Tuesday, August 21, 2018

2018 Topps Chrome "Monster" Blaster Box Break

Before I get to my box break I want to thank all of you for the belated birthday wishes, and I hope you enjoy your prizes. Reading your reactions to each gift will be more exciting than cracking open a dozen packs of cards. 'Tis better to give than receive, after all.


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I was in Connecticut this past weekend, visiting my family for what amounted to a second birthday. On Sunday - after having lunch with my mom - I popped into Wal-Mart to check their card aisle, since I don't have a Wal-Mart near me here in Jersey. I've read that some bloggers have had better luck there anyhow. 

The sports card selection at the West Haven Wal-Mart wasn't great, but they did have fat packs of 2018 Topps series 2. I bought one of those, and with my last $40 I grabbed this:



This "monster" box of 2018 Topps Chrome was dented (hence the lousy scan) and it was the last one on the shelf. But that's one more than my Target has had, so I gave it a shot. 

I assume that these are called "monster" boxes because they are the physical size of two standard blasters. But the contents aren't that different: 10 packs plus two X-Fractor packs. The four-card packs allow me to scan the complete contents of each pack two at a time. 

Packs 1 and 2:


A pair of Dodgers, a pair of Phillies, and a pair of star third basemen. Are the purple refractors a Wal-Mart exclusive? 


Packs 3 and 4:


Gleyber Torres RC! I'm obviously not a Yankees fan, and Miguel Andujar has sort of stolen the hype from him, but I'm not complaining about this pull. Chris Taylor starts a trend of pulling the same card in base and refractor form. 


Packs 5 and 6:


A little bit of everything here - the first insert of the box, a Conforto prism refractor (I think?) and a Victor Robles RC. Also another Rendon, and another Yankee. 


Packs 7 and 8:


Manny Machado in back-to-back packs. I really like the '83 insert in Chrome refractor form. This Rafael Devers Freshman Flash insert is the only Red Sox card in the box. 


Packs 9 and 10:


Not a great finish here, the Buehler RC is nice and the Eugenio Suarez completes the base + refractor trend, joining Taylor and Rendon. Good thing I've got the X-Fractor packs to fall back on...



There are five cards per pack here. I've scanned them all together:



Wait...that's only nine cards. Where's the tenth card?



There's your 2018 American League Rookie of the Year right there. It seems like he's had a clutch home run in just about every Yankee win this month. I'll probably hold onto this until the season ends but it will eventually end up in the hands of a Yankees fan. Most of the other cards in this post are available for trades (except the Devers of course). If you're interested in anything, let me know.


Thanks for reading!


~


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Refreshed, Reorganized, Refocused

My wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday last Sunday. Naturally I told her that I wanted to find a card shop nearby and grab some grub - not necessarily in that order. And so, she took the girls and I to lunch at a diner on the way to a card shop that she researched and chose because it had great reviews. 

It was only open from 1pm-4pm on Sundays and we got into town right around 2pm but couldn't find the place from the street. Apparently the shop sits on the second floor of a yoga studio. We parked in the back..no one else was in the lot. We tried to open the door. Locked.

No problem..we'll walk around the front. Tried to open the front door. Locked. Walked around the back to our car. She called the shop. Got their voicemail. It's open from 1-4 on Sundays - except in July and August. 

You may be asking why I didn't go on Saturday? Well, Saturday was Di's niece's birthday - and the whole family spent the day at my brother in law's. Except me. I was supposed to go. I expected to go. But then I had a bit of a manic episode that started off as a panic attack and ended up feeling more like a complete mental breakdown as the weight of unrelated issues stacked up on top of me- including major changes at work, a lack of a reliable internet connection, my mother's failing health, etc. etc. ...and the fact that my 38th birthday was falling on the anniversary of Charlottesville.

The thought of spending a day with my utltra-conservative in-laws on this particular weekend was the back breaker. I couldn't do it. Thankfully, I didn't have to. I stayed home on Saturday, packed up the Sports Card Tour prizes, and began reorganizing my card collection for the ten millionth time. 

