  Back in the Holyfield, Foreman, and Tyson days, before he went all tattooed cannibal. But as of late there is few guys to get behind or get excited about.  Except for maybe Pacquiao and Mayweather.  And I just can't seem to get into MMA.  I've tried and I've got buddies who are gaga for it, but to be honest when you sit and watch a UFC fight it's more of guys rolling around on the ground trying to choke each other or break bones.  And while I know there is years of training and experience in those fighter, and I sure as hell know they could kick the living crap out of me, there's just not that much grace.  When you throw two MMA guys in a cage together it's all about the primal. Each has his own fighting style and it's a match up to see who comes out on top, just with a lot of hugging.
With boxing it's a disciple.  You have set rules and the two fighters are using the same technique. They might approach that technique in different ways but they all have to follow the same rules and that means each has a group of skills they have to use.  No leg sweeps or choke holds, just reflexes and style.  I'm preaching, but I have a point.  Somewhere in this rant.  The point being with MMA you throw two guys in a ring with a minimal amount of rules, such as no groin or throat shots, and if a guy taps out or gives you stop.  That's pretty basic, I know that there are even more serious (illegal?) fights where there are no rules.  I guess this breaks it down to survival fighting, thunderdome!!!  And I see the appeal a guy who can enter the cage and come out against some guy using a style that he's not adapt in or that his style is better has it's place, but boxing well boxing is more of a gentlemen's martial art.  I remember dating a girl years ago that hate boxing.  She couldn't understand the point.  But she had a hard time understanding the need and appeal of most organized sports.

So here's to you Manyy Pacquiao on a much deserved win, even if Mosley didn't want to show up.
And since this is sports card blog here's a Pacquiao card from the future.
From the upcoming 2011 Topps Allen and Ginter.

cb out.

New May Cheap Group Break open over at Cardboard Collections.

Yo it's the Contest Pimp, I'm not pimping a contest this time thou'.  Colbey's monthly affordable group break is open for May.  Some great boxes from the 90's!  Go over to Cardboard Collections to check it out.  Lots of teams still open to grab and some teams start at only $5.00!!!  Grab two you cheap ass.
Colbey said that he's got all the boxes in hand already, so all we have to do is pay and then he breaks. 

So git yo ass over there!!!!

Pimp out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I just saw news that the NFL network as fired, errr replaced, the broadcast trio of Joe Theismann, Matt Millen, and Bob Papa on the Thursday night broadcasts.  All I can say is Hallelujah!!!!

Quite possibly the worst announcing job ever done on national TV.  I've complained before about them.  Don't get me wrong I don't think every announcer on TV is awesome but NBC, FOX, ESPN, and CBS at least have the good sense to put people on that can call a game.  And I realize that those 4 networks probably take the creme of the crop, but come on, how hard is it to find a quality announcer for your broadcasts.  Answer, I guess for the NFL Network, extremely hard.

The network announced that Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock will be replacing them.  Will they be better?Who knows. I'm not familiar with either one of them that I know of, but it's hard not to improve over what they had there. 

cb out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So that's what's in there.

Well howdy all,
I emailed Colbey over at Cardboard Collections thanking him for the last group break and letting him know I got the cards and asking if there was going to be a May group break.  Colbey assured me that there would definitely be a May group break and told me he had sent me another goodie and that I should expect it soon.  Speaking of cheap group breaks head on over to Cards from the Quarry for their first group break, still lots of good teams up for grabs over there.

Anyways a couple of days ago I got Colbey's package and inside was this little gem.

But something wasn't quite right when I looked at the card.  The relics were slightly askew. So I took the card out of the wrapper it was in and found that this card was actually not what it appeared.  To set the record straight Colbey promised me nothing here and for a while now I've wanted to open a relic card up and see it's guts.  I've put the card back together so it looks nice in the above scan but when I took it out of the team bag it came apart.  So I got my wish it seems.  If you've ever wanted to see what's really in the middle of one of these relic cards take a look.

Here's the side by side too.

Interesting I'm curious why the bat piece are larger than they need to be.  I'll ponder a guess that it's a standard size for some of their other relic cards.  Colbey sent along a nice note, but no details on what happened to the card. I'm not sure if he ever posted about the inner works of a relic.  But thanks Colbey, for a nice Jenkins quad relic.  This card was also numbered to 250.  I had thought about gluing it back together but I kinda like the novelty of being able to actually see the relics.  If you look close to the relic card you'll notice a rectangular pop out above the relics on the right.  I'm assuming that this was where an sticker auto would go.  There's a corresponding punch out on the picture side as well.  

Thanks Colbey can't wait for the next group break!

cb out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In Baseball I have no hate, In football I have too much.

Wow I had some great posts lined up and but I forgot my flash drive at home so maybe I'll work something up later.  In the mean time this is something I've been thinking about for a while.  Actually it occurred to me while in Chicago watching the Cubs play at Wrigley.  Now I'm a Brewers fan and now the Brewers are in the same League and Division as the Cubs, so that would make them my enemy right?  And we went to the Shedd Aquarium that is in the same complex as the Field Museum and Soldier Field, did I want to take a tour of the Bears playing field? 

It got me thinking.  I really hate the Bears and Vikings.  Not the fans, just the teams.  I cannot fault anyone for rooting for a team based on their geography or whatnot.  I understand fandom and having your team.  But it got me thinking why I hate these teams so much in football and in baseball I really don't hate anyone.  Sitting in a great venue like Wrigley it's almost impossible not to root for the Cubs, and slightly dangerous.  I think it dates back to the start of my collecting days when I first started notice sports and paying attention.  I would watch baseball on TV and see all these great guys I had cards of.  Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Cal Ripken Jr., Robin Yount, Will Clark, Don Mattingly, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, and the list goes on.  But I was a Brewers fan, being from Wisconsin, but having grown up all over the place as a military brat I got to watch a lot of other teams play on TV as the Brewers were not overly popular and to be honest my folks were not huge Brewers fans.  But when you need a team of course you folks and family as well as your geography play a big part in the team you choose.  You can have more than one, there's no crime in that.  As a young card collector and having friends who were collectors we would trade and you knew who was popular, and so if the A's were on TV playing the Yankees, I wanted to see Ricky Henderson hit as much as Don Mattingly. 

But as a football fan, there was no doubt who my team was, who my families team was, and who we hated.  The Bears and Packers have the longest standing feud in the NFL, as you would expect for the two oldest teams.  Being so close and with so much history will do that.  Maybe it's just the nature of the games.  Baseball is a gentleman's sport played in the warm months of the year starting in spring when the icy grasp of winter has finally lifted. Football is just the opposite, played just as the summer is over and winter comes roaring back in. A brutal, physical game where violence is rewarded, where fans, depending where you are, brave the elements to cheer on their team. 

Maybe it the pacing.  Baseball tends to be slow, drawn out, and lazy and football tends to be short and dramatic.  But I find today, especially with fantasy football, I watch every game a little closer, waiting to see a big play, how is that rookie going to work out, who gets hurt.  I have teams I favor more than others, same as baseball, but I can't think of a baseball team I loath, and in football I can think of a few.

Anybody else out there got an opinion?