Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Boston! Memphis! Phoenix! But not Sacramento! Court Kings!

I was really happy to see Court Kings pop up as one of the options in the Father's Day breaks. It is my favourite mid-range basketball product of the past year. In fact, if I had the druthers to bust a case of a mid-level product, I'd be all over this. Decent hits, as well as a really nice variety in design throughout. Plus, the backgrounds take me back to the Perez card of the 80s and 90s. Which I assume was the intent.

Anyhow, as the title of this post shows, the randomizer landed on the Celtics, Grizzlies and Suns. I was neutral on Memphis but happy as the other two gave me chances to enhance my PCs, whether they be Celtics or Tyler Ennis.

It turns out one of those worked well. One, not so well.

And surprisingly, it was Boston, probably the top team in Court Kings in terms of hit volume, that was the 'not so well'.
As I landed one base card of a veteran.
One of a rookie (although I love the look of this).
A /25 parallel of another veteran. But, I think this is my first Celtics card with that particular look in terms of jersey. So there's that.
And a jumbo relic.

It seems strange to complain about a team's performance in a break when you get a low numbered card and a nice large jersey swatch, but that's how the break went for the other teams.
For example, Memphis won the base card battle with this trio of cards. And you've got an alternate jersey as well among them.
An insert as well. Although the smudging at the bottom made me check to see if my scanner had gotten really, really dirty in the meantime. Fortunately, that is part of the design.
More Jordan Adams here. The difference is that this portrait card is a framed parallel (although the frame isn't quite as thick as on Gypsy Queen cards), it is noticeable. Also, it is the emerald parallel numbered to 5. Aesthetically, this really has the look of a low numbered card. By far, this was the lowest numbered card in the break for me.
Still one more Grizzly to go, and it is a really nice one of a former Celtic and current defensive all-star. 3 colours on the swatch and a stickergraph. It really does fit into the subset of "Sketches and Swatches".
Even moreso on the back. If one can have a favourite design for a card back, this would easily contend as the school notebook look makes the 'sketches' portion of the subset even more appropriate.
Phoenix base cards!
Here's my first Tyler Ennis for my CanCon collection, from the same "is my scanner really that filthy?" subset.
Here's Ennis #2, this from a different rookie portion of the base set, and numbered to /149.
And here's #3, my second autograph of his, both on-card. This card asks the question "Is it possible to have a card with too much orange?". The answer is "Of course not".
A classic Suns jersey on the relic. The interesting thing about this is feeling the jersey and realizing these couldn't have been very comfortable to wear. They're not quite burlap, but are pretty close to it.
Contrasting with this, which is a nice soft swatch. It is hard to tell from the front, but Panini has included the date this jersey was used on the front of the card.
It is much easier to determine that from the back. This is a concept I'd love to see used in other sets. It sure beats the "not from any event, season or game" on other cards.
And to wrap it up, here's a combo swatch/signature of Thunder Dan.

So, definitely a successful group break in terms of hits and the variety thereof. Keepers all over the place!

A surprise Bipping!

By, of all things, Sports Illustrated's "Where Are They Now" issue.

Where they recreate some of the more famous images on cards. And there's Bip!

Along with Manny Fernandez' 76 Topps, Oscar Gamble's 76 Topps Traded, Jay Johnstone's 84 Fleer, 93 Brian Harper's Upper Deck SP, Eugene Robinson's 91 Pro Line, Mickey Hatcher's 86 Fleer and Kurt Rambis' 1990 Kurt Rambis.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Happy Father's Day!

