26 March 2014

Breaking it Down 9: Typhoon Haiyan Charity Group Break at View from the Skybox

It took a long time to put it all together, but View from the Skybox put together a charity break to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. I started out with one team when the break was announced, and over time I picked up three more teams. The teams I selected were the Toronto Blue Jays and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and my randomized teams were the Cincinnati Reds and the Tampa Bay Rays.

I got quite a few cards from the 2009 Upper Deck X box. You may notice that there are cards from some other teams here and there. I believe those are teams that were not picked up prior to the break. The base cards from the unclaimed teams were randomized among the break participants. I kind of like these X cards, even if they are a bit gimmicky. Upper Deck has been doing the X gimmick for a long time, though. I remember X-shaped cards from basketball in the late 90s, like this Olajuwon:

I know I have this card in my collection, but I am not near my cards or my scanner as I write this post, so an image taken from COMC will have to suffice. Go to COMC and buy cards!

I am not sure how the different tiers of the Xponential insert work, but I imagine that as the exponent goes up, so does the rarity. I guess the Dickey card qualifies as a 'grip' card for purposes of that particular mini-collection, but I don't know if cartoons count in the mini-collection world.

The above cards are both minis, so they got scanned together. Barmes is a Gold parallel, which I believe is numbered out of # / 62. The Topps Lineage 1975-style relic is admittedly the result of a bit of gamesmanship on my part. I wanted to grab another team after the Blue Jays but I didn't really have any preferences out of the remaining teams in the pool, so I looked at the checklists for the sets in the break and chose the Pirates, a team with a good chance of getting a hit. This paid off for me in the form of this sweet relic on a brightly-colored card.

That Brandon Phillips is an Xponential card level 4, which probably means he has wizard powers or something [Here is the point in the post where I pondered the differences between sorcerers and wizards according to Dungeons & Dragons, and which category a baseball player might fall into, and whether pitchers and hitters/fielders might be included in different categories]. Harang looks a bit undead in his photo and McCutchen's face looks a bit...off. I just don't much like painted or painted-style cards. Some are done well, but the vast majority seem to be a bit weird-looking.

I was kind of surprised to get a couple of Big Hurt cards among my pulls. That was pretty cool. B.J. Upton pops up fairly often in my collection, just to remind me of how he tanked my whole 2013 Fantasy Baseball season. I need to put him in my Hall of Shame.

I've been getting a lot of Uehara cards lately, too. I am not sure what that's all about. I'm sure that distribution of cards is fairly even, and the perception that we are getting overrun with a certain player is caused by our own mind. Maybe I notice all the Uehara cards more lately because I have Edward Mujica on a couple of fantasy rosters and am thus somewhat invested in the Red Sox bullpen. Jake McGee was briefly on one of my rosters recently, too. It was kind of cool to see a card of Pat 'The Bat' Burrell in my stack of cards. It's even a bat barrel shot. And another crazy cameo comes to us by way of Wade Boggs in Tampa Bay.

That Weaver card creeps me out. Stadium Club brought me some nice photography with an interesting choice of photo for Coomer's card, an emphatic gesture from Spiers, and some downtime glove-hatting by Lima. Vladimir Guerrero and The Universe also make appearances.

I appear to have been pranked by the inclusion of this Ryan Braun relic card. I usually include my Braun cards in outgoing packages as padding or filler, so he will probably be on his way to somewhere else in the relatively near future. This card looks really familiar for some reason. It makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I don't remember having it in my possession or sending it out to someone previously, but I've been wrong before. I guess if you want to unsettle me, send me a 2009 Allen & Ginter's relic of Ryan Braun.

I have no idea who Jake Floethe is.

Charlie Morton I have heard of, and I got his autograph. It looks like he'll start out this year with a spot near the back of Pittsburgh's rotation. I don't have much opinion one way or the other, but it's a nice-looking card.

Also included in my box of cards from the break were some randoms and a few wax packs. These are a few of my favorite cards from the group. I always thought Musselman's name was funny as a kid. I always thought a guy like Musselman should look more like this, though:

It was a pretty fun break and I'm glad that it was able to happen and also that Chris over at View from the Skybox had the persistence to make sure some aid went out to people in need. Sometimes I feel a little guilt about the fact that I spend money buying cardboard pictures and other frivolous things when there are so many people in need of the basic components of life around the world.

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