Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter's. 2017 Stadium Club, and 2017 Topps Series 2


Since I bought two packs each of 2017 Allen & Ginter's and 2017 Stadium Club, along with a pack of 2017 Topps Archives and five packs of 2017 Topps Series 2 last weekend during the National Baseball Card Day festivities, I thought I would try and post the result of the pack breaks here. Because I missed out on doing it last year, I am going to save one pack each of A&G, Stadium Club, and the one pack of Archives for Pack Break Week in November (I need something to open, right???) and will open the rest now.

Here are the results.

Let's start with one pack of 2017 Topps Series 2.


  • #354 Nick Tropeano, P, Angels
  • #628 Domingo Santana, OF, Brewers
  • #360 Jon Lester, P, Cubs
  • #565 J. D. Martinez, OF, Tigers
  • #581 Brock Holt, OF, Red Sox
  • #87-193 Addison Russell, SS, Cubs 1987 Tribute All-Star Card
  • #541 Dennis Lamp, P, White Sox Rediscovering Topps 1984 Original Topps Card
  • #364 Koda Glover, P, Nationals RC
  • #421 Santiago Casilla, P, Athletics
  • #602 Alex Dickerson, OF, Padres


Hey, I got two Cubs cards in this pack (Lester base and Russell insert) and an original 1984 Topps card of a White Sox player. Not bad. It's my third "Rediscover Topps" card. I'm not sure if I'm honestly liking the idea of putting a foil stamp on an old card, but I guess now it's worth more than the original.

I normally don't buy packs of this product, but in the spirit of the day, I thought, "Why not?" So this is what came out of that pack of 2017 Topps Stadium Club, Topps' ode to great photography:


  • #247 Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
  • #285 Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers RC
  • #160 Julio Urias, P, Dodgers
  • #189 Justin Upton, OF, Tigers
  • #238 Sonny Gray, P, Athletics
  • #CS-DM Daniel Murphy, 2B, Nationals Contact Sheet
  • #56 Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers
  • #10 Danny Santana, OF, Twins


Thoughts? Pretty soon, the question would be, "What's the point of this set?" With Topps going with borderless cards in its eponymous product, and the pictures already up-close-and-personal, I honestly don't see the reason to bring this back another year. But I do like the photo choices, especially of Gray in a throwback Athletics' jersey.

Finally, to the 2017 Allen & Ginter's pack. I have complete sets of every A&G set since they first came out in 2006, and as soon as I have money, I will invest in a set on the Bay. But to see what the cards look like, I decided to get two packs. Here is what was inside the pack I opened:


  • #265 Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
  • #205 Alex Bregman, Astros RC
  • #WF-19 Worlds Fair Habitat '67 Motre├íl
  • #72 Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox Mini Card
  • #RIP-48 Noah Syndergaard, Mets Rip Card 14/60 (umm...WHAT??!)
  • #166 Manny Margot, Padres


Wait...go back a sec. Did I just say RIP CARD??!


Yes...Yes I Did!!!

In all my years of collecting, I've never opened a pack with a RIP card inside it.

Now I'm torn (pun intended). Do I rip it open? Or do I keep it as is?

The back says:

This is a Genuine Allen & Ginter's RIP Card. If you dare...rip this card open...to discover a collectible exclusive mini-card embedded inside!

Inside this card will be:
  • A Red Mini Autograph Card, or...
  • An Exclusive Mini Parallel, or...
  • An Exclusive Mini Wood Parallel, or...
  • An Exclusive Mini Metal Parallel, or...
  • A One-of-a-Kind Sketch Card.
Rip It or Keep It

What am I going to do? What should I do? I've already posited this question on Twitter (follow me @bdj610) and I've gotten two responses:

So now what??! Either way, I'm told to rip the card. But should I? Are there people that hold on and have not ripped the RIP cards, opting to keep what's inside and then collecting cards from them later on the Bay? I think I'll put a poll up. Tell me what I should do with it:
  • Keep it sealed
  • Rip it
  • Sell it on eBay unripped
  • Sell whatever is inside on eBay
Post in the comments, and vote for the poll at the top. I'll leave it up for a week. Whatever the decision is...I'll take it into consideration before making a decision.

