Friday, January 31, 2014

My Matt Kemp PC is Happy

I picked this beauty up from eBay last week for a lot less than I was expecting, $2.99 shipped. 

I still don't know how I got this for so cheap. It's limited to just 25 copies, which would usually warrant more than just one bid. I'm not complaining though, as it is another great addition to my Kemp PC. I am slowly approaching the century mark on that PC, and I have a few more Kemp's to post this week. Maybe I can hit 100 with an auto?

Topps Chrome Rainbow: Yasiel Puig Refractor

Not much of a story behind this one. Dikran bought a box of Topps Chrome yesterday, and this was one of the lucky pulls. It is my first Puig card for the rainbow, and probably my last for a bit. His cards a little too pricey for me, so I'll wait for the cards to cool off before looking to acquire them. For the sake of the Dodgers, I hope he doesn't cool off and his cards gain even more value. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Godfather of Skateboarding

Editors Note: This post comes from Dikran Samarjian. He will occasionally have posts here. If you would like to get in touch with him, you can give him a follow on Twitter @D_Samarjian. Any comments you leave will be forwarded to him as well. Enjoy!

Hey all! By now I’m sure you guys have heard my name here and there around this blog. Yes, at last you are hearing from the man himself, Dikran Samarjian. Alex and I have been best friends for quite some time now, about 7 years. Though I love the guy, at times I want to strangle him for introducing me to this addictive world of cards. I spend hundreds of dollars a month on cards, and within these past two years we have managed to collect enough cardboard to package and distribute as our own product. That, of course, was an exaggeration, but I hope it made you laugh. The bottom line is we have a lot of cards, and I can only imagine what the future has in store for us. I’m sure you’ve noticed how I use “we” and “us”. You see, Alex and I work as a team. He’s the brains of the operation and I, for the most part, am the supplier. Anyways enough of all this background, you guys came here for cards not a love story.

As far as Topps goes, I’m only a fan of their high-end products. I’m more of a Panini guy, only reason being that I’m a basketball fan. Though I do favor Topps' high-end products, I LOVE Allen & Ginter. It’s something about it that really grabs my attention. Besides the simple beauty of the cards, it’s probably the diverse collection they have to offer. From T.V. stars to extreme sports, the Allen & Ginter’s checklist is not something to breeze by. Lately at Target I’ve been seeing a product from Upper Deck called “Goodwin Champions”. I picked it up, took a look at it, and noticed that it was a product similar to Allen & Ginter. Me being the Allen and Ginter fan I am, bought a blaster of Goodwin to see how they compare. First thing I see when I open the box is a FAT pack just sitting there with the others. Of course something was in there, it was way too thick for a decoy. I saved that pack for last. Nothing special out of the other packs, just bases, and by the way the design for 2013 Goodwin is beautiful, they’re great cards. Anyways, I’m finally down to the last pack, I rip it open and slowly reveal the hit (It’s the first time I’m opening the product and I’ve got a hit in my hands, so of course I had to make it epic). As that card is slowly being revealed to my eyes I see a skateboard. I got all jumpy and excited because I am a huge skateboarding fan. So at this point I don’t even care anymore I throw the top card aside to see that I have a Tony Hawk relic card. The godfather of skateboarding. It was a great hit, definitely one to throw in a One Touch and add to the collection.

Topps Chrome Rainbow: Andre Ethier Sepia

I'm slowly but surely picking up the parallels needed to finish up this project. This is another eBay purchase, and was shipped for about five bucks. It was a best offer type of deal and I put an initial offer of $2.50. Considering he was asking $5.00 plus shipping, I figured this was a good start. The seller declined the next day, but didn't send a counter offer. I had best offered so many things during this time that I got confused with what my offers were. Not to mention I was using the eBay app on my phone when I made another offer.....of $1.50. I soon realized that I lowballed the guy even worse, and honestly thought the seller would block me. I've talked to some rude sellers before, but I held out hope he would at least send a counter offer. He did and I was quick to accept. I messaged him about my low offer and apologized, and luckily he said he figured it was a mistake. I'm glad his ego didn't get in the way, otherwise I would still be looking for this sweet card..

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Closer Look at 2014 Topps Series One

The time has come. Topps Series One has hit the shelves, and I am getting my first opportunity to take a stab at the set. I've been collecting for a short time, so this is pretty exciting for me. Fresh packs to open. A new design, though a little worse than last years. Just a new beginning.

