Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2017-2018 Panini Status Basketball

Saw these online and then they hit the local Wal-Mart.  Wasn't sure the 2017-2018 Status basketball cards were for me but still thought it was worth a shot.  While I think my initials thoughts were correct these cards are a little more appealing to me in person.  There were 20 cards in the $4.99 pack.  I'd say the background is fufu but still I'm not put off by it too much.  I won't pick up anymore packs but I enjoyed this one for what it was.  Pretty good pull headlined by Embiid.  None of the top five but still a good collection of stars from around the league.  There were two inserts - an LA Lakers Factions card which I like and a Rookie Credentials card.  So while I won't be picking anymore of these up, I won't beat up on it either.  Just not my style of card.  Curious to see what others think.  

20 - Total Cards
5 -RC
1 - Factions
1 - Rookie Credentials

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Random Wax: 2012-2013 Panini Hoops Basketball

I grabbed a discounted pack of the  2012-2013 Hoops basketball cards. There were a total of 44 cards.  I don't have many of these cards but do have the Atlanta Hawks team set.  I do like the cards I pulled here.  The Anthony Davis and All-Star team photo card are my favorite.  I love The Brow and as a fan of all-star games the team photo is right up my alley.  
The card designs are basic but I do like them.  The photos are nice and aside from the large NBA Hoops logo and lack of the team logo I'm good with this low end set.  
The pull also included Kevin Durant, Ray Allen, Boogie, Joe Johnson of my Hawks, a young Jimmy Butler, Blake Griffin and the great Grant Hill.  Coach Doc River was also among these cards.  An ex-Hawk I've always liked Doc Rivers so another good card for me.
Overall good cards.  Especially when I see them discounted I won't hesitate to grab more.  They aren't cards that contain value but if I can keep getting the fun I did out of this pack I'm in.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Random Wax: 2016-2017 Excalibur Basketball Pack

I liked these cards when I opened a blaster so grabbing another pack was a no brainer.  This pack of five had a nice pull with me grabbing an all-time fave in Alex English and current great Kevin Durant.  That alone makes up for the lack of inserts though you won't find those in these Dollar Tree packs.  Enes Kanter was the only notable player out of the other three I pulled.  With English and Durant I definitely call this a win for me.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

1983 Topps Atlanta Falcons Team Set

Not a bad design on these cards though they won't exactly wow you.  As always you'd love to see some action shots but that wasn't an option here.  Bartkowski (I have his jersey), Andrews and Alfred Jenkins are three of my all-time favorite Falcons and it is always nice see cards of those guys.
This team won it's division in '82 before losing in the first round of the playoffs.  There were some nice players on this Falcons team but I wouldn't say it was dominant.  
Fifteen total cards here counting the team leaders card.  This showed the players and stats from the '82 season shortened by the strike.  A guy like Andrews was hurt by the strike.  His career was cut short by an injury and seven more games could have meant another 700 yards to his total.  Definitely one of those guys we talk about differently if he had stayed healthy.  As is he'll always be loved by Falcons fans.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

1983 Topps Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Set

I know this seems random but I'm a big fan of the Creamsicle uniforms and the Buccaneers who wore them.  To that end I also collect the cards of any Tampa Bay players wearing those cards so this won't be my last Buccaneers post. This was the second year Topps was able to show team logos after getting the NFL license.  These first two cards show my favorite players from those Bucs teams - Doug Williams and Kevin House.  Williams of course made a name for himself in Tampa but he is more widely known as the Redskins' quarterback in their blowout victory over Denver in the Super Bowl for which he won MVP.  House was never in a Pro Bowl but one of those random players I latched on to.  
   There are a total of 15 cards here.  Lee Roy Selmon is a Hall of Famer and Jimmie Giles and Hugh Green were also standouts on the Bucs teams of the early 80's.
While the 1982 team went 5 and 4 in the strike shortened season the '83 team would go a woeful 2-14 after Williams bolted for the USFL.  Still They looked great doing it.  James Wilder is another all-time fave here.  A good running back he could also catch the ball out of the backfield.

2018 NBA All-Star Game

Just a quick blurb about last night's NBA All-Star Game.  As some know I'm a fan of all-star games.  This year the two top vote getters got to choose their teams via a draft of players chosen to the game.  While I definitely prefer having conference vs. conference this wasn't a bad deal.  Some intrigue as you get see some players play with each other when you might never get to otherwise as well as teammates playing against each other.  Also the NBA upped the winnings for players on the winning team to $100K while losers get $25K.  Each team chose a charity to play for and the winning team's charity got $350K while the losing team's received $150K.  The game itself was good especially compared to last years track meet that had nothing resembling defense.  There was real defense this year which while keeping the score down, as one announcer said, also made for better offensive plays as players had to work for baskets.  I'm not saying this was comparable to the NBA playoffs or a regular season game for that matter - it was just an improvement and very watchable basketball.  In the end Team LeBron beat Team Steph with a defensive stand no less on the last play 148-145.  Kudos to the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver, and  the player's union for working together and trying to make the all-star game an enjoyable event again.  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Random Wax: 2017-2018 Donruss Basketball

