Sunday, March 31, 2019

2017 Topps Bunt Hobby Box Post #1

I also opened a Topps Bunt 2017 hobby box.  I had never opened 2017 Bunt and I do like them but not as much as I do the 2016 offering.  One major change is retired greats are not in the base set and found only in insert sets.  That was a major draw of the 2016 Bunt and a a disappointment here.  That said there are good things to be said about this set including the Perspectives inserts that gave us some nice closeups of players.
  The design is clean and appealing.  A few greats here as well as personal collection guys Paul Goldshmidt and Jose Altuve.
  The 2017 Programs inserts are much better than the 2016 offerings and showcase retired greats as well as current players.  The Infinite designs are pretty cool looking.  That is an Orange Parallel Splatter Art insert numbered/50.  
With a 200 card base set the stars are the main focus of the set.  Ichiro of course just retired after starting two games for the Mariners in their two game series in Japan.  Mike Trout signed an uber contract with the Angels which was great to see.  He deserves every penny...and more.  Aaron Judge and the hated Yankees (editorial license) are expecting even greater things for New York this year.
Blue (1 per pack), black (1 per box) and green parallels (#/99).
While the base design wasn't quite as good as the 2016 Bunt this was a fun break and I really liked the inserts.  Plenty to enjoy here and I'm glad I took the plunge.
252 - Total Cards
36 - Blue Parallel
25 - RC
15 - Programs
13 - Infinite
9 - Perspectives
7 - Retired Greats
1 - Splatter Art
2 - Green Parallel #/99
2 - Orange Parallel #/50
1 - Black (1 per box)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

2016 Topps Bunt Hobby Box Post #2

I posted Thursday about this 2016 Topps Bunt hobby box but wanted to share more of these cards.  I'm a big fan of these so I'll just throw some more scans out there for folks to see and I'll keep my chatter to a minimum.
Again I really like the design of this set with that big logo.  That's a great looking Carlos Correa card.
A huge draw for me are the retired greats.
Pulled three of the all-time great Braves so I was pretty stoked.
Two very recognizable stances by reliever Craig Kimbrel and Sean Doolittle.
A couple of the inserts with the Unique Unis and the Topps Bunt 16 Program.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

2016 Topps Bunt Hobby Box

2016 Topps Bunt is another product that really didn't seem to resonate with collectors.  Bunt was originally a digital only format but was put on cardboard for two years in 2016 and 2017.  I'm a huge fan of 2016 Bunt.  I really like the design including the big logo behind the player as well as the fact we get to see so many retired legends in this set.  I want to believe Johnny Bench is thinking "did that guy really just try to run on me?".
Plenty of star power here in the 200 card base set.  The backs have no stats and a small write up on the back.  A bit lazy but I like the fronts enough to give them a pass.
The inserts were all hits for me.  The bottom of the Unique Unis takes up too much space but I like seeing the alternative and unique uniforms.  Lightforce is probably my favorite insert of this set but the Future of the Franchise is right behind it.  Something about the look has a draw for me.
More greats from years past including all-time favorite Yaz.  So many great players from the past I really enjoyed seeing who I'd pull next.
The set has RC cards like most Topps sets. The Bunt Program inserts aren't as nice as the '17 versions but they do remind me of a program.  The Alex Gordon is a platinum parallel #/99.
That Dallas Keuchel photo looks almost unnatural but it is still a great photo.
I really like that photo of Juan Gonzalez.  I was tempted to put him in the lead off for this post.  Reggie's swing is so recognizable.  I would like to have seen a bit more of him in the photo but it is still a winner.  I enjoyed the heck out of this box.  I'll show off more photos over the weekend and I also have 2017 Topps Bunt I'll be posting about soon.

252 - Total Cards
46 - Retired Greats
24 - RC
12 - Bunt Loot Cards
6 - Unique Unis
5 - Progams
4 - Lightforce
3 - Future of the Franchise
1 - Platinum #/99

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

2019 Boston Red Sox Quick Look

World Series Champions!  Doesn't get better than that right?  No, no it doesn't.  The Boston Red Sox were the best team in the majors last year and the title was well deserved.  Even better the offseason saw almost no disruption to the roster so you have to think things can be just as good as last year.  It usually doesn't work that way but you have to think the BoSox will be battling the Yanks for the Division title come September and who would really be surprised if they made another trip to the World Series?  There are plenty of teams in their way but they can match up with any of them.  It is a long season ahead so anything can happen.  It is rare I go into a season this calm about my team but again there is much to love...about this team and I'm hoping they do something they haven't since 1915 and 1916 - get to the World Series in back to back years.

