20 July 2017

Clearing Out the Draft Folder with Some UFC Cards

I am not particularly enthusiastic about this post, but I hate to waste a scanning session by deleting old drafts from my queue. I pick up a handful of UFC cards from my usual eBay source back in February. He lists auctions that end on the night UFC events, featuring the fighters on that particular card. In this case, the event was UFC 208.

This is a copy of Jim Miller's autograph from 2014 Topps UFC Bloodlines. I don't keep very good track of my collection, so I probably have at least two or three copies of this card. The seller I buy these from starts most things at $0.01, so I'll just roll through and put $0.75 or $1.00 bids on anything that looks interesting. I wind up winning a handful of cards each time, and get a little stack of hits for the price of a pack or two.

This one is a Green parallel of Miller's 2012 Topps UFC Knockout card. It's numbered # 06 / 88. Miller hasn't had much good luck lately, losing a couple of decisions to Dustin Poirier and Anthony Pettis after tough battles. He at least got a Fight of the Night bonus for his fight against Poirier in UFC 208.

I snapped up this Roan Carneiro Gold parallel from 2015 Topps UFC Champions because it was a Gold parallel. It is a low-numbered card, marked as # 08 / 25. He lost his fight at UFC 208, falling by unanimous decision to Ryan LaFlare. A couple of months later, the UFC cut him from the roster.

Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza got a Performance of the Night bonus at UFC 108 for his Submission of Tim Boetsch. This low-numbered Black parallel comes from 2014 Topps UFC Bloodlines. The Black parallels from this set look pretty much like base cards, only darker. It's a good thing they have serial numbers on the back, with this one being # 17 / 25 in the print run.

The last card for the post is another Souza card, a Gold parallel from 2015 Topps UFC Knockout. It's numbered # 63 / 99. There's not much else to say about it, as the only fighter in this post that I specifically collect is Jim Miller. The other cards were purchased because they were low-numbered and/or Gold parallels.

It does feel nice to get this post written and out of the queue, though, as it's one of my oldest drafts. I'll probably be clearing out some more old posts in the next couple of weeks, as I'll be away from my scanner for a while.

19 July 2017

Wally Moon Archives Auto Peach Parallel

I really should start an official Wally Moon player collection, but I haven't got to that point yet. Mr. Moon and I both share a distinctive facial feature, commonly referred to as a unibrow. When I saw that he had a Fan Favorites Autograph in 2017 Topps Archives, I resolved to track down a copy of it.

I actually now have two different version of his signature from the set, but this Peach parallel was the first one I acquired. One cool thing about the Fan Favorites autos is that they are on-card, a nice departure from the sticker signatures that seem to dominate the hobby these days. Wally Moon's autograph is on a 1960 Topps card design.

He was in baseball in 1960, and had a card that year. Topps changed the photo selection and color scheme from his 'real' 1960 card for this 2017 set, though. I don't know much about 1960 Topps (my parents weren't even born yet in 1960), so there are probably differences that I don't pick up on outside of the obvious. This parallel is numbered # 106 /150. I got it on eBay, but they were a 1:73 pack pull if you were busting wax.

18 July 2017

Power Girl Sketch Card by Beck Seashols

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted a piece of comic book art, so I thought it was about time to get another one up. There aren't a lot of comic sketch collectors out here on the baseball card blogs, but Commishbob over at The Five Tool Collector has been posting recently about his Batman sketch card project. There is some good stuff there, so if you like comic art or Batman you should check it out.

I got this Power Girl sketch card from eBay. It's from a licensed set, Cryptozoic's DC Comics Superman: The Legend card set from several years back. The artist on this sketch card is Beck Seashols, who works in a cute, cartoony style. She's got a Facebook page, a website, and an Etsy shop with a lot of cool stuff in it. I'm always happy to add a new sketch to my collection, especially when it's a sketch from an artist I haven't collected yet.

17 July 2017

Pack of the Day 169: Blasters of 2017 Bowman Platinum

My wife and I got away on Friday and went to dinner at a Hawaiian place that opened up recently near our house. The food was pretty good, and it was fun to hang out with her for a while without our kids whining at us the whole time. After that I mentioned that I wanted to check out a Walmart nearby, as I hadn't checked it for Bowman Platinum yet and I'd seen a post somewhere about some stores seeing restocks on the product.