Unless, of course, somebody wants it so badly that they're willing to buy it or trade for it...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps National Baseball Card Day 3 Packs

A couple of quick responses to comments that came after my last blog post:

To Billy Kinsgley: I was not aware that Mr. Lemke had passed away. I think I may have heard something about it earlier this year, but it just didn't connect. So I apologize for my ignorance.

Also, to Dan, regarding Ben Henry's Baseball Card Blog: I should have mentioned that. Ben Henry's Baseball Card Blog is already a part of the SCBR HOF. When he went on his one-year hiatus, I made sure to add his site to the HOF. I was surprised that he or any of the other contributors had not written anything in 9 months. Even when he and his group came back, I added the site to the main roll, even though it was still in the HOF.

Okay, on to the point of the story.


As you may remember, I drove to three different card shops in my area. At each store, not only did I purchase some packs, but I also received a free 5-card pack of 2017 Topps National Baseball Card Day packs. I opened them (finally) last night. Here are the results.

The pack received from Chicagoland Sports Cards and Memorabilia in Buffalo Grove, IL, contained the following five cards (and a Topps Now ad card):


  • #13 Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
  • #10 Justin Verlander, P, Tigers
  • #27 Jacob deGrom, P, Mets
  • #8 Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
  • #24 Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners

The pack received from The Baseball Card King in Palatine, IL, contained these five cards (and the Topps Now ad card):


  • #21 Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
  • #29 Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
  • #17 Jharel Cotton, P, Athletics (Rookie Card)
  • #25 Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles
  • #5 Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves

The pack from Sport and Gaming Cards in Niles, IL, contained these five cards (and again, a Topps Now ad card):


  • #27 Jacob deGrom, P, Mets
  • #8 Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
  • #24 Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners
  • #18 Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
  • #12 Dellin Betances, P, Yankees

First thought, before anyone asks...YES!!! The deGrom, Arenado, and Cano cards came exactly out of both packs in that order. Remember in years past if you had opened enough packs of a product (let's say 1989 Topps) and could see Mark Grace on the top that you were almost always guaranteed a Chris Sabo card right after it (or was it the other way around...can't remember the exact order...but you get the idea)? Well, it seems that these three come together in order. Now, obviously it's a really small sample size, but you can't deny two different packs from two different stores contained the same three cards in that order.

Of the thirty cards (including Trout, and I have three of them) that make up this set, I have a combined total of 13 cards. The rest of the checklist includes (for those who missed NBCD over the weekend):

  • #1 Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
  • #2 Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
  • #3 Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
  • #4 Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies
  • #6 Chris Sale, P, Red Sox
  • #7 Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
  • #9 Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
  • #11 Aledmys Diaz, SS, Cardinals
  • #14 Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
  • #15 Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (Rookie Card)
  • #16 Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
  • #19 Wil Myers, 1B, Padres
  • #20 Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
  • #22 Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
  • #23 Yoan Moncada, 2B, White Sox (Rookie Card)
  • #26 Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
  • #28 Chris Archer, P, Rays

Just my luck, no autographs, but more disappointing...NO CARDS OF A PLAYER FROM CHICAGO!!! Maybe if I went to that fourth store as I had originally planned.

Well, I do have five extra cards that I'd be interested in trading away to get some, if not all of these cards. It's either that, or purchase a complete set on the Bay (they're going anywhere from 10-30 bucks).

With my current situation, I think I'd be better of trading. So in the spirit of trading cards, does anybody have any cards to trade? Please send me an email at bdj610@hotmail.com with what you have and what you're looking to trade for? I'm sure I can find something to send out if you have any of the 17 cards I need to complete this set.

While we're on the subject of trading, I am on the hunt for the retail exclusive insert cards from 2017 Topps Series 2. Specifically the All-Time All-Star Team (which has 50 cards...please note while there is no card #22 in the set, Andre Dawson is listed as card #61), the Home Run Derby Champion set (21 cards), and the All-Star MVP set (25 cards). All are retail exclusive, with cards from the MVP set found only at Walmart. If you have any cards from any of these three sets and are also willing to trade, I will be more than happy to trade for them.

I did buy more packs, but didn't get a chance to open them. When I do, I'll post the results here.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, August 14, 2017

Responding to Comments...Finally! Some Closing Thoughts on Baseball Card Day.

