Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2018 MLB Hall of Fame Class

I love the halls of fame and Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman were just announced to join Veteran’s Committee appointees Alan Trammell and Jack Morris in the 2018 MLB Hall of Fame class.  As a Brave’s fan seeing Chipper go in is great.  I loved him as a player and his switch hitting career stands up against the all-time greats who hit from both sides of the plate.  A career .303 hitter he played all 19 of his seasons with Atlanta and won a batting title at age 36.  It is great when a legend can spend their entire career with the same team so it was fun to see it all take place with the Braves.

Jim Thome had a heck of a career.  His slugging and on base stats were crazy good while doing it all with a career batting average of .276 over 22 years.  He’s 8th all-time in homeruns.  Really glad to see Thome make it in on the first ballot.  Well deserved.
I was a bit slow coming around to Vladimir Guerrero but if you pay any attention to his stats you just say “wow”.  Maybe the best right handed hitter of his era this guy put up great numbers each year.  For his career he batted .318 with 449 homeruns, and got on base at a .379 clip for 16 years.  This guy could hit!
In the discussion for closers there is Mariono Rivera and then there is Trevor Hoffman who are in a class of their own – numbers one and two.  Then there the guys well below them in this conversation.  Even if you aren’t a believer in the closer role there is something to be said for a guy who took the ball in the 9th for 18 years and excelled.  Major props to his wife for wearing the AC/DC shirt when he got the call from the Hall of Fame representative (his walk up song was Hells Bells). 
Glad to see Alan Trammel and Jack Morris get in.  I always thought Trammel deserved to be in and was on the fence with Morris.  In 20 years with the Tigers Trammel had a .285 average and was great with the glove.  Morris won 254 games and was the epitome of ace during two World Series which helped cement his legacy.  

Monday, January 29, 2018

Star Wars Bloodline by Claudia Gray

As always I’ll caveat this with the fact that I’m not good at reviewing books but I do like putting down a few thoughts on books I read.  Star Wars Bloodline centers on Princess Leia and the politics of which she is such a big part.  It is a good book for giving us some behind the scenes of what has happened previously with the government.  This is one of the few canon books I’ve read but intend on catching up.  This book is good.  I enjoyed the political tone and to be honest I thought some of the action/adventure thrown in seemed forced or even over the top but again I think it is a good book. I can’t say there a ton of direct ties from this book to the new movies but there are a few things that carry forward.  There are also some good characters introduced here.  It's a shame we'll probably never see them in the movies though I read one of the characters is seen briefly.  Next I’ll start to tackle the Star Wars Aftermath books.    

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bright the Movie

Bright is a Netflix movie that came out not too long ago starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.  The basics are a human police officer forced to work with an orc police officer.  They end up fending off multiple enemies as they try to secure a weapon that can bring an unseen evil to this magical take on earth.  This was a fun movie to watch.  It shows a familiar take on society and different issues we've dealt with on a earth we are not at all familiar with.  This rendering has humans, orcs, elfs, and fairies, oh my.  I thought they did a good job with this movie though you'll see many themes used within movies before.  Having the different characters to play with worked to their advantage.  I don't know what the budget was but I wasn't thinking it was a low budget movie as I watched it which is a credit to the folks who made it.  Don't get me wrong, it isn't the Avengers, but it really didn't need a ton of graphics considering the story.  So if you have Netflix I think Bright is worth a watch. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