They had three blaster boxes on the shelf, and I grabbed them up. I found some more blasters at our 'home' Walmart on Saturday. I didn't take all of them, though, I just grabbed a couple and left a few on the shelf for the next guy. You can see the pack odds above for these.

Here are some of the notable base cards I pulled from the break. No Aaron Judge this time, but I did get two Cody Bellinger base cards, as well as some of the guys who have driven the hobby in recent years.

This Josh Hader Green parallel was the only colorful base card parallel I found in the break. This one is numbered # 09 / 99.

Each blaster contained a pack with four of these special foil parallels. I grabbed a handful of them to scan. I guess maybe Andrew Benintendi, Dansby Swanson, and Gleybar Torres are the hot pulls here.

These are the Bowman's Next Generation inserts I got from the break. The Nick Senzel is a Green parallel, numbered # / 99. They are seeded at 1:263 packs, so a fairly tough one to get.

I think I did all right with my Platinum Presence inserts, with plenty of big names like Trout, Seager, and Bryant. That Anderson Espinoza card in the lower right is an Orange pull, numbered # 21 / 25. Platinum Presence Orange parallels are seeded 1:1,040 packs, so this is again a pretty tough card to get. Hopefully Espinoza develops into a big-time player.

Aaron Judge didn't completely escape my grasp in this break, as I pulled his Rookie Radar insert, along with a couple of Astros and a couple copies of Christian Arroyo's card. I am probably done with Bowman Platinum for good now. I am disappointed that I didn't pull a single autograph out of any of my rack packs and blasters, but other than that I pulled some colorful parallels, some nice inserts, and rookie cards of some of the hottest players in baseball.

16 July 2017

Pack of the Day 168: A Blaster Box of 2017 Panini Torque

I always get suckered in by new blaster boxes of Panini's racing card products. I just can't help it. The promise of a relic or autograph in each box gets me every time. I can't remember ever getting a hit card of a driver I actually collect from these boxes, but there's always the chance that the next box I open will be the one that gives me a Danica Patrick or Dale Earnhardt Jr. hit card.

So in spite of the odds being against me, I had to pick up a blaster of 2017 Panini Torque when I saw it sitting on the shelf at my local Walmart store. This is a hit-driven product, so there aren't many cards in a box. The front of the box promises 8 cards per box, but the foil pack inside says there are 10 cards in a pack. There wound up being 10 cards in the pack, so I guess boxes have 10 cards.

Panini doesn't list pack odds on their products, so instead you get a huge list of the cards available in the set. It seems like an awful lot. There are a million inserts and each of those inserts has a million parallels.

The base cards look pretty nice. There's a little bit of silver foil to go along with a mostly silver and black color scheme. The card backs look like that Rusty Wallace card up in the upper right corner. The Greg Biffle card in the lower right is a Gold parallel.

I got a pretty neat insert in this box. It's a Visions of Greatness card of Jimmie Johnson. This is the Blue parallel of the card, and there is lots of blue foil and blue coloring on the acetate background to denote that. All of the blue goes well with Johnson's firesuit. The card has two layers; one is cardboard and features the border with the driver's silhouette cut out of it, and the other is acetate with the flag pattern printed on it. This one is numbered # 04 / 99.

Well, it finally happened. I pulled a hit card of Danica Patrick from a retail blaster box. I guess it's really only half of a hit card of Danica Patrick, as she shares this one with Kurt Busch. The card comes from the Pairings Materials insert set, and features a bit of tire from Kurt Busch's car and a piece of sheet metal from Danica Patrick's car. The sheet metal looks a little green on this monitor, but in the hand it appears to be Nature's Bakery blue. You can see that Panini has made the switch from showing Patrick in her Nature's Bakery uniform. I think in the last couple of products she's been featured in her TaxAct or Aspen Dental firesuits. This is the base version of the card, numbered # 027 / 199.

I was pretty happy with this blaster box. I got a cool hit, a nice die-cut acetate insert card, and some good-looking base cards.

15 July 2017

I Bought a Piece of Munenori Kawasaki's Ball on Buyee

Late last month I posted about a single wrestling card that I bought from Japan using the Buyee purchasing service. I hinted that I had also bought a single baseball card through Buyee, and today I am going to post about that card.

