Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ending in the Dirt

So, in picking up the last pack, it made a sound I was not use to hearing with baseball card packs. It gave a little swooshing sound.

Before opening the pack, I took a look at the set inserts and figured it must be one of the dirt relayed cards, and it definitely felt thick and hard enough to have something like that in it...

That;s a really different card. I had never heard of these before getting this one. I guess they will make anything into a memorabilia card these days. With my enjoyment of ballparks, it is really cool to get a little bit of "dirt" from one of them.

Oh, and the odds on this - one every 804 packs!

Given there was this very thick card, instead of the usual number of cards, only two, with the other one being...

An insert - first pack of cards I can remember getting where all the cards were inserts, but I will take it.

A great way to end this box, and definitely one of the top pulls so far this year.

11 Packs, 72 Cards, 1,071 Points

1) 2019-20 Upper Deck Tim Hortons Packs 336.5648
2) 2019 Topps Chrome Value Pack 332.3750
3) 2019 Topps Opening Day Blaster 1 14.8750
4) 2018 Diamond Kings Baseball 6.0400
5) 2019 Topps WWE Women's Division Blaster 5.6825
6) 2017-18 Upper Deck CDN Exclusive Series 1 Box 5.5128
7) 2013 Triple Play Baseball Box 3.2588
8) 2017 Topps Series 1 Baseball Jumbo Packs 3.2222
9) 2017 Panini Chronicles Baseball Blaster 3.0000
10) NHL Championship Collection 2.8818

That great last pull blasts this pack into the top three for the year, a great showing. Wonder if the second one of these that I have will come anywhere near that, but guess we will have to wait and see.

Monday, June 29, 2020


When thinking about monsters and baseball, the greatest of all is the green monster in Boston. I never had the opportunity to go to any ballpark outside of the SkyDome (Rogers Centre now), but Fenway would have been one I'd want to see in person. I always enjoy ballparks, especially for those things that make them unique.

I guess it is no surprise that Boston take that one thing that makes their park really unique and brand it a little further...

Get it? Wally because it's a Wall....

Still, I do like the connection and it is a great tie in for the mascot. Besides, he is a pretty snazzy dresser!

The rest of the pack, all new cards are...

One more pack to go!

10 Packs, 70 Cards, 264 Points

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Having weekends back is nice

It's nice, I mean, February through May I basically worked all weekeds to some extent. June has been busy, but getting a couple actual full weekends has been nice. I have been able to actually spend time with the kids, rather than just see them around the basement as I have been working, and it has given me a bit of time to actually get a bit caught up on some card stuff - sorting and putting cards away is very therapeutic.

Now, the weather outside is at times a bit hotter than I'd prefer, but since there is still not too much reason to go out, not much of an issue, but now that I am not working as much, I feel the pull of wanting to "go", a bit more.

Speaking of go, these all get to go right into the collection and slowly walk the percentage completion on this set closer and closer to 40%.

Best of the bunch is the Garver mid-swing one, but the best card of the pack is...

Now, let me separate - I like the card as the inserts are great. I still am not a big fan of Martinez - some things, like Zimmer throwing - just never become something easy to get over and forget. I know I am someone who holds grudges and onto things like this probably too long, but that's just me.

Would have been much easier to like the guy without that incident.

Heck, I still have a hard time letting the Alomar spitting incident go, and I like Alomar a whole lot more than I ever liked Pedro.

9 Packs, 63 Cards, 243 Points

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Too early

I remember a while ago - it seems like decades, there was grumbling about the baseball season and the starting of it getting earlier and earlier. It trailed into a dabbling of dates in March, which has now seemingly become standard, in most years.

Baseball lovers would always be excited about it because the sooner, the better, while non-fans would argue...already?!?!

Well, if this year has taught us anything, it's to enjoy it while you have it, and not to nit-pick the small stuff!

Opening Day having an Opening Day parallel with an opening day date stamped on the front is alright. Now, add in some snazzy blue foil and it pretties up real nice (even for a Red Sox).

You know someone else who likes the colour blue?