2017-2018 Donruss Basketball

My first look at the 2017-2018 Panini NBA cards. Not a fan this year.  In the past I've been pretty happy with this set but the gold or bronze borders really don't do anything for me.  It all begins and ends there with me.  Otherwise there is plenty of space for the full bleed photos, the logo and player's name and position.  My pull was also pretty good nailing it with Kawhi Leonard, John Wall, Kyle Lowry, and the Greek Freak base cards.  Even with 30 cards per pack I've opened a few stinkers before so this pack was strong from that point of view.  
I also grabbed Russell Westbrook, Marc Gasol and Rudy Gobert cards.  
Parallels and inserts included a Westbrook Swishful Thinking, Myles Turner parallel though I'm not sure the color, and De'Aaron Fox Rated Rookie that highlighted the newbies.  A lack of Retro (which look cool) and Hall or Court King insert cards in this pack was definitely a negative.  I know they aren't guaranteed but I've been lucking in pulling the "King" cards in the past and always look forward to those. 
I won't doubt I'll grab one more pack of these but will most likely chase PC guys and some of the retired greats in the set which usually are a highlight for me.  On pure design and look I'm not excited but again the pull was great from my point of view.    


Sunday, January 21, 2018

2015 Donruss Football Hobby Box

There is no hiding the enjoyment I get from Donruss football cards so when I had an opportunity to get a 2015 Donruss Football hobby box I jumped on it last year.  I originally looked at these cards here.  There were 24 packs in the box with eight cards per pack.  
Tons of stars here so opening packs was always exciting.  
You get the press proofs, numbered cards, as well as the retired greats which is always a favorite of mine.  It's not just base cards which gives you plenty of options.  
This set also has plenty of inserts and rookies.  The '86 Donruss baseball look cards are fun.
The Gridiron Kings and Gridiron Legends are my favorite cards.  Pulled PC guys on both of these.  I'll also grabbed a nice Marino Classics card.  Man I'd love to see him play in today's game - he'd be some dominate.
These are just fun and colorful cards and it was great opening each pack.  Of course I was excited to see who my auto would be...
It was Joseph Randle.  This was the last of Randle's three year career which totaled just over 800 yards averaging 4.5 per and scoring 9 touchdowns. No matter, it wasn't about the autograph but all about the fun and I had plenty, believe me. 

192 – Total Cards (24 Packs X 8)
2 – Rated Rookie (86 Donruss)
4 – Rated Rookie
9 – Elite
9 – Elite RC
2 – Elite Series
1 – Gridiron Legend
3 - Gridiron Kings (1 – Stat Line #/560)
2 – Passing the Torch
1 – Classics
1 – Press Proof RC
1 – Stat Line #/390

16 – Retired Legends

Saturday, January 20, 2018

12 Strong Movie Review

12 Strong is an excellent movie.  I'll just start there.  Chris Hemsworth did a great job in this movie that tells the story of the first 12 American soldiers into Afghanistan after 9/11.  The movie follows them as they link up with a local general and their combined efforts to take a major city in the first fight taken to the Taliban by U.S. forces.  While you know that the movie is dramatized it is a movie that will still move you and leave you amazed.  I've always been astonished by what these men accomplished when I've seen their exploits in documentaries and seeing them on the big screen was fun. Bottom line is it is a good movie and anyone who thinks this might be up their alley should see it.  (Official Trailer)    

Monday, January 15, 2018

Atlanta Falcons Lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in Divisional Playoff Game

Atlanta's offense has been shaky all year and it really played out that way against an Eagles defense that was able to get pressure and wouldn't let the Falcons convert on third down.  It was a frustrating game to watch as Atlanta just never looked comfortable or like they'd take the game over.  They should have beaten the Eagles but hats off to Philly.  Their defense played very well and their offense did what it needed to to win.  That last offensive play by the Falcons for the touchdown was not pretty to look at.  I'm not a fan of that fade play especially when you roll out.  It takes all the defenders to that side of the end zone.  Still Julio Jones had a shot at it and can make that play.  It just didn't happen.  Too bad as the defense played well.  Would have loved to have see Atlanta in the NFC Championship game but as poorly as the offense has played I wouldn't have much confidence they could have won.  Here' to next year and hopefully a better offense. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

