Saturday, January 2, 2010

Special K Edition

This morning I decided to rip a couple more packs of Authentic and test out the pack searching technique as presented by Joe. I gently squeezed all remaining 21 packs and I can now openly confirm that I would make a terrible pack searcher. They all felt the same to me, BUT I did pull two prospect packs that I MAY have felt a little divot, but it was most likely my imagination. Turns out the packs did contain some K related cards...

Started out in pack #1 by pulling a Dice-K serial numbered "gold" card. Apparently the scanner interprets shiny gold as dark black instead. I hope Dice comes into camp ready to do some big things because I suspect he and chien-ming wang trained together last season.

Thought I would through in this K as in KRAP! STOP PUTTING THESE IN PACKS! They are a huge waste of space, nobody likes them, and they also count as one of my five cards??
The second pack held the gem...

Nick Markakis #/30 Letterman Patch auto. I have been looking for a Markakis patch to add to JD's box for months and finally gave up. Every time I would be in the chase on Ebay, some phantom bidder would swoop in with a ridiculous max bid that would top anybody with some sanity. Same guy too, without a doubt looking to spell out the full name. I really wanted the K also, so one hit in I already feel like the lucky card shop has struck again. More rips to come.

Friday, January 1, 2010

SP Authentic Pack Break #1-3

I am definitely excited to rip into some of the "forbidden" cards. There is a lot of potential out there, and after reviewing the hits received by Mr. Scott, I am definitely having dreaming of some nice, short-printed letter patches. But we got a lot of packs to get through, surely there could not be a hit in the first three packs...could there? Um, no. But some nice cards to display nevertheless. Please ignore the odd distortion caused by my scanner, it seems to have some real troubles with odd numbers.
Pack #1 features the ever-present New York Yankee representation with a Chien-Ming Wang, who took a break from falling off of the planet to make an appearance in pack #1. Grady Sizemore in full motion about to learn how much money he can save by switching to GEICO, Vlad the Impaler pre-dread shave, A rookie card of Jess Todd in full Cardinal glory...minus the fact that it's a Cleveland Indian card..and the always impressive Hanley Ramirez.
Pack #2 Jair Jurrjens, rumored future Red Sox Adrian Beltre, whom I am ever suspicious about the random spike in his numbers during his season with the Dodgers. On the other hand, it is the NL West...Speedster Jose Reyes who already holds the Mets career steals record, Sandman Rivera, and a faces of the game insert of super slugger Ryan Braun.

Pack #3 - Little Pony! To this day I swear that were he not a rookie, he would have been named World Series MVP in 2007. Sorry Mikey. Marc Rzepczynski (pronounced zep-chin-ski...obviously), we'll just call him Marc. The much more pronounceable Andy Pettitte, and the easy to pronounce if you do it phonetically Dice-K, and finishing off the pack with marooned Padre talent Adrian Gonzalez. It was rumored at trade deadline that he was on the block and I imagine he will find his way on to a contender at some point next season.
So three packs in. I like the look of these cards and it is clear that Upper Deck is showcasing marquee talent with a sprinkling of "who's who of minor league" rookies. I normally complain about the cut-and-paste look of most Upper Deck cards, but these are pretty decent.
Oh, just one more thing before I go. Each pack comes with a nice, thick piece of dummy cardboard, so I have serious qualms with Cranky being so sketch about pack searchers. Granted this set does not have the three layers of security that Sweet Spot uses, but just sell single packs already.

Jacoby's Treasure Chest

Happy New Years to everybody!

I am going to be adding some new features to the site starting this New Years Day. Starting today, and every Friday from here on forth I will be introducing "Jacoby's Treasure Chest", which is a way to celebrate the reason that this blog came into existence in the first place.

When I first started collecting, my goal was to complete sets and to find cards that I could top-load and stick away in a box for several years in the hopes that some day some of these might be worth something, and I can pass them along to my son JD to enjoy and someday teach a kid of his own how to collect.

I found out quickly how easy it is to become sidetracked with this hobby, and to collect the cards that dear' ol dad finds valuable to him (Go Red Sox! Go Old-Timers! Go Phenoms!). Upon this discovery, I immediately refocused, and purchased a top loader shoebox to stuff full of a wide variety of unique cards of all teams.

