Baseball Card Blaster Box Break: 2020 Topps Stadium Club

As I’m sure many of you know, it’s been tough finding blasters this year since the pandemic hit. Even online, the products sell out within seemingly minutes.

So when I found boxes of Stadium Club online at WalMart, I jumped on the opportunity and bought a few boxes. It’s not my favorite product but I do like it, and I didn’t know when I could get the opportunity again. (That was in late August/early September. In the time since, I’ve yet to see them again.)

Get your singles from 2020 Topps Stadium Club here!

While some of the boxes were average — another did include a Fernando Tatis Jr SSP, which I didn’t realize until well after the fact — there was one box that caught my eye and wanted to share.

Blasters contain one widevision card per box, and mine was Bryce Harper. I like them better than the giant cards in the Archives blasters (they’re the same size of the Upper Deck Tallboys so I have ways to store them. Still looking for ways to do that for the giant cards).

Pack 1 started off with a nice parallel, the red foil Jesus Luzardo. It’s always tough to gauge how well a pitcher will do long term but he certainly has potential. The Christian Yelich card has a great photo — even if that game was a painful one, as a Pirates fan.

Pack 2 featured another appearance by Luzardo. I also have hope that Jordan Yamamoto will become a good starter (call it the former Cardinals prospect syndrome), even if he did have a rough season. The Stan Musial sepia is the insert this time.

Pack 3, and another parallel of a card whose base was featured in another pack. This one is the black foil of Nick Markakis. And can we talk about the car that Ty Cobb is driving? This is how you know you’re opening Stadium Club.

Pack 4 features double hits, and what a pair they are. Ken Griffey Jr. is good enough alone. But to add a red parallel of Mike Trout is an awesome bonus. I believe the odds of finding one are 1:193. Not too shabby.

Pack 5 features another great hit, the Pete Alonso Instavision. I’m not sure I get the whole concept of what Topps was going for here, but I do like the panel part — I’m a sucker for player cutouts and large logos in the background. For those of you keeping score at home, these are found in 1:193 packs.

Pack 6 brings us another red foil, the second one of this box. The odds of getting one in a pack are 1:4, so you can expect to getting at least two of these in a box. As a Vandy fan, I always love getting another Walker Buehler card — even if he is bunting.

Pack 7’s focus wasn’t on the sepia card — at least for me. I was drawn to the Dylan Cease card. Even if it wasn’t a parallel or “hit” it’s still an awesome photo.

Pack 8 brings a close to the blaster, and of course it features another red foil. Funnily enough, all three of those red foils in this box were of pitchers — two rookie pitchers, no less. I will admit to being a bit disappointed that the Derek Dietrich photo wasn’t him in the bee keeper’s uniform.

This is the type of blaster boxes that flippers might be disappointed in — no big name autos — but as a collector, I truly appreciate. I’d love to get the chance to open a few more of these boxes, but I don’t know if or when I’ll see these again, let alone for $20.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball ones here, while football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

Baseball Blaster Box Break: 2020 Topps Big League

In the early stages of the pandemic, I took a bit of a break from opening cards. I started limiting the number of trips out I made, online retailers were selling out of their products like crazy, secondary markets were charging insane markups on products, and well, I just wanted to focus on other things. But once I started up again, I realized how much I missed it.

One of the products that got me back hooked was the new Big League. I remember seeing the early buzz about it and knowing that I had to get some. I liked the design that had a throwback feel to it. So when I found blasters on eBay for $20 each (actually normal price!), I pounced on three.

Get your singles from 2020 Topps Big League here!

I won’t go into detail on all 3 boxes, but instead will focus on my favorite box. Here’s how it went:

20200708_084427

I’ll start with the blue parallel bonus pack… which landed me an auto! I like Jordan Yamomoto (it’s a really fun name to say) and have high hopes for the ex-Cardinals pitcher. I was really excited to add it to my keep collection.

20200708_084800

Each pack contains one orange parallel and one insert. While this insert wasn’t anything to write home about, the orange parallel is a really nice pull. How can you not be excited about a Luis Robert card?

20200708_085102

I really like the Roll Call insert, and especially like that it’s Aristedes Aquino. I saw him in his second game last season before his mashing started. But even though he went 0-for-4 in that game, you could tell he could swing it.

20200708_085635

Hey, Mike Trout! Love the photos used for the Kevin Newman and Mitch Garver cards.

20200708_090047

Another great photo used, this time with Keston Hiura. But I really want to talk about his Twitter handle (@Kestdaddy). I find it both hilarious and a bit odd at the same time. But come on, you gotta root for the kid.