While the Father's Day packs weren't as good to me this year as last, I still picked up some nice cards.
These are the base cards. Nice clean design, and the baseball ones choose photos where you don't automatically notice the lack of licensing. All the black in the photo makes the Posey pop off the design especially well. I guess Panini really wanted to show off their new NCAA license, hence the Tigers and not the Giants on that card.
Here's cards from one of the subsets, Portraits. A couple sure keepers here with a Bryant and the Wiggins. I don't have a lot of Wiggins stuff outside of my set builds, so this is a nice addition to my Canadians in the NBA collection.
This is a somewhat disappointing entry, if for no other reason that my elements cards for the previous years featured outdoor games where the weather was also a part of the card. These, not so much.
But ending up with a really nice /25 parallel dulls any criticism of this subset. And being a cracked ice parallel does make it closer to an element than a base card.
This is a class of 2015 card. It is numbered like it is part of the base set, but these are all /599. So it is typical of a Panini release.
While the Curry /25 is probably the biggest "book value" card of the break, I did end up with a hit. Diggs was a 5th round draft pick of the Vikings. It doesn't seem like an interesting card, but it is a good one for adding something to my collection. Looking at other cards in this set, this appears to be a cap relic. It doesn't feel like a jersey either. So this is a first for me. Yay?!

And there you have it. The Court Kings stuff tomorrow. Featuring the Celtics, Suns and Grizzlies.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Just One Pack...of 2015 Goodwin Champions

I was going to a Father's Day break post today, either Court Kings of the Father's Day packs. But, since my LCS had some new stuff in, I opted to try a pack. I stayed away from SP Authentic, and embraced the cheaper randomness of Goodwin.
Here's your pack. Standard UD 5 card per pack of their non low-end releases.
And here's the first card I get. A nice one for me, as Barry was one of my favourite players back in the day. Of course, since it is Goodwin there are no logos anywhere to be seen, even for guys who they have the license for the set. The borders look nice - maybe a little busier than previous years.
Here's the back. Pretty standard for this set.
And here are cards 2 through 5. Baseball, football and rock climbing. Sounds about right for one of these releases. Amari was the 4th overall draft pick, so that's a pretty good grab in terms of base cards. As for Agholor, he should win the "Worst Rookie Autograph" with ease this year. Don't believe me? Try and top this debacle:
Horrible. Panini should have returned those stickers with a drawing of a middle finger. Unfortunately, he was a first round pick, so there will probably be more to come like this. I feel sorry for Eagles team collectors.

Now, that card obviously wasn't in the pack. I just grabbed this on ebay as an example of Mr. Agholar's horrid penmanship. But there was a 6th card in the pack:
Another football card, but a very good name to pull. Even with it being a plain white swatch.
The description on the back is pretty cryptic, meaning that swatch good be from an old t-shirt that Peyton wore while he was painting the garage. But, given the nature of this set, it is kinda suitable.

And there you go.

Father's Day stuff tomorrow. I swear!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Bills! Bills! Bills!

Namely, a pile of Bills cards from a recent case break of Bowmans '15 issues.
I'm going to this in terms of card volume, so I'll start with an insert card that I only got 1 of. The Bills didn't have any base autographs in the whole set, so that's really going to limit the take from these breaks this year. On the upside, at least they'll be a cheap date in 2015.
MINIS! These fall 1 per pack, so there are 100 per case for a 110 card insert set, I batted 2 for 3 for this mini set. I'll need to find a Dezmin Lewis to finish this off. These two are Karlos Williams and Nick O'Leary respectively. Both Florida State products that Buffalo grabbed in the 5th and 6th rounds. Lewis was a 7th rounder.

Yegads. The only Bills rookies in the set are late round draft picks. What are the odds of the other guys showing up? No 1st or 4th round pick in '15, but there's still 3 left.

2nd rounder: Ronald Darby (another Seminoles alum). He's a CB, and did get a card in the Panini NCAA releases, and also appears in Score and Upper Deck base sets.

3rd rounder: John Miller. Like the companies are going to waste a valuable rookie spot on some OL guy.

6th rounder: Tony Steward. A LB. He's an outsider for some random appearance.

As I said earlier, at least the Bills will be a cheap date.
But at least I got a Lewis among the shiny parallels. The base set is 110 cards, so the Bills did better than expected for base cards with 6 players, albeit 2 photoshop specials and and a third who is no longer on the team.
I got 7 different cards each of the black border parallels and the shiny ones, but more black bordered overall. Here you can see the rest of the cards comprising the Bills base set. The Nick O'Leary wins the factoid war of the card backs, revealing that his grandfather is Jack Nicklaus. Perhaps he can be a ringer when they set up teams for off-season golf games.

