Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Year In Review

 Yet another year in the books, so let's take a quick look at goals, and how this year went.

Going into 2019 for the blog, I had a few goals, let's see how I did on those.

1) Share all my 2019 US trip cards

Yeah, so this didn't happen, but that was a good thing! The reason it didn't happen, in large part, was because I had some trades and bigger boxes of that like to go through, including numerous cards from Jeff Scott,, and others.

I'd like to say I'll get to the remaining boxes in 2021, but no guarantees on that (consider that foreshadowing for tomorrow).

2) Complete 10 sets

I am probably missing a few, but here is what I do have written down as my 2020 complete sets...

Not bad given I generally wasn't going after completing sets. I kept them in mind when trades were offered, to see if there was anything that would move along a close set.

3) Buy NO new cards

So this lasted well for about 6 months, then mid-year with the pandemic and all, I gave in a bit to buying a few things, but by far my costs this year were on shipping and trading compared to any buying that I did, so it was definitely down a bit.

So with that all said, what did I do this year? Well, here is a final tally with all of the boxes that I opened and scored on my own system...

Looking at a Top 10, which I don't usually do, here is a list of the 10 cards I pulled this year that were most memorable to me.

1) 2019-2020 Upper Deck Tim Hortons Zach Hyman Autograph

By far my best pull of the year as not only was it long odds to get any Tim Horton's autograph, but then of course I pull a Leaf one at that.

2) 2020 Topps WWE Road To Wrestlemania - Base Card #35 - Bobby Lashley Gold Parallel 09/10

This was my shortest SN'd card pulled this year at only 10.

3) 2019 Topps Opening Day Joey Votto Diamond Dirt Relics DR-JV

First I had heard of and seen for a "dirt" relic, which is pretty cool and interest, and appropriate as Joey Votto seems to be the guy I pull cards of this year.

Here is the rest...

Overall, a great collecting year, and next year will be quite different but likely, even more interesting!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Close But Not

Well, Hyun-Jin is about as close to a Blue Jays cards as I am apparently going to get in this blaster box, as this is the final pack. Here, we are still pre-Jays contract, but it is a short print base card, so it will stick around my collection for a while. He was for the Jays this year, pretty much what they needed hi to be. Hopefully 2021 can be just as good or even better.

Another interesting mini insert in exotic sports (just another interesting tidbit of history as it were, like discussed yesterday). I swear there were times growing up that arm wrestling was on TV as a sport (just like rodeos use to be on a lot more than the rare thing they are to see, at least that I can find.

A second Moon insert card from this box is pretty nice as well. Mimas is the smallest of Saturn's major moons - again, A&G teaching me stuff I never knew, and that will probably never come in handy, which is why I may just remember it!

Sure - let's just throw a base Maris in here to further the "I didn't get any Jays, but got some really nice Hall of Fame player cards so I can't complain" narrative.

7 Packs, 42 Cards, 154 Points

Come on by tomorrow to see where this one fell in the big scheme of things.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lost To Time

Whether you think of it directly or not - all cardboard collectors have an interest in history to some degree. Some may even have named their blog about this history of cardboard. It may be the simple, enjoyment of the sport and baseball, your favourite players, their play from year to year, or it may be bigger - the history of a sport or topic in general.

A&G knows this, and plays it a little wider, again with some of the insert sets, like this one which is found at one card every 50 packs.

This is pretty cool - recognizing a number of countries that have been lost to time for one reason or another, and preserving (and reminding) people of that which is history, and has been lost to time.

Interesting that they seem to pull countries from a wide range of time - New Grenada existing in the mid-1800s.

Speaking of history, because there is such a long history of baseball, and stats continue to evolve, some have taken on the task of going back and putting stats to players, years, that didn't have the stats known at the time and tracked.

Total Zone Runs is essentially a defensive measure of runs saved due to above average zone in defense, and Clemente leads this by a large amount.

I find it just as interesting to understand how they went back and are able to go game to game and play to play and figure out these stats. There's an interesting day job.

Base cards including a Johnny Bench? Again, some good highlights in the base cards, just none to fit into my collection.

6 Packs, 36 Cards, 134 Points

Monday, December 28, 2020


 So, one of the distinctions that has become a staple of making parallels for sets, is doing something with the border. A&G is not exception of course, and one of these is to add black decorative bordering to the minis.

It is pretty looking, but not sure it makes a lot of sense on a baseball card. Luckily James is a writer, not a player, but either way, as pretty as the border is, it just doesn't fit to me and may be even a little boring.