20200708_090503

The black and white parallel looks really cool. It helps that it’s serial numbered to 50. As a Pirates fan, I’d like to not have anymore reminders of Chris Archer. Ugh, that trade’s a killer.

20200708_090858

It’s only fitting that an Austin Meadows comes in the next pack. Funny joke, Topps. Also, Kris Bryant — a reminder to be careful on investing too heavily on prospects. Huge hype, great first few years, then one injury and one semi down year and all of a sudden he’s almost forgotten in the industry. Just weird.

20200708_091320

That Kyle Schwarber has to be one of the best-looking cards this year. Just a great photo. More of this please, Topps.

20200708_091841

It’s so fitting that Gleyber  Torres  is featured against the Orioles. He owned them last year. Truly incredible. And as much as I hate Carlos Correa and the Astros… that photo is so cool. I begrudgingly approve of this card.

20200708_092318

You know, I don’t think I’d ever seen a card like that Andrew Benintendi one before. It makes me wonder… why aren’t there more plays at first cards?

20200708_092757

As a Yankees fan also, it hurts to see Didi in a Phillies uniform. He was my favorite on the team. Ik houd van Didi! But hey, at least I can root for Mookie Betts now that he’s no longer on the Sox.

So that’s the box. Ten packs, 10 cards in each pack plus the 5-card blue pack. I like the base design and there’s a lot of great photography in the set. Inserts are pretty fun, but I’m not a fan of the caricature ones. But it’s definitely a box I’d buy again if I can find them.

As for the other 2 boxes in my order… they were also full of goodies. One included a blue Jose Urquidy auto and the other had a 1/1 red foil Dallas Keuchel in it. Insane! The hits here proved to be more plentiful than other Topps products in recent years.

If you’re looking for a fun product to break at a price that’s (hopefully) not above retail, Big League is for you!

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball ones here, while football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

Blaster Box Break: 2004 Score

20191024_024259

There are certain years that define your youth. For me, that’s 2004. I started high school. The Curse of the Bambino came to an unfortunate and painful end. I got my first complete set of baseball cards (2004 Topps). It was a big year for me.

That was the year I also became a big NFL fan. I had always watched and seemingly rotated favorite teams but finally settled on the Eagles a few years prior. What took me to the next level of fandom was ESPN NFL 2K5, aka the greatest video game ever. It was affordable (only $20!!) and was a lot of fun to play and run teams as a GM. I had a franchise mode for every single team. My social life was virtually non-existent in high school, so I made up for it with that game.

All that’s to say that early 2000s football holds a special place in my collecting heart — especially 2004. Cards from this year are a bit tougher to find and can run pricey with rookie cards from Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. So when I found blasters of 2004 Score available for $30 a box, I bounced on a few… then a few more… then a few more. It may be 3X the original asking price but I had to do it.

Get your 2004 Score singles here!

In total, I think I’ve ordered eight boxes. With still two more boxes to sort, I have 260 of the 440 cards in this set with about 109 doubles. I may buy more (probably will) but for now, here’s my best box:

20191109_133122

Two Hall of Famers in Randy Moss and Jason Witten… and a rookie Larry Fitzgerald! The Nick Barnett is a glossy.

20191109_133212

Again, a pair of Hall of Famers in the base with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Corey Dillon was a huge part of the Patriots ’04 team. Can’t beat a Philip Rivers rookie! And Devery Henderson was one of my favorites in NFL 2K5, so glad to pick up a glossy rookie.

20191109_133253

Only one Hall of Famer in this pack in Aeneas Williams (who I’m not sure is talked about a lot). This pack did feature two players whose lives were cut short — Steve McNair and Sean Taylor. The Urlacher is the glossy.

20191109_133337

Another Brady card emerges! Torry Holt was a good receiver, and Peter Warrick was…. supposed to be good. Will Smith played for a long time with the Saints (and was also murdered…. geez). The Andre Davis is glossy.

20191109_133429

A Hall of Famer in Rod Woodson…. and two solid players back in the early 2000s in Jeremy Shockey and Stephen Davis. Tommie Harris looked like he was going to be a stud as the 14th overall pick and making the Pro Bowl in 3 of his first 4 years, but he fizzled out quickly. Takeo Spikes is the glossy.

20191109_133510

Oh, LaMont Jordan. He was…. decent. Reggie Wayne was good, and so was that Brett Favre guy. Ben Roethlisberger’s had a Hall of Fame career. And Ben Troupe is the glossy.

