30 July 2017

Jim Miller and Amanda Nunes UFC Stuff

My wife and I had a pretty busy Saturday, trying to fit as much tourist stuff as we could into the weekend before Monday, when she heads back home and I get back to my training. We kicked the day off by traveling to Old Town San Diego.

Our first stop was the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center. I visited it a handful of times when I was a missionary here many years ago, but since then they've remade the building and the tour with a higher-tech interactive presentation. I thought it was pretty good, telling the story of how several hundred Mormons were enlisted into the Army during the Mexican-American War and eventually assigned to build a wagon road to California, winding up in San Diego and helping to build the city.

I even found a wagon to drive, although it was woefully short on livestock to pull it. We panned for gold in the courtyard and looked at some artifacts, and then it was time for lunch. We had some great food at The Tequila Factory. I opted for carnitas, while my wife ordered some shrimp fajitas. It was good. We ate way too much, but it was worth it. After that we wandered down the street a bit and looked at shops and booths.

After that we headed out to Petco Park to watch the Padres take on the Pirates. We had some excitement on the way there, though. A car changed lanes into the side of my car, breaking my mirror and scraping/denting panels along the left side of my car. He looked over at me, then slowed down and pulled over as if to exchange information with us. We started to pull in behind him when he took off again, trying to execute a hit-and-run. We followed him, as did a couple of other cars. Eventually he got caught in traffic and we caught up to him in the left turn lane. He made a U-turn and then a quick right, and my wife got a picture of his license plate. After his next turn we were headed toward a couple of police cars with their lights on for another accident, so he flipped around again and took off. I decided not to chase him anymore, and we pulled up to the police and told them what had happened. We filed a report with them, and he got pulled over somewhere else while we were talking to the police. They couldn't arrest him for the accident because they didn't witness it, but hopefully with the license plate number and the police report we won't have too much trouble with our insurance company. It does stink to have my new car wrecked, though. I've only had it for about six months. Without anything else to do with the car, we continued on to the ballpark. 

It was free hat night, so we got Padres hats as we entered the gates. I posted this selfie on Twitter, and we saw it on the big scoreboard a few times during the game. I tried to take a picture of us on the scoreboard, but it was too bright and it washed out on my camera. It was a pretty good game, and the Padres beat the Pirates 4-2. That makes the Padres 2-0 when I am in attendance.

In addition to free hats, they had fireworks after the game. It was a good show, and between the game and the fireworks it was well worth the price of admission. We had to get one more picture on the way out. We packed a lot into one day, and it was a lot of fun. It stinks that some d-bag pulled a hit-and-run on us and smashed up my car, but I'm glad that neither of us was hurt. Hopefully my insurance company will take care of us. I haven't been extremely impressed with them lately, and if we have too much trouble on this claim I will definitely be switching companies.

There was a pretty big UFC event on Saturday night, but I totally missed it. It sounds like it was an okay event, unless you're a Daniel Cormier fan. I picked up a lot of cards that don't have anything to do with any of the fighters who fought in UFC 214 this weekend, but I can't make everything match current events. These first ones are a trio of Jim Miller autographs along with one Travis Browne signature. One of the Jim Miller cards is an auto-relic from 2017 Topps UFC Knockout. I also have a Miller autograph from 2011 Topps Finest, and the bottom two signatures come from 2014 Topps UFC Bloodlines. Another copy of that Jim Miller Bloodlines autograph appears in a post from a couple of days ago. I guess I am just a sucker for cheap UFC hits and parallels.

Additionally, I grabbed a trio of Jim Miller relic cards. The top one is a Finest Threads relic from 2011 Topps UFC Finest, while the mat relics hail from 2011 Topps UFC Finest and 2012 Topps UFC Finest. The 2011 mat piece comes from UFC 108, where Miller defeated Duane Ludwig. The 2012 mat relic comes from UFC on FX 1, where Miller defeated Melvin Guillard in the main event.

In addition to a bunch of Jim Miller cards, I also got four different parallel cards featuring Amanda Nunes. The biggest grab was the card in the upper left, a Blue Flame parallel from the online-only 2017 Topps UFC Fire product. That one is numbered # 11 / 25. The next two come from 2014 Topps UFC Champions. In the upper right is a Purple parallel numbered # 73 / 88, which was apparently a retail-only parallel. There was also a Hobby parallel numbered to # / 88, but it had blue borders. The card in the lower left is a Black parallel, numbered # 054 / 188. The card in the lower right comes from the next year's Champions release. It's a Black parallel, numbered # 091 / 188.

