Monday, June 29, 2015

2015 Topps Stadium Club: I Have To Chime In

Well, so much for that unplanned vacation from the blog. I'm pretty sure it has been less than a month since I posted my "good-bye" post, yet I'm back here checking in. I promise I won't make a habit of this, but I have some time to kill and I happened to pick up a pack of Stadium Club while I was at Target today. So let's get down to the contents of my first pack in a few months!

Well, I couldn't think of a better first card to pull than the one above. I'm usually bombarded by Giants and Yankees when I open packs, but it looks like the card gods were on my side today. 

As we all know (probably), Stadium Club is Topps' photo focused brand (that assonance!), and I think they did a wonderful job this year. The "name plate" -- or whatever you wanna call the whole name, position, etc... on the bottom -- is unobtrusive and allows the photography to shine. I don't have a problem with the foil "name plates" -- again, call them what you wish -- though they don't necessarily come through so great in pictures. Too bad I don't have my scanner anymore. 

Oh, and darn you Topps for figuring out a way to get that picture onto a baseball card. I spent a few hours trying get that picture onto the custom cards I was making at one time, but I could never figure out a way to crop it correctly. Meh, guess that's why I don't work for Topps. At least we both had the same game in mind...

The rest of the pack was rather unexciting in comparison to the Kersh on top. 

Meh. I like Tyson, but Padres cards are always just a little bleh to me. I think the organization should take Marcus' advice and revert to the brown and yellow unis. 

David Ortiz is a decent pull. I enjoy the image; there is just something about these low angle shots that grab my attention. Just to think, I used to PC Big Papi only a few months ago...

It feels a little weird to say, but I got a little unlucky with this pull. I'm not totally positive, but I think inserts are seeded every few packs or so. I'm not generally a fan of inserts, though I kinda like this design. I think it loses a little of its luster being mixed in with some fantastic photography, but I'll take it nonetheless. I think I may have liked this card better if I pulled it out of Flagship or something. Context. 

Finally, I happened upon the sunset card of one of the better (and probably a little underrated) sluggers of the past generation. It feels weird to see Dunn in an Athletics jersey -- okay, maybe not as weird as Will Ferrell in an Athletics jersey -- but it's a cool card nonetheless. 

Other bloggers are saying packs are a little overpriced, but I just think they under filled. I don't have a problem spending three bucks on a pack of cards as nice as Stadium Club, but I would like the dollar to go a bit further. Maybe seven cards a pack would be better, especially considering the 300-card set list. That said, I'm just glad these cards were available in retail this year. 

Overall, I think Stadium Club is one of the best products of 2015. The pictures are fantastic. The checklist has a good mixture of legends and current players. Oh, and I pulled Clayton Kershaw in my first (and probably last) pack of the product. That alone is good enough to crown it Set of the Year in my book. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

That's All Folks

About a year and a half ago I started this blog with the intention of ranting about the Dodgers. And I did. For all of one post. In fact, it was less of a rant and more of me predicting how the off-season would go. I did pretty damn good if you were wondering. But I digress...

To be honest, I didn't think this whole blogging thing would last. I had started numerous blogs over the years, all with varying lifespans. I always wanted to write about the Dodgers, but could never find a reason to post consistently. And then I started getting back into cards. 

I started to pick up packs here and there and even a card on eBay from time to time. I posted some of my favorites here on the blog in posts I called 'Card of the Day'. Eventually, I moved on from that and started writing more about the cards, rather than just posting a picture of them with a line or two of how much it cost me. Pretty soon I was pumping out posts daily, running contests, and reading other blogs whenever I had a free moment. But, as it happens to most of us, life got in the way, and now I am stepping back from the hobby.

I'm not sure how long my sabbatical will last. I imagine I won't collect again until at least after college, so like another 4-5 years. And even then, who knows if the desire wills till be there. Hopefully by that time, however, I'll be making so much money, I can just flat out buy Topps (yea, not gonna happen). 

I'll still be checking out blogs from time to time, and I may even pick up a card or two over the next few years, but my time blogging is done. 

That said, I'd just like to thank a few people in this community that have been especially kind to me. Greg, Matthew, Nick, Austin, Andrew, and William, you guys are all exceptionally awesome, and I wish you nothing but the best with your collections going forward. 

Thanks again everyone!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Update On Chavez Ravining Fantasy Baseball

I've been incredibly busy over the past few weeks which is evident from my lack of blog posts. I have a ton of awesome cards to show off still, but other than a pair of blasters I bought when 2015 Flagship came out, I haven't bought much. 

Anyway. I just wanted to give a quick update on the Chavez Ravining Fantasy Baseball league. I have been slow to putting it together, but everyone who is interested should be added to the league by the end of the week. I am still accepting sign-ups as well, so feel free to comment if you'd like to join.