Yes I'm not a huge fan of this set but it is all-star weekend so I was swayed into purchasing a pack of the 2017-2018 Donruss basketball cards.   You now what helps you like something?  Pulling some great cards.  No huge inserts here but I did get base cards of LeBron and KD which alone in a bubble was good enough for me.  I also pulled a Karl Anthony-Towns as well as Dennis Smith Jr. and Fultz cards.  The Yellow/Green parallel of Bobby Portis is different but not exciting.  I'm getting tired of all these parallels.  I really like the retro cards and pulled a John Stockton.  How can you not like Stockton? Bottom line is this was a solid pack highlighted by LeBron in his retro jersey (good job Panini) and KD. 
30 - Total Cards
7 – Rated Rookie
1 – Retro Series
1 – Holo Green/Yellow Parallel

Friday, February 16, 2018

Black Panther (NO Spoilers)

While I haven't read the comics in many years I've been a big fan of Black Panther since I was a kid and was excited for the Black Panther movie.  Me and the son watched it last night and I have to say I was a bit disappointed though I thought it was a good movie.  The acting and characters were excellent.  You really appreciated them and even the bad guys were someone I liked especially Killmonger.  I wouldn't be surprised if folks think this is one of the better superhero movies in sometime.  I think folks should go see it and find out for themselves.  Again while I liked it, it just didn't add up to some of what I expected of Black Panther and the movie itself.  Stop reading now if you don't want to read my criticisms - still no spoilers though.
Two things stand out as negatives watching this film.  First was how techie Black Panther is.  I was raised on a Black Panther who while he had access to tech was more in the mode of Black Widow.  Great fighter who while they don't shy away from weapons they won't be mistaken for Iron Man.  Second and most importantly I thought many of the major plot points were telegraphed.  There was one major revelation in the movie but really you saw how things would play out in each chapter during the last half of the movie.  Again, go see the movie and I can't wait to see what others thought.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beauty and the Beast Movie

Finally got around to watching Beauty and the Beast which came out last year.  Feel free to laugh now.  I understand.  I've been wanting to see this movie and it is now on Netflix.  I'll just say they did a great job.  There is a reason it earned a ton of money.  From the acting, music and the graphics they nailed it.  This was very entertaining and I'm glad they stayed true to it's musical roots.  I know Beauty and the Beast may not be for everyone but if you are so inclined don't hesitate to give this one a try.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Random Wax: 2016-2017 Panini Threads

Grabbed a pack of discounted cards at Wally World this weekend and I was happy I did.  The 2016-2017 Panini Threads pack only contained 15 cards so I was a little leery but I did well.  The big pull was a Mario Hezonja autograph.  I didn't know much about Mario but he is a Magic small forward averaging eight points per game this year and shooting well in his third season.  So nothing I can use to pay for the kid's college but a nice pull nonetheless.  I also grabbed a Denzel Valentine Wood Rookie card.  I like these but they are thick cards which I'm not a big fan of.  Still happy with it.  A Gary Payton Floor Generals rounded out the inserts.  The base cards didn't disappoint either with a RC Ben Simmons, Kristaps Porzingis, Russell Westbrook, and Andrew Wiggins among others.  Overall I'm very happy with this pack.  Not really anything in the way of personal collection guys but definitely not a pack I can complain about. 


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2018 Topps Baseball

The NFL season is over so it is time to look at two jumbo packs of the 2018 Topps baseball cards.  I like the whimsical design on these cards and enjoyed opening both packs.  The second pack was more star packed and included both of the Aaron Judge cards which happened to be back to back.  
As always the calling card here is great photos which we are again treated to.  The designs on the front really don't take away from the pictures at all.  My only negative if I had one would be that it can be difficult to make out the team name at first glance.  This isn't critical as there is a good sized logo to take care of that issue.  
Sometimes sets get stuck getting photos in the same old positions over and over but baseball lends itself to variety and Topps always does a good job of making sure their cards don't look so repetitive.  Emotions and great looking action shots are also a big plus and again Topps likes showing us those as well.
You get the standard rookie cards (RC) and Future Stars/Rated Rookie cards which are fine with me.  Topps Salute cards honor holidays/special tribute days but I for the life of me can't figure out which special day this Lucas Sims card honors.
More inserts including a nice Mike Trout Legends in the Making.  Also got Nelson Cruz 1983 Topps throwback.  That is a design I like so I wouldn't mine pulling more of those.  The Kris Bryant inserts come one to each pack.  I liked this one since it shows a moment from the all-star game festivities.
Combo and Superstar Sensations cards weren't too bad.  The Garrett Richards is a Vintage parallel numbered #/99.  The back has the old school card stock feel as opposed to the newer slick cards.  
This Markakis is a gold parallel #/2018.  Some added graphics make it stand but it wasn't obvious to me what it was until I looked it up.  League Leader cards are always fun and a Judge card just makes it that much better.  There are also team cards as well as World Series Highlights which are always a favorite of mine.  The backs aren't that much different than years past but I still like them. Plenty of stats and info for me.  Again I really enjoyed these and I will definitely pick up more as time goes by.  I'm also looking forward to the Topps Opening Day cards.  