2011 Topps Football Hobby Box

I'm a big fan of the 2011 Topps football, and baseball, cards so when I had a chance last year I picked up a hobby box of each.  Been a while but I still want to show off some highlights.  There were 36 packs with ten cards per pack giving me 360 cards to play with.  The highlight is the Terry Bradshaw Super Bowl Legends jersey card.  I mean who doesn't love Terry Bradshaw?  Pretty sweet pull I think.  My review of these back way back in 2011 was my first post after my initial introductory post for this blog.  Anyhow I just wanted to share some of my pulls from the box.  I had a blast opening up all of these packs and added plenty of cards to my personal collection.  As always cards should be about the fun and cracking this box was great.     
I love Staubach so this was a huge win.  I'll have to see if I can track down the entire Super Bowl Legends set.  I really like those cards.  
The base cards have a design I really dig for no good reason.  The circle surrounded team logo and name at the bottom are cool to me and leave plenty of room for the great photos.
Tom Terrific with All-Pro and MVP designations.  Even his crushing defeat over my Falcons in the Super Bowl can't take the luster off my man crush on him - well maybe a little. 
360 - Total Cards (36 Packs X 10)
12 - 1950 Bowman (Mini)
9 - Faces of the Franchise
9 - Gameday
6 - Super Bowl Legends
3 - Gold RC
1 - Super Bowl Legends Jerseys – Terry Bradshaw

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2017 Donruss Football Mega Box

I like these mega boxes so I grabbed a 2017 Donruss Football box when I had the chance.  These contain seven retail and three hobby packs meaning you have a chance of pulling some nice inserts.  I won't blabber on about these since this is my third post on these cards and will instead just show off some more of them.  I'm a big Doug Williams fan so I was really stoked to grab his Legends of the Fall card.  Matt Ryan was also a nice pull of one of my Falcons.  
Always liked these cards and the breaks over at BlowoutBuzz.com always keep me wanting more.
Tons of inserts here.  
I always love seeing the retired legends which is another reason I enjoy the Donruss brand so much.
I was never a fan of the '81 Donruss baseball card design but like seeing it here on the 1981 tribute cards.  
86 - Total Cards
1 - Base Press Proof
8 - Retired Legends (1 Press Proof)
6 - Rated Rookie
6 - RC (1 Press Proof)
2 - The Elite Series (1 Rookie)
2 - Gridiron Kings
2 - The Rookies
1 - Up Tempo
1 - Legends of the Fall
1 - Dominator
1 - 82 Donruss
1 - Diecut Press Proof
1 - The Legends Series

1 - Highlights

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles - Divisional Playoff Game

No one saw it due to my lack of posting about it but I had a good feeling about the Falcons-Rams game.  While it is hard to say Atlanta had been hot but they had won six of their last eight to end the season and make the playoffs.  The offense still isn't the 2016 "on fire" version we all fell in love with last year.  The good news is their defense is good and was very good against the run which helped them shut down the Rams.  This also bodes well going to Philly who will start their backup quarterback and will probably not want him having to throw any more than he has too.  Atlanta should win this weekend.  That isn't cockiness but Philadelphia isn't the same without Carson Wentz.  They do have a great run defense but the passing defense is average.  Hopefully the Falcons can exploit that.  So all that said this could be a trap game.  A few lucky bounces or turnovers and Atlanta could be wondering what if - again.  Either way I'll be watching come Saturday.    

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2017-2018 Hoops Basketball

This was my first look at the 2017-2018 Hoops basketball cards.  The pack had 30 cards which is pretty standard these days.  I'm a big Kawhi Leonard fan so his pull was definitely my favorite from the pack.  That said I did pull a Great SIGnificance  autograph of Trail Blazer Great Jake Layman <sarcasm>.  Yeah me too - no idea who he was.  Still you have to be excited about any autograph being pulled from a retail pack and he is a Trail Blazer which is a plus.  There weren't a ton of stars here but I still enjoyed the pack grabbing Kawhi and an auto.  I'll pickup more of these.  I like the design and the price point is always good. 
  The teal explosion cards are from the fat packs.  Standard Hoops backs - black & white and hard to read for an old guy.  
I liked the Zero Gravity cards but could have done without the Kobe tribute cards.  I should like Kobe more but I've always been lukewarm on him.  He deserves a tribute set but I'd like to see sets of some of the other greats who recently retired, yet I don't remember tribute sets from - Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, etc.  Maybe I missed those sets but all I see is Kobe - seems like tribute sets of those guys would have been great when they retired <steps off soap box>. 
30 – Cards
4 - RC
1 – Kobe Career Tribute
1 – Zero Gravity
1 – Teal Explosion