So starting today I will reach into the box and randomly select three cards to spotlight each week to share Jacoby's bounty with the blogging community. Here is today's random three:

David Freese Rookie Card Auto. "Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freese. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom". David is just a baby and played in 17 games last season with 31 AB and a .323 Avg. Blew above a .08 on a December 14th DUI. This auto was one of the many great cards that I pulled from 2009 Topps chrome. I really love the chrome look and the on-card signature design. I learned quickly that there are a billion rookie cards in the world, so I am focusing on the rookie-autos to put away for JD.

YO! This card got be absolutely hooked on 2009 SP Legendary Cuts and in turn took a good chunk out of my wallet. Its like the manufacture knows when you are a greenhorn, and puts a nice autograph in the first pack of your fresh $100 box. Nevertheless, I still say that SP Legendary Cuts had some of the nicest autographs and even some decent patches (are you listening, Joe?). Plus I love the design and it's serial numbered to boot.

Ah, Short Prints! This was one of my favorite surprises out of Topps Flagship this year (this one is actually from Updates and Highlights). I loved how just when you think you have mathematically received all of your hits and inserts, something like this pops up. I love the design of 2009 Topps and the photo is a beauty. Into the shoebox it goes!
More next week!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blowing Some Holiday Cash

It's New Years Eve and today I am at home, kickin it with J-Large. His daycare is taking the day off, so that means that I am too. We slept in this morning, ate some oatmeal and apple sauce, and headed out into the big city to run a few errands. First off was a stop at the bank to pay the mortgage (BORING!), then a quick jaunt over to the post office to mail off a nice stack of envelopes from yesterdays pick a team post. We rounded out the trip with stop off at my new favorite card shop.

I received some cash for Christmas that I have been trying to spend for the last week. I know that I want cards, but could not decide what to buy. I didn't really want another box of T206, although I had incredible luck on the first box...and I don't want a box of Topps High Numbers because I don't think I can do much better than the dual auto from the first box, plus I see a ton of dups in my future. What to buy, what to buy???

Then it hit me! The forbidden fruit!

A little history lesson. I used to frequent a lousy card shop on the other end of town. I found the business a bit shady, as Cranky is a big-time ebayer, and I always suspected pack searching. But I would buy from him because he was practically the only shop in town where I could purchase single packs of virtually anything.

My new shop has great benefits. For one, everything I purchase from the guy turns to GOLD. Secondly the place is clean and everything is behind glass...which makes it really easy for me to bring Jacoby in with me. Third, even though there are not a lot of single packs laying around, the owner is total open to opening up a box and pricing them out for me if I am just looking for a sample. Fourth, The owner does not Ebay. Fifth, he does not like you to open product in his store because if you get the big hit of the box, he feels guilty selling the other packs knowing that nothing decent is left. He wants happy customers who want to come back, and he has me hooked.

So what did I purchase with my Christmas roll? Remember way back when Cranky absolutely refused to sell me single packs of SP Authentic because they are too easy to pack search (now how would he know that??), but was totally willing to sell me a whole box for $130 bucks? Well, I did end up getting that box...but from a competing store at a much better price. So to you all I unveil....
Woo-Hoo! I finally have my hands on some SP Authentic! I am excited to see if my luck holds up on product from my new shop. I am going to bust this one slow, and post results for you. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pick a Team, Any Team.

Last night I intended to continue my series of 2009 "Best Of's" with a post on one of my favorite products of the year...Goodwin Champions.

Unfortunately, about 2 pm yesterday a freak snowstorm hit Portland, and if you don't know this already, this city cannot handle all. EVERY SINGLE Interstate and service road was at a standstill for several hours. I actually abandoned trying to leave downtown and just holed up at a bar and ate a burger and watched football for a couple of hours. By 10pm, my wife, kid and I were finally home after dashing through the snow. Check out some of our driving ineptitude...

So no Goodwin favorite cards review today, which is too bad, because I like LOTS of these. Instead I want to throw an offer out to my readers:

I have a bunch of T206 and Topps Updates and Highlights that I have no interest in collecting (minus the old-timers from T206 and the Turkey Reds from U&H). All you have to do is leave a comment and name your team and I will be happy to make this my project over the weekend and get the cards out to you. No reciprocation is required, but if you happen to have any Goodwin Champions, TR's or Heritage High Numbers that fit my needs are that are clogging up your collection, I would be happy to take them off of your hands.