BREAKOUT – 2 Jumbo Packs – 36 Cards Each
72 - Total Cards
8 – RC
7 – League Leaders
3 – Legends in the Making
3 – Team Cards
2 – Combo Cards
2 – Kris Bryant Highlight Cards
1 – Future Stars/Rated Rookie
1 – Vintage Parallel  #/99
1 – 2017 World Series Highlights
1 – Superstar Sensations
1 – 1983 Topps Baseball

1 – Topps Salute
1 - Gold Parallel #/2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2018 NFL Hall of Fame

The 2018 NFL Hall of Fame class was announced and included Bobby Beathard, linebacker Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Ray Lewis, wide receiver Randy Moss, wide receiver Terrell Owens, and linebacker Brian Urlacher.  
 I think this is a great class led by Ray Lewis.  A true great among historic linebackers this was a no brainer.  I really enjoyed seeing Brian Urlacher get in as well.  Watching him, he was a machine and so good.  Not quite the bawdy resume that Lewis had but a true hall of famer.
Brian Dawkins was another defensive guy who truly deserved to be on this list.  Man he could cover receivers.  Speaking of, two of the all-time greats got in in Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.  Like others I was OK to overlook Owens to some extent due to his personality and off the field issues but he really should have been voted in on the first ballot.  Moss was just a freak who was fun to watch.
No issues with the rest of this class as well.  It'll be interesting to see what next year's ballot looks like.  I don't think we'll see quite the slam dunk picks while maybe some of those who are deserving may finally get the call.  

Monday, February 5, 2018

Eagles Win Super Bowl in a Thriller

What a great game.  I like defense as much as the next guy but this game kept me on my toes and I never knew which way it was going to go.  And with all that offense it came down to the only sack of the game and a Tom Brady fumble.  Wow.  Give it to Nick Foles and the Eagles - they deserved this championship.  For New England, Tom Brady gave it everything he had, everything, and still came up short.  Tells you what kind of game that was.  I mean Philly went for it on 4th down in two situations where if they don't make it, there are huge repercussions - you either take points off the board or you give New England the ball with great field position with a chance to sew up the game.  
Doug Pederson has guts, the likes of which we may never see again in a Super Bowl.  I was beside myself when he made each of those calls because of what was on the line each time.  And he threw it to his quarterback for a touchdown in the first instance - what?  Great stuff.  You have to be excited for Philly for getting their first Super Bowl win.  Doesn't get much better than that for an NFL franchise who has been around as long as them.  My man crush aside, I can't be sad for Brady and the Pats.  Brady played out of his mind and they had a chance at the end.  In fact who didn't think they were gonna march down the field and take back the d game to watch which is all we can ask for, right?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards

Super Bowl Sunday so I thought I'd go a little different direction and look at the 1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards which contains cards of some of the Super Bowl halftime performers throughout the years.  I could have scanned a ton more cards but had to draw the line somewhere.  Maybe I'll scan random cards at later times and put them up here.  
I recently picked up the entire 340 card set off eBay.  I still have maybe a hundred of these cards from when I picked these up when they came out.  As I was 22 when this set was released, the artists no matter the genre or era was right up my ally and I was a big fan of many of them and even saw more than a few in concert.   A few extra details of the set are here though the list doesn't contain the last series. 

No matter how cheesy, back in the day I was in to many of these performers.  But the set is great for the star performers it contains.  Is having Kiss next Nelson some type of faux pas?   Nah.  Madonna and George Michael were of course huge.  
Some performers had multiple cards while others only had one.  There were also historic concerts cards which were pretty cool.  I'd have liked to have seen more of those for sure.  Hip hop and rap were making a name for themselves back then and I enjoyed the hits while I probably didn't buy any of the albums.    
I'm a huge 80's rock guy but was also all over the place with pop scene back then.  Normal teen I guess but again these cards hit it big with some of my favorites including Heart, Europe, Cheap Trick,  Roxette and U2.  
What a great trip down memory lane.  The write-ups on the back weren't bad either.  They won't win any Pulitzers but they had enough to them that I didn't roll my eyes too often.  

And Michael Bolten!  Look if you grew up in that age you either liked him or hated him I guess but I liked him and my first wife and I saw him at a state fair concert.  When he got on stage all female eyes were on him...just saying.  It was a fun time.  I also saw Heart, Cheap Trick, Europe and Joe Satriani in concert. I'm sure I'm leaving out someone else from this set who I saw in concert.  Again this was all about having fun and it really is great seeing all these stars on cards. Next on my "to buy" list is the 1991 Brockum Rock Cards.