Sep 23, 2014

Gintacuffs VI: Packs 21-24: The Grand Finale

Pack 21
94 Lou Brock
193 Tom Glavine
8 Bob Feller
307 Cliff Lee (FT) +2, +1
Fields of Yore Griffiths Stadium: home of the Senators +2
Mini 165 Brad Miller
15 Matt Williams
100 Queen Victoria

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 138.6

Pack 22
126 Willie Stargell
253 Rickey Henderson
19 Pablo Sandoval
11 Nick Franklin
Pastime's Pastimes Dustin Pedroia +2
Mini A&G Back 289 Kyle Seager +2
143 Eddie Mathews
238 Bert Kreischer
Code Card

Pack Total: +4
Box Total: 142.6

Pack 23
246 Dwight Gooden
41 Lou Gehrig -1
147 Mark McGwire
155 Yogi Berra -1
327 Brett Lawrie +2
Mini Athletic Endeavors Shovel Racing +5
Air Supremacy EA-18G Growler +2
50 Orlando Hernandez -1

Pack Total:+6
Box Total: 148.6

Pack 24
215 Johnny Bench
92 Ernie Banks
Pastime's Pastimes Albert Pujols +2
Mini Black Border 295 Ryan Braun +3
221 Adam Eaton
259 Jim Calhoun
Fields of Yore Relic Griffith Stadium 011/250 +30

Pack Total: +35
Box Total: 183.6
Bonus: Here's a selfie of me with the high point card, which is my favorite.  It;s a piece of a stadium that no longer exists, and I'm ok with holding ghosts most of the time.  Did you know it's hard to take a selfie without a smart phone or tablet?

Final Total: 188.6

Sep 22, 2014

GintaCuffs VI: Packs 17-20: I Like Bats and Paul Bunyan

Pack 17
202 Jim Rice
20 Babe Ruth -1
257 Adrian Beltre
190 Kolten Wong
341 Barbed Wire +2
Natural Wonder Iguazu Falls +2
Into the Unknown Francisco Pizarro +3
152 Vince Gilligan

Pack Total: +6
Box Total: 116.6

Pack 18
132 Ted Williams
2 Don Mattingly -1
86 Randy Johnson
300 RA Dickey
Pastime's Pastimes Julio Teheran +2
Mini 147 Mark McGwire
277 Trevor Rosenthal
45 Nomar Garciaparra

Pack Total: +1
Box Total: 117.6

Pack 19
29 Shelby Miller
201 Paul ONeill -1
44 Ty Cobb
309 Hunter Pence +2
World Capitals Berlin, Germany +2
Larger than Life Paul Bunyan +3
289 Jose Abreu
89 Chuck Todd

Pack Total: +6
Box Total: 123.6

Pack 20
76 Cal Ripken Jr
299 Enny Romero
60 Ryan Zimmerman
Pastime's Pastimes Clay Buchholz +2
Full Size Relic Matt Adams +8
Mini 180 Ryan Reiss
169 Dale Murphy

Pack Total: 10
Box Total: 133.6

Sep 21, 2014

GintaCuffs VI Packs 13-16: Where are the Phillies cards? Not here.

Pack 13
163 Paul Molitor +2 (FP)
292 Andre Dawson
174 Ben Zobrist
318 Jason Kipnis +2
Air Supremacy AC-47 Spooky +2
Mini 265 Sam Calagione
23 Snoop Lion -1
176 Anthony Robles

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 99.6

Pack 14
19 Pablo Sandoval
11 Nick Franklin
170 Matt Holliday
140 Matt Moore
Pastime's Pastimes Paul Goldschmidt +2
World's Deadliest Predators Hippopotamus +3
188 Jordan Oliver
25 Joe DiMaggio -1
Code Card

Pack Total: +4
Box Total: 103.6

Pack 15
148 Bryce Harper
208 Al Kaline
2 Don Mattingly -1
202 Jim Rice
304 Matt Cain +2
Worlds Capitals Moscow, Russia +2
Mini A&G Back 300 RA Dickey +2
Desmond Jennings

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 108.6

Pack 16
34 Felix Hernandez
12 Jed Gyorko
94 Lou Brock
132 Ted Williams
Pastime's Pastimes David Ortiz +2
Mini 70 James Andrews
191 Jordan Burroughs
118 Adam Schefter

Pack Total : +2
Box Total: 110.6

Sep 20, 2014

Gint-a-Cuffs VI Packs 9-12: Midway Blues

Pack 9
53 Sandy Koufax
298 Deion Sanders
123 Matt Carpenter
339 Jeff Samardzija +2
Fields of Yore Sportsman's Park: Home of the Browns +2
Mini SP 304 Matt Cain +3
122 Craig Biggio (FP) +2
234 Roberto Clemente

Pack Total: +9
Box Total: 80.6

Pack 10
90 Roy Halladay
151 James Paxton
108 Nolan Ryan
129 Hank Aaron
Pastime's Pastimes Chris Davis +2
Mini Black Border 282 Salvador Perez +3
24 Jorge Posada -1
33 Alex Avila

