Sunday 31 December 2023

Chronicling 2023


Finally, I get to the Chronicles box I picked up at the Expo. A set name like Chronicles seems like a perfect box/set to wrap up a year.

Pack 1:
Let's get that relic out of the way early, with a Jose Reyes relic. He's listed with New York, so WOO-HOO! Mets hit! The rest of the pack follows the theme of pretty much every other Panini release this year - a mix of retired players and minor leaguers. Or, as ITG called it 10+ years back with hockey, Heroes and Prospects. 

Pack 2:
As with a couple years back, the hobby packs contained either a hit, or a Spectra card. This one is a Meta parallel. These aren't numbered in baseball, but were /25 or /50 in other Spectra sets. I guess for those that care passionately about flipping, getting one of the next big thing in Jasson Dominguez would be a highlight. Me, I like the extremely orange Brooks Robinson. The Cho is the actually numbered card here, at /199.

Pack 3:
The highlights of this pack are already earmarked to go elsewhere, with that Cecil Fielder autograph /25 set aside for Dennis @ Too Many Verlanders, and the /50 blue parallel of Miller on its way at some point to the Night Owl. Still, my PCs did well too with the Jenkins and the Carter. Also, that Dale Murphy is kinda nice as well. 

Pack 4:
Repeating what I said early in the season when busting Donruss 2023 - Oakland's colours are so distinctive, they work beautifully with logoless sets. That's the second Spectra in the box - so the final two should have autographs in them. A shiny ending with the numbered Harris and the unnumbed Pedroia. 

Pack 5:
Satchel Paige cards are always great - make them a numbered parallel - even better. A red parallel for St. Louis is the best option, even if this is a Browns card. Boys of Summer is one of those really thick entries from the America's Pastime set. The stadium background gives the vibe of 2014 Tribute autographs. Not a bad choice of what to rip off. A double Met finisher is a perfect finale!

Pack 6:
That's a really nice looking autograph to end this. The Silver pops so nicely on the background. I guess the DNA can make me call this either a Mets or a Blue Jays card. And I can participate in the fun game of comparing the autographs of the two. They're both pretty nice - Al taught him well. Even if the photo is Panini-friendly, that's a good choice for what they used on McGwire's - that definitely looks like a home run trot.

I might as well show the Did You Know on the back of the two Classics I pulled in the box as well. Brooks Robinson's > Drew Romo's.

And there you have it!

Friday 29 December 2023

Better than a Jersey Swatch

 Sure, getting a jersey swatch that may have once touched a player's body might be interesting. But getting something outside of that will always be more interesting to me.

Such as this. Red isn't a colour associated with the Ravens. It isn't really one you associate with Pittsburgh either, unless you're referencing the seats at Three Rivers Stadium, which this piece comes from.
Donruss was even nice enough to include a photo of the seats in question on the back. The only beef is they included the stats from Lewis' only game at the time in Pittsburgh - 16 yards worth in his rookie year of 2000. This card also pairs nicely with a Josh Gibson 2005 Sterling card I picked up ages ago, which featured a Forbes Field seat piece. 23-24 Artifacts hockey contains Civic Arena relics, so maybe I can complete the unofficial series.
A towel relic that only made appearances in a photo shoot is less special than the stadium seat, but at least the towels that were used for these always are nice and soft.
And there's also a photo of the towel on the back as well. Austin's expression really seems to be "You want this towel back? Why?".

There you have it!

Thursday 28 December 2023

Strangeness via Michigan

Time to start recapping the latest TMV/TMM/Dennis envelope. And I am starting with a pair of really, really oddball sets.

Leading the way is a set that came in its very own box. Arena Draft Tuxedo. And it is the Premiere (Only) Edition.