29 July 2017

Max Scherzer Members Only

It's finally the weekend here in San Diego, so I am trying to get in some sight-seeing before class starts again on Monday. My wife drove down from Idaho to visit me for the weekend, so we're having a bit of a mini-vacation. It's a pretty long drive for her, but it allowed her to drop off the kids at her brother's house in Utah, and she loves long road trips anyway, so really it was a positive thing overall.

After she got her yesterday evening, we walked across the street from the base to go to dinner. We were just going to grab something quick at one of the chain restaurants there, but I saw a sign for the Corvette Diner, which is a place I remembered from my time here fifteen years ago. We decided to go there instead, and it was a lot of fun. It's a themed diner, so they play oldies music, all the waitstaff has big hair or big-hair wigs, and they do all sorts of crazy stuff like throw handfuls of straws at you, make necklaces and big hair bows out of straws, and there is a big choreographed dance every hour or so. The burgers and shakes were excellent, too, and pricewise were comparable to a couple of combo meals you'd find locally. Well worth the visit if you're in the area, in my opinion.

I continue to be surprised at the number of Members Only parallels I've been able to pick up from 2014 Topps Stadium Club. This is my latest addition, a Max Scherzer card from the set. This parallel isn't serially-numbered, but the print run on these was supposedly less than ten, and you only got one Members Only card per case. I got this for pocket change on eBay.

The seller also included the base card in the package. I really like the Stadium Club reboots of the last few years. The formula is pretty simple, based around great photographs, but since the photo is a primary piece of the card it makes for a quality set.

27 July 2017

2015 Topps Tribute Jon Singleton Autographs

Last night after class was over, I decided that I was going to try catching a Padres game at Petco Park. The Mets are in town and I wanted to see as many teams as I could while I'm here. The Padres' next series is against the Pirates, and I already have tickets for one of those games on Saturday. The Twins are in town next week, so I'll see if I can make it to the Tuesday night game.

I made it to the ballpark with relative ease. My seat was up pretty high, but the ticket was cheap and the view was pretty nice. The home team won the game 6-3, thanks in large part to Luis Torrens' 3-run triple in the 3rd inning. That hit was soooo close to being a grand slam, but it bounced off the wall just short of going over. I thought the ballpark was pretty nice, although there wasn't a big crowd. You can only expect so much from a Padres game on a weeknight, I guess. There wasn't as much in-game promotional stuff as you'd see at a Reds game, but I was generally entertained.

The Topps Tribute product from 2015 had some issues with streaky autographs. The complaints were so heavy that Topps actually recalled the product, offering to replace cards from the set with other cards. Some cards obviously didn't get sent in to Topps for replacement, so you can still find them in the wild. I picked up a couple of Jon Singleton autographs from the product on eBay a couple of months ago. You can see on this Orange Tribute Autograph parallel that the autograph skips and streaks due to the coating or the type of pen used. This one is numbered # 65 / 75.

The same issues exist on this Green parallel of the card, with flaws in the signature. This one is numbered # 11 / 99. These didn't cost an arm and a leg to pick up, and they still count as unique cards for my player collection, so I was happy to get them. I may have been less happy if I'd pulled them at full retail price, though.

25 July 2017

Topps WWE Now Chris Jericho Payback

I haven't posted in a few days, which probably has my legions of readers wondering what I'm up to. Well, I'm currently in San Diego, California for a training course. I haven't had a chance to do much in the way of sight-seeing yet. I flew in on Sunday evening, and pulled a bit of an all-nighter on a paper that was due Monday morning (RAZ, wasn't that assignment available for three weeks prior to the due date?). So after class on Monday I slept a lot, and did a bit of the same this evening. I do have tickets to a Padres game this weekend, and I have a couple of other things planned. I was here in San Diego from 2000-2002 as a missionary, so there are a couple of places I remember from that time that I'd like to see. So that's the update on me.

I am pretty inconsistent when it comes to picking up Topps WWE Now cards. I pick one up here and there when I feel like it. This card comes from way back in April, when I was fresh off of attending a WWE Live event in Cincinnati, Ohio that featured Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. Chris Jericho is so entertaining that I had to pick up this card featuring him in the middle of an aerobatic maneuver.

The print run on this one was 56 cards. The WWE Now cards don't get a lot of orders, but I guess they get enough to keep the line going. I really considered buying a couple from the last batch they did for WWE Battleground, but I didn't watch the event and didn't really need any of them.

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.