May 23, 2012

Group Break Signups Continue-More Content Announcement

This is Thurgood Cartwright IV.  He is an imaginary player from the 19th century. You won't be getting any players from that time....but, there are other reasons to open boxes of an unknown nature.

I know it's a different type of box break, but you will get some very nice, unconventional cards, guaranteed.

 Besides the boxes listed here, I have decided to add a couple more boxes to the break. This means there will be a total of 8 boxes in the break. The two new boxes are 2007 Tristar Prospects Plus. Each box has 10 packs with 7 cards per pack and 1 AUTO PER PACK. This product has autos from the 2007 draft class such as David Price, Jason Heyward, Matt Wieters, Madison Bumgarner, Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Moustakas, and Will Middlebrooks.

So for the same price of $60 per slot ($55 for a 2nd slot), you will get SIX guaranteed hits in a draft style (see the first post for more detail) plus cards for your team from the boxes that have additional cards plus possible other surprises....when the break fills up.

As a reminder, the boxes are 1 box of 2011 Leaf Ink, 2 boxes of 2010 Panini Century Collection,  2 boxes of 2011 Leaf Valiant, 1 box of 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars.

It will be fun, I promise... Also, I promise not to speak in a terrible British accent...much....during the videos.

Six (or Five) Spots Remain.

1. me
2. Brad's Blog
3. Arno
4. FieldLevelView
5. Brad's Blog (tentative 2nd spot)

May 18, 2012

Group Break Box Example: 2010 Panini Century Collection Break

I feel like this group break will be very fun. Check it out here for details. Only six slots left!

One of my initial goals from this year was to rip open those non-conventional boxes for a first world collector like myself. I wanted to jump ankle first into the high end pool, and there was one set that caught my eye for a few reasons and that was 2010 Panini Century Collection.

 1. I wanted a relic card of an astronaut.
 2. There were autos of HOFers across all the major sports.
3. I felt like I needed another stamp card for some inexplicable reason.
4. I was looking for a card with some '70s glasses styled and profiled.

Basketball HOF Nate Thurmond  Auto/Stamp card 23/36: Generally regarded as one of the top 40 players all-time in the NBA.  He averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds for his career.  He's also known as the player to record the first ever quadruple-double.
Astronaut Ed Gibson Relic/Stamp card 38/100: Ed Gibson was a key physicist for Skylab 4 space station in 1973, amazing.
Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn Dual Relic/Stamp card 113/250: Two icons of the silver screen and golden stage.
NHL HOF Mike Bossy Relic/Stamp card 26/250: Bossy scored 573 goals in only 10 seasons and won 4 Stanley Cups with the Islanders.
MLB HOF Lou Brock Relic card 9/25: 3000 hits, 938 steals, we're mostly baseball fans here. What you may not know: batted .391 for his career in the World Series with 14 steals in 21 games.
MLB HOF Ryne Sandberg 1/1 (encased):  This is my second ever 1/1 pull from a pack.
Check out the back with the serial number.

In any case, as you can see, the box only calls for five cards per box, but I received six in my particular box. (Note: any unclaimed extra hits from the initial 39 that are supposed to be in the group break originally will go into the "Wild Card Choice" election to begin with)

For the price, in my opinion, this gives some of the best value on the market right now. I even like the high school most cases...not all players are destined to be photogenic.
2. Brad's Blog
3. Arno
4. FieldLevelView

May 16, 2012

The BIG Group Break is On! Official Sign-up Page (seal stamped and all)

This group break is for the mid-end rollers out there.    The boxes are in hand and can be identified.  Observe...

1. 1 box of 2011 Leaf Ink- 4 slabbed buyback autos plus a 1/1 cut auto per box
2. 2 boxes of 2011 Leaf Valiant- 10 prospect autos per box
3. 2 boxes of 2010 Panini Century Collection-5 total autograph/memorabilia cards per box (multi-sport and celebrity cards included)
4. 1 box of 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars-4 total autograph/memorabilia cards per box plus an off-chance at a Bryce Harper USA card.

How I envision this is there will be 10 people needed to sign up.   Each slot you sign up for will be for a total of guaranteed FOUR auto or memorabilia cards plus other cards from the Signature Stars box AT A MINIMUM.  (Notice that the number of hits adds up to 39, there is also a wild card slot that you can choose something from my collection of which there will be two categories to choose from).

Once you get your numbers, all the numbers will be randomized.   Each card in each box will also be assigned a number before they're opened.

  Then, the first person will choose a box and a number.  For example, the first person will choose something like 2010 Panini Century Collection box 1 #1....this means that they will get the first choice from that box.  The next person can then choose 2010 Panini Century Collection box 1 #2 (which means the 2nd choice from that box) or the 1st choice from any other box.

If you have any other suggestions for how to do this more fairly than this, I'm all ears.....

Cost per slot is a little pricey, but think of it this way....would you rather get some guaranteed autos/relics from mid-high end products or buy more blasters of Heritage (if you're not collecting the set).

First slot is $60, second slot is $55, each slot is for the FOUR auto/relic cards.  The more people that sign up, the more the break will'll see.    If all slots are filled, there will be bonus boxes....that is a promise. 

All boxes will be broken on video and posted here. 

Thoughts? Questions?

1. me
2.  Brad's Blog (tentative)
3. Arno (tentative)

May 14, 2012

The NHL Conference Finals as Predicted by the 2010-2011 Paninni All-Goalies Set Scans

The 2010-2011 Panini All-Goalies Set has a card of all the goalies that made an appearance during the 2009-2010 (or at least what they claim) plus 10 classic goalie cards. Also included in the box, are 5 parallels and a jersey card. The set itself is very basic, with the goalies in goalie gear set against a white background. The parallels have an extra silouetted image of the goalie.