1 – Great SIGnificance Autograph

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2016 Donruss Football Mega Box

I really enjoyed the 2016 Donruss Football cards when they came out so when I saw a reduced priced mega box at Wal-Mart I grabbed it.  These contain seven packs of '16 Donruss football and 2 packs of 2015 Gridiron Kings football (8 in each pack of both brands).  As I've already reviewed these I'll show off a few from the box that I like.  
Love anything Earl Campbell and pulling a Bills' '87 Donruss was a big win.  The Barry Sanders All-Time Gridiron Kings card was really cool and was I am stoked to pull it. 
Julio, Peyton and Gronk are all personal favorites so it was fun pulling these.  
On to the Diamond Kings - this came out of the first pack.  Wow - a signature.  Whoo hoo!  Wait - Antwan Goodley - who...?  This rookie free agent hasn't even made it onto the field yet.  Ugh.  Still pulling a signature is pretty sweet even if no one may ever know who this guy was.  
I like the Gridiron Kings cards.  The Fitzgerald was a a framed card.  I'm not necessarily a fan of those but with it being Fitzgerald I'm very happy to grab this card
Broadway Joe is always fun to pull and love all thegreen.  Great card.   
72 - Total Cards
4 - Retired Greats
4 - RC
3 - Rated Rookie
2 - Production Line
1 - Nickname
1 - 1987 Donruss Throwback
1 - Gridiron Kings
1 - All-Time Gridiron Kings
1 - Legends of the Fall
2 - DK Red Framed Base
2 - DK Brown Framed (Base RC and Troy Aikman Gridiron King)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2017 Panini Playoff Football Cards

I really like the 2017 Playoff football cards.  And to be honest much of my enjoyment comes from all the retired greats found in my pack of 40 cards.  Those retired greats make up one third of the overall base set of 300 cards.  The Dan Fouts card is by far my favorite.  Not only is he a personal all-time favorite but I love that uniform.  I know many are in love with the powder blues, which I am not, but this is the Chargers' uniform that does it for me. 
Apart from that I like the simple design which includes the team logo, name and player's name.  I'd seen plenty of these on other blogs and wasn't disappointed when I opened a pack of my own.  The backs are also nice with a smaller duplicate of the color photo found on the front as well as a write-up and minimal stats. I like it.  Again the cards are very simple but they work for me.
I was also very happy with my pull.  There were plenty of current stars as well as a bevy of retired greats.  No inserts in this pack but there were three blue parallels - Mike Evans, above, is one of them. 
I enjoyed this pack quite a bit and the retired greats alone will have me buying more of these cards but again I'm happy with the design of the cards overall. 
40 - Total Cards
18 - Retired Greats
3 - Blue Parallels
2 - RC

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Justice League MetaX Trading Card Game Cards

Saw these Justice League MetaX trading card packs at the local Dollar Tree and had to snag a pack to see what they are about.  I don't know anything about the card game itself but the cards aren't bad looking.  At least some of them, if not all, use art from the comics.  The first card with Superman, Nightwing, and Catwoman is done by Jim Lee and I really like his art.  While the fronts aren't art driven they are still nice pieces.  I could see folks adding cards from this game to their collection.
The cards themselves are playing card thin and a bit smaller than normal trading cards.  Not something I'd look to collect or buy more of but for a dollar I was more than willing to take a look at these cards.  Overall I think they are kinda cool and if I was younger I wouldn't doubt I might give the game a shot.