My wife had every intention of making my birthday enjoyable. So I tried not to complain when the card shop was closed. There was another one in the area-mostly a comic book shop, but the Facebook/Yelp reviews said they do have cards. Old dusty wax boxes and blasters. All of them overpriced - I think. It's been so long since I've set foot inside a card shop I don't know what the prices should be. I found one card I wanted, priced at $45:



In some of the Sports Card Tour stops I hinted at starting the 1986 Topps football set. I have no emotional connection to it; 1986 was the first year I started collecting baseball cards but the first football card I ever saw was from the 1985 set (Bob Baumhower, which was wedged in the backseat of my dad's station wagon) '86 is just a highly condition sensitive set loaded with hall of famers such as Rice, Steve Young, Reggie White, and so on.

About two years ago I nearly bought a PSA 9 Jerry Rice RC from 4 Sharp Corners for about ten times the price I paid for this copy ($429 I think?). The reason I considered it is because a dozen years ago I bid on a PSA 9 Robin Yount RC thinking I could get it for $300. I was outbid; it sold for about $315. Today Yount 9s sell for three times that. 

1986 Topps football cards might be even harder to find centered than 1975 Topps baseball (though I have absolutely no evidence to back this up.) And Rice is, without a doubt, the greatest wide receiver ever - and possibly the greatest football player in the Super Bowl era. 

This comic book shop might have overpriced their boxes, but I felt very comfortable paying under $50 for the Rice RC. And so now I am fully committed to completing the '86 set. I doubt anyone reading this would happen to have some singles lying around, but if you do have any 1986 Topps football for trade please let me know. I'm not going to be a stickler for condition-anything with decent centering and no creases will be accepted. 



I did get my birthday sports card fix - but not from a card shop. As I've mentioned before on this blog, my LCS is Target..which of course limits my choices. I can't purchase supplies or single cards, but I can grab $50 worth of fat packs and blasters when the sets appeal to me. 2018 flagship is a huge improvement over last year's design. I'm nowhere close to finishing this set (I've got about 100 cards of each series) so if you have any dupes to trade  I'll be happy to take any and all, regardless of card number. 



Target had four of those blister pack things with four packs plus one green parallel showing. I hate to be that guy, but the front facing pack had Dillon Maples and the one all the way at the back had Jackie Robinson. What would you do? Karma must have agreed with my choice because the retail hoard also yielded the "base" version of the Salute insert and a Jackie Legends Variation SP (plus a Clayton Kershaw rainbow parallel and a Zack Cozart parallel #d/50.)


I didn't just go for flagship, however. After reading dozens of positive reviews and blog posts about Big League Baseball I had to give it a try. So far I'm on the fence about adding it to the list of sets I'm building. It's a nice enough set for sure, and the price point is a plus. But I've got so many unfinished set projects already. Can I really start two more sets this year? 

Then again..after spending the past week reorganizing my collection I've actually got more room for set builds than anything else. My base card binders are filled to capacity. I could use some new binders but the only ones I see for sale have much smaller D-rings than my older binders. I'm still holding out hope that I can find the large ones if I can ever get myself to a real LCS.  

All of my team collections are in separate boxes. I've got some room to add more Packers cards, but the Red Sox and Devils boxes are stuffed. There's plenty of room in my star player boxes and a little bit of room in my 'hits' boxes. So I've decided that storage space will dictate my priorities for the rest of the year.

Even though it was against my better judgment, I requested shipping on the 41 cards I had in my COMC inventory. That will chip away at most of my sets - but it won't complete a single one. And so I've updated my wantlist a third time to try and cross off some set needs. Once I fix my home internet connection I'll join TCDB in the hopes of making more trades. 


Thanks for reading this. Hope you're all having a great weekend!


~




Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Thank You!

The Sports Card Tour Giveaway Draft is complete, and all the prizes have been packed up and prepared for shipment. Sometime this weekend I'll mail out the first batch and scrounge up something for Corky, P-Town Tom, and the others. 