20191109_133552

I liked Aaron Brooks as a QB. He brought the Saints up from a mediocre existence into playoff contention. Ickey Woods was well out of the league but he’s still featured in this set as the only ‘legacy’ player. And I wasn’t expecting to pull an auto out of a box so that was a nice surprise. Michael Clayton had a great rookie season but then got hurt. Rashaun Woods (another 49ers’ first-round WR bust… he was supposed to be Terrell Owens’ replacement) is the glossy.

20191109_133842

Another rare pack with no Hall of Famers. It does feature a MVP in Shaun Alexander. Trent Green was also good. Robert Gallery was projected to be a Hall of Famer as the 2nd overall pick in 2004 but was a huge bust. The normal base Alexander is actually the glossy one.

20191109_133913

We might be back on the Hall of Fame train with Hines Ward, though he’s still on the border of making it. Daunte Culpepper put up some huge seasons but didn’t last long. D.J. Williams had a solid NFL career. And Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is the glossy parallel.

20191109_133956

In the penultimate pack, we get a trio of great receivers in Anquan Boldin, Tim Brown (Hall of Famer!), and Plaxico Burress. Jonathan Vilma is another linebacker who played for a long time and was a key piece of the Saints 2009 Super Bowl-winning team. And A.J. Feeley (whom the Eagles traded for two 2nd-round picks after the 2003 season) is the glossy.

20191109_134025

Last pack, one more Hall of Famer in Terrell Suggs. Darren Sharper was a monster off the field in the worst way possible. Lee Evans had a few solid years but is best known for his drop in 2010 that helped send the Patriots to the Super Bowl. And Eric Parker is the glossy… if you haven’t caught on to the system yet.

So in total, 88 cards in this box, with three key rookies and an autograph. Can’t beat that! It’s also refreshing to see a simple set with just three variations of the base — glossy, Scorecard (/625) and Final Score (all low numbered). This box didn’t have any of the numbered, but in other boxes I’ve pulled two or three.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the styrofoam box topper in all of the blasters. There’s nothing notable to it other than you’ll never see that big block in a blaster again. Just funny to note.

Overall, this is a great set and brings back a lot of good memories and names for me. I’ll definitely be buying this again.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball ones here, while football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

Blaster Box Break: 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen

20191012_024828

From a financial standpoint, ripping blasters probably doesn’t make sense for me. I go through so many that a hobby box or two would probably guarantee me more hits. But it’s time like this (plus their lower prices so it doesn’t feel as “heavy” right away) that makes ripping into blasters fun.

I recently picked this blaster up online during one of Target’s baseball cards sales… so let’s dig into the 8 packs in this box!

Get your singles from 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen here!

20191103_141138

I’ll start with the blaster-exclusive green parallels…. I like Sandy Alcantara and Starling Marte but otherwise, a not-too-exciting pack.

20191103_141212

Pack 1: Oh, hello again, Alcantara and Marte. Solid trio in this pack of Yadier Molina, Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts.

20191103_141251Pack 2: Tarot of the Diamond Corey Kluber…. yeah, that’s a cool card. Nice card of World Series champ (and all-around goofball) Sean Doolittle. And I wish Carlos Rodon could have stayed healthy — dude’s got great stuff.

20191103_141332

Pack 3: Missing nameplate Byron Buxton (again, another player who would be better if he could stay healthy). Last year’s World Series makes an appearance in Chris Salve vs. Cody Bellinger. And I got an auto from Corey Dickerson last season at a Pirates game — seemed like a good dude.

20191103_141406

Pack 4: The big draw in this pack…. Chris Archer! Sorry, as a Pirates fan, I have to believe that’s true (please bounce back next season). But the real hit was the Mat Chapman auto. This card was actually already on my extensive watch list on COMC so I was thrilled to pull it in person. Sure, I’d wish the centering was better. But hey, you still can’t beat pulling a PC card from a blaster!

20191103_141441

Pack 5: Fortune Teller Mini Ronald Acuna Jr…. dope. He’s so much fun to watch. I was lucky enough to get an auto from him in his minor league days. Also nice rookie from a Pirate… although I can never keep him and Kevin Newman straight. And Victor Robles is a good young outfielder. And it should be a law that Andrelton Simmons is only featured in the field on cards.

20191103_141515

Pack 6: Glad to see Max Scherzer finally win a World Series… and make an appearance in my pack. Also I have high expectations next season for Miguel Andujar — the dude can hit.

20191103_141600

Pack 7: This pack might not contain the biggest names, but I do love the photos in the first four cards in this pack. As a Yankee fan, I had moderate hopes for Chance Adams. After watching him pitch…. I’m not so sure now.

According to my TradingCardDB log, I only have about 50% of the base set in my collection so I’ll probably buy more blasters over time. Will I get another auto? Doubtful. But it’s still a fun set to collect.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball ones here, while football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

 

Box Break: 1995 Upper Deck Series 2 Baseball

Funny story about this box: I didn’t mean to buy it. Well, that’s not entirely true. I meant to buy it… but I thought it was a different design.

I’ve always been a big fan of the 1996 and 1997 Upper Deck sets. There’s just something about the gold that draws me in. And funnily enough, 1995 never did much for me. But when I was online shopping and purchased a few mid-1990s boxes as a reward for myself, I thought this was one of the gold sets. Lesson learned — always double check yourself, especially if buying cards at 3 am.

Get your singles from 1995 Upper Deck here!

But you know, this box turned out pretty great… about 25 years ago. I’ll get to why but first a quick overview:

You’re gonna get a lot of base and a few inserts. This hobby box had 12 card per pack (36 per box) that usually broke down to 11 base per pack and one silver Special Edition card per pack. Generally they have good distribution but I did end up with three doubles in the box. As expected, you will get a good amount of base duplicates in the set but I fell short of getting the full set.

20190318_020620

The pile of duplicates from this box

One thing I noticed with this box — a lot of the rookie-type cards were close to miscut or were too bottom heavy. But hey, it was the 90s. Things happened.

On the insert front, there are only a few — a far cry from today’s insert-heavy sets. (A side tangent… I do miss when inserts were something more special and not just like pack-fillers. Tangent over.) Besides the one-per-pack silver Special Edition, there’s a gold variation that based on my very limited first-hand experience fall one per hobby box. You will also pull a few (obviously since-expired) predictor cards that were a cool idea. There are also base parallels from that time — Electric Diamond. I didn’t pull any but they’re out there. Somewhere.

One cool insert I did pull was a Babe Ruth Baseball Heroes card. I think I had this one as a kid but had no idea where it came from… and where it is now. I was pleasantly surprised to see it sell for a couple bucks on COMC. It’s not a world-beater hit but I was happy with it:

20190318_020712

The real surprise came toward the end of the box. I pulled a card and thought it was just a promo until I started reading it. Wait, did it say… yes, yes it did. Turns out this product had redemptions. And it turns out that one of the redemptions was for a Willie Mays auto. Woah.

20190318_020702

As expected, it expired a long time ago and despite a half sarcastic, half pleading tweet to Upper Deck, they had no intentions of honoring it. Hey, gotta shoot your shot (can’t go any worse than Gendry, right?). I was gonna throw it out but when I posted it to Reddit, I got informed that people buy these expired redemptions so off it went to my COMC account where it currently sits waiting to be processed.

Overall, I was happy with the box. I didn’t mean to bust this set but hey, it turned out to be pretty fun. And it would have been a world beater if I had a time machine. Maybe in a few years I’ll get some loose packs or even another box to see if I can’t finish the set.

But until then, I’ll remember to check the design of the base before buying. At least it wasn’t an expensive mistake.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball ones here, while football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

 

Blaster Box Break: 2018 Score Football

I’m currently dog/apartment sitting for my Kansas City Chiefs-loving friend. Keep that in mind as you go through this post.

But since I’m away from home I figured I’d stop by the local WalMart to pick up some groceries… and of course check out the card selection. Nothing good was discounted so I picked up some 2018 Score since it’s been a while since I’ve opened any. Upon getting back to the place, I didn’t waste any time ripping in to it… with the pup eyeing me as if I was opening up some treats for him.

Get your singles from 2018 Score here!

Pack 1:

20190112_133600.jpg

Call it the kicker pack with Justin Tucker and Greg Zuerlein. Nice NFL Draft card with Calvin Ridley and can’t go wrong with a Brady card. The rookie highlight was Derrius Guice, despite him missing all of this past year.

Pack 2:

20190112_133728.jpg

The Josh Allen rookie is the big draw here. I’m still not sure how good he’ll be in the NFL, but he had some moments this past year. Could be a big card in a few years… or he’ll be another Ryan Tannehill type.

Pack 3:

20190112_133847.jpg

Sorry, Raiders fans. This pack contained two Khalil Mack cards — Raiders certainly could have used him this him this year. None of the rookies stood out to me.

Pack 4:

20190112_133957.jpg

Call this the almost pack. Wrong Georgia offensive player. Wrong Auburn running back. But I do love the Jake Elliott card. He’s the underrated hero of the Super Bowl. That kick at the end was CLUTCH.

Pack 5:

20190112_134108.jpg

A nice group of inserts here. Roquan Smith is a defensive beast. Todd Gurley is the best running back in the league. And I think OJ Howard is gonna be one of the best tight ends in the game in a few years. Rookies were pretty meh.

Pack 6:

20190112_134217.jpg

Second pack in a row with a parallel, and another Brady insert. I do like the Scoreboard inserts, too. Rookies, again, weren’t great.

Pack 7:

20190112_134322.jpg

Can’t beat that DeAndre Hopkins photo choice. Granted, he makes one of those catches per game. But still hella cool. I’ve heard of Hurst among the rookies, not sure of the other two.

Pack 8:

20190112_134429.jpg

Another three-insert pack. Gold Julio Sidelines is pretty cool. Courtland Sutton is doing… something. Honestly don’t know how he did this past year. I like the Josh Adams rookie. I think he’ll be a good piece in the Eagles backfield the next few years.

Pack 9:

20190112_134535

Yay for a JJ Watt Scorecard parallel. I thought the Cooks Celebration card was a parallel too — but it’s not. Pretty good crop of linemen, too, among the rookies.

Pack 10:

20190112_134639

Nice crop of rookies here. Sam Darnold had a great end to his season. Sony Michel played well when healthy. And the Russell Wilson Color Rush insert is pretty cool with the green.

Pack 11:

20190112_134740.jpg

I could tell this pack had the guaranteed hit relic in it so I intentionally held it for last. I wasn’t expecting a jersey relic of one of the best young QBs in the game — Patrick Mahomes! Love watching him play so I’m gonna add it to my collection, despite it probably not being a game-used relic (I miss those days. I don’t care for the “player-worn” stuff). An added bonus were the rookies — I’m a UR grad so love seeing the Lauletta pop up (even though I wish it would have the Spider logo). And the Baker Mayfield rookie made this pack hands-down the best in the box.

It was a fun box to break, even if it wasn’t on sale. Score is one of my go-to brands, so I’ll definitely be breaking more in the future.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball, soccer and hockey ones here, while football and basketball are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

Box Break: 2016/17 Panini Threads Basketball Hobby Box

Basketball is an odd one for me — it’s my least-watched of the major sports but still one of my favorites to collect. (Who am I kidding? I love to collect all.)

So when Blowout had a hobby box of 2016-17 Panini Threads on sale, I decided to take the plunge. I had purchased one a while back and was happy with the results so I figured it was worth the shot.

Get your singles from 2016-17 Threads here!

A bit about this box — 20 packs are in it, 6 cards per pack (I could only find 19 though when going over it. Not sure what happened there). One autographed card is guaranteed, along with one memorabilia.

Was it worth it? I’ll let you be the judge. Check below for the packs.

Pack 1: Bunch of recognizable names on the base, and a KD insert. Good start.

20181207_145137

Pack 2: First hobby hit, a leather rookie of second overall pick Brandon Ingram. Jury’s still out on how good of a NBA player he’ll be, but still a good one. Also like Horford.

20181207_145221.jpg

Pack 3: Century red parallel numbered 33/199 of Malik Beasley (no idea if he’s still in the NBA). Can’t go wrong with a Giannis card, too.

20181207_145259.jpg

Pack 4: Base of a pair of HOFers – Anthony and Gasol – and a top young guard in Booker. Plus a card of TNT’s Kenny the Jet Smith.

20181207_145339

Pack 5: Hardwood Pioneers card of Magic. Future HOFer Dirk. And rookie of Caris LeVert, who will hopefully come back 100% soon from his horrific leg injury.

20181207_145420.jpg

Pack 6: A Century Red Hardwood Pioneers non-numbered parallel of Elgin Baylor. Otherwise, not a whole lot of note here.

20181207_145501.jpg

Pack 7: My favorite is the Steph Curry card. I’ve never been a fan of cards without the player on them, so while the Team Threads is a cool concept, not my favorite execution. This one is of Jordan Clarkson.

20181207_145537.jpg

Pack 8: Pretty easy to tell the best card in this pack — the autographed Kyrie Team Threads, numbered 88/99. Didn’t even know that they had autographed versions of this insert set so took me a minute to process it all. I’m not a Kyrie fan so honestly I’ll probably sell it, but still a great hit!