Again, don't get me wrong, I like the design, but find it out of place enough that it doesn't help make the card anything more. Maybe a Tigers or Yankees fan may have different feeling about it with the black being more suited to the team colours.

Hey! A place I actually have been - that was unexpected. That's where my wife and I went for our years ago now.

It's a nice enough picture, but it can't do justice to the beaches which were amazing. I like the shells border for the set - fitting enough.

A nice short print of Hader and for the rest of the base cards...

For my own collecting purposes, I'd rather they throw Frank in a Jays uniform, but he will always be a White Sox player through and through/

5 Packs, 30 Cards, 76 Points

Sunday, December 27, 2020

World Talent

 A&G continues to provide knowledge as it is apt to do. I knew Aruba was not a hotbed of MLB talent over the years, but didn't realize Bogaerts was only the 5th native to make it to the majors. By far, the biggest star, and a home country hero to be sure.

Actually, the design of the card is pretty nice too, however one easy and big change I would make - why not have the globe actually reflect and centre in on the country in the subject matter? I know, it means having to use a different positioning for each card and not the same frame/border, but it would make a big difference.

Today's mini...

A solid pickup...and the base..

Still no Jays, but can I really complain about a Ted Williams card? No - can't complain about it one bit. Odor...yeah, could complain about him...

4 Packs, 24 Cards, 54 Points

It may also just be a couple days past Christmas, but still a good time to share holiday cheer. I received this card in the mail...

From althib, who I traded with a few times in the past. He was nice enough to send along cheer and a few cards...

A nice bunch of Leaf cards, and quite varied. The Vaive and Baun are nice with the retro look for the retro In The Game set.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Continued Un-Boxing Day

Boxing Day, the fay that makes all card collectors probably think of unboxing - well, if they haven't already unboxed everything from yesterday already.

Christmas was another good one, all things considered, and yes, there were some card goodies to be shared another time....but we can take a quick peek...

Not quite a complete set of 6, but my mom did pick up 5 of the Tim Hortons Collectible Stick/locker combos for me. These are nice, and I was able to open them without damage, and close them back up - no golden sticks, but they are pretty neat and now have a place displaying on one of my shelves.

I also got 25 packs of Timmies cards which I will have to go over before redemption times run out...just in case, since I lucked out last year. I checked, and I have until September to redeem if needed, so maybe go through these in January.

So Santa picked up 10 old school packs of varying sets, but some going back a bit. Exodus is from 1998 while the Mirrodin are special booster packs that were part of the initial release and are done by faction, so those are special.

My brother surprised me with the Commander Legends booster - I can't believe he spent the money on a pack of cards for me, and I have one so may open it at some point. The rest, were all from Santa as well.

Urza's Destiny is great as it is the last pack I was missing from the Urza's cycle of 3 which is a powerhouse with a bunch of great cards.

Also some nice stocking stuffers from Santa of the hockey and baseball variety. Unopened packs for my collection here I suspect. Not sure why the 2020 Heritage pack scanned so funky, but I tried a few times and this is the best it would do. Maybe didn't like all the yellow.

Hope everyone else had a solid holiday as well and are able to enjoy some down time today.

For today, just continuing the unboxing of some A&G...

I still don't like Mets Piazza - Dodger Piazza was much better, and would fit nice next to a proper Atlanta Smoltz.

Next up, a short print of Brett Gardner who is going on a decade plus with the pinstripes.

Just one of those things where the time seems to have flown by - didn't realize he had been with them that long!

Next up is the mini...which happens to be an A&G back...

and the interesting "other" insert...

The card helpfully informs us that apparently Reggie Jackson was one of the first players to wear it as a preventative measure. Can totally understand using it for protecting an injury, and that being a long time practice, but apparently Reggie made it generally fashionable.

3 Packs, 18 Cards, 43 Points

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas Once Again

 Most important of all on today, hope everyone is able to spend the day with family and friends - at least as much as you are able with everything as it is these days. Even if you may not be able to physically go and see people, make sure to make time to connect with those you love.

For those hoping for cardboard related things, hope you get what you want and deserve.

Me - I may get something or other, but I have me a plan for this blog, and it may take a while to get around to such things...but more on that in the new year.

I don't want you sticking around here too long when there are other things to be off and doing - at least in the morning. If there are kids involved, once everything is opened and the kids are playing on their own with any new toys, etc, come on back!

Up today, pack two of the 2018 A&G blaster.

