Friday, November 30, 2018

Random Wax: 2018-2019 Hoops Basketball

Grabbed my second pack of the 2018-2019 Hoops basketball.  My first pack was a real dud as far as the pull went so the Hoops gods made up for it with this pack.  I really like this Jimmy Butler card but I have to figure out how to keep my scanner from cutting off those white borders.   
Two Jimmy Butler cards in this pack which makes three of his Hoops' cards on the year in just two packs.  That definitely helps my personal collection. The other cards are a purple parallel and a Lights, Camera, Action insert.
I'm seeing stars.  Again this was a great pack with plenty of star power.
Donovan Mitchell is struggling this year after a great rookie season but hopefully he can get it going.  Great photo of Blake Griffin.  I've always liked him.  The only Trail Blazer card in this pack but a good one in Jusuf Nurkic who is averaging 15 and 10 for Portland.  No Hawks this pack but I can't complain considering my pull.

30 – Total Cards
2 – Lights Camera Action
1 – Purple
1 – The Pulse
1 – Retired Legend
1 - RC

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

2018 Topps Gallery

Picked up a pack of the 2018 Topps Gallery baseball cards.  After a nice debut for Gallery last year, I looked forward to these cards as the art is a big draw for me.  The base cards have a nice looking design.  I will say I like the borders on the wood parallels better.  That darker color sets off the players to me.  Overall the art is good and I like this set.  I didn't pull a retired great base card but I'll probably look at finding singles of those as I can.  I'm not sure I'll grab more packs unless the price is right but I'll definitely look for singles as I get the chance.
Frank Thomas is the Hall of Fame insert I pulled.  I always enjoy retired greats on new cardboard especially in retro formats.  Half of this pack were RC cards so if you like the young players you might really like these assuming my pull was atypical.
 Again these wood parallels are a better look to me.  Not saying the base cards aren't good looking cards, I just like that wood grain border.  I really like the backs (below).  They contain normal player info, gallery notes and last season's stats broken down by month.  I really like the gallery notes and the stats.  Something about seeing them by month has the stat geek in me happy.

12 -Total Cards
6 - RC
2 - Wood Parallels
1 - Hall of Fame

Sunday, November 25, 2018 - My First Time

I've heard fellow bloggers talk about (COMC Card Marketplace and checked it out some time back and I dove right in.  Over a few months I filled out my cart and received my first order last week.  I was very haphazard and put zero planning into this.  I ended up all over the place as I'd think of a player or card and say hey I need that.  I'll definitely put more thought into my purchases moving forward which will also mean I need to have a better handle on exactly what i have in regards to individual players.  That's all good motivation for me. For now you'll see me show off the cards I did pick up starting with Tom Brady.
 I'm a huge Tom Brady fan as he is a Michigan alum but amazingly I don't have that many cards of his.  Combining my love of those great Michigan uniforms, Tom Brady and the Contenders brand of cards I was very excited to see there were plenty at COMC to pick up.  I really like how these look.
  A couple more Contenders cards and a nice Rookie & Stars that has a similar design. 
I picked up far more Brady cards than any other player in this order.  I think because I didn't have many it made it very easy.  I've always liked that 2011 retro uni card of Brady so it was a fun pickup.  I'll continue to show off the cards I picked up this go around so expect to see more posts on those soon.

Again I need to figure out how to start cataloging those cards and sets I have in my personal collection better so that future COMC purchases are not so all over the place.  Idea has been born...a plan will hopefully follow soon...

Friday, November 23, 2018

2018 Topps WWE Then Now Forever

I've seen the 2018 Topps WWE Then Now Forever described as a series 2 or update to the main set.  I don't know the majority of these wrestlers but again I'm a casual WWE observer at best.  Overall I like the designs of the base cards and the photos on them.  The WWE seems to lend itself to cards.  I do think more action shots would be beneficial here though if a wrestler is only getting one card I could see the designers wanting each card to showcase a body shot of each.    
  I didn't see any in the ring action shots which is something I do like.  Most show wrestlers as they enter the arena.
The WWE Legend I pulled was Curt Henning AKA Mr. Perfect.  Each pack comes with a Shawn Michaels tribute as well.  
Here's a few of the 25 Years of Raw cards.  I won't grab more of these but as always I enjoy picking them up WWE cards to see what Topps is doing with them on their cards as well as to bring back memories of when I followed the sport more.  