Here are some of the basic rules of the league: 

  • Dynasty League (Will go for more than one year)
  • Mixed league (both NL and AL)
  • 6X6 rotisserie scoring
    • Batters: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP
    • Pitchers: K, W, SV, ERA, WHIP, K/9
  • Hosted on ESPN
  • Free to play (No entry fee)
  • About 50% of the roster will be kept year-to-year
As far as the rules go, it is pretty much the same as it was last year. I didn't really notice any problems, but if you have any suggestions just let me know. Also, we will talk more in detail about the league specifics as I add you to the league as well as the blog I have set up for the league. 

Here is a list of who is currently signed up for the league:
  • Dodger Penguin (Matthew)
  • Mets Cardboard (Justin)
  • Frankie M.
  • Tim B. 
  • Yadier Molina Baseball Cards (Brady)
  • Kyle B.
  • Need More Cardboard (Andrew)
  • Brandon L.
  • Chavez Ravining (Me!)
I have also heard from Tony L. and Greg Z., but I'm not quite sure if they are joining or not. We currently have nine members for sure (including me), but that number may jump up to eleven if both Tony and Greg join. EDIT: Brandon had to bow out, but we still have plenty of members. Eight for sure. 

Let me know if I inadvertently left you off the list. I double checked the comments and my email, but I seemingly always forget people in things like this. I have contacted most of you about the league already, so  I will start adding people to the ESPN page today. I'll also be adding all of the members to the Chavez Ravining Fantasy Baseball blog I started last year. This blog will be the place to contact other members of the league, as well as make announcements, talk about trades, etc.. Everyone in the league will have full admin rights to the blog, so feel free to post as often as you'd like. 

That's it for now. Hopefully I will be able to get some actual cards posted soon, but we'll see. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Quick Trade With William

I completed my sixth trade with William of Foul Bunt recently. Well, I'm not sure completed is the right term. William sent me some cool cards, but I have yet to send a care package back his way. Don't worry, William. A pile is going for you and it will be sent out the next round of shipping. 

Anyway. Let's get to the cards William sent me this time around. 

This particular package was relatively small, but I picked out a few of my favorites to highlight her on the blog. First we have a fantastic Dusty Baker card, unlicensed of course. 

I'm not the biggest fan of these Golden Age cards, or Panini products in general (they do have some cool hits though), but I like the overall design of the cards. Too bad there is no LA logo. 

William also tossed in a trio of Chris Davis cards for my buddy Dikran. I passed these cards his way a few weeks back and he was excited for the new additions. If anyone has any extra Davis cards laying around, feel free to send them to me or William. I'm sure we'd both appreciate them.

Thanks again for the trade William. Expect some cards in your mailbox soon. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chavez Ravining Fantasy Baseball

I've been waiting to write this posts for months. After the success of last year's league, I've been chomping at the bit to start up again. Although the league as a whole was a success, there were a few improvements that can be made for 2015 (including a few things I could have done better); but we'll talk about tweaking the rules/points a bit further down the line.

Let's talk about some of the format and some of the basic rules for 2015 before we get to the signups.

1. This will be a dynasty league. This means that we will carry this league on for as long as people are willing to stay in it. But don't worry, owners will have the chance to leave at the end of the year if it just isn't working for them.

2. It will be rotisserie scoring. This means that points will be scored by counting stats, and there will be no head-to-head match-ups. We will be using ESPN to play. 

3. Please, please pay attention and keep up with the league if you are apart of it. I understand that life gets in the way and we can all get busy at times, but the league doesn't work unless all of the participants are active. If you can spend at least ten minutes a week keeping up with trade offers etc. it would be greatly appreciated.

That is pretty much the extent of it right now. I have a good idea with where we will head going into the season, but I'd rather have that discussion on the Fantasy Baseball blog itself. 

If you are interested in participating, simply leave me a comment or send me an email.

You are not locked into participating by doing this, so even if you are unsure if you want to participate you should still contact me. 

Also, I am more than willing to here suggestions about the league in the comments section. Don't want to do the dynasty format? Think we should do something else? Just let me know.

Looking forward to another great year!

EDIT: Here is some more info about the league. These are the thoughts I've had, so all the rules, format is up for discussion. 

  • Mixed league (both NL and AL)
  • 6X6 scoring
    • Batters: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP
    • Pitchers: K, W, SV, ERA, WHIP, K/9
  • Hosted on ESPN.
  • Last year was free to play, may consider a small buy-in with prizes at the end of year.  Open to both options.
  • About 50% of the roster will be kept year-to-year.
  • Tenative Roster Limits. Depends on how many people participate. 
Catcher (C)1No Limit
First Base (1B)1No Limit
Second Base (2B)1No Limit
Third Base (3B)1No Limit
Shortstop (SS)1No Limit
Middle Infielder (2B/SS)1N/A
Corner Infielder (1B/3B)1N/A
Left Field (LF)0No Limit
Center Field (CF)0No Limit
Right Field (RF)0No Limit
Outfield (OF)5N/A
Designated Hitter (DH)1No Limit
Utility (UTIL)2N/A
Pitcher (P)10N/A
Starting Pitcher (SP)0No Limit
Relief Pitcher (RP)0No Limit
Bench (BE)4N/A
Disabled List (DL)2N/A

Friday, February 13, 2015

An Attempt To Clean Up The Scans Folder

Whew. It's been a long week. A loooooong week. In fact, this was probably the busiest week of my life. I figured school might get a bit busy toward finals, but I was welcomed aboard the struggle bus in just week five. When I wasn't in class or working at the tutorial center, I was doing homework. A ton of homework. Like a lot of homework. So much homework that I've only slept for about 12 total hours since Monday night. I'm still not sure why I'm at my computer rather than in bed.