In the meantime I want to thank you all for reading and participating in the six-month long marathon that was Sports Card Tour.


Also I want to thank a couple bloggers who sent care packages my way while I was sprinting toward the finish line of the tour.


In case you couldn't tell from the Yaz custom, these were from Gavin - who made his prize picks so fast I couldn't announce them and/or thank him for these! I'm a huge fan of Immaculate Collection, and the Matt Barnes auto is my first Red Sox card from the high-end set. I've never seen this E-X Nomar insert before, and the Rich Gedman is supposed to glow in the dark. Haven't had any luck with it yet. Also, Gav threw in a card of the other Ted Williams. Nice touch.


From the custom card king to the Andrew McCutchen card king. These Cutch cards arrived from Brian, author of the blog Collecting Cutch. The Topps Chrome sleeve reads "my hair in 2014 was better than the Carl Crawford signing." Absolutely agree. I think Donald Trump's hair was better than that signing (just his hair though!)


Thankfully the Red Sox have rebounded from that debacle. Andrew Benintendi has been playing left field better than Crawford ever did (in Boston anyway) and Mookie Betts is having another MVP-caliber year. 


As many of you know, I bought a ton of 2017 Topps Heritage (and high numbers) last year. This year I didn't buy any Heritage at all - not even a pack or a single card. The only 2018 Heritage cards I have are from trades like these. 


Some big hits here, including a Dustin Pedroia relic, a Bobby Doerr auto, and a black parallel of Mookie and Manny Machado #d/66. 

Brian, Gavin..thanks so much for the great cards! 



I'm going to take a short sabbatical from blogging to address some personal issues, re-organize my card collection, and hopefully replace my modem which is dying a slow and painful death. I'll comment on your blogs as much as I can but I probably wont return to full-time blogging until September. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer.. and your prizes!


~


Monday, August 6, 2018

Shane is up..Gavin is on deck...

..and then Tim B. will close out the giveaway. The remaining prizes are:

Prize #10 - Box of 1996-97 Fleer Basketball cards
Prize #11 - Lot of three SP Authentic Hockey sets + 90 cards
Prize #12 - Lot of ten unopened football packs
Prize #13 - Wrigley Field Plaque
Prize #18 - Washington Nationals T-shirt (size XL) + bonus

Did any of you participate in COMC's Summer sale? If so, did you find any great deals? I only picked up 15 cards - mostly set fillers and other cheap stuff. The most notable card I picked up is this Jose Ramirez RC from 2014 Topps Chrome:


Jose is tied with J.D. Martinez for the league lead in hone runs. I picked up both of their RCs in the span of about two weeks.


Also I've received a pair of care packages, which I will discuss in the next day or two. 



~
 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Henson is up...Matson on deck

Night Owl claims a Dodgers lot, so the list of remaining prizes hasn't changed:


Prize #1 - Large flat rate box full of sports books and magazines (claimed by Tim)

Prize #3 - Medium flat rate box of baseball cards (claimed by Fuji)
Prize #6 - Box of hockey action figures/memorabilia (claimed by Billy)
Prize #10 - Box of 1996-97 Fleer Basketball cards
Prize #11 - Lot of three SP Authentic Hockey sets + 90 cards
Prize #12 - Lot of ten unopened football packs
Prize #13 - Wrigley Field Plaque
Prize #14 - Lot of New York sports memorabilia (claimed by SCC)
Prize #15 - Lot of Panini NHL sticker albums + bonus
Prize #16 - 2017 Topps Heritage advertising panel (lot of 3)
Prize #17 - 2007 Topps Heritage team emblem box topper (claimed by Matt)
Prize #18 - Washington Nationals T-shirt (size XL) + bonus

Prize #19 - Lot of about 60 oversized baseball cards
Prize #21 - Lot of 50-100 cards of your favorite (baseball) team
Prize #22 - 1955 Topps Ted Kazanski (PSA VG-EX 4) (claimed by Bo)
Prize #23 - Sports Card Tour Passport Pack (200+ cards)


Tim Henson is on the clock. Mike, you can make your pick here (after Tim makes his) if you'd like. No need to wait for my next post, which will likely be 10am tomorrow.