 Since the Conference Finals have now been set (New York-New Jersey in the East and Phoenix-Los Angeles in the West), I will use an arbitrary point system based on the cards I scanned a couple months ago to determine the winner of the series and the Stanley Cup.
Tom Barrasso: The Devils beat the Flyers who beat the Penguins: 3 points for the Devils
Roberto Luongo: The Kings beat the Canucks in the 1st round in 8 vs 1 upset: 5 points for the Kings
Jean Sebastian Giguere: Former Playoffs MVP who played for the Ducks: no points awarded
Jim Craig: 1980 gold medal winning goalie: 2 points to each team with an American starting goalie (Kings only)
Grant Fuhr: Led Canadian team to the cup multiple times: 2 points to the Rangers and Kings for defeating Canadian teams
Richard Brodeur: ugly uniformed Canuck goalie, 2 points to Phoenix for having a non-classic uniform
Tony Esposito:Inducted into the hockey hall of fame in 1988: 3 points each for the Kings and Devils for having the highest scoring players born in that year.
Brian Elliott jersey: He was defeated by Jonathan Quick and the Kings in the 2nd round, +4 points for the Kings.
Up Close and Personal Parallel of Martin Brodeur: Though not as stellar as he once was, he's brought the Devils to the conference finals agin, +4 for the Devils
Tim Thomas: The reigning Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy winner, knocked out in the 1st round.  Not a good sign....+3 for the Rangers for defeating the team that knocked him out.

Final Scores:

Phoenix: 2
Rangers: 5
Devils: 10
Kings: 16

The prediction then is Kings over Devils for the Stanley Cup, completing a historic 8th seed run.  That gives me a sad for some reason. 

May 12, 2012

The First 1953 Topps Phillies in My Collection: Stylized Portraiture

The 1953 Topps set is one that has had its praises sung by many others through the years. The unique portrait styles,the overall layout and tone all give it a sense of vintage card royalty (or regency).

I finally acquired my first cards of the Phillies variety from this set recently.    And only one of them was on the 1950 pennant winning team.  Player movement still existed in the free agency era, but usually not by choice of the player.

First, is Connie Ryan.  He was the starting 2nd baseman for the Phillies for the 1952 season and part of the 1953 season.  In 1952, he was 4th on the team with 12 HR, but had the lowest OPS+ among the starters (though a respectable 93 for a 2nd baseman).  He played every game in 1952 and was released for an unknown? reason in August 1953.
Ken Heintzelman was the player on the 1950 team, having played for the Phillies since 1947.  1952 would be his last season in the majors, having become a 36 year old relief pitcher after years of being a mid-rotation starter.  He still had one of his best seasons since 1949 with a 117 ERA+, though only pitched 42 innings over 23 games for the season.
Smoky Burgess arrived on the Phillies during the 1952 offseason in the same deal as Connie Ryan from the Cincinnati Reds, in which Andy Seminick and Dick Sisler were traded away.    Burgess was a young, good-hitting catcher with a great eye for the strike zone, drawing double or more the amount of walks compared to Ks in his three years as a Phillie.  In 1952, he threw out 49% of baserunners attempting to steal.  Then, during the 1955 season, he was traded back to Cincinnati (the Redlegs) for the same Andy Seminick (among other players).

The most interesting part of these cards is that all other teams had a logo.  Was "Fightin' Phillies"  really the logo they used at the time? Why not use the hat logo?  According to other sources, it was the baseball cap with the baseball circling it, which has been featured prominently on sets such as 1960 Topps.  Is this the origin of the Fightin' monker?  Inquiring minds want to know.

More vintage cards to come.

May 5, 2012

Phillies-Giants on April 17

I made my annual trip to a Phillies-Giants game last Tueday and as tradition dictates, it must be one of the games that they lose. As another tradition dictates, I am not permitted to see Tim Lincecum or Cliff Lee pitch (I have seen Halladay once). Instead, I was treated to the molasses slow stylings of Joe Blanton and Madison Bumgarner.
Neither pitcher distinguished, seeming to alternate bouts of wildness with strings of strikes....of course, most of the strikes were of the fouled off variety. I don't know how many batters had two strikes with Blanton and he was not able to put them away; Bumgarner had the same problem. The game had an ominous feel from the start when the Giants scored 2 runs in the first 3 batters. At this point in the season, the Phillies weren't even averaging 3 runs/game. The Phillies ended up losing the game 4-2, bringing them down to one game under .500, which they still are to this point. So not much has changed since my visit. This also brings my record at a Phillies game in San Francisco all time to 1-6....not good.
It was a positive experience overall. The location of the seats were great....for once, I was not exposed to the elements. For those who have not been to a night game in San Francisco, the normal dress is sweatshirt, winter coat, winter hat, and maybe gloves. It's also recommended to only eat hot food, preferably something with hot sauce and grease that can drip down your hands and keep them warm for 30 minutes. I recommend the carvery station or the street tacos....other people like the clam chowder in the bread bowl, though this doesn't have enough chowder for my taste. This time my seats were under the overhang on the lower level, which means there was no wind, which means I made it through a night game without wearing a winter hat for possibly the first time.

 Some crowd related observations:

1. They love Boster Posey there....I mean...L-O-V-E him. I haven't seen Giants fans so excited for a player since Bonds and that was mostly for the home run race. I would not be surprised if he got the most valentines in the mail from fans.

2. There was a father and son in front of me who each had an looked they were only talking to each other through the ipads and taking pictures with was very strange.

3. I heard the worst heckle ever in my section. Some guy really hated Hunter Pence and screamed at him when he was at the plate. "Pence, you're no good." "Strike three, Pence" "You can't hit this guy on your best day" "Pence, you're bad" Not very original. Then, Pence hit a home run.

Fun times at the ballpark.