So I'm back blogging on a more regular basis, and it's great to know that people are still (I'm hoping) reading what I have to say. (Ego, pipe down will you??!)

Anyway, the post that I wrote last week about updating the Sports Card Blogroll got a bit of attention. To wit:
  • Ernest Reyes wrote: "You should keep Bob Lemke's blog just for posterity sake. He was a legend in the hobby."
  • Adam wrote: "...tough to see Lemke's blog fall off. Maybe it could fit in "Retired but Relevant?"
  • San Jose Fuji then wrote: "Was bummed to see Lemke's blog removed. Definitely like Reyes' idea."

So then it hit me...why not???

For those who don't know who Bob Lemke was "the former editor and publisher of the sportscards and memorabilia periodicals and books at Krause Publications (SCD, et al). I am the former editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards." He was Beckett's competition. And he definitely knew his stuff. Check out his blog to see what I mean. So I have added his blog to the Retired but Relevant section of the blogroll. It keeps his blog, and the wealth of information it contains, on the roll, even though he hasn't added anything new since last December.

Next topic of discussion: National Baseball Card Day!!!

Friend of the blog P-Town Tom wrote, regarding the number of card shops I visited: "Three card shops in under a few hours... Wow. I need to move to Chicago."

Realistically, Tom, I was trying to go to at least four shops, if not five. I could have made the fourth one had it not been for the fact I was scheduled to pick up my kids at 1 in the pm. It did take me a while to drive from place to place. Overall, I put in at least over 30 miles on the van making the three stops I did.

Before I forget, I'd like to thank Chicagoland Sports Cards & Memorabilia in Buffalo Grove, IL, The Baseball Card King in Palatine, IL, and Sport & Gaming Cards inside Golf Mill Mall in Niles, IL for the hospitality. I hope business was good throughout the day and that there were a lots of kids who turned out for the event.

Funny thing, the guy in front of me at the Buffalo Grove shop bought three boxes of 2017 Topps Chrome. He spent over six hundred bucks total, and then asked if he could get more than one pack of NTCD cards because he spent so much. The guy behind the counter said it didn't matter how much he spent, he was still going to get one pack. Kudos to you, sir. The customer understood (good sport...I probably would have asked the same thing) and should now be sorting through his boxes (if he hadn't done it already).

Speaking of breaking cards, I was too busy the rest of weekend to open what I got. I don't even know if I have any autographs (yeah...that's going to happen with my luck). I'll post updates when I can.

One last response to comments. Colbey Hopper, regarding my Dollar Tree pack from a week or so ago, wrote: "I assume Topps and Panini manufacture these smaller packs specifically for the Dollar Tree, am I correct?"

That is absolutely correct. If you have a Dollar Tree, or any other kind of dollar store in your area, you'll find that they might (some don't) carry packs of cards for sale at a $1.00 (or less...if they forgot to program their pricing database so that you can get older packs for a penny). While my store does carry them. it's a mess. Packs are everywhere, mixed in with everything else. It's not a pretty sight. I remember when you could find regular packs of cards everywhere (think late 80's-early 90's). But at least you could get 15 cards for 50 cents. Now, it's five cards for a buck. Boy, has time changed.

The mailbox is empty, and it's time for lunch. Later, job hunting.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How My National Trading Card Day is Going

So today is officially National Baseball Trading Card day. Most baseball card shops here in the Chicago area are not open until after 11. I did find one about 10 miles away from my house that opened at 10, so I went there first.

Funny thing, but as soon as I pulled into the parking lot the guy that I guess owns the store just unlock the doors to the place. So I'm going to just sit here in the parking lot for about another 10 minutes so doesn't look like I was just casing the place before he got there. Another family looks to have just walked in. So maybe I'll go now. Stay tuned for more updates as I let you know how my day has gone so far.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

UPDATE: 10:39 AM CST

While customers at the shop do not really need to buy anything to get the free pack of NTCD cards, you should be courteous and buy something to make it worthwhile not only for the store you are visiting, but also for yourself. You never know what you'll find in the shops you're going to today.