~

We have a trade...

Bo trades his second round pick (the 1955 Topps Ted Kazanski PSA) to Gavin for two ungraded 1955s. 

Matt (Diamond Jesters) selects this Topps Heritage team emblem



 
Matt (Sport Card Collectors)  grabs the New York memorabilia lot




..which means Night Owl is next. Still some great prizes on the board. 


 ~

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Matt and Matt..make your picks

Billy's second round pick is a second box of hockey:


Mostly memorabilia in this one. Matt (Diamond Jesters) is up next, followed by Matt (Sport Card Collectors) 

Matt K. the floor is yours! Lots of great prizes left to choose from.  


~

Jon is up...Billy on deck

The second round keeps rollin'. Bo selects his second vintage card:

I'll try to crack this open for you - if I can



Now it's Jon's turn. Billy, feel free to make your pick once Jon has made his. 



~


Friday, August 3, 2018

Round 2 starts now...Fuji is up

This Mark Teixeira bat relic fell to the bottom of the first round - and Tim B. caught it.


I just so happened to be watching Tex, Greenie and Laura Rutledge on Get Up this morning and it made me wonder when (or if) this card would be claimed. Before the show ended I had my answer. 

So that wraps up round one...on to round two! Once again, here is the draft order:
  1. Fuji (The Chronicles of Fuji)
  2. Bo (Baseball Cards Come To Life!)
  3. Jon (A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts)
  4. Billy (Cardboard History)
  5. Matt (Diamond Jesters)
  6. Matt (Sport Card Collectors)
  7. Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)
  8. Tim Henson (no blog)
  9. Mike (Not Another Baseball Card Blog)
  10. Shane (Shoebox Legends)
  11. Gavin (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  12. Tim B. (I Love The Smell of Cardboard..)

And here is a list of the remaining prizes (click here for pics) 

Prize #1 - Large flat rate box full of sports books and magazines 
Prize #3 - Medium flat rate box of baseball cards (claimed by Fuji)
Prize #6 - Box of hockey action figures/memorabilia (claimed by Billy)
Prize #10 - Box of 1996-97 Fleer Basketball cards
Prize #11 - Lot of three SP Authentic Hockey sets + 90 cards
Prize #12 - Lot of ten unopened football packs
Prize #13 - Wrigley Field Plaque
Prize #14 - Lot of New York sports memorabilia (claimed by SCC)
Prize #15 - Lot of Panini NHL sticker albums + bonus
Prize #16 - 2017 Topps Heritage advertising panel (lot of 3)
Prize #17 - 2007 Topps Heritage team emblem box topper (claimed by Matt)
Prize #18 - Washington Nationals T-shirt (size XL) + bonus

Prize #19 - Lot of about 60 oversized baseball cards
Prize #21 - Lot of 50-100 cards of your favorite (baseball) team
Prize #22 - 1955 Topps Ted Kazanski (PSA VG-EX 4) (claimed by Bo)
Prize #23 - Sports Card Tour Passport Pack (200+ cards)


Fuji, you're on the clock!


~

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Another mystery box off the board...

Shane selects the second mystery box:


And Gavin wastes no time claiming the George Sisler:


Only one vintage card left, but there are plenty of surprises still on the board. 


Tim B, please close out the first round for us.


~

Mike makes his pick...Shane is up


I have to confess that I offered up certain prizes with certain players in mind. Such was the case for this Toronto Blue Jays team lot, which Mike Matson selected 9th overall. 



The 10th pick belongs to the Shoebox Legend himself. Shane, you're on the clock. Here's a link to the prize list. 


~

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It's a mystery!