20 – Cards Total
7 – NXT
6 – 25 Years of Raw
4 – Raw
2 – SmackDown Live
1 – Shawn Michaels Tribute
1 – WWE Legends

Thursday, November 22, 2018

2018-2019 Donruss Basketball

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm thankful for these 2018-2019 Donruss Basketball cards which I'm really enjoying.  This retro 1984 Donruss Baseball based design works with the NBA as opposed to Panini's Donruss baseball cards from this year.  Those were OK but didn't wow me.  These I really like though again you won't find the player's position.  I noticed the hobby boxes have two autographs each as well as 300 cards.  I could see me getting one down the road when they are a bit cheaper.  In the mean time I'll definitely pick more of these up when I get the chance.  
I had a pretty nice pull as well with Stephen Curry leading the way.  I also grabbed a few Trail Blazers in McCollum and Nurkic.  Plenty of other stars helped round out the pack.  The rookie cards weren't out of this world but they can take some time to pan out.
I enjoy the Court Kings normally but I'm withholding judgement on this year's design until I see another one in hand.  The colors here throw me off.  I like the Franchise Feature card and the Rated Rookies are fine with me as well.
   Plenty of nice action shots to enjoy.  The Kuzma photo from an elevated camera is a nice change of pace. As opposed to the Hoops cards these backs at least have a flash of color.  It shouldn't mean much but I do appreciate the effort.  So I'm a fan of these cards and I'm looking forward to breaking more packs in the future.  

I do hope your Thanksgiving is a joyful one.  I have plenty of be thankful for in my life and wish good tidings to you all.

30 - Total Cards
6 - Rated Rookie
1 - Franchise Feature
1 - Court Kings

Monday, November 19, 2018

Joey Logano Wins the 2018 NASCAR Championship

Joey Logano won the 2018 NASCARChampionship yesterday beating out Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and KyleBusch.  Those four drivers had qualified to race for the championship Sunday by way of the playoffs.  Logano is a deserved champion.  This season Logano was in the top four of racers in wins (3), top 10 finishes (26), top 5 finishes (13) and average finish (10.7).  Sunday’s race played out as it should have – those contending for the title battling each other out.  I don’t think it has ever worked out that way before.  The four drivers going for the championship were at or near the top the entire race.  In the end those four finished 1 through 4 and battled it out down the stretch.  Logano had the better car and had no issues outdistancing Truex Jr. on the last restart having no real challenge in the final laps of the race.  Congratulations to Joey Logano on his first NASCAR Championship.

My favorite driver is Kyle Busch, who like Lagano, tends to be played as a villain, a moniker he earned as a younger driver.  He placed 4th the race and standings this year and had a great year with eight wins, tied with Kevin Harvick.  While he was near the top all day he just didn’t have the car to win.  Busch does have one championship from 2015 and he has finished top five in the standings in six different seasons.  He is only 33 and seems poised to contend for years to come in the M&M’s #18 so I have nothing to complain about.  William “Bubba” Wallace Jr. is the rookie I was rooting for this year as he drove the #43 Air Force car.  He finished 28th.  I still have hopes he’ll become a better driver in the near future.  This was a fun NASCAR season for me.  I followed along more than I had in the last few years and enjoyed calling my pop near the end of the races so we could talk during the final laps.    

Cards are from the 2017 Panini Donruss NASCAR Set

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Random Wax: 2018 Prestige Football

Another pack of the 2018 Prestige football to show off.  This wasn't a pack that'll wow you.  I like this Alvin Kamara Highlight Reel card quite a bit.  The colors really appeal to me.
  I didn't quite see the cards in the pack that wowed me like in my other two shots at opening these.  Still I enjoyed this pack overall.
30 – Total Cards
5 - RC
2 – Xtra Points
2 – Highlight Reels
1 – Rising Stars
1 – Stars of the NFL

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review (NO SPOILERS)

I really enjoyed Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  This movie has a much different tone than the first Fantastic Beasts movie. The Crimes of Grindewlwald was intense, did a great job of giving us more background detail, and Johnny Depp was excellent as lead protagonist Grindelwald.  Quite a few characters are front and center here but the movie flowed well and it all seemed natural.  If you aren't a Harry Potter fan or seen the first Fantastic Beasts movie this is not for you.  I'll be curious to see what the more fanatical fans think of this offering.  For me I thought Depp was great.  I know many have questioned his casting but I think he nailed it.  This is definitely a movie you have to pay attention to as there are a ton of key plot points that are either explored or fleshed out in detail.  And even then it can be easy to miss something.  Bottom line is I think this is much better than the first movie and does a great job furthering this part of the Harry Potter world.  

2018 Topps Baseball Update

This is my first pack of the 2018 Topps Update series.  An extension of the flagship set the update lets us see players in their new unis as well as provide All-Star Game photos and a few new inserts.  Mookie Betts, who is a decent bet to win the AL MVP is definitely the highlight here for me.    I do like All-Star game cards (it is one of my things) so pulling a Betts was icing on top of the cake. 
A few guys who changed uniforms this season.  Overall I'm happy with my pull.  Plenty of name players and good variety.  
I like the Hall of Famer card quite a bit as I do the Legends in the Making.  I'm luke warm on the An International Affair cards but pulling Didi Gregorius is always good.
A nice Juan Soto 1983 Topps and more all-star cards to include a Freddie Freeman Homerun Derby card.  I'll probably end up with more of these over time but we'll see.