Glad that Clark approves, but the back of this card provides a questionable lineage for poor Clark. Apparently Clark is the great-grandson of the original live bear mascot Joa. Now I am no biology professor, but not sure how the genetics worked to go from live bear to mascot over a few generations, but someone needs to look into this!

I think these guys are too busy too. Though they can stick around and be part of my growing set.

8 Packs, 56 Cards, 222 Points

Friday, June 26, 2020


So many thoughts with this one card:

- Why is it that he began to get single name treatment?
- I am old enough to remember he actually had a first name
- He was a great hitter
- He will always be synonymous with the Mariners
- Man, those wrinkles around the eye may make him look old, but dude is having a good time

Always nice when you can get so much out of a single card, so happy this has a place in my collection. The story on the back is about him walking away when Ohtani first was introduced to him, only to walk a few paces as a joke and turn around to greet the new star.

We get mostly base additions from the rest of the pack with the Springer dive taking best action shot of the bunch, though Sean wins best last name in my books.

The dupes...

Another solid pack of 2019 Topps Opening Day - three...no four...more packs to go, can't forget that bonus pack.

7 Packs, 49 Cards, 190 Points

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Opening Yay!

First a big congrats to the 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame class which may be headlined by Iginla and Hossa, but great to see a couple deserving names get in with Kim St-Pierre and Doug Wilson. Truth be told, Doug Wilson I remember distinctly from his 1991-92 Score San Jose hockey card which I swear, I must have pulled from packs 50 times back as a kid.

Especially this year, the importance of opening day has been more top of mind, and what better way to remember opening day festivities, than cards like this...

With the baseball season given some direction (truth be told - I am still not sure if it will actually get to happen, especially given the number of players that have recently been testing positive for COVID-19), Opening Day finally has a date to look forward to.

It makes obvious sense to have an Opening Day insert set in Topps Opening Day product. Sure, it isn't very imaginative, but sometimes things don't have to be. A bit surprised the insert set doesn't include a card for each team, but can't win them all.

This specific shot is a great one as I am a sucker for a great stadium shot, and this is probably top three now as far as the Skydome (or Rogers Centre) goes.

This obviously makes this pack a winner for me, which works out well because otherwise, I split the back half/half with keepers...

and dupes...

Still happily creeping along with the base set, and at least we have a dirty Lorenzo now for the base!

6 Packs, 42 Cards, 173 Points

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Bound to get one

Well, I was bound to get a Jay out of this box at some point! Grichuk is promising and I like the bit of power he seems to have, but would love to see him bump the average up a bit as well. It isn't his bat though overall that could really help - his defense is where his WAR let's him down a bit. Still, a young guy with a good number of years ahead, could have a good string, and hopefully with the Jays.

Speaking of a guy that had a good string - Cal in Baltimore was just a standard in my childhood. I remember watching the game live where he broke the streak back in September 1995, right around the start of school that year, probably part of why I remember it - start of school years were always stressful and I have memories from most school starts, and some things that happened around then....but that's a bit of a tangent.

Definitely don't think of Cal and his business sense about the game as "fun" but I have seen enough in interviews, and as is touched on in this card, that the man himself loved life and enjoyed himself.

Another four solid base card adds for the set and lastly, a first dupe...

Could do worse!

5 Packs, 35 Cards, 126 Points

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Yeah, so this is not Will Smith. Obviously not Will SMith from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and movie fame, but also not Will Smith the Giants pitcher because this is in fact Tony Watson.

Wonder how frustrating this must be for Will - does he see it as funny, or annoyed because somebody along the way didn't know who he was. I could see it going either way, but suspect most could understand how it can happen, especially if the person involved in setting the photos per card isn't a baseball fan (I know - why would they want the job then in the first place, but I am sure it could happen).

My daughter loves this card. She loves carousels, loves animals, especially Tigers, so she is ready to go and check this one out (especially on Sundays when those aged 14 and under apparently get on for free....okay, that is more my input than hers).

It looks beautiful with the hand painted tigers.

The rest of the pack - all solid additions (though no Jays yet...).