I stopped off at Target yesterday and bought a blaster box. I posted the highlights of that box here, but I was left wanting more. So, me and my buddy Dikran decided to make a late night run to Target.

We came back with two more blaster boxes and two of the value boxes. These are in addition to the blaster box I bought, and the blaster box Dikran bought earlier in the day. That puts our 2014 Topps Series One total to 4 blaster boxes and 2 value boxes. We were not lucky enough to pull an auto or relic from any of the packs, but that was not the purpose. I'd like to put together the entire set from Series One, before Series Two comes out. Considering I am still working on my 2013 Flagship sets, I wanted to get a jump start on these.

I got a ton of base cards, and my need list for the base set is currently updated. I am already about two-thirds of the way done with the base set, which is pretty good considering the cards only came out yesterday.

Because I bought the cards from Target, there were two red parallels in every pack. I have a huge stack of red parallels which will all be uploaded to my Trade Bait tonight. Leave a comment and I can pull a specific teams cards for you.

Here are the Dodgers I have so far. The base design is okay with me. It is a little reminiscent of Bowman, but they are fine other than that. 2013 is still better, but these are definitely better than the cards from 2012. The thing I do hate is the checklist. The Dodgers got 11 cards in Series One, and the list of names is rather lackluster. I do not understand how Brandon League managed to get a card in here while guys like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, A.J Ellis, Kenley Jansen didn't. Brandon League is probably the worst player on the Dodgers 25 man right now, so it is disappointing that he gets another card. 

I really dig the sideways Nolasco card which features Puig. I prefer vertical cards to the horizontal ones, but sometimes the horizontal cards feature some awesome pictures. The Michael Young card is also another one of my favorites, though he's definitely not one of my favorite players. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but I don't want him coming back to my Dodgers. I've tried talking myself into the inevitable over the past few weeks, but he has yet to sign. Hopefully this is his last card in Dodger blue. 

8 out of 11

6 Josh Beckett
40 Hyun-Jin Ryu
72 Michael Young
111 Mark Ellis
142 Zack Greinke
173 Brandon League 
193 Ricky Nolasco
197 Onelki Garcia
204 Adrian Gonzalez
314 Hanley Ramirez
331 Yasiel Puig

Here are the red parallels I pulled. I plan on collecting the red and blue parallels for the Dodgers this year, though I have been constantly adding things to my to-do list, so I may want every parallel by the time 2015 comes out. I'll be adding a new page to the blog soon, designed for some of my goals and such but more on that later.

I was also able to pull these lovely pieces of cardboard. Ryu would probably be my favorite pitcher on the staff if not for Kershaw. These are going straight to the PC binder, so I will need to add one more of each for my Topps set. That's if I don't decide to just scrape that and collect the base set beforehand.

Topps went crazy with the foil this year, and this card is a perfect example. The card looks great in person, and it is a decent looking insert set. I do wish the cards were all the same color however. This happens to be purple, but there is a plethora of colors these Upper Class cards in. Topps seems to have gone color crazy, with some of the insert sets, but I'll still be buying. I'll still be looking for another one of these as well. This one is going straight to the PC binder. 

Puig cards are fun. There is just something about cards that feature him that excites me. The Future is Now insert looks to have some sort of filter on the image, similar to the pictures on Gypsy Queen. This doesn't bug me for the insert sets. I actually enjoy it. I will need another one of these cards, because just like the Ryu's, this is headed for the PC binder. 

One thing I absolutely love this year is the minis. As you can see from the scan, they are diecut, which is something new to me. I don;t know if Topps has done this before, but I like the idea. Lucky me, I was able to grab a Puig. Puig's cards usually go for a fortune on eBay, so being able to pull one is always nice. Like with the previous Puig's and Ryu's, I will need another one for the mini set. 

The best addition yesterday was this Hanley variation. Usually variations fetch between 10 and 40 bucks on eBay when the product is new, but I won't be selling this. In fact, my buddy Dikran pulled this in his box so I ended up trading for it. I do enjoy the SP cards Topps puts out, though they usually fall out of the price range early on. Topps seems to have gone #TeamSparkle this year with the SP's, which is already driving me crazy. I will have to go back through all the bases I have and double check for that annoying sparkle. I will probably wait a few days until the checklist sites can get the cards confirmed so I know who to look for. 