Which, since it is the Bills, will probably be in early January.

Because they're the Bills.
And that leads to the base cards. 9 cards. Perfect for a page. The best of these is seeing the classic logo on a pair of cards.

And that's your 2015 Bowman Buffalo Bills.

Friday, 3 July 2015

A (Literal) Free Pack Friday at Mojobreak

And I do mean it literally. I picked up a free pack a few weeks back at mojobreak. Generally, they only send hits out on these. But, since I was in a Father's Day break of '14 Court Kings and had the Bills in a case break of Bowman '15, other cards were included. I'd only wanted the two numbered cards, 1 for my PC, 1 for someone else's. But, who am I to refuse a pack of cards?

I'll actually start with the hit.
And it is probably one of the better ones to get. Considering sets of this nature can be loaded with guys who never got out of the minors, getting someone with a big league career is a plus. The penmanship isn't the best, but if you look at some of his later cards, such as 2012 Triple Threads' on-card autos, his penmanship actually improved as his career progressed.

And now, the numbered cards.
A /250 for my Jays collection.
And a /500 for someone else's Verlander collection.
One of the interesting things about this set was the World Baseball Classic inserts. Here's the three of those. And Liddi actually made it to the bigs long enough to get a Topps card.

But it was this that got me thinking. How did other the rookies  in this pack do?
This was the one gold parallel in the pack. Concerning the career of Jose Barajas, he never got past A ball, and spent 2013 and 2014 in Mexico with an ERA over 7 both years.

The Chrome Rookies:
None of them made it out of A ball.

And the base rookies.
Ryan Verdugo is the first of these guys to have made the bigs. 1 game in 2012 for Kansas City. Even though this card, and its parallels remain the extent of his cardboard career. Tyson Brummett also had 1 big league game, but did get himself a big league Topps card, sharing a 2013 Heritage issue with Hechavarria. He's listed as a Blue Jay there, but never played beyond AAA for them. Jacob Goldberg was the only Met in the
pack. Again, A ball was as far as he got. Rigoli's minor league career stopped at rookie ball, finishing up in 2010 in the Frontier League. Kenneth Gilbert is another A ball guy. Seth Garrison made it AA, but no further, in 2011. But, the final card is yet another guy who never progressed beyond A ball.

And finally, since I scanned all the rookie/FBC guys, here are the veterans.
A Rich Harden to my CanCon collection, a nice phoot of Longoria, and an appearance of Ken Griffey Jr makes this a worthwhile portion of the pack.

Not a bad pack, considering the price point. I'll continue my way through the box that showed up tomorrow. Whether I post the Bills, the Court Kings or the Father's Day cards themselves will depend on how verbose I feel.

2015 Adventures in Repacks: Part 23: Ch-Ch-changes!

A quick run through a different than usual Dollarama this morning showed that something in the land of their repacks has changes.

As the classic Surprise Box has becomes a Surprise Bag.

They still contain 4 miscellaneous hockey items, just in a sealed bag as opposed to a box. The latter was searchable. This, not so much. Upgrade!

So, what was in my first of the new look product?

1 pack 1990 Score Canadian
1 pack 2008 Victory
1 HOF pack

and something new!

1 Franchise Pack

I'll let the package itself describe it:
And the package was two in one, as it was a Montreal pack:
Pretty good stuff! A Dionne for my Rangers alum collection. A parallel. A Cammalleri for TMM and the Petteri Nokelainen seems to be the only card issued of him as a Hab. When the least interesting card of the 4 is an Emerald Ice, that's a good repack!
I'm sure I've pulled the entire 2008 Victory set through repacks, so here's the insert!
I'm sure you've seen the Score cards before. The Canadian ones are slightly different, with the Score logo in red instead of blue. The pack included one of the memorable cards from that set in the Brett Hull.
But, the pack also contained a pair of Whalers, meaning that a PWE bound for Shoebox Legends will continue to fill up, since those are both on his wantlist at zistle.
Finally, the HOF pack. Sure Guy is in the HOF, but that mullet sticking out of the back of the helmet is classic.

Not much different than the classic box, but the fact that these can't be easily searched make it more interesting.