4 Packs, 28 Cards, 95 Points

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Bear of a Pack

I really do love Mascot cards. They could have an insert set in every set and that would be fine (maybe no colour parallels for the insert set though). I haven't checked but mascot looks are changed up often enough there would be at least a couple changes each year I would figure. It would be cool to be able to pull a team's mascot card for a good 10-20 year stretch to see the change over time. Unlike players that age, I suspect most of these would actually be quite ageless!

My son's favourite player, simply because of his name and because my son is 9 years old - Albert.

Polanco is a star in picture in this bunch though between the scoreboard background and the great bright yellow Pirate uniforms.

3 Packs, 21 Cards, 64 Points

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A's and B's

Let's get right to the second pack of 2019 Topps Opening Day baseball cards...

Seeing more and more of these cards, I miss regular baseball, and no idea when or if that will ever be coming back to what we had before the pandemic.

Plenty of A's in the pack between the Angels and Athletics, and a lot of nice pics. I don't mind all the close up shots, but they do take a bit away from showing the beautiful ballparks.

Speaking of ballparks, here's one you get to see a bit more of, though it is empty...

Here's a B....well, Baltimore star. 8 time 20 game winner - not sure we will be seeing any player get wins to that regard much anymore with all of the large starting rotations, and the caps on innings for many more pitchers.

A good full pack of new cards, hope that streak continues.

2 Packs, 14 Cards, 42 Points

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Starting with Opening Day

How about some baseball!

Getting back to the stash from my US trip last year, let's take a look at a blaster box of 2019 Topps Opening Day.

As you can see, this was a little crushed. I believe I picked this up at Target actually, and it was out of place...and crunched...and there were two, so I couldn't leave the other one there, but let's save it for another day.

I was just hoping that the packs/cards wouldn't show the same damage, but figured that they would be alright since there's plenty of room inside.

Opening it up, all looks good. With a 200 card set, and having 12 cards but with two boxes in hand, this is a base set I will be collecting as it should be manageable to get close to 50% done after both blasters. I already have an unopened pack aside to, so I have a good 22 packs to make headway on the set.

Scoring as a reminder...

2020 Box Scores Points
Base Card 1
Base Sports Card Need 3
Base Variation / Short Print Card Odds
Base Toronto Card 15
Base Toronto Variation / Short Print Card 5 * Odds
Insert Card Odds
Toronto Insert Card 5 * Odds
Box Bonus Cards Per Pack Odds
Error Card Double Score

Let's get right to a pack for today.

Well, that's a solid first card. I am sure many people have mixed feelings for him now given the turmoil of Houston, but I think there is enough talent there that it's not just all "cheat" related, though I think that will dog him for a while.

The rest of the base cards are all needed, no surprise there.Interestingly, other than Altuve, all throwing pictures. Wonder what the percentage of fielding versus throwing versus other there are in this set....

Sure, these inserts fall every other pack, but they are fun and always happy to see a Hall of Famer. This card noting that at a fantasy camp, egged on, he was still able to throw 90 mph.

Solid start to this blaster.

Interesting foreshadow...while taking the packs out of the box, one seemed thicker than the rest (so I have moved it to the end, might as well save the make or break pack to the end). Not only that, first time I have ever had a pack, when shook, make a bit of noise....so I have an idea what I'll find, but let's wait and see...

1 Pack, 7 Cards, 21 Points

Friday, June 19, 2020

Ending With More Stars

Today we have the final pack from the Indigo packs I picked up. Though it has been a fun little distraction, I have generally got what I paid for when it comes to my own collecting. Including today, a few minis, a couple parallels and a couple Leafs. By no means horrible, but since I am not collecting either set, not a bunch to keep.

Now here's a star I can get behind! I was not a fan of his holding out a couple years ago. I know it's a case of "well, the owners make a lot of money, why can't I get mine", but it's still hard to see someone squabbling over how many millions they get paid just to play a game they love. However, in this case, I must say, there doesn't seem to be the hard feelings and long term "hurt" in having the situation happen, at least there doesn't seem to be the grudges that you could see happening.