Another Harper card for my PC. I traded a few of my Harper's to Judson of My Cardboard Habit a few months ago, something I regret a bit. I'm sure I could add those cards to my PC rather cheaply, but they would have looked nice in the binder. 

Beltre is my favorite non-Dodger in the game today, and my favorite ex-Dodger still active today. I love this photo of him in the dugout. Reminds me of this video of Elvis Andrus messing with him. I have been trying to find some cheap Beltre cards on eBay, though I haven't walked away as the winner lately. 

This was one of the manu-patches in the blasters I opened. I'm not generally a fan of these, but I love adding a new card of one of my PC guys to the binder. Though this will probably be placed in a top loader and put with the other thicker cards. 

Here are the rest of the mini's that were pulled. The Darvish is probably my favorite of the six here. Though they are all great. I am becoming a bigger fan of the Topps minis recently, though I still need to complete the mini sets from 2013. Guess I need to find some trade partners.

Overall, Series One isn't that bad. The design is worse than last year, but it is still a pretty good looking set. The Dodgers checklist is lame, but hopefully Series Two will improve on that. The Minis are definitely my favorite thing to come from Series One, though the other insert sets didn't disappoint. I probably won;t be buying any more packs for a couple more weeks, but hopefully I can pull of some trades to supplement my collection. 

Topps Chrome Rainbow: Hyun-Jin Ryu Refractor

As excited as I am to show off some more awesome 2014 Topps cards, I won't be doing that today. Maybe tonight, but I'm going back to my Topps Chrome Rainbow pursuit for now.

I picked this baby up from eBay for about a buck shipped. It is the refractor version of the card, another much needed piece of cardboard. It pushes my total to 7 out of 10 Dodger refractors. I really enjoy this card, and was surprised I don't have more of his parallels. Guess that's another goal. I'm starting to have a hard time keeping track of all of these goals I set for myself. Maybe a new page is in the future.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My First Look at 2014 Topps Series One

I stopped off at my local Target today and has elated to see a fresh box of 2014 Series One. It is not slated to be released until tomorrow, but I was lucky enough to pick it up a day early. I don't have time to go over every card in I pulled from the blaster, but I'll show off the inserts and the Dodgers. 

As you can see, I only pulled three Dodgers, but my buddy Dikran managed to pull a Hanley SP in his blaster box. Guess we'll be making a trade. The Red Hot Ice parallel is awesome, but Topps didn't stop there. The Super Veteran inserts are some of the coolest cards I've laid eyes on in my short time collecting. I definitely cannot wait to complete that set. The mini is sort of diecut. I can only assume they will all be diecut because I only got one. 

My 2014 Series One checklist will be live soon. I'll also edit this post shortly with a link directly under this. Let's see if I can complete Series One before Series Two comes out. 

If you are interested in any particular teams dupes, just leave a comment. I'm going to need to double up the Dodgers, one for my Topps set, and and for my team set project. I'll also require additional cards from Hanley, A-Gon, Clayton, Kemp and Ethier. Pretty much all of my primary and secondary PC's.

Trade Bait Tuesday

I've been going through my cards and need to get more organized. I have a ton of cards I'd love to trade, but keeping track of them is difficult sometimes. So, I have decided to create Trade Bait Tuesday. I will post a scan with a page full of cards for trade. If you are interested in any of the cards just let me know in the comment section. Expect this every Tuesday and some Thursdays. 

Best Kemp Card Ever?

I added this beauty to my collection over the weekend. It is #'d 188/199 and is one of the best Kemp cards in creation. The blue border just takes this already beautiful card to another level. There are 199 copies of this card, so I guess I'll be on the hunt for the other 198.

I'll be moving back to smaller posts during the weekdays. School is really starting to take a toll on me. Combine that with work and running the blog, and you can see why I've decided to take it easy.

I also landed a gig over at Pro Sports Extra as the head Dodgers writer. As if I didn't have enough to handle already, I've added this into the mix. My debut article appeared yesterday which you can check out here. Although this isn't a big time gig, it gives me enough flexibility to write at my own pace and improve my overall writing. I hope to move onto bigger things in the future, but this is a start. 

Because of my loaded schedule I feel like I've forgotten about some of those I've been trading with. If I haven't responded to an email, or if you haven't gotten a trade package just let me know. I'm not intentionally forgetting you, my mind was probably just elsewhere.