Pack Total: +4
Box Total: 84.6

Pack 11
174 Ben Zobrist
60 Ryan Zimmerman
68 Gio Gonzalez
316 Ken Griffey Jr +2
Air Supremacy Sopwith Camel +2, +2
Mini 259 Jim Calhoun
217 Jose Iglesias
128 Bill Rancic -1

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 89.6

Pack 12
226 Bob Gibson
71 Wade Boggs
20 Babe Ruth -1
181 Jose Reyes
Pasttime's Pastimes Starlin Castro +2
Mini Black Border 284 Will Clark +3
267 Kevin Clancy
271 Chuck Klosterman +1

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 94.6

Sep 19, 2014

Gint-a-Cuffs VI: Packs 5-8: The Hits Keep Coming

Pack 5
117 Yu Darvish +2 (FP)
134 Jordan Zimmermann
215 Johnny Bench
Pastime's Pastimes Adam Jones +2
Mini 37 Wil Myers
124 Jonathan Schoop
Printing Plate Paul ONeill +14/2=+7 (Yankee plate)
Note: This plate is of number 389, which is only found in rip cards, so even with the point docking, it's a pretty nice card.

Pack Total: +11
Box Total: 51.6

Pack 6
36 Yadier Molina (again) +2
77 Stan Musial
223 Tony Gwynn
332 Victor Martinez +2
Air Supremacy F-15 Eagle +2
Mini Where Nature Ends Raphael +3
209 Vlad Guerrero
46 John Sullivan +1

Pack Total: +10
Box Total: 61.6

Pack 7
232 Ozzie Smith
18 Ryne Sandberg
64 Taijuan Walker
90 Roy Halladay
Pastime's Pastimes Anthony Rizzo +2
World's Deadliest Predators Honey Badger +3
272 Tim Raines
158 Carlton Fisk

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 66.6

Pack 8
201 Paul Oneill -1
44 Ty Cobb
111 Frank Robinson
183 Jim Palmer
Pastime's Pastimes Freddie Freeman (FP) +2, +2
Mini A&G Back 220 Josh Hamilton +2
287 Chuck Zito
228 Orlando Cepeda

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 71.6

Sep 18, 2014

Gint-a-Cuffs VI: Packs 1-4 and BoxTopper: The Hits Begin

It's time to join the party that has passed me by about a month.  What's the old saying?  A Ginter saved is a Ginter earned?  Or for all those about to Ginter, we salute you?  It has to be something like that....on to the packagings of wrappers and cardboard and other strange things.

Box Loader Pack

Oversized Base Card of Yasiel Puig +8

Pack 1

123 Matt Carpenter
64 Taijuan Walker
35 Brooks Robinson
345 Yasiel Puig +2
Festivals and Fairs La Tomatina +2
9 Koji Uehara
164 Jenny Dell
Mini A&G Back 278 CC Sabathia +2, -1

Pack Total: +5
Box Total: 13

Pack 2
147 Mark McGwire
155 Yogi Berra -1
93 Willie Mays
105 Cole Hamels +1 (FT)
324 Adam Wainwright +2
World Capitals Athens +2
Mini 66 Roger Clemens
52 Kevin Smith

Pack Total: +4
Box Total: 17

Pack 3
181 Jose Reyes
96 Madison Bumgarner
182 Starling Marte
Pastime's Pastimes Manny Machado +2
Full Size Relic Joey Votto (FP) +13.6
Mini SP 333 Stephen Strasburg +3
Austin Wierschke -1

Pack Total: +17.6
Box Total: 34.6

Pack 4
295 Ryan Braun
151 James Paxton
36 Yadier Molina +2 (FP)
330 Joe Kelly +2
Natural Wonder Socotra Archipelago +2
Mini 63 Bill Buckner
125 Glen Waggoner
6 Laura Phelps Sweatt

Pack Total: +6
Box Total: 40.6

Jul 23, 2014

Show and No Tell: 2014 Gypsy Queen Rack Pack Break

286-John Lackey
Blue border RA Dickey 102/499

Mini red Nelson Cruz 84/99

288-Chris Carter
28-Lou Boudreau
127-Kyle Gibson

172-Prince Fielder
280-Manny Machado
199-Larry Doby
Dealing Aces Madison Bumgarner
Mini Matt Dominguez
187-Oswaldo Arcia

221-Matt Davidson
N174 Babe Ruth

40-Fergie Jenkins
Mini-Chase Utley

143-Dustin Pedroia
216-Andre Rienzo

Bonus Pack!

Jul 11, 2014

So Hot Set Gallery: 1994 Flair Hot Gloves

Die-cuts are back! The question is did they ever really go out of style. Well, they most likely did at some point. Everything in this world is cyclical, and that mostly includes bicycles, tricycles, and octocycles.

One of my favorite sets of the '90s was 1994 Flair.  It had a certain je nai sai quas, nom de plume, no je parle francais style to it.  The ultimate wrappings, the breathtaking thickness of the cards, and then to top it off as a one per box insert, ze HOT GLOVES.