Some base Champs which include a Red Kelly - which should have come in the red parallel colour, but no luck there.

The rest of the stickers and...

We end with a second Star mini in a row in Morrow.

8 Packs, 72 Cards, 147 Points

Not a surprise, since I don't collect either of these sets, that this box ends up well down my list of best boxes/openings this year. Still, some good cards to pass along to others, and a few keepers including some decent minis, so not like it was a complete waste.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

More Stars

Another day with no Leafs for me - spoiler! Another Pens star though, which seems to be the real theme of these packs.

I spoken before of Evgeni's important role to Crosby. It's not unusual in sport to have that one two punch. Heck Kurri was the similar number two to Wayne Gretzky in Edmonton. It isn't just hockey as Pippen was the number two to Jordan on the Bulls in the 90s (I assume everyone who likes sports in general has taken the time to watch the Netflix Jordan documentary by now).

The stickers don't add much, but we leave with...

A star of a different kind.

Eriksson was a solid winger for Dallas before heading to Boston for three seasons before then moving on to Vancouver the last few years.

May not be the "Star" I wanted, but ended up being the star I got today!

7 Packs, 63 Cards, 122 Points

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Finally got one!

There we go! Well, if you are going to throw a Leaf star from the past, Douggie is one that I'd take any day. 1,414 points in 1,414 games in the league, would take that in a player in the 80s and 90s, let along now when a point a game is a hard mark to reach.

When I pulled the Doan card, I paused at first because I thought the colour was a little off. Honestly, looks like a light blue, but apparently it is a green parallel.

Of the rest, what does it say that I really like the shiny foil log sticker the best?

Sorry for the quicker post today - but work is still quite hectic as it has been the last few months. Usually we get a bit of a break with a lull in May, but with the tax deadlines moving around, everything has just flowed together, so really it's been going heavy from February right through to the end of June.

Hopefully all will smooth out come July!

6 Packs, 54 Cards, 111 Points

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Another Pen Great

From one generational Pens star yesterday, to another one today.

When you think on Pens stars, Crosby is of course the name of today similar to Lemieux was during his time. Too bad this just ended up being a base card, but small gripes.

A couple more base cards which are solid - but no Crosby.

As for the keeper mini from the pack...

The, as shown, natural history collection subset - very nice and unique type of subset for a hockey card collection, but these are the types of oddities to the collection that makes Champs Champs.

Yet another day with not a single Leaf is a bit of a shame, but can't win them all. Did get a handful more stickers to pass along to a certain fellow collector!

5 Packs, 45 Cards, 83 Points

Monday, June 15, 2020

Yellow would have suited him better

I am, and always have been, a Leaf fan first, but my second team when it comes to hockey is the Pittsburgh Penguins. I know that love started with Lemieux and Jagr, though I can't really say why that duo spoke to me from watching highlights and news about the NHL, or seeing their play against Toronto, but it did.

Man, this card would look so much nicer in that yellow parallel. I am not really complaining in pulling the red parallel, it's fine, but that yellow instead we saw a couple days ago would be perfect.

Our mini from this pack is another Prime Minister of Canada. I am not a big history buff, but these mini subsets are really nice and getting the full set would make for a nice framed history piece for teaching.

No leafs in the couple other base cards...

Or in the stickers - though we do get a more current reason I enjoy the Pens in Evgeni. They have had a few great duos.

4 Packs, 36 Cards, 72 Points

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A bit too on point

No matter how things may be better (ish?) than a few months ago, this is definitely been a rough year and hearkens back to similar dark times in our history. This so happens to be be a day where one card captures that.

Bennett was Prime Minister back during the depression of the 1930s - a very hard time to try and lead the country through such a tough period, and not sure if anyone would have been able to succeed.

Trudeau is in the process of facing similar difficulties this year - 2020 will be remembered by everyone who lived through this year, and the leaders of our times will be remembered for good and bad of how things have gone, and continue to go.

Well, if I am going to get base cards - Gordie Howe is a pretty great one to get!

We end with another handful of stickers with no luck on the Leafs front.

3 Packs, 27 Cards, 52 Points