Monday, January 27, 2014

"New" PC Additions and Some PC Changes

I started collecting baseball cards in 2005. In 2005 my dad was about 10 years removed from collecting himself. He collected for about 8 years, spanning from 1988 to 1995. Of course, he was not a blogger back in those days, therefore he still has every card he ever bought. While we were in the shed last night, we happened upon a large portion of his collection from back in the day. I also stumbled on a box I was very familiar with. 

Now as a 12 year old kid, with very little knowledge about collecting I did not make the best decisions. I only collected the Dodgers back in the day, and threw every thing else in this box. A box with various cards from the mid-2000's simply thrown into the box that stayed where they landed. 

As you can see there are a few football cards mixed in, along with some stuff from the late 90's as well.  AS you can probably guess, the cards inside are not in the best condition. 

Some cards survived this graveyard of cardboard with no damage at all. Others not so much....

I took the time to go through these cards last night, and I am currently in the process of organizing them into stacks that will be much easier to sort. I have cards from every team, with big names like Frank Thomas and Albert Pujols, and smaller names like Noah Lowry and Jeff Cirillo. 

I also managed to find some cards I needed for my various PC's and Topps Team Set Project. 

Two cards from 1982 Topps, albeit in less than perfect condition. Both have dinged corners and can probably be improved upon, but they are good enough for the time being.

I was also able to run across an Andre Ethier card I purchased 7 years ago. I don't know what the card is referring to about 7 triples. I have done some research and cannot find anything about Ethier and triples. I even found the game recap from the game in question, and there is no mention of any triples. Regardless, this is a great card and a welcome addition to my secondary PC binder.

I love adding Beltre cards to my PC. He has more cards out there than any other of my main PC's, yet my card total is lacking. This is a great shot of Beltre, though he is in the drab Mariners away jersey. He had an awful year for Seattle in 2005, only hitting 19 homers while putting up a paltry .303 OBP. He has improved on those numbers every year up until last season, though his defense has always been superb.

I also picked up three new cards of Dodger great, Shawn Green. It is unfortunate none of these cards show him in Dodger blue, but they are welcome additions nonetheless. 

If you haven't noticed, Corey Seager has been removed from the title bar up top. I have been thinking about changing up my main PC's for a little bit, and I think I've finally made up my mind. 

Primary PC's
Matt Kemp
Clayton Kershaw
Adrian Beltre
Shawn Green
Hyun-Jin Ryu

Secondary PC's
Yasiel Puig
Corey Seager
David Ortiz
Hanley Ramirez
Andre Ethier
Bryce Harper
Chad Billingsley
Adrian Gonzalez
Jose Fernandez

The lists are in no particular order, so don't think and I'll collect any card from the aforementioned players. I'd like to get my hands on the true rookie cards for each one of these players sometime in 2014, but with the amount of goals I've set for myself it may not happen. 

Going back to the box now, you may get some cards from the team you collect if we ever trade. The cards are not guaranteed to be in the best condition, but I can only hope you'll enjoy them as much as I enjoy my Dodger cards. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just Give Me All the Parks and Rec Cards You Have

I got a call from my friend Dikran the other night saying he had a surprise for me. For those of you who don't know who Dikran is I guess we could call him my "Sugar Daddy". (Thanks Greg) Dikran and I started collecting together, but are interests are polar opposites. I enjoy putting together team sets, collecting cards from my PC guys, and adding generally awesome cards to my collection. He treats collecting as gambling. He only collects crazy colored relics, or big name autos. He spends hundreds on hobby boxes, hoping to get the "big hit". He has done so a few times, once pulling a $735.00 Ronda Rousey Gold Auto, but as you can see we are collect for different reasons. 

Well, he called and told me he bought some boxes online, but wouldn't tell me what he bought. He told me he failed to get anything he liked and I would be inheriting some boxes. 

Four boxes in total, two of my favorite of show on TV. I recently started to watch Parks and Rec on Netflix, but finished up all 5 seasons last week. I had been trying to get my hands on some of the cards, but since I have had bad luck with a seller on eBay, these boxes came at a great time. 

The NBA box was "lame" according to Dikran, and I will be listing one of the cards from that on eBay for him shortly. The UFC box was from 2010, and of course contained 2 redemptions. The redemptions expired in August, so I will be calling Topps tomorrow to see what they can do. I have not heard a lot of good come from the Topps redemption department, so wish me luck. 