Anywho. Let's get to some recent additions.

I'll start with a sweet pull from a pack of 2015 Topps -- pulled by my father of course. That man rarely ever buys cards, but he always manages to get something cool. I threw this up on eBay, but I'd be more than willing to swap it for a similar parallel of a Dodger. It's limited to just 99 copies, so we'll see what kind of interest it gets.

If this card looks familiar it is probably because I posted it back in October. Well, not the same exact card, but one of the other twenty-five. My buddy Dikran picked this up on the bay last week thinking that I could add it to the PC. I already have one, but I don't mind adding another beauty to the PC. Eight percent of the print run down; bring on the other twenty-three cards!

I also picked up a pair of fantastic new Kemp patches recently. I actually bought the top one, while my buddy ran across the bottom one right before the auction ended. We ended up walking away with both of them for just under ten bucks. 

I really enjoy the look of these cards, as well as the colorful patches. However, the thing that stands out just might be the description on the back. Panini tells us a little story about a game Kemp had back in 2013; but, it's what is in parentheses right under that which stands out. 

The enclosed game-worn (worn July 3, 2013) material is guaranteed by Panini America, Inc.

I have been a bit skeptical about the authenticity of relic cards for quite some time, but never enough to stop buying them. I do think the addition of the game-worn date does make the card feel much more authentic. I'm hoping we see this more in the hobby moving forward. 

Finally, we move on to yet another piece of cardboard that is in my possession thanks to a friendly tip from Greg. Seriously, if I were to ever become a billionaire, I would hire him to go and buy me some art. He really knows how to find a deal. 

Greg suggested I purchase this way back in December, and I believe I got it for about a buck or two. Initially, there is not much that stands out with this card. A closer inspection of the back, however, reveals that this is the no-number SSP. I'm not sure how limited these are, but I'm happy to finally add one to my ever-growing Matt Kemp PC

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Topps Is Here, Am I Late To The Party?

Well, it's that time of the year again. 2015 Flagship is out, and if you are lucky a Target near you has it. Dikran and I picked up a pair of blasters earlier this week, so let's take a look. 

Eww. This was my first card of 2015. (Hint: It's a sign of things to come...for me at least)

The box may have started with a Giant, but I was lucky enough to pull a pair of Dodgers a couple packs later. Overall, I enjoy the look of the set. I'm digging the colorful borders, especially considering we get the team color treatment. So much beautiful blue. 

Let's take a look at another shade of blue: Rangers blue. I pulled this sweet card just moments after Dikran pulled it from his blaster. Typically I'm not upset with a pair of cards for my PC, but the collation on these cards was horrific. Two blasters comes to around 200 cards and they yielded 26 dupes. Not Topps' best day. 

I did, however, enjoy the return of the team card. They've been absent the past few years, but they are back in 2015 and I'm digging the look. This happens to be one of those rainbow foil variations (another great idea). It's currently set aside to go to Bob Walk The Plank, but I have an inkling to keep it for myself. 

On second thought, I'll just keep this one. It features three players (Denard Span, a former Dodger, and a future Dodger) and, it is destined for my Harper binder. 

Inserts are pretty dull (again), but I did manage to nab a Harper from one of my packs. Dull or not, I'll take any cards from my PC guys. 

Now here are some decent looking inserts. They're not the greatest looking cards you'll ever find, but the idea is pretty cool. I'm always down to add new Robinson cards to the collection, so I'm excited to go after this subset. 

I'm getting pretty tired of these to be honest. They just seem too cramped. Also, it would have nice to see a different A-Gon photo considering we see the same one on his base card. But hey, a new Kershaw!

Other than that gold foil Pirates card, this was the only other parallel in either blaster box. I'm digging the look of these parallels so far, so I'd like to get my hands on some Dodgers. This is headed to Tony L. 

That was pretty much all of the excitement as far as the base cards go. Each blaster did promise a relic though, so let's take a look.

Dikran managed to pull that aptly colored Goldschmidt, whereas I pulled that awkward Cespedes card. Topps must have produced these a while back because Cespedes has now been on two different teams since he was last on the A's. But, I guess these are commemorating the player's first homer, so it make a bit of sense. 

Both of these are on eBay for the time being. I'd typically trade these away, but the good ol' bank account could use a gift right about now. 

Overall, I liked the set. Definitely the best of the past ten years or so. The design is great. The inserts are dull. Collation is still a problem. Lack of Dodgers always stinks. Excited to see what parallels look like, especially when Chrome comes out.The good definitely outweighed the bad, and I am excited to get my hands on more. Especially the last Matt Kemp card as a Dodger.