This is a Munenori Kawasaki baseball relic card from 2008 BBM Touch the Game. I was originally going to post about my Munenori Kawasaki collection for Collecting Cutch's Top 10 contest, but I realized that I didn't actually have ten decent Kawasaki cards to post about. I went looking on Yahoo! Auctions through Buyee and found this one, but by the time I got this card and a few from COMC it was too late and I went with R.A. Dickey for my contest entry instead. I don't know much about this set, but it's a cool card with a bit of baseball embedded in it. I don't think the baseball is game-used or anything, but who knows?

The card features Kawasaki as a member of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. It is serially-numbered # 189 / 300, so it's not particularly rare, but you're probably also not going to find a whole bunch of them lying around. Even though I didn't get this card in time to post about it for the contest, I was happy to add a unique relic card to my Munenori Kawasaki collection. After spending most of last year with the Cubs' AAA team, Kawasaki is back in Japan this season as a member of the Hawks. I don't imagine we'll see him in Major League Baseball again.

14 July 2017

Pack of the Day 167: Several Rack Packs of 2017 Bowman Platinum

I dusted off the scanner yesterday and processed some photos, so I've got some new stuff in my blog queue. That's pretty exciting for me.

On Monday I had an appointment 'in town' with my doctor. Although I live in the 3rd-largest city in Idaho (according to the 2010 census) and work in the largest city in the state, I still think of traveling outside my neighborhood as going into town. My doctor told me I'm tired all the time because I make bad decisions and go to bed too late, and that she can't help me if I don't put in some effort on my own. She also threatened to hit me when I told her my caffeine intake. She's a pretty good doctor, because she doesn't put up with my shenanigans.

Anyway, since I was in town, I decided to hit up the nearby Walmarts to see if I could scare up any of that 2017 Bowman Platinum stuff I've been hearing about. The first Wal-Mart had a display for Bowman Platinum, but the display was empty except for some clearance blasters of old Panini football products. I looked on the pegs and all around the shelves, but there weren't any loose packs or anything to be found.

I moved on to a second store, and found one rack pack on a peg and another couple of rack packs behind some blind-box collectible figurines. The Bowman Platinum display box was entirely empty, so again I didn't come away with a box of cards.

After that I stopped at a pharmacy to pick up a prescription, and it was close enough to a third Walmart that I decided to give it a shot. Similarly, the display box here was empty, but I found a handful of rack packs hidden behind other products here and there throughout the card aisle. I bought those, too. I really wanted to get a box of Platinum instead of rack packs, but they just aren't in stock in my area. There is a fourth Walmart down the road, but I haven't tried that one yet. I don't know if I will.

Each rack pack has 12 cards in it. Gleybar Torres and Dansby Swanson get the cover treatment. The rack packs contain special parallels of the prospect cards in the set.

Here are the pack odds and NPN information, for those who are into that kind of stuff.

The base cards are shiny, like you'd expect from a product called Platinum. I didn't get the Bellinger rookie card that people are going nuts for, but I did pull one Aaron Judge card. I won't be able to retire from selling it, but at least I got one. There was quite a bit of duplication between my packs, so I pulled a lot of the same players multiple times. Unfortunately, Judge wasn't one of them.

These cards come from the Prospects set. They've got a different card design, and the card numbers are based on the players initials rather than actual numerals. Those two Cubs guys were part of the trade for Jose Quintana a couple of days ago.

The blue cards on the left are the exclusive Prospect parallels. They came one per pack. On the right are some of the serially-numbered parallels I pulled from the packs. Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Rutherford, and Rafael Devers are all Purple parallels numbered # / 250. Dinelson Lamet is a Green parallel numbered # / 99. I pulled one other Purple, but the corners of every card in that pack were heavily dinged, so I set them aside.

Since I didn't pull any autographs, this Orange parallel of Michael Fulmer was probably the hit of the break, outside of Aaron Judge. This one is numbered # 02 / 25.

I like the design of these Bowman's Next Generation inserts. They kind of look like 2016 Topps Bunt turned up to eleven.

I got another Aaron Judge card, this one from the Platinum Presence insert set. Again, the team logos play a big role in the design of these cards.

Finally, I pulled four of these Rookie Radar inserts. It was nice to get an Astro in Yulieski Gurriel, who has been coming on lately for the team. Hopefully they can carry this season's success all the way through to the postseason.

That's my rundown on my 2017 Bowman Platinum break. This is probably all of the Platinum I'll open for the year, mostly because all of the local stores have been cleared out. I was lucky to find the packs I got. It's a decent product, but like any prospect-based release I find that a lot of the names are unfamiliar.