Neither set shown today was anything close to licensed, so don't expect any NHL uniforms on these.
But they do have team colours for use on the player's last name and position. That counts for something, even if Forsberg would have to wait until after the lost season to actually don the orange of the Flyers. As HOFers, these two probably were the best players in the sets (they're featured in both). I do appreciate the snow job as well, as it hides some of the peeling on the cards.
Outside the HOFers, there were a couple other good names in the base, both of whom had very solid careers.
Naturally, it is one year too early for Sens content. But I did land their current GM. 
And a player that I'd never heard of, only to get really depressed when I looked him up. At least he reached the NHL, but it looks like the cost was pretty heavy in retrospect.
What was in the Ultimate set? A lot of the same names that were in Arena.
But there were a few notable new names. At least they're in hockey gear this time, even if it is branded in the name of a card shop in Vegas.
A Kitchener Rangers alum managed to sneak into this set.
The scrimmage atmosphere should have resulted in some respectable photos, similar to what gets used in some Panini's early-season rookie cards. Somehow, this was the best they could do for Alek Stojanov.
That's still better than seeing "Kerry Toporowski" mounting some anonymous player. I put his name in quotes, since Kerry himself never made the photoshoot. In Ken Reid's Hockey Card Stories 2, he revealed that he never made the photoshoot, but still got $1500 for the deal. He believes it was Brent Bilodeau in the jersey for this photo. 

While the cards themselves aren't worth a lot, goofy stories like that make them priceless!

More from this envelope to come!

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Fun Names

 Just a semi-regular post featuring people with interest (nick)names that I've added to the collection, in autographed card form.

The 'name' guys don't have a binder all their own - I just put them in the regular ones devoted to hits for the various sports. Tacko Fall will instead end up in the penmanship binder with a very legible signature, even if the 'c' could use a slight curl to make his name look less like Taiko. He's since taken his career overseas, but at 7-6, he came one inch short of knocking 2/14er Gheorge Muresan out of the height lead in the NBA.
It might not be on the level of Fall's, but (Pro)vonsha Wells' signature is probably in a upper percentile in terms of quality. I mean, every letter in the name on the card appears in the signature and the last name is pretty recognizable. And since he did play in the USFL for Philadelphia, I guess that does officially make him a 'Pro' as well. 
Even with his NFL career being one game (Still one more than I'll ever play), Sultan McCullough definitely has the most regal name on the list today. Interesting use of sticker space too.
Rock Shoulders. Rock is a perfectly logical abbreviation for Roderick. The write-up on the back of his Bowman card revealed that fans often asked him to autograph their shoulders. Sadly, he didn't autograph his own on his autographed cards. Lousy, stupid specified place for an autograph.
I really need to polish my scanner bed. The mess distracts from the awesomeness of somebody named Arquimedes. He's still doing the minor league thing, and spent 2023 in the Cardinals system. I'll be optimistic I'll be able to add a clearer MLB card of his someday.

There you have it!

Sunday 24 December 2023

Christmas Mischief!

Christmas means it is time to show off the annual Christmas picture of the furry little lady in my life.
She was about as enamored with wearing antlers as you would expect an Airedale to be. But at least I can imagine all her doggy friends laughing at it when her Christmas card landed in their humans' mailboxes. I assume that some of Mischief's general naughtiness over the past month has been payback for doing that to her.

I think she's forgiven me.
ObCard: Back when I first got Mischief, I took some time off, When I did, I posted a Carter Rowney 'Day with the Cup' card when he shared his time with Lord Stanley with a very good doggo. This AHL card was the only autographed card he'd get on this side of the border. While there's no hiatus this time, I just thought this would be a nice card to go along with the DwtC card.

There you have it!

Saturday 23 December 2023

Yes, this is a MST3K Auto


Robert Smith made a guest appearance during episode Episode 803, The Mole People, as Howard. Howard was a gift for Pearl from Professor Bobo et al. during Lawgiver Daze. The appearance even warranted a mention on the back of his 2000 Fleer Tradition card. Howard was mute, so it was a non-speaking role.

And it prompted this wisdom from an originally-disappointed Pearl:

"What am I supposed to do with a beefy, virile, muscular, sweaty, servile, well-oiled hunk?"

What indeed.

There you have it!

Friday 22 December 2023

2022-23 Metal Universe Box Break #2

Time to keep on set building! 

What goodies will be in the second box?

Here's a sample of the base cards, with 1 from the regular base set, 1 from the stars and 1 from the rookies. That's my first card of Kitchener Rangers alum Arber Xhekaj. So - WOO-HOO, even if it can't go into the binder since it is part of the set build.

