Tuesday, 20 August 2019

2019 Topps Chrome Box Break on YouTube


I'm trying something a bit different with a video box break that I posted on YouTube. I bought a box of 2019 Chrome that I opened over the weekend. I got a few decent hits that I will post on the blog over the next few days, but for now you can check out in the video.

I probably won't post too many more of these videos, since I'm not a regular box breaker considering how expensive it is and the value you get back from a box. Even a decent box of Chrome, which was fun to break, probably cost double what it would if I just bought all of these cards as singles. But I wanted to try something different, and I've only busted packs before in the past on YouTube.

Have you opened any Topps Chrome yet this year?

Sunday, 18 August 2019

One Panini National Pack


While at the Leaside card show last weekend, I had the gambler's urge and I picked up a pack of Panini cards that were exclusive the the National, which had taken place the week before. One of the dealers had been there and was selling small and large packs. This was $20.

I'm not sure what I was expecting. The packs contain hits, and they are from MLB, NFL, and NBA. Panini only has an MLBPA license, so I tend to avoid their cards when it comes to baseball. And I'm not a football guy, so I guess my hope here was to pull something basketball related.


Instead, I pulled this jersey card of Patrick Mahomes II, serial numbered to fifty. I don't know football at all. Apparently he plays for the Chiefs, and was last year's MVP. In this card he is pictured with Texas Tech. I guess if you are a football guy, this is a pretty good pull.

It's available for trade or sale if anyone is interested.


I also got this base card of Le'Veon Bell of the New York Jets. I'm not familiar with this player. This card is also available if anyone wants it.

I should probably try watching NFL for the first time, since it starts in a few weeks. I've been trying to keep up with the CFL this summer, but I live in Toronto and the Argonauts are abysmal, so it hasn't been much fun. When I was a kid, I used to like the Dallas Cowboys since they were constantly winning back then, although I had friends who liked the San Francisco 49ers. I'll have to pick a time and figure it out.

Are you an NFL fan? If you don't live in an NFL city, how did you end up picking your team?

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

79-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey from the Weekend Card Show

On Sunday, I stopped by the Leaside Gardens for their new monthly card show. I live in downtown Toronto, and Leaside Gardens is in East York, which is just east of the downtown core. I don't head out that way often, but I went last month for the first card show that's been held at that arena in a long time. 

The first show wasn't very busy and dealers packed up early. The same thing happened this time, as I prefer to come later in the day (it was a Sunday, after all). But I felt the show was a bit busier this time.

I'm not generally a fan of card shows, as the selection is usually repetitive and the cards overpriced. If you've seen the recent documentary about baseball card collecting called Jack of all Trades, there is a scene where a group of people go to a card show for the first time since the early nineties and find a disappointing scene compared to what it used to be. I feel that way, too, as I think the hobby has long moved past cards shows, LCSs, Beckett Magazine, and these sort of things (the same thing has happened with stores that sell movies, CDs, and is now happening to video games). But it's still interesting to see that many trading cards in one place.

I also didn't want to leave empty handed, so I picked up a few things I wanted without spending too much. I'll spread these pickups out over a few posts.

 First, I grabbed a small stack of 79 OPC. I already have the Gretzky rookie, graded as a PSA 1. I've been wanting to build a vintage hockey set, as I have never completed one, and considering I already have by far the most expensive card from that set out of the way, I figured 79 OPC was a good place to start.

The cards I grabbed were only 25-cents apiece, but are not in the greatest condition. Honestly, sometimes I feel like someone who is condition sensitive about vintage, and sometimes I feel like I just don't care. I feel like the less you care, the less money you spend since you're willing to buy things other collectors pass on, and you end up having more fun that way. But, your collection isn't as sharp looking.

In the end, I think eye appeal is more important to me than standard condition. For example, I think this Bill Barber card was a good deal for only a quarter. Barber is a HOFer and the card is in nice shape. 79 OPC is a difficult one for conditioning because the blue borders make it easy to notice damage to the edges and corners. But this is a nice example and I think a good pickup for that cheap.

The back of the card notes that Bill does charity work during the summer. That's probably the case for a lot of players, so this wasn't the most notable cartoons. One of the things I love about vintage are the cartoon backs. They're like Bazooka Joe comics. It's one of the small touches that is missed among most modern cards, and reasons why I enjoy Topps sets like Ginter and Heritage.

 Another card I picked up was the game winning goals leader card, which featured Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Jean Pronovost, and Ted Bulley. That's three HOFers for a quarter. I don't think you can get a better deal than that. League Leaders cards in hockey and baseball always go for a better deal than cards featuring just one player alone, unless it's an exemplary player like Gretzky or Orr.


This one is in good shape, too, although the right edge and bottom right corner aren't great. I'm also not overly familiar with Ted Bulley. Looking at the card back, Lafleur was way ahead of everyone else in game winners that year, with Bossy coming in second, and the rest of the guys on this card tied at third. Many others were tied at fourth. I think game winners are a bit of a fluke stat, as it seems that guys who are going to lead in that category are going to be guys who score a lot of goals for teams that win consistently, or guys who are the only real goal scorer on a weaker team. I mean, Bulley, Don Luce, Pierre Mondou, and Peter Lee are not players who would otherwise be leading the NHL in any category. I've never even heard of Lee.