Again, be sure to name your team and shoot me an email with your addr and I will get them out to you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best and Worst of 2009: Allen and Ginter

Allen and Ginter came along in July and was an immediate sensation with the blogosphere. I definitely needed to get a hold of a couple boxes of these. I later determined that there was no stopping me from gathering the entire set. Below are a few of my favorites of the set.
/a> Jorge Posada - Yep, another Yankee makes the cut. This is a nice rendition of the most hated catcher in baseball (okay I made that part up).

Prince Fielder - America's favorite vegan pops with the red background and dark batting jersey.

Raul Ibanez - Had an amazing season, and has a deservingly smug look on his face. I love the shading in this card as well as the green background.
Pat Neshek - For personal reasons, my favorite card of the set!

Again, I really enjoyed the landscape shots and here are a couple of my favorites. I think the coloring and the closeup of Matt Holliday makes for a classic card, and the creative angle on Clayton (Matt Damon) Kershaw takes advantage of the layout nicely.

Of course it would not be Ginter without a few oddball cards. how could you NOT like electron? Also, Michael Phelps on any card is going to be an instant classic.

Now for some of the lemons of the set...

Ervin Santana - Flexing his guns with a ridiculous pose.
Jonathan Papelbon - The whole world knows of the Papelbon staredown, but some cards just choose to beat it to death.

Chris Davis - Look into the ghostly whites of his eyes
Gil Meche - Nothing against Gil, but this particular card has a pretty creepy vibe to it.

Manny Ramirez - While some of Manny's cards look fantastic, the dreads just were not up for photo day in this set.
Donkey Kong Dude - Alright, so you get your own card and are the Donkey Kong Master...but sitting down? Come on Dude, thats just lazy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best and Worst of 2009: Topps Flagship Series 2

Topps series 2 continued to impress with it's wide variety of inserts and hits. To this day, I still have had the most fun cracking boxes of Flagship and look forward to the 2010 set coming out soon. Here are some of my favorites from Series 2...

I think Alfonso might have one of the nicest cards in the set. Again, the photographer of the A's did an excellent job as here are another couple of nice A's cards. The Soria is a nice, sharp card of one of the most under appreciated closers in the game.

A lot of the Diamondbacks cards looked great with the gold dirt popping off of red jerseys. This Whitesett Rookie really stood out. Cust in full, majestic swing. Jose Contreras and Bengie Molina also are sharp images with a great color-scheme.

Here are a couple of my favorite action shots. I don't think I have ever seen a normal Jered Weaver card, but at least this one takes advantage of his anti-gravity epic hair. Russell Martin about to feel a whole lotta hurt also is captured nicely.

Again, the vertical cards were my favorites of the set. Most of the manager cards in this set are terrible, but these two of Girardi and Macha are pretty well done. I had to include Varitek and Fernando Rodney. And as much as I hate to admit it, yet another Yankee image (Alfredo) really looks the best of the bunch and takes full advantage of the horizontal frame.

And here are my favorites of the set

The Sung Baek is an instant classic, right up there with the David Price of series 1.

Ramon Hernandez has a throwback look to it. It's borderline creepy, but also brilliant all in one.

And card #660 goes to Jacoby Ellsbury. A nice horizontal shot with a red color scheme.

So what about the bombs of the set? Here are but a few...

Mark Henderson is one of MANY of posed shots that just look awful. many are overexposed or just plain goofy looking. They remind me of the O-Pee-Chee curtain background shots. Ian Snell signing autographs is just a lazy choice. Luke Scott bent over....and another superstar Jeter in a less than impressive choice.

I left most manager cards alone, but this Charlie Manuel is just horrible. I am not exactly sure what is going on in the Carmona card, and most of us don't picture Joey Votto in a lunging bunt attempt.

Saving the absolute worst for last, here are a couple of AWFUL posed shots of Marcum and Redding, as well as an unfortunate scoreboard shot of German, and a Gary Matthews in a very poorly placed angle behind the mystery pitcher.

That wraps up Flagship. A lot of hits and misses in this set. It was fun to go through them all once again now that I have a bit more collecting and product knowledge under my belt. Overall, I still think flagship is the most fun to collect, but I am hoping for a much kinder numbering system for 2010. I don't know how much more my eyesight can take of tiny numbers in the corners.