Thursday, March 16, 2017

North By Northwest (and a surprise mailday)

I've got a lot of blogging to catch up on before I visit my mom in Connecticut this weekend. Unfortunately I was exhausted and crashed early last night, when I had planned to post another batch of basketball cards from Jon. 

That is, until I got home today and found two small bubble mailers in my mailbox - one contained a white whale for my PC (I'll discuss that next week.) The other was a surprise gift from Ryan (Base Card Hero.) I had sent Ryan some Twins buybacks and a few base from 2017 Topps Heritage, and he returned fire with a handful of cards for my player/team PCs (actually I think I got his end first, but you get the idea.)

And then he hit my mail box with a second batch of goodies. This time they were all from one team:

Indeed, there were 15 Red Sox cards in this surprise pack - and they were all new to my collection. Rubby De La Rosa didn't pan out but I had fun (mis)pronouncing his name whenever he pitched while rubbing something for good luck. I have a theory that Mo'ne Davis was the inspiration behind the main character of the Fox show Pitch. Also, I've been meaning to do a "women on cards" post for Women's History Month and just haven't been able to find time. The Kimbrel is best viewed horizontally, but I wanted to fit Ryan's note in the scan.

Boom! A nice six-pack of Bowman's Best - including a David Ortiz. Lucky for me I bought the refractor on COMC and not the base, cause now I have both. And now I also have Xander Bogaerts in regular and refractor form. These cards smell shiny, if that makes sense... very similar to 1992 Fleer Ultra. The Top Prospects cards look exactly like the 'main' set; I'm always happy to add an Andrew Benintendi card to my collection, as they're getting expensive.

Ryan, thanks so much for the surprise Sox! I'll be sure to send more Twins your way in the future.

And now back to our regularly scheduled basketball post (If you're not a fan of these you can stop reading now. But please don't!)

Here are my favorite new cards from Northwest Division teams:

before: 13 commons, 5 star base, 1 rookie, no inserts, no parallels
after: 41 commons, 10 star base, 6 rookies, 3 inserts, 3 parallels

Favorite cards (click to embiggen):

I mentioned before that the old Dallas Mavericks logo was one of my faves, right? Well, this classic Denver Nuggets logo is number one in my book. Everything from the rainbow colors to the pixel-looking city in the foreground just looks so '80's. A few years ago I was in line at a Popeye's and there was a guy in front of me wearing a retro Alex English jersey. I would have paid him $100 on the spot for it.. if I had $100 (and no shame.) The McDyess gold parallel color-matches with the newer - but still retro - Nuggets colors. 

before: 9 commons, no star base, 2 inserts, 2 rookies
after: 26 commons, 1 star base, 2 inserts, 2 rookies

Favorite cards:

Believe it or not, I have exactly as many K.G. base cards as K.G. inserts in my Minnesota collection. (I scanned up the insert card in a post I wrote when he retired.) Chris Smith was one of the first UConn Huskies I collected, along with Tate George and Scott Burrell. I actually bought a replica Wolves jersey like the one Corbin is sporting when I visited the Basketball Hall of Fame sometime in the early 1990's. Not sure why I picked a Christian Laettner jersey.. but it was stolen from me anyway :/

before: 2 commons, 1 star base, no rookies, 2 inserts
after: 5 commons, 4 star base, 1 rookie, 2 inserts

 All of my new Thunder cards:

Until Jon sent me 1,000 basketball cards (give or take) I had so few OKC cards that I stored them on the same page as my Sonics cards - which would be considered sacrilege in the Seattle area. I still don't have that many Zombie Sonics base cards, but nearly half are of K.D. or Mr. Triple-Double Russell Westbrook, who made a guest appearance on my daughter's favorite TV show.

before: 13 commons, 4 star base, 1 rookie, 2 inserts
after: 39 commons, 13 star base, 5 rookies, 3 inserts

Favorite cards:

Once again I favor the old-school look, though the Blazers' logo and color scheme hasn't changed much over the years. Terry Porter is sporting a captain's 'C', which I've only seen on a basketball player once or twice before (Chris Mullin maybe?) '94-95 Flair is an automatic addition to my favorites, and I had to add at least one card of Clyde "The Glide." Greg Oden is being too hard on himself; unless Anthony Bennett suddenly becomes a star he won't be considered the biggest bust in NBA history. Like Oden, Brandon Roy's career was cut short by injuries. The background of the R&S card fits perfectly with the Blazers uni.. and the Prizm card is my first of Baby Dame Dolla.

before 14 base, 8 stars, 1 rookie, 4 inserts, 2 parallels, 1 relic
after 32 base, 14 stars, 3 rookies, 8 inserts, 2 parallels, 1 relic

Favorite cards:

I'm not even a Jazz fan and I'm still mad about Michael Jordan pushing off Bryon Russell into the third row. Malone and Stockton were magic together, and I had to include at least one card of each (the two Stockton inserts are among my favorites in the entire box.) Are those "UD Legends" cards short printed? As someone who has collected Upper Deck hockey cards for +25 years, I wouldn't put it past them. I've read two interesting articles about the Jazz recently; one ESPN article about how black players adjust to playing/living in predominantly white SLC.. and an article on Grantland The Ringer about emerging superstar Gordon Hayward. (I didn't get a Gordie in this box, but I already have a couple.)

And I'm adding a bonus team to this division...

before: 16 commons, 5 star base, no inserts, 1 rookie
after: 39 commons, 11 star base, 2 inserts, 3 rookies

 Favorite cards:

Every sport has a franchise that should have never left their original home. Like the NFL's Browns, the MLB's Expos, and the NHL's Whalers, the Sonics still have a loyal following years after their departure. (what's that? the Browns are an NFL team again? prove it.) I wish I had hung onto my Sonics swag, when I was a pre-teen I had this poster of Xavier "X-man" McDaniel on my wall. Not even sure where I found it. I do know that I found a Ray Allen jersey at Savers two or three years ago... and sold it at $0 profit, like an idiot. 

I've learned a lot about basketball through the cards in Jon's box - not just about the players (why isn't Tom Chambers a Hall of Famer?) but about the cards themselves (the Wilkens is an insert? Why did I think it was a subset card?) Also, it appears the captain's "C" was more common that I thought.

One more basketball post to go... I'll try to fit the Pacific Division in tomorrow. There will be a bonus "team" at the end, so stay tuned for that.