The excitement lay inside the Parks and Rec boxes however, and I soon got cracking. After sorting for about 25 mins, I managed to put together the entire base set. This is officially my first complete set (yay!), and I have no idea what to do with the cards. I will be doing some serious organizing this weekend, in anticipation for 2014 cards and I'm sure I'll figure out where to store the set. 

I also got about a third of the foil set, but I may be receiving that in the mail soon. I bought the base set on eBay on New Year's Eve but as of a week and a half ago I still did not have it in hand. I messaged the seller and he told me the post office must have lost it. He told me he would send over the entire foil set instead. Needless to say, this was a big improvement. Well, flash forward to yesterday, I still haven't received anything. I messaged him last night and he replied this morning. He said he had to try and buy the rest of the foil cards so he would be able to send me the complete set. However, he did say he got them all and they are on their way to me now. I have a hard time believing this, but I guess I'll find out in the next few days whether or not he was lying.

The two boxes of Parks and Rec promised a total of 6 hits, and that's what I got. I'll start with the relics.

I love that these cards show the character wearing the actual relic. I happened to get a tri-colored relic, though it is obviously different than a tri-colored relic from an MLB or NFL card. Not a bad way to start of the box.

Thinking about it, you can't really go wrong with any of the hits in this product. It's not like opening a box of Topps and pulling a card from some AAAA guy from the Phillies. I genuinely want every card that comes from this set. This was no exception, and I was happy to add this to my collection.

The first auto was of office laughing stock, Jerry/Gary Gergich. I love the simplicity of the autos that come from the set. I also love the cards are designed after the intro to the show. 

Next up is Tammy 2. The hated ex-wife of the great Ron Swanson. She also happens to be Ron's wife in real life, so that's cool. More on Tammy 2 later.

This is one of the cards I was hoping to get off eBay this year, right behind a Ron Swanson auto and a Leslie Knope auto. In fact, I will try to get my hands on every base auto out there. Paul Rudd is one of my favorite funny guy actors, and he killed it in his time in the show. 

I told you I would bring up Tammy again, and for good reason. This was the "big hit" of the box, and a damned good one at that. I was hoping to finish of the box with a Swanson auto, but this will do. It is #'d 14/25, and is inscribed with "Tammy". I am currently checking ou the set checklist and I MUST GET A RON SWANSON INSCRIPTION AUTO. Take a look at his inscriptions here, and tell me you don't want an autographed card inscribed with "I have the toes I have". 

I am again extremely grateful to get my hands on these cards, and I owe Dikran even more cards now. If anybody out there has any of the other Parks and Rec autos or relics, or needs anything from the base set just let me know. I am also looking to move the UFC cards. They have no business in my collection. I have UFC cards from different years, so if you are a UFC person let me know.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Woohoo! Funding for 2014 Topps Series 1

Since I started blogging, I have started selling less and less on eBay. I throw some cards up there with inflated prices, hoping someone may bite, but people usually don't. Now that is completely fine with me, but extra money for cards is always nice. Which brings me to the auction I posted last night....

Such a crappy scan.....
I have had this card in my collection for a few months now. I was hoping he would sign with the Dodgers, but we all know what happened by now. Tanaka now plays for the Evil Empire, which means I had no real desire to keep this card. 

I posted it last night as a one day auction, and the results were good. It ended a few minutes ago, and I am now a cool 25 bucks richer. I guess I will use that money to buy some Series 1 this week, though I may go into impulse mode this weekend and pick an auto up online. Matt Kemp or Nick Offerman perhaps. Though my Parks and Rec card needs may be set for a little while, but more on that tomorrow. 

Matt Kemp Relic? I'll Take Another

I picked this beauty up late last week for about 5 bucks. I absolutely love the Tribute design this year, especially on the relics. 

It is another blue parallel of my favorite Dodger, this time #'d 20/50. The red ribbon with Kemp's name on it really completes this card for me. How can you not love the white, blue, and red coloring that matches the Dodgers unis? 

This is Bison card number 94 for me. I am unsure how many of those cards are hits, but I hope to due a Matt Kemp tribute week soon. With school, work, and life getting in the way, that may be a goal that gets pushed back though. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Topps Chrome Rainbow: A-Gon Sepia

Another one bites the dust. I grabbed this off of eBay last week and it arrived today. I am still on a mission to collect every Dodgers parallel from 2013 Topps Chrome, a goal that is becoming increasingly difficult as I collect more cards. 