The store I just left was selling packs of 1986 through 1991 Topps baseball cards. Six packs for $5. I wound up buying three packs of 2017 Topps Series 2 and two packs of this year's edition of Allen and Ginter's. So not only did I get my free pack of cards, I also received the Mike Trout exclusive which was what you'd get if you bought $10 worth of product. I am going to one more store before maybe heading home, or I might go to another one. I don't know yet. I still have a few hours left before picking up my kids from band, so I'll just hit the road some more. jba

UPDATE: 11:39 AM CST

Just left the second card shop now. There were more kids in this store this time probably because it's after 11. It's great to see kids coming out to the shop that's what this Hobby needs. The more kids that come out today, my hope for the future of this Hobby grows.


So in any event, I wound up buying one pack of 2017 Topps Archives and two more packs of the 2017 Topps series 2. So now I have two Mike Trout cards, and I have some options. Maybe sell it on eBay to get to recoup my funds from today. Maybe do a Twitter giveaway? Hold on to it perhaps? I don't know. The next store I go to, I will not buy $10 worth of stuff to get a third Trout card. If the idea of this event is to get the kids out no sense in me trying to get as many of them as I can. On to the next. jba

UPDATE: 12:39 PM CST

Went to the last store I'm going to go to today and I only have 20 minutes before picking up the kids from band. So this will be the last stop for me. The third shop is inside a shopping mall. And while it was quiet when I went inside, the gentleman behind the counter said it was pretty busy from the time he opened.


The original plan was to go get a pack and then call it a day. I also was going to get just a box of sheets but the price was too high so I nixed that deal. So instead I bought two packs of the 2017 Topps Stadium Club, and that apparently gets me a third Mike Trout card. Yeah what happened to being generous to the kids??! Well the guy said if I bought $10 worth of stuff, I'd get a free Mike Trout card as well. I wasn't about to tell him I've already been to the two other stores, so now I have three Trout cards.

I definitely will now have to find a way to give these cards away. Maybe I'll send a trade request after I go through what cards I got from baseball card trading day. I have 3 packs of those so I should have 15 cards from the set today. I'll post my needs and any extras I have later this afternoon. And in the spirit of the day, I might have to make some trades.

Thank you following me on my card adventure today. Hope you had a good time. As I said I'll let you know what I got later today. jba

Friday, August 11, 2017

Finally Getting Around to Updating the Sports Card Blogroll

It's been more than two years since I last updated the Sports Card Blogroll, and boy am I depressed. I knew I should have taken more time to do some house cleaning. Before, being able to do this once a month, was all right. But two years??? Wow, a lot of good sites have been inactive.

Long story short, since I've been back on a "semi-regular" basis, I have added six sites to the blogroll. I'm still trying to dig older emails to see if I've missed any. The bad news is that there have been 89 blogs that have not been active within the last six months (and this humble, little blog was almost one of them). A handful hadn't been touched in two years. TWO YEARS!!! So I've finally done some housecleaning around the SCBR. It is as up-to-date as I can get it. What once had an list of 297 blogs on the main roster, there are now 209.

So, for posterity, the following blogs have been removed from the Sports Card Blogroll. If you're site is among them, thank you very much for adding your voices to what was a great community:


Although these sites are no longer active, there are two blogs that have been inducted into the SCBR Hall of Fame.

The first blog inductee into the SCBR HOF is Stale Gum, which was written and hosted by Chris Harris. He was around long before many of us joined the Hobby Blogging Community, writing his take on the state of the Hobby for many years. His views weren't always positive, but there were a lot of collectors who shared his sentiments. Others (myself included) did not necessarily agree with most of his opinions, but you can't fault him for his passion for the Hobby of sports card collecting. He has since taken his musings to Twitter, where he has been an active presence and has no love lost for the bane and sole reason for his existence, the Topps Company.

The other newest inductee into the HOF is Rob, also known as the Voice of the Collector. He started in 1997 as well, just as the Hobby Blogging Community was just in its infancy. He had a unique take on the Hobby as he was one of the handful that started to rebel against the "Number One Source of the Hobby." It was this blog, along with the still going Sports Card Uncensored, and at the time Wax Heaven, that really started to get under the skin of those who ran Beckett and its Sports Card Magazines. Nowadays, Rob, who has worked with Cardboard Connection and their radio show, along with Leaf Trading Cards as a writer, works with GTS Distribution as its Marketing Manager and oversees the content that goes on the GTS website. He also hosts a web show called Go GTS Live. So his voice, although no longer active with the Blogging Community, is still strong in other media.