20181207_145614

Pack 9: KD base, Murray rookie, KAT Front-Row Seat insert… solid pack. Plus, Aquaman aka Steven Adams.

20181207_145850.jpg

Pack 10: There’s out box friend Brandon Ingram again. Plus a base of MVP James Harden and ESPN’s Mark Jackson Floor Generals insert.

20181207_145925.jpg

Pack 11: Jamal Murray looks like he’ll be a player so his rookie was a nice get. Two John Walls in this pack, including a Front-Row Seat Century Red parallel.

20181207_150005.jpg

Pack 12: The base alone is good — KAT, AD, Marcus Smart, The Klaw, and rookie of The President. Oh, and a Debut Threads prime patch — numbered 1/25 — of Diamond Stone. He never panned out in the NBA but his name is the stuff of legends.

20181207_150059.jpg

Pack 13: Pascal Siakam is a key piece to the East-topping Raptors so his rookie is a nice get. Otherwise the pack was dull. I know the name Gail Goodrich (Hardwood Pioneers) but I know nothing about him.

20181207_150149.jpg

Pack 14: I like the inserts in this pack. Gobert is one of my favorite players. And the Wilt Chamberlain Hardwood Pioneers Century Proof Holo is a pretty cool card.

20181207_150228.jpg

Pack 15: There’s Diamond Stone again. The second guaranteed leather rookie is of Juan Hernangomez, who’s taken a step forward in his third year. And I like Chris Paul so I’m happy with that insert.

20181207_150258.jpg

Pack 16: There’s another Team Threads insert, this one the normal, un-signed one. This one is of our friend Ingram again. The third and final card of his in this box.

20181207_150337.jpg

Pack 17: Chris Paul, Paul George base. Boogie Cousins Front-Row Seat insert. That’s all.

20181207_150414

Pack 18: Another Century Proof Red parallel, this one of Darren Collison. Saric is a pretty good rookie card.

20181207_150500.jpg

Pack 19: Dwyane Wade base. Damian Lillard insert. Diallo was a big recruit at Kansas but hasn’t done anything in the NBA.

20181207_150538.jpg

So the box tapered off at the end but still a great box overall. Heck, would probably get the price of it back on the Kyrie card alone. I would definitely consider getting another box, especially if I find it on sale again.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball, soccer and hockey ones here, while football and basketball are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

In Praise of the Oakland Coliseum

I get it, the Oakland Coliseum isn’t the best place to watch a baseball game. There have been sewage leaks. The stadium is surrounded by parking lots, chain-link fences topped with barbed wire, and no place to hang out before or after the game. The seats are far away. Nothing about it screams like a good place to watch a game.

But there’s no accounting for the novelty of it. And the people there are second-to-none.

I went to my first game at the Coliseum in May of this year. I came in with zero expectations, and the BART ride through Oakland did nothing to increase that. Hoping off at the Coliseum stop left me wondering what the heck I was doing. To get to the stadium, you have to go down and out of the station, back up some more stairs to an open-air concrete skywalk topped by a chain-link fence to the grey Coliseum. Combine it with an overcast day and well, you get no visual stimulation.

20180722_000635

The only break you have from grey are the green and gold banners as you make your way to the stadium.

But along that walk to the stadium, I had my first encounters with A’s fans. In front of me, a couple were bringing their two young sons — who were all clad in A’s garb — to the game. Halfway through the walkway, a picnic table was set up by a local Little League team selling baked goods to support their organization. $2 for a cupcake designed like a baseball? You better believe I bought one (and it was darn good).

I went through security, which was a breeze considering it was still a couple of hours before the game, and shared a joke or two with the ushers and guards who were there.

My seat was behind home plate and I entered through centerfield, so I decided to do a lap of the stadium before heading to my assigned spot. The walk takes you through all the various stages of the 52-year-old ground. There was the old with the wide ramps and blocked off concourses. More modern were some of the suites and restaurant that provided a nice view of the field. They even had a social hangout spot for my fellow Millenials to grab a drink and chat while at the ballpark.

20180525_173445.jpg

For whatever reason, the view down the right-field line really struck me.

After I got my fill of the different views, I went to my seat — Section 217, Row 4, Seat 5. Right away, I was struck by how good the view actually was. I didn’t feel too far away from the action. Sure, Mt. Davis isn’t a great but hey, in a way, it’s become iconic.

20180525_183641.jpg

The views of the hills would have been better, but in a way, Mt. Davis has its own charm.