A solid bunch of base cards since we get an Albies rookie and the always cool Trout. I guess with A&G, best to clarify I mean Mike Trout the baseball player - never know when there may be a fish related insert floating around.

Another base card in mini form and..

One of the "if I were a PC guy, he would be one of them" players here with Wade Boggs and the Fantasy Goldmine inset. Not a surprise that Wade has a huge WAR over his career - the man was a great batter and had great control at the plate. In the 80s actually, there were a number of great batters, I always think of Gwynn as well over the same period as Boggs because of their similar great batting.

2 Packs, 12 Cards, 26 Points

Anyway - go enjoy the rest of the day, and the rest of whatever holidays you have from now through the new year.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

A&G On Christmas Eve

First up, an early Christmas present - a new blog to follow for anyone interested, coming to you from

I've talked about Steven (and Nancy) and their online dime box shop, which has been a great (Canadian) addition to the card community, but wanted to mention the new blog. If you haven't checked out the website, the blog gives you another reason to

So I took a look at the few boxes remaining to see what I could fit in and finish before the new year. That lead me to start a box today, on Christmas Eve Day.

I have yet to take any real run at completing an A&G set - I like the inserts, but the sets themselves are too big for what you get in a pack and just not in my list of sets I am really fond of. So, not really interested in the base cards here, but the inserts will be kept. Maybe even a Jay or two will be had.

As always, we skim a pack for the collection (I think I am missing 2012, but have 2011 through 2018 otherwise now).

First pack and base cards up first...

Typical A&G design, and also typical for players, some old some new. No complaints as you know what you are getting with A&G.

Every six packs, you are supposed to get one of these magnificent moon inserts. Again, very A&G with topics outside of baseball and sports being focused on in the insert sets.

Europa is the smallest of Jupiter's 4 Galilean moons, and now, I'll remember that. See, baseball cards can be educational.

Almost missed this base card - it is one of the high number short prints, so will hold on to it for now.

Also, as is so A&G, you get one mini card in each pack. They are inserts, with this being the basic miniature version of the normal base card design.

1 Pack, 6 Cards, 15 Points

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Finally Through This One

 Okay, this has been a rough box, so let's just get through it.

Do really like this insert - gets me to about half way through the 25 card insert set which is great, and the card does go more towards discussing Mike's high level of competition. Be it video games, gold, cribbage, apparently Mike goes all in with being competitive about it.

Another bunch of base we have seen before and out of the 77 cards in this box, I added 5 new base cards to now get to 116 of 200 cards for the base set completion. Not nearly as good as I was hoping this box would be.

Can't win them all I guess but still...this was a rough one.

11 Packs, 77 Cards, 141 Points.

Not even going to bring up the scores this year - will do that soon enough, but this one is nowhere near the top, and actually very close to the bottom.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Leave It To Seaver

 So, I leave it to Seaver to be again, the insert only, be the new card in this pack.

The story on this one is a bit weak, just mentioning that he cracked up during the 1970 All Star Game when asked twice to pitch a change up. Cute and a quick story to put a smile on your face, so I guess it gets the job done.

These on the other hand, don't get the job done at all.

Frankly, they do little for me....HAH!

10 Packs, 70 Cards, 132 Points.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Hooray A Jay and Finding Completion

 Took long enough to finally pull a Jay from this box, even if it was a second copy.

My scanner seems to not be a big fan of this set as you can see some of the lines running across which are just from the scanning, but it's emphasized a bit more on the left side with the lighter colouring - it is on the card, but not as emphasized.

The rest of the base cards (also all dupes)...

and yet another Votto - the fourth one I have picked out of packs now - crazy.

At least the last insert is also new...and a legend...

Can't say enough good about Jackie, and though I never got to see him play, he is someone I have read a couple books about and wanted to understand the career of given his unique experience and tough times in leading the way into the major leagues.

Definitely deserves to be in this insert set as well from what I have read about his love and enjoyment for the game.

9 Packs, 63 Cards, 123 Points.

Topic two for the day...finishing a couple sets with a trade. Not long ago, I finished a box of 2019 WWE Raw which left me a few cards short. Well, I was able to quickly find someone who was able to, through the magic of TCDB, finish those sets off for me.

I hve flywheels to thank for these...

With the Goldberg and 4 base cards, I have the legends insert set of 20 cards, and the 90 card base set all done and wrapped up. Nice sets overall too, so really happy and probably one of the quickest set build and completion I have ever had!

The other trade cards were nice too...had to try and stretch the postage a bit instead of just being the five cards.