 The next card for a quarter was Denis Potvin, another HOFer and seventies hockey icon. Like the Barber card, the front of this card notes that Potvin made the first all-star team (the second team in Barber's case). These aren't separate all-star cards for these players, but just a design choice by OPC for the primary cards of players who made the all-star squads. This card is in decent shape, too, with good centering.


The back of the card notes that Potvin's nickname is Baby Bear. Well, everyone knows that, so I don't know if it's really trivia. He had a great year in 78-79, though, scoring 101 points in 73 games. Not too many defensemen that can accomplish that these days.

The next card I grabbed is another HOFer and first team all-star card in Clark Gillies. This is a nice photo of Gillies showing off the massive captain's "C" on the front of his Islanders jersey. I feel like Gillies is one of the weaker HOFers, kind of like Barber. I often feel like the standards for players getting into the HHOF is much lower than one would think. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I know people have criticized the HHOF as being moreso the "Hall of Very Good" based on many of the players they've admitted.


The back of the card notes that Gillies is an outstanding racquetball player. I like how all of these cartoons essentially have the same cartoon character representing each player. I wonder who drew these cartoons for Topps? Is it the same guy that did all of the baseball and hockey cards? Was it the same guy season after season, or did it change over time?

Those were the four OPC cards I picked up for $1. I'll likely end up buying a big stack of them off Sportlots at some point, which won't be too much more expensive, even including shipping and the exchange rate.

What's your all time favourite cartoon from a card back?

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Fifth and Final Pack of Ginter

I opened my fifth and final pack of Ginter from the stack of packs I bought a couple weeks ago at the LCS. I was happy with the pulls from this pack, too. Overall, I enjoyed pulling cards from these packs, particularly the mini sets of non-baseball subjects.



To wit, this card of a German Shepherd. When I was a kid, we always had German Shepherds. My Grandfather also always had this breed of dog, so I grew up around lots of these dogs when I was a kid. I like this insert set. I'm more of a cat person as an adult, and I believe Ginter had a cats mini insert set a few years back that I should collect.



Here's another insert set featuring an animal. I'm no equestrian expert, and I learned a bit reading the back of this card. That's the cool thing about Ginter, too, is that I end up learning little bits of trivia about stuff I had no idea about before.


Nice card of Ryno, although he kinda has this look on his face like he just sat on a wet toilet seat.


Another legendary player with the Big Hurt.





Jason Varitek. I'm definitely not a Red Sox fan, but I'm sure Boston fans would appreciate pulling this card from a pack of Ginter.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Fourth Pack of Ginter

This is the fourth of my five packs of Ginter I picked up a couple of weeks ago. I love this set, but I think I am better off picking up random cards I like rather than buying packs because I end up with a stack of commons I don't care about.

However, with Ginter there is some cool oddball stuff. Like, for example, a mini card of a flower.



This black-eyed susan was my favourite pull in the pack. I don't even like flowers. It's just such an oddball thing to get that is so totally different from every other baseball card release that it is fun to pull something unusual like this from an otherwise dull pack of cards.








The other cool card here is the one of Dan Rather, although I like the Barry Larkin, too. Once these cards start showing up more plentifully on COMC and Sportlots I might start building the oddball minis sets, including the flowers.

What is your favourite Ginter oddball mini set of all-time?

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Third of Five Ginter Packs

This is the third of five packs of Ginter. I didn't do as well as in the previous pack, but I still pulled a couple of interesting cards.



A nice Ted Williams base, with a classic Williams pose. I seem to pull Red Sox cards whenever I open new wax.



Carter with the Expos looks so much like Pete Rose with the Expos, I think. I love pulling old Expos cards and I wish they were still in the league. Perhaps with the recent news about the Rays, the Expos will make a comeback. I think there would be a lot of local support in Montreal if it happened.



Merlin's Staff. This made me think of the movie Excalibur. Ever seen it?




And a few other base cards, and one mini card that photographed really dark for some reason. There you have it, my third of five Ginter packs. This is probably my second favourite pack of the three.

How much Ginter are you opening this year, if any at all?

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

A Second Pack of Ginter

I busted a second pack of Ginter. I think I did better this time around, but I'll let you be the judge of that.


My mini parallel was of Brandon Drury. Awesome, a Jays card! The problem here is that the top left corner is dinged. You can't tell from the photo, but it came out of the pack that way. I was a sad guy. But still I guess it's better than pulling some dude I don't care about, although on the other hand Drury is a guy that is basically a stop-gap solution until the plethora of Jays infield prospects develop enough to make him expendable. 



A History of Flight card, with a picture of the back. I spent some time reading about this plane on Wikipedia after pulling the card. I love the history of flight concept and I actually learned something from a trading card, which is kinda neat these days if you think about it. But the front design of the card doesn't match anything else in the set, so it looks weird when you pull it from the pack.


A Chris Sale jersey card. This is the second time in the past year that I have bought a random pack and pulled a jersey card of Sale. So weird. It's not much to write about, but if anyone is interested, it is definitely for trade.




I have no idea who this guy is, which is why I scanned the back of the card. Even after reading this card's back, I honestly still cannot describe who this guy is or what he does. He seems to own a bunch of companies that do a lot of nothing. This is all I could think of when I read the card back:





Have you ever produced synergy or books to cheat at bridge?