Seeing the monstrosity that is Mt. Davis awakened something in me. Yes, it isn’t going to help the Coliseum’s case as the best place to catch a game. Yes, there is way too much foul territory down the lines. But looking around at the field, it all hit me — this is the home to so many successful Oakland teams. I’ve watched countless playoff games from there on TV (with most involving my Yankees). There was a sense of history that you can feel that is hard to get with the newer stadiums.

Read more: My trip to Comerica Park

You walk around the stadium and it feels like you’ve traveled back to the ’80s. There’s something to be said about walking around in those concrete halls and the large seating sections that can’t be found at other stadiums. It’s really become a novelty and part of baseball history.

Maybe it was because I watched ‘Field of Dreams’ on my cross-country flight to the Bay Area, but once I was out there, I had nostalgia for ’80s baseball even though I’m a ’90s kid. And really, there’s no other place in baseball where you can get that. And what’s baseball without a sense of history?

Now, I’m not saying that the Coliseum should be the A’s permanent home. I would venture it’s not a great place to go for 81 games a year. But if you’re a baseball fan, especially a younger one, it’s definitely a place you need to go before it closes for good.

By capacity, it’s the seventh-largest stadium in the MLB with 47,170 seats, but can hold more that would make it the largest in the league.

It’s also the fourth-oldest park still in existence and second oldest in the MLB. And while it was built in 1966, it’s the ’70s and ’80s that still live nearly 40 years later. Heck, even the PA system still has that echo-y tone that makes you feel like you’re at a small high school football stadium. There’s just something neat about that.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some of the credit to the A’s fans, too. Their wackiness from the horns you’ll hear throughout the stands to the giant waving flags in the corner outfield is something that I haven’t seen to that magnitude at other places. A majority of them were wearing some sort of A’s sweatshirt and/or jersey with a fine mix of current and former players. I’ve always considered them among the best in the MLB and going to a game just cemented that notion in my mind.

For their sake, I do hope the A’s get a nice, smaller ballpark sometime soon. As an Atlanta resident, I’ve seen the improvements that a new stadium can make to a gameday experience.

But the notion that the Coliseum is just a dump and has no place in baseball is just wrong. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back there, but I certainly will always appreciate my trip there.

Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball and hockey ones here, while football and basketball are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.

Blaster Box Break: Topps The Walking Dead Season 7

I’ve never really thought about buying non-sports cards until I started dabbling in The Walking Dead Season 6 cards. But that, plus seeing some of the hits posted online (mainly the bullet relics), got me interested in starting up my collection this year.

Boy, am I glad I did.

This was only the second blaster box of the cards that I’ve ever bought, and if they’re more like that, I’ll definitely be in the market for more.

Get singles from Topps The Walking Dead Season 7 here

Basics:

Each box contains 10 packs, with six cards per pack. There are usually 2 to 3 inserts per pack, including one rust parallel per pack.

The rust parallels from this box.

You’ll also get a hit per box, in its own separate pack, giving you a total of 61 cards for the $19.99 you spend on the box.

Inserts:

Walkers: A set of 10 of the best walkers from that season. In this box, I pulled three. Crazy to see the level of decay the the makeup and costume departments were able to pull off.

Allegiances: A set of 7 of the show’s best partnerships that are only found in Wal-Mart boxes. My box had five, and my favorite was definitely the Ezekiel and Jerry. Such a great duo.

Rivalries: A set of 4 of the show’s best hateships. My box had two, including the great Rick and Negan one. Can’t top that combo in this season.

Characters: A set of 19 highlighting some of the main cast of characters on the show. This is one of the bigger insert sets, and my box only had three. But as a fan of Abraham, that was definitely a hit in my book.

Chop: A set of 9 cards again highlighting characters on the show. This set has been a staple in previous releases, but it’s still a nice look.

Numbered Parallels: There are five different parallels of each card, both base and inserts. In each of the two blaster boxes I’ve opened this year, there’s been one of them. This one was a rust (03/99) Rivalries of Negan and Spencer — such a short rivalry.

Hit: This is the big draw, of course. Wal-Mart boxes are probably in bigger demand because of the ability to get a shell casing relic. But most common from Wal-Mart are the walker relics (only found from Wal-Mart) which are still pretty darn cool — and was pulled from the first box I bought.

This box, I knew I didn’t get a relic as the pack was too thin and light. I was excited about the prospect of hitting an auto and saved it for last. Turns out some more patience is required on my part.