Removing all of these sites has been a sad endeavor. For a long time, blogging about the Hobby was a strong way to communicate our feelings and opinions about sports cards, as well as show off our collections, and make trades with others. Although there are still a lot of long-time blogging veterans still cranking out educational and inspiring posts, that number has drastically been reduced. I have always called for new voices to dive into the blogging pool, and there have been many that I have not yet discovered.

If you or someone you know has a blog about the Hobby that you would like to be added to the Sports Card Blogroll, or you had one and you are making plans to return to the Hobby Blogging Community, please feel free to contact me a bdj610@hotmail.com or follow me at Twitter @bdj610 and send me a message.

Sincerely,,

JayBee Anama

UPDATE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017, 11:15 PM .

It occurs to me that there was one more site listed above that should have been inducted into the Blogroll Hall of Fame. I already made the announcement on Twitter, so I thought I'd do it here as well.

A third site was added to the Hall of Fame this evening: garveyceyrusselllopes, written by gcrl. Over the years, gcrl wrote about his love of the Dodgers growing up, including the infielders that he grew up watching: Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, and Davey Lopes. He joined the Hobby Blogging Community as it started to grow in 2008 and was one of the first card blogs dedicated to the Dodgers. Although this blog's run has ended, gcrl made his return to blogging with a new site called cardsasiseethem.

This brings the total of HOF blogs to ten. jba

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Dollar Tree Pack of 2017 Topps Series 2


Over the weekend, Topps held giveaways on all of its social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with factory sets of the 2017 baseball set as the prizes. The FB contest asked for people to follow Topps and comment with his or her favorite 2017 Toppa card.

The most popular response looks to be Aaron Judge's rookie card. Other participants included his or her favorite player or someone on the team he or she roots for. I picked the Cubs Game 7 WS card. Hope I win. Today, Topps will announce the winners.

Anyway, over the weekend, I took my daughter to the dollar store becausw she wanted to get some back to school items. She said she would buy me a pack of cards for taking her there. How can I say no?

So above is the pack that she bought. It's a 5-card pack. Just base cards, no inserts, no autos, no relics. Maybe a short-printed variation (doubtful, but I've gotten those before from similar packs). Let's see what's inside.

  • #406 Stephen Vogt, Athletics 
  • #426 New York Mets Team Card
  • #564 Washington Nationals Team Card
  • #451 Jharel Cotton, Athletics 
  • #682 James Shields, White Sox


When I get a new computer, I plan to rescan this.

So I get two A's, two team cards, and "Big Game" James. Not the greatest pack in the world for a Cubs fan, but it will do for a card fix.

Not a bad way to start the week. Now...on to the hunt. Job hunt that is.

Sincerely,

Jaybee Anama

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing 2018 Topps Baseball

It's that time of year again. And if this time of the year hasn't been marked on your calendar as a Topps Baseball Card Collector, I do not know what is wrong with you.

Because it's August! That means the preview of next year's Topps baseball cards should be coming out just...about...NOW!!!

Yes, we still have two months more of baseball season (not counting playoffs), and 2017 Topps Update Series hasn't come out yet. And don't forget National Baseball Card Day on August 12.

Today, The Topps Company introduced its newest design for the eponymous set, the one that starts off the 2018 Baseball Card Season starts.

Are you ready?

Are you excited?

I know I am.

So what are we waiting for?

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the design for 2018 Topps Baseball:


Initial thoughts: I love how this looks on screen. It's borderless once again, and has some elements that remind me of 2014 Topps (the wave that's holding the logo like it's going down a waterslide). But the key design elements, to me anyway, are the digital looking bands that contain the name of the player, his position, and the team name. Note how on the right the digital bits look like they are coming together to form them (or maybe breaking apart)?

This looks great on screen, and I can't wait to see how these look physically. Again, I wish they would show off the back of the cards too, but that would be wishful thinking. Besides, the company had to leave us in suspense somehow.

But what do you think? Do you like the design? Hate it? Thoughts?

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama