Today is the first day of a long break from work for me. Because of the way our holiday time and scheduled days off worked out, I only had to take three days of leave to get eleven days off from work. It will be 2017 before I have to step foot back in my office. That's a pretty good feeling, but I hope I can get some things done around the house with my time off.
Many folks around the card blogging community have been targeted by the generosity of defgav from Baseball Card Breakdown recently, and I was one of the folks who received a 2016 Breakdown Holiday Blast package from him.
First up is a quartet of Astros cardboard, featuring probably my favorite current Astro in Evan Gattis and the guy I have a big player collection for in Jon Singleton. I'm still waiting to see what happens with Singleton, as it appears the Astros have given up on him completely. I am still picking up his cards out of habit, though. It's a fool's errand, but I think if you look close enough you might discover that this whole hobby (and maybe most hobbies) is kind of silly from a practical standpoint.
Next up is a shiny card of former Denver Bronco Ronnie Hillman. He was recently claimed off waivers by the San Diego Chargers after being dropped by the Broncos and the Vikings. He had a pretty good 2015 for Denver after C.J. Anderson went down with an injury, but it wasn't enough to keep him on the team for 2016. He had 7 carries for the Chargers last week. Denver is very likely to miss the playoffs this year, one season after winning the Super Bowl. Their offense just can't generate any points. I kind of wonder if Hillman would be a better back for the Broncos than Devontae Booker/Justin Forsett. What a waste of another great year for the Denver defense.
Now we're getting into the crazy stuff in this package. First up is this custom Andrew McCutchen Cardsphere Heroes card, exclusively numbered # 1 / 1. It's got all the hallmarks of a high-end collectible, with full-bleed photography, serial numbering, and a star-shaped hologram so you know it's authentic. I thought that all the McCutchen trade talk was kind of over, but in doing a quick bit of research it looks like he is still being discussed as a target for various teams. I kind of like him as a Pirate, but I'm no expert.
The final item is one of the Tony Gwynn rip cards that people have been showing off recently. Mine was numbered # 05 / 25. Some people hesitated before ripping theirs open, and others tore right in. I was in the latter camp, although I did use scissors to snip one edge off and peel it open rather than just grabbing the card and tearing it right down the middle without regard for the contents.
I found a familiar face inside in Danica Patrick, the NASCAR driver and subject of one of my larger player collections. In fact, Danica's name trails only R.A. Dickey on this blog when it comes to tags by name. I figured she would be in third or fourth place, but she beat out Jon Singleton and Josh Reddick on the baseball side and my larger basketball collections predate this blog.
Here's a closer look at the front and back of this custom # 1 / 1 Danica Patrick magnet. It's pretty cool, and features Danica in her new Nature's Bakery-branded firesuit. This was a really cool gesture by defgav, and he must have put in a lot of work building these customs and packaging them all up for collectors around the blogging community. I was pretty excited to be among those who received one of these mailers. Thanks, defgav!