This was shipped to me house for about three bucks, equivalent to one Topps Chrome pack. This particular card is #'d 64/75, and is the 2nd sepia parallel in my TCR quest. I have some more on their way, but I am having a hard time coming up with the lower numbered cards. I would be happy taking each card through the gold parallel #'d /50, but I may have to wait for Puig to come back down to earth before that can be considered a realistic goal. 

RCD: Chan Ho Park

RCD Posts are opportunities for you to get Chavez Code Points!

Simply leave a comment with an interesting story you may have about this card or the player featured on the card. This can literally be about anything. A funny chant you heard about the player at a game. The time you ran into him at Denny's. The time you got his autograph at spring training. A link back to your blog with cool memorabilia from the player. As long as the comment is about the player you are eligible for points. Every on topic comment will be worth 5 points. You will only get 5 points once per RCD post, but feel free to comment with as many stories as you'd like. RCD posts will be posted every Friday, usually of former Dodger players.  Points for these comments will be added right before the new RCD post is posted.

This weeks card: 1996 Leaf Studio Chan Ho Park

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Some More Vintage Dodgers

If you didn't see my post about the trade with Johnny's Trading Spot yesterday be sure to check it out. He sent me some great vintage cardboard, something my collection was severely lacking before yesterday. 

I've managed to add some more vintage cards today for pretty cheap. When it comes to older cards, I know very little about pricing. I don't subscribe to Beckett so I use eBay as my pricing guide. Though, sometimes I see cards that I just impulse buy without much research.

These cards are an example of an impulse buy. I won one the Maury Wills for something like a buck plus shipping.I then noticed the seller had a ton of other '71 cards listed, so I messaged him to see if he had any other Dodgers. He said I could have the other four cards for a buck each. I obliged and here we are today.

The cards are not in great shape. The Bill Russell seems to be the worst of the five. Though the white spot on the bottom right of the Wills card bugs me way too much. The '71 set is one of the most difficult sets to find higher graded cards due to the black borders. The buyer only charged .79 cents for shipping, but sent the cards inside individual PWE's, in nothing but a zip lock bags. I wasn't very happy, but it doesn't appear the cards were damaged in any way from that frustrating shipping method. 

I dig the set, and hope to come across a fairly priced Garvey in the future. I will also look to improve on the Wills card as well. That white spot really bugs me. 

Five more cards to add to my Topps Team Set Project. I hope to have the 1970 checklist up tonight, so stay tuned. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trade With Johnny's Trading Spot: A Taste of Vintage Cardboard

I completed my first trade with John of Johnny's Trading Spot. You can see what I sent him here. I have already accumulated some more cards for John, so another trade should be in the works soon. 

I mentioned this in my last trade post, but when I got in touch with John he offered to finish off my 1989 Topps Dodgers team set. I wasn't paying attention and ended up trading for two 89 team sets, but more Dodger cards isn't a problem to me.  He mentioned in the email he would send some vintage cards as well, but I didn't know what to expect.

As a 20 year old kid born in 1993, cards from 1981 seem vintage to me. I don't know if there is an age a card has to be to be considered vintage, but I'd like to know. 

I opened his bubble mailer yesterday to find some great looking cards staring back at me. Little did I know the cards would get better as I moved on. 

John sent over 13 cards from 1973 Topps. I had never seen this set until I opened up the bubble mailer so these cards were a great surprise. I recognize at least 75% of these names. Considering they were produced 20 years before I was born I think that's okay. I'm still wondering why they would feature a card of Steve Garvey in which you can hardly see his face. A little odd to me, but I'm sure it's not the first bad picture out there. 

Like I said, the cards got better as I moved along. This card hails from 1968 Topps, and though I've never heard of Bill Singer I was happy to add a card from the 60's to my collection.

These were the next two cards staring back at me. They come from 1968 Topps, a set I am very fond of. I have heard both of these names before, though don't know why I know them. The Roseboro card is off-center a bit, but not a big deal in my book. Simply adding a card of this the 60's is exciting for me. 

I was pretty ecstatic after catching a glimpse of this card. The 1964 Topps set is one of my favorite sets ever produced by Topps, and adding an original 1964 to the collection feels pretty good. It is card 291 out of the set, so I though I would compare it to card 291 from 2013 Heritage. 

Needless to say, I like the Ortega better.

I was excited when I saw the 1964, but when these showed up I was even happier. 1964 is one of my favorite sets, but this set may be my favorite of all-time. There is just something about the 1960 set that makes it great. Maybe I'm just hypnotized by Wally Moon's mono-brow. 