As for the rest, I did knock out the complete 1-100 portion. I'll wait to add the rest to the wantlist until after it drops on e-pack and I see what's available cheaply through COMC.
But since I'm not building the insert sets, this one can go straight into that binder. 
Here's a one-each sampling of the other inserts that showed up in my previous box. No dupes among these, at least.
But I will show off both the Aspects card, featuring a look at the lovely scenery of Dallas and Minnesota to go along with the player. Not quite 1993 Leaf, but close enough.
Just a generic head-shot insert set. At least for one called All-Starring, they look to be using an All-Star jersey, based on the visible patch. That's almost enough to make me like it more after just one card when compared to Portraits in flagship.

Here's Jarring, which is reminiscent of the Check-It insert Score used to salute hard hitting players. If only the photo actually showed a body check instead of just a generic on ice struggle. 
Palladium was the acetate card in the box. As when 'Palladium' showed up in the all-autographed set of Clear Cut, I want Senators stuff from this, since that was their original arena name.
Cache is your generic shiny insert. I'd say 'meh' to it, but...
it also provided the big card of the box. Although this isn't as bright as the base version, this is actually a Platinum Blue parallel, being numbered out of 15. If you recall my other box, the big card there was also a low-numbered Shesterkin, that one being out of 100 (but really out of 10). Both cards were also the stamped as the first one, making both EBAY1of1L0000K~ cards as well.

There are definitely worst players to be a magnet for.

And the base card portion that definitely won't be on COMC e-pack is completed.

There you have it!

Thursday 21 December 2023

Getting Grizzly

 With Kevin Pritchard allowing me to make a Vancouver Grizzlies reference in my most recent post, I figured I'd show off the Vancouver Grizzlies cards I had yet to feature here. 

Both of 'em!

Party like it is 1971 with this 2000 entry from Topps Heritage. Heritage's foray into basketball lasted two years, covering both Grizzlies locales. So, that left one year to choose from and I opted for the player I had the least # of cards of. In this case - zero prior to this one. Looking at actual 1971 cards, it is a decent enough font used on top to really create the "this is what a Vancouver Grizzlies card would have looked like if they were around" then vibe.

And yes, Foward-Center was a position you might find on a card then.
If you want a modern Grizzlies card, you're probably looking at an autographed card, retro jerseys notwithstanding. Considering that Reeves played every one of his NBA games for Vancouver, it makes sense he shows up in these cards. Looking through COMC, several others have shown up recently with Grizzlies autos, such as Felipe Lopez, Mike Bibby and Byron Scott. So there are other options. 
I'm just disappointed that his signature has deteriorated from my first auto of his that I acquired years ago. Although signing 20 cards for a high-end set is probably more suitable for a nice sig than signing hundreds for a mid-range one. 

There you have it!

Tuesday 19 December 2023

2023 Adventures in Repacks - Part 36: The Usual Basketball


Let's leave the basketball behind, and now show off stuff from one of my usual hanger and a hit repacks.

They might be early 90s cards, but there's star power here from that time with Parish and Robinson. Marbury does provide a big name from recent times. I'm not sure if 1990 Fleer Update is really a theme, but the most recent one of these, and the ones to come really had a good number of cards from that set in there.
Topps Ten, which that Arenas comes from, was a strange set that gave base cards to the Top 10 in varied statistics. That's one way to pad your set with stars. I looked for the Raptors content, and all they had Chris Jefferies, who got into the set by being the #9 Small Forward drafted. Those were some really, really lean years.

And of course, I added the Jefferies to my COMC inventory.

Because something is wrong with me.

And my hit is a WNBA relic? YES for obscurity! Even if Summer of Love is a super cheesy name for an insert set. The relic isn't even summer-related, since it comes from the 2ball competition during NBA All Star weekend. Which makes it from the winter.

And Manute Bol appearance makes for a good repack. Kevin Pritchard would go on to be the first ever Vancouver Grizzlies signing. He'd play zero games for the team, and this would be his only active NBA card of his career.

Also, Dick Harter. Dick Harter. As with Dick Wood last week, I hope I never, ever mature.

And the finale. They must have not thought much of Harrison Barnes to use a photo where a courtsider is far more enthralled by their smartphone than the game.

There you have it!

Monday 18 December 2023

Remember ALF?


He's in my collection! In 2/14 form!

Since Arizona became a state on 2/14/1912, any card that specifically salutes it counts. Even ALF ones.