A Melissa McBride rust parallel on-card auto (numbered out of 99)! Definitely my best blaster box hit, especially since she’s a character from the start of the show. Not my favorite character, but she’s a bad ass and definitely will never complain about it.

Funnily enough, there were plenty of duplicates from my first box to this one. But this hit more than makes up for it. It’s definitely looking forward to blasting another box or two.

Support this blog by browsing through all the baseball cards, basketball cardsfootball cardshockey cards, and soccer cards that I have for sale at my eCrater store.

Blaster Box Break: 2017 Topps Series 1 (The Rookie Special)

I’ve got to say, 2017 Topps Series 1 is my most-opened product, ever. I don’t know how much I’ve opened, but I previously profiled a three-box blaster break, and opened about three others that I haven’t posted. Add that to all the retail packs I’ve bought… and it’s quite a lot.

The funny thing (or maybe the sad thing) is I still don’t have a full base set. So while I’ve gotten about 10 Aledmys Diaz cards, I’m still searching for some.

Search the 2017 Topps cards I have for sale here

But that doesn’t discount from my favorite box of the product I’ve opened. I affectionately call this one the rookie special. You can probably guess why, but the results are here.

Let’s start with the medallion card. There’s one per box, and I pulled Kris Bryant from mine.

Now let’s get to the normal packs. The box basics, 10 packs of 12 cards each. Each pack has one or two inserts each.

The first pack yielded a top rookie, Yoan Moncada, and was supported by players like Mike Trout, Freddie Freeman, Addison Russell and a Bill Shatner insert. Moncada hasn’t exactly gotten off to the best start in his big league career, but he’s shown flashes for the White Sox. Still too early to write him off yet.

Pack 2 sees our first of the blaster-box exclusive Jackie Robinson Day inserts, which look exactly like Salute. Speaking of that insert, here’s a Robin Yount one. Base highlights include Jacob deGrom, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Archer, and Gary Sheffield’s favorite player, Jason Heyward.

Pack 3 gives us another Jackie Robinson Day card, this one of Joe Mauer. We also have an award winner of the since retired David Ortiz. Base hits include Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber.

Pack 4 is a special one. Turns out it had 13 cards in it. Sweet. I’m going to assume that the Andrew Benintendi rookie is the extra one. Double win. The Luke Weaver rookie is also intriguing, and good to see my old friend Aledmys Diaz there. Inserts include a Rediscover Topps (Don Mattingly) and a Joey Votto 5 Tool (sweet card).

Pack 5 boasts a rookie card ofone of the breakout stars of the playoffs, Alex Bregman. Other base include postseason heroes Jake Arrieta, Masahiro Tanaka, and Jon Lester. Inserts include a Cal Ripken 1987 design and Buster Posey Bowman Then & Now. In the words of Larry David, pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.

Pack 6 should be called the Joe Musgrove pack — a normal base rookie and a Salute rookie of him. We also have our third JRD insert, this one of Mookie Betts. Other than that, a Matt Harvey base and Yankees team card.

We finally get our first parallel in Pack 7 — a rainbow foil of Danny Salazar. The pack also featured a nice 87 design of Hank Aaron. The base was nothing to note, but hey, at least the Aaron and parallel are nice.

As we get to the home stretch of the box, the base features three All Stars from this year — Stephen Strasburg, Justin Upton, and Craig Kimbrel. Inserts are another JRD of Todd “The Toddfather” Frazier and a Max Scherzer award.

The penultimate (love that word) pack featured just one insert — a 1987 design of Michael Conforto, including the ‘Future Stars’ branding. Bonus points to Topps for choosing a photo of him in his 1987 throwback uniform. The base had Nolan Arenado and Ryan Braun, and, well, other guys.

The final pack was, by far, my favorite for one reason — the Aaron Judge rookie! It’s my third copy, and as a Yankee fan, I wish I had more. Even the inserts were a nice touch with the Orlando Arcia Salute rookie, and, of course, another JRD card — this one of the great Mike Trout. Definitely a winner.

So in all, a great box break, especially considering it was on sale for $15 from Target. Three of those cards (Judge, Benintendi, and Moncada) I’ll probably get graded, and may do the same for Bregman depending on his progression. A definite win of a box.

I know I have duplicates of most cards — and most of them are at least triplets — but if I find more boxes on sale, I’d be very tempted to buy them. Hopefully they all go something like this.

Support this blog by browsing through all the baseball cards, basketball cardsfootball cardshockey cards, and soccer cards that I have for sale at my eCrater store.