Tim Henson has claimed the baseball/football mystery box:


It's now Mike Matson's turn to pick a prize. Mike, the floor is yours. Try not to pick anything too heavy. Shipping costs to Canada are a killer. 


~

 

Night Owl bags a box...Tim is up

Night Owl claims one of the medium flat rate boxes of baseball cards. 

Tim Henson is on the clock.


~

SCC makes his pick...Night Owl is next

Sport Card Collector Matt grabs the football card/memorabilia lot, featuring this Super Bowl program:





Night Owl is on the clock. Looks like Fuji swiped his first choice for a prize...let's see what he selects instead...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Matt makes his pick...Matt is up next

With the fifth pick, Matt selects this box of Sox:



The sixth pick belongs to another Matt, author of the blog Sport Card Collectors. Matt has been eagerly awaiting his turn to pick a prize, and I'm eager to see what he selects. 

Matt, the floor is yours. 


~

Billy gives, and Billy takes...

Pick #4 is in, and it's not a baseball card. Billy selects the box o' hockey cards. 

I don't have a picture of the cards he claimed..but it just so happens Billy sent me some cards yesterday.


Finally some Jason Kidd Nets cards! Also a much-needed Raptor RC, a Bobcat for my binder, a nice James Harden for my star box, and a cool Harvey Grant team card with the Washington Monument. I like these early 90s art cards, especially ones with landmarks or arenas in the background.


Some 2015-16 Donruss basketball, and my first Vegas Golden Knights card. Fitting that it would be the de facto captain and Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland. I have a William Karlsson OPC Platinum rainbow card in my COMC inventory but that won't be here until December. So this is officially my first Knights card. Thank you Billy, these are very much appreciated!


Enough about me....the next pick belongs to Matt K. of the time travelin' blog Diamond Jesters. 
 

Matt, you're on the clock! Here's a link to the prize post



~





Monday, July 30, 2018

Jon grabs another vintage gem. Billy is up next.

After a slow start the SCT Giveaway Draft is picking up steam. Three picks were made in a 12-hour span, and all of them were vintage baseball items. 

With the third pick, Jon selects this 1950 Bowman Ray Coleman card:


Billy is on the clock. I have a feeling that the run on vintage baseball cards ends here. 


~



Bo makes his pick..

 ..and it's a nice Bob Lennon card from 1955 Topps.



Jon, it's your turn. Here's a complete list of prizes.

Update: Fuji has selected the TCMA lot.




~



Sunday, July 29, 2018

Bo has the #2 pick...

The board is yours, Bo. Here's a link to the prize post

Congrats to the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018. I'm always excited to see the induction ceremonies in July and the voting results in January. This is a huge class of HOFers. Should be fun.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!


 ~

Saturday, July 28, 2018

It's Draft Day! Sports Card Tour Prizes Are Here!

Welcome to the Sports Card Tour Giveaway Draft! The points have been counted, the final standings have been posted, and the prizes are ready to be claimed. When it is your turn to pick a prize, please leave a comment with the prize number and/or description of your choice. You will have 24 hours to make your selection. If you do not pick a prize within 24 hours, the draft will move on to the next person on the list until you make a claim. 

I will announce the next pick shortly after a pick is made. It could be within a few hours, so check back here often. Here is the draft order for each of the two rounds:
  1. Fuji  (The Chronicles of Fuji)
  2. Bo (Baseball Cards Come To Life!)
  3. Jon (A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts)
  4. Billy (Cardboard History)
  5. Matt (Diamond Jesters)
  6. Matt (Sport Card Collectors)
  7. Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)
  8. Tim Henson (no blog)
  9. Mike (Not Another Baseball Card Blog)
  10. Shane (Shoebox Legends)
  11. Gavin (Baseball Card Breakdown)
  12. Tim B. (I Love The Smell of Cardboard..)

After the first round you can pass if you don't want a second item. After the second round I will offer up a smaller set of prizes to Corky, ketchupman, P-town Tom, and John Sharp. Once they have claimed their prizes I will ship out all of the items (unless you want to trade prizes amongst yourselves?) 
Here are your prizes:


Prize #1 - Large flat rate box full of sports books and magazines


 You will receive these five books/magazines plus four more books/magazines.