36 – Total Cards
8 - RC
6 – All-Star Game
1 – Homerun Derby
1 – Legends in the Making
1 – 2018 Hall of Famer
1 – An International Affair
1 – Friends
1 – 1983 Topps 
1 – Rookie Combo

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018-2019 Hoops Basketball

I was excited to see the 2018-2019 Hoops basketball cards but that is where the excitement ended.  Don't get me wrong.  I like the design and some of the inserts to include this Jimmy Butler card which I really like.  But that card is about the only highlight of this pack.  I like Butler and he is a PC guy so that is good but my pull was a real downer.  It is all in the eye of the beholder but again outside of Butler I just don't see any other star power.
  Again I like the design.  Nothing too flashy though the player's position would be a nice addition.  The backs are the standard boring black and white which is standard for Hoops.
I did like the photos which seemed to have plenty of players going to the hoop.  No matter what I said I'm sure I'll grab more of these.  One pack doesn't a "season" make.  

30 – Total Cards
5 – RC
1 – Purple Parallel
1 – Retired Legend
1 – Class of 2018
1 – The Pulse
1 – Lights Camera Action

Sunday, November 11, 2018

2018 Donruss Elite Football

These 2018 Panini Donruss Elite Football cards were a surprise to me.  I didn't think I would like them and that was even after I opened the 30 card pack.  These cards have a bit of a shine to them which is what threw me off at first.  I like the design and the more I look at these the more I like them.  
I was very happy with my pull.  Plenty of stars while still having a nice balance among teams and offense and defense.  I don't remember seeing anything about these cards before picking them up so I was truly going in blind and found this pack to be fun.  
This Maurice Hurst RC is the only RC I pulled while it and the Drew Brees Spellbound were my two pink parallels. I'm not feeling the pink.  The backs are fine with me with some color, a nice team logo and a duplicate of the front photo.
My only issues on the front would be the lack of position and how much space is wasted in the bottom right of the card.  Not that big a deal and more of a minor annoyance than anything.  I'll definitely pick more of these up if I'm given the chance.  They are pretty nice cards and were a fun surprise.  
30 – Total Cards
2 – Pink Parallels
1 –RC (Pink Parallel)
1 –Spellbound (Pink Parallel)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Plug for Penny Sleeve's Secret Santa

A Penny for your Thoughts is doing a Secret Santa (click here) this year for bloggers/collectors.  I want to give him a quick plug as there are just a few days left to sign up.  Limit is $10 and as he said should be fun and allow collectors to get to know one another.  This will be my first time but I'm looking forward to it.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Boston Red Sox Win the World Series!

The Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series 4 games to 1 culminating a historic season in which they set a team record with 108 wins.  No matter how good they were BoSox fans, including myself, knew anything could happen in the playoffs and going through two 100 win teams and an excellent Los Angeles Dodgers team gave us plenty to worry about.  Still they only lost three games en route to the championship.  That really spoke to the talent they put on the field and to first year manager Alex Cora.  Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, playoff heroes Jackie Bradley Jr., Stephen Pearce, Joe Kelly and David Price and the rest of the roster from top to bottom helped put up "W" after "W" .  This was a fun team to watch and deserves all the accolades coming their way.  I really enjoyed this season.  It was great to watch a team dominate like they did and be able to bring home the trophy.  
       I do want to give props to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Considering how tough some of those games were to include the historic game three it is hard to believe Boston won 4-1.  That is a testament to how good the Dodgers are.  They just ran into a better team but good on them for making their second straight World Series appearance and how hard they played.
I know I'm late on this but travel for work threw me off the last two weeks and I actually thought I'd already posted something.  My bad.  Most will look upon the Red Sox and us Boston fans as having more than enough championships.  I really don't take them for granted.  The 2004 Championship ended years of frustration.  Growing up watching Yaz, Rice, Tiant, Clemons, and others never get there was so hard as a fan.  2004 was more than a championship - it was how it all went down.  That was a fun team who overcame the unbelievable to beat the Yankees and breeze through the World Series.  While the last three championships will never be that team they are just as special and as a fan I was very excited for this team's championship.  GO BOSOX!

Random Wax: 2017-2018 Contenders Basketball w/Auto

I'm a big fan of these 2017-2018 Panini Contenders basketball cards and didn't pass up a random pack when I found it.  I enjoy the design and star power this set delivers so I'll probably always gravitate towards them.  This year's set comes out just after Christmas and hopefully I'll be lucky enough to pick some up so thereafter.

Anthony Davis is a stud and fun to watch so I was happy to grab not one but three of his cards.  This set has variations of some of the players on base cards which have a different photo on the front.  Fun finds in the pack.
A ton of star power here.  I was amazed pulling big name after big name.  

Another A.D. card!  Some nice inserts in this set as well.

My auto was Dakota Mathias who did not catch on with an NBA team and signed to play with a Spanish team. 

22 – Total Cards
2 – Retired Greats
1 – Game Ticket Red Parallel
1 – Winning Tickets
1 – Playing the Numbers Game
1 – Hall of Fame
1 – Rookie Ticket Autograph