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it did. This card comes from 1959 Topps. 1959. This card has been around 34 years longer than I've been alive. That is incredible to me. It isn't in pristine condition, but if I could get my hands on other 1959 cards that are in this condition I'd be a happy man. 

Writing this post makes me wonder why I have taken so long to get into the vintage part of the hobby. I have never heard of some of these player, yet these cards instantly became some of my favorites. I am sure the age of the cards has something to do with it, but these sets are phenomenal all around. 

I guess these cards lead directly into my Topps Team Set Project, or TTSP. I want to collect every Dodgers team set from every Topps set ever produced. I'm simply talking about the "Flagship" Topps, so no other Topps products like Stadium Club or Topps Gold. Just regular ol' Topps. I haven't had the time to upload my need lists for cards pre-1980, but what you see above is pretty much the extent of my collection. 

Thanks again John! These cards are amazing and I hope we can do this again very soon. 

Contest Winnings: Graded 1990 Bowman Frank Thomas Rookie Card

I won a contest over at Dodgers Blue Heaven last week, and the card arrived in the mail yesterday. I would recommend every Dodger fan check out the blog. There are constant updates regarding the Dodgers, and he highlights every Dodger card in upcoming sets. On to my prize!

A 1990 Bowman Frank Thomas rookie card. It was graded by SGC and received a grade of 96 mint. I have never owned a graded card before this one, so the grading process is a whole new concept for me. I know there are a few different graders, each with different grading scales, but not much else. I am assuming this particular card is graded out of 100. 

I am not a Frank Thomas collector, so if this card piques anybody is interest just let me know. 

Thanks for the contest Ernest! I will continue to make daily visits to your wonderful blog. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breaking a Box of Panini Select

I don't get to crack open hobby boxes very often. Working part-time while going to school full-time doesn't leave me with a whole lot of spending money after each paycheck. I usually stick to pulling out singles from my LCS, or finding good deals on eBay. 

My friend Dikran decided to buy a hobby box of 2013 Panini Select on eBay last week, and then graciously gifted the box my way. We would have both opened it, but he got called into work. 

The box contained 4 autos as you can see on the packaging, and it was split into two mini boxes. I was hoping to add to my Dodger cards, but I only pulled one Dodger. I'll highlight the hits, inserts, and PC cards below. 

These are the only four cards from the box of eighty-four, that fit into my PC. No Kemp. No Kershaw. Just these four. I'm not complaining though. Any day I can add a new card to any of my PC's is a good one. 

The box also contained 5 refractors. I was not lucky enough to pull any #'d refractors, but I did pull some cool players.

The Frank Thomas was a surprise, though he was not the only retired player I pulled. Ozzie Smith and Randy Johnson also made appearances via the base card. 

I was looking forward to the inserts from this set. After seeing a few on eBay, I was hoping to pull some Dodgers from the various inserts. I was not lucky enough to do so, but I did get some cool cards.

I don;t know why the Felix Hernandez En Fuego card came out so much more red than the others, but it is a more accurate idea of how the cards look. The En Fuego is my favorite insert, but I'll have to get my Dodgers from the internet. The Mike Trout is also a great looking card, the scan doesn't give it any justice. 

The box promised four autographs, and that's what I got. 

Yippee! I figured I wouldn't have the luck to pull anything super great, but Derrick Robinson? Straight to Trade Bait you go. At least it is #"d 61/750.

Another low-end auto. Another lousy auto #'d 329/750. Moving on.

This isn't half bad. Jedd Gyorko had a good showing as a rookie in 2013, and there are a few Padres fans out there that may be interested. This one is #'d 305/500.

I did promise you one Dodger card though. 

I am in love with this card already. It is a Gold Prizm Auto, limited to 10 copies. Scott Van Smash is one of my favorite Dodgers, for his name alone. He should get the opportunity to be the power bat of the bench for the Dodgers in 2014, but management usually fills that spot with over-the-hill players like Bobby Abreu, Marcus Thames, and Garret Anderson. This is my first SVS auto, but hopefully not the last. There is an auto of his on eBay I'm looking to snag. 

Nothing too crazy in this box, but they are nice cards. I have a large stack of base cards from seemingly every team but the Dodgers. If you are interested in any of the cards above, or any of the bases let me know. 

Thanks again Dikran, I owe you a box of cards one of these days.