Prize #2 - Medium flat rate box of baseball cards (claimed by Night Owl)
Prize #3 - Medium flat rate box of baseball cards


These are mixed singles from 1980-2018. Each box will contain over 3,000 cards. Mostly base commons with a bunch of stars, some inserts, oddballs, and other goodies mixed in.


Prize #4 - Medium flat rate box of (mostly) hockey cards (claimed by Billy)

Mixed hockey singles from the early 1990s to 2016 or so. Mostly base commons with a bunch of stars, some inserts, and other goodies mixed in. Some other sports will be included as well, but the box will be about 80% hockey. 


Prize #5 - Medium flat rate box of football cards and memorabilia (claimed by Sport Card Collectors)


Also includes a McFarlane football figure and a box of about 300 football cards.


Prize #6 - Box of hockey action figures/memorabilia


Includes 3 McFarlane figures, a sealed can of Pinnacle Inside, and other goodies.


Please note: Prizes 1-6 can only shipped within the USA


Prize #7 - Mystery box of baseball/football memorabilia (with cards) (claimed by Tim Henson)
Prize #8 - Mystery box of baseball/hockey memorabilia (with cards) (claimed by Shane)



Who doesn't like a little mystery box?


Prize #9 - Box of Boston Red Sox cards (claimed by Matt K.)


All of my Red Sox dupes. Over 400 cards. Some nice inserts/parallels. Go Sox!


Prize #10 -  Box of 1996-97 Fleer Basketball cards

 
Some stars included, plus a few cards from other basketball sets such as 2015-16 Donruss.


Prize #11 - Lot of three SP Authentic Hockey sets


Complete 90-card base sets of 1999-00, 2000-01, and 2003-04 SPA - plus another 90 hockey cards (because I had previously listed this as four SPA sets.)


Prize #12  - Lot of ten unopened football packs


8 packs of 2018 Leaf Draft and 2 packs of 2017 Score.


Prize #13 - Wrigley Field Plaque


Nice photo of the Friendly Confines. Featuring Hank Aaron. 


Prize #14 - Lot of New York sports memorabilia


Mike York auto includes a COA. Some other NY sports items will be included.


Prize #15 - Lot of Panini NHL sticker albums + bonus


Both albums are brand new and include a sheet of stickers. Also included in this lot is a Sports Illustrated back issue featuring a Stanley Cup winner.


Prize #16 - 2017 Topps Heritage advertising panel (lot of 3)
Prize #17 - 2007 Topps Heritage team emblem box topper



Ad panel features one future Hall of Famer. Team emblem will be a surprise to you.


Prize #18 - Washington Nationals T-shirt - size XL


Don't let the lousy pictures fool you. This Chad Cordero T-shirt is in great condition - I only wore it once. A mystery item will be wrapped inside. 


Prize #19 - Lot of about 60 oversized baseball cards


Mostly 1989 Bowman, but a few Topps Big Baseball cards mixed in. 



#20 Lot of about 150 TCMA cards from 1977 and 1979 (claimed by Fuji)



Lots of Hall of Famers here. Condition varies. 


Prize #21 - Lot of 50-100 cards of your favorite (baseball) team


American-based baseball teams also available. This can be claimed multiple times.


Prize #22 -1955 Topps Ted Kazanski (PSA VG-EX 4)



Prize #23 - Sports Card Tour Passport Pack


At least two cards from every city on our tour. At least one card from every pro sports team. At least 200 cards total.


Prize #24 - Mark Teixeira Museum Collection bat relic (claimed by Tim B.)



Sweet looking card numbered 11/20. COMC watermark not included. 


_______________________________


So let's get started. The first pick in the Sports Card Tour Giveaway Draft belongs to...The Chronicles of Fuji


Fuji, you're on the clock!


~