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of hot gloves? ....oven mitts? laser hands? matchstick fingers?

Well, in 1994, it was none of the above.  It were players with gloves so hot they were beyond golden; the ball was smokin' when it became entrapped within their leather.

Below is all 10 cards of the insert set shown in no particular order (though I'm sure an order can be created). Behold!
Barry Bonds: Glove so hot he made the ball a mini-sun.

Ken Griffey:  Glove so hot it burned down an outfield wall

Will Clark: Glove so hot the desert was an oasis.

Matt Williams: Glove so hot there was a fireball thrown to the dugout.

Don Mattingly: Glove so hot melted the spine off the nearest runner.

Kenny Lofton:  Glove so hot left a scorching streak in the centerfield grass.

Cal Ripken Jr: Glove so hot the harbor turned to steam.

Kirby Puckett:  Glove so hot they had to enclose it in a dome for protection.

Greg Maddux: Glove so hot it blinded the umpire with its glow.

Tim Salmon: Glove so hot that it became a special attraction at Disneyland.

Thanks for reading as the summer burns us all......

Apr 5, 2014

Behold the Set Quest Completed: 2011 Gypsy Queen, 1-350!

One of the more elusive sets to try and collect of the past half-decade, 2011 Gypsy Queen.  It entered the scene with an altered checklist, name derision, and a style derived from the vintage appeal of the Ginters and Turkey Reds of the world.   It was the replacement for 2010 National Chicle, an artistic endeavor that did not connect with collectors.  Anyone remember the uproar of the Babe Ruth/Chipper Jones card?  Anyone still here from 2010? Bueller?

In any case, I first encountered Gypsy Queen at a card show in 2010, it was $10 per pack.....I did not buy any.  I first bought some at a Best Buy.  They were selling rack packs at the retail price; there's some green in there, I like green green borders and 4 leaf clovers and ecto cooler....and that might not be the point.  I bought some rack packs and was pleasantly surprised by the cards within.  Thus, began the tracking obsession in the area for 2011 Gypsy Queen.

I went to more Targets than I could count over the next few months to get card fixes, but they were always out of it.  Once the hype had died down a little, and hobby boxes were still $189 per box at the leading online retailers, packs had appeared again at my local Target.  This is when I discovered they're always 2-3 months behind the release date for non-base Topps products.  I bought 10 packs, thinking that would satisfy me.

But I have always been a set collector at heart; this foray into team collecting and strange and novel and disconcerting....I wanted all of the Queen, every single last beige card in all their ordered, numbered glory.
I searched ebay daily for boxes....and finally found a retail box, 24 packs of treasure for a less than retail price.  Who wants a retail box anyway?  It came, I devoured and reveled in the wrappers as their contents spilled onto my table, self-sorting into decade piles.  The details will probably be revealed later.....if I ever find the scans.  Suffice to say, best box ever? It just may have been.....

The quest was now in sight.  Target graced me with another box, this time I bought the remaining 18 packs from the box and started jumping up and down with glee as I opened a pack, scanned the it, got it, need it, got it, mini, need it.....and threw them with conviction into the gestating 800 count white cardboard box.

Then, the want list was created....each number was a blight upon my consciousness.  I would not be satisfied until the strikethrough function was used with gumption upon each number in the spreadsheet.  The internet would now be scoured. Sportslots and COMC became my wingmen, laying aside the distractions of other card collecting pursuits to hone in the 301-350 card range for a reasonable price.  Those other cards would have to wait, they were commons easily found (except for the David Wright for some reason).

One card show visit was all it took to laid waste to nearly all the checklist, 1-300 was complete, all the insert sets (of the non Gypsy Queen variety) were complete, all the Phillies minis were complete....all that stubbornly remained behind were 6 cards, 6 cards until immortality could be achieved.  Like Thor trying to find a way back to his realm, I was sensing the presence of Valhalla.....the end of a journey in which we could part ways being satisfied that everyone had benefited and all the warriors would be properly rewarded.

Shown below are the final 6 and what I did to obtain them.  There were no unnatural acts, but there was much rending of limbs as my metaphorical collecting hands reached further than they ever dreamed.
Hank Aaron #318: was obtained from a 50 cent box at a card show.  I pounced on that more quickly than a lion cub on a dragonfly.
Hisanori Takahashi #311: was obtained from COMC.
Babe Ruth #338 was obtained from COMC.
Freddie Freeman #335 was obtained from ebay.  This one was the most difficult to find.  I swear that I almost a hired a PI to track this one down.
Tommy Hanson #306 was obtained from ebay as well.  There's something about Braves cards, apparently.
Lastly, Miguel Cabrera #327 was obtained from COMC and I only had to sacrifice 1/6 of my lifespan to be able to hold it (that's how it is with shortprinted cards of triple crown winners).

And so ended the journey, the set quest is complete, the cards sit as a trophy to the concepts of noblility, honor, and righteousness.  All hail.....