2019 Atlanta Braves Quick Look

The Atlanta Braves were the surprise team in the National League if not all of the majors as they won 90 games and the N.L. East in 2018.  This offseason should have been one of excitement but outside of the signing of Josh Donaldson the team has made few changes.  Mike Foltynewicz, the #1 starter, is hurt and the team is opening the season with Julio Teheran and two rookies as the starters for the first three games.  This isn't a good sign.  It seemed like pitching was an obvious need and when Gio Gonzalez can go to the Yankees for only $3M I don't understand how the Braves didn't try to pick up an additional starter.  Defense and the superb offense led by Ronald Acuna Jr and Freddie Freeman will have to carry the team unless I'm missing something.  I'm a bit more comfortable with the bullpen but again it seems there were arms to be had on the free agent market.  I like Donaldson but it seems the money spent on adding him to an already excellent offense might have been better served helping the rotation and bullpen.  

This team is good but the division got much better when you look at what Philly and the Mets did.  I think Atlanta has the talent to win it all this year but I think the division schedule will be tougher.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm excited but like many true fans, until I see them doing well, it is easy to think the worst.  Great season in 2018 and I'm hoping to see even better things this matter how much I fret.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Umbrella Acadamy - Netflix TV Series

The Umbrella Academy is a new Netflix series based on the comic series by Dark Horse Comics.  The trailer can be found here.  I really enjoyed the series that has a total of 10 episodes.  I really knew nothing going in other than the comic has long been held as a an excellent work.  The comic can be found on Amazon.  The story and acting are great.  I really found myself wanting to get to the next part of the story, to know more.  The characters are all flawed but the show does well to show why they are and how it is important.  Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison) and Robert Sheehan (Klaus) really stuck out to me with their acting.  I also like Cameron Britton as Hazel and Mary J. Blige is also good as Cha Cha.  I suggest this show to anyone remotely interested.  I wish I could break it down more but one, I'm not that good at it, and two the trailer will give you a good idea of what to expect.   
Cha Cha and Hazel

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Star Wars Black 6" Obi-Wan Kenobi and Clone Commander Cody Action Figures

Obi-Wan of the prequels is one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe.  Finding his Black Series 6" action figure at a Walgreens a few years back was a fun surprise.  I'm a big fan of these figures and enjoy showing them off so here are a few pics I took this morning of Obi-Wan and Commander Cody.  Obi-Wan's character in the prequels was fun with a good sense of humor.  Attaining the ranks of Jedi Master he may have error-ed in taking on the training of Anakin Skywalker but we all make mistakes, right?   And then he of course didn't finish off Anakin when had the chance ("It's over Anakin.  I have the high ground.").  He might have also lied to Luke about his father but I don't let all these facts ruin my fandom. 
 The figure itself is nice and was part of the blue wave that came out in 2014 and 2015.  There are some highlights to his hair on either side that I'm not quite sure about but I still like the detail.
Commander Cody was a Clone Commander assigned to work with Obi-Wan during the Clone Wars.  He had a pretty big part in the Clones Wars TV Series and a fan favorite.  I was also one of those who liked his character.  Unfortunately their pairing came to an end when Order 66 was issued and Commander Cody ordered Obi-Wan be killed.  While Obi-Wan survived it's a big hit to Cody's legacy obviously.  Of course this was part of all of the Clone's indoctrination but still a few, very few, were able to ignore Order 66 and left for other adventures.  This is a pretty cool figure and nice addition to the collection.    
Here's the link to my other Black 6" figure posts.  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

2019 Topps Opening Day Hobby Box Post #2

Today I'm just showing off more of the 2019 Topps Opening Day hobby box I first looked at yesterday.  This Yoan Moncada card is great.  The throwback uni with the helmet coming off makes for a great shot.  On to more Opening Day goodness...
Dee Hamilton in his new Royals uni.  I love speed and he epitomizes speed.  Gotta have Mike Trout in here somewhere and he is a good focus for a 150 Years of Fun card.  For some reason I didn't show off a mascot card yesterday so here is Sluggerrr in Kansas City.
Plenty of retired greats here in 150 Years of Fun.
A nice photo of Dee Gordon getting out of the box and a different take on the Opening Day insert.
Edwin Encarnacion also in his new uni.  I like the photo and the shoes of Shin-Soo Choo.  I'm hoping Clayton Kershaw can stay healthy this year.  He's been so great and I'd hate to see his career get derailed by injuries.
Lots of Royals love today for some reason. 
The Wizard and a great shot of Javier Baez not only playing good D (I want to think so anyway) but Baez also looking cool doing it!
A couple of the the Braves' great young players.  Both are nice cards and can't wait to see what they'll do this year.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2019 Topps Opening Day Hobby Box w/Auto Post #1

I picked up a 2019 Topps Opening Day Hobby Box so today seemed like the perfect day to look at these cards.  The Opening Day brand isn't for everyone but it is for me and this is the second year in row in which I've picked up a hobby box.  I like the small checklist, fun inserts and the logo.  This is a great photo of Khris Davis and a good way to kick this off. 
Along with the requisite stars you get a first look of some of the players who changed teams in their new uniforms like this Paul Goldschmidt card.  There are also base photo variations for 30 cards but I did not pull any. 
 These three are cards I didn't pull in my flagship hobby box in February.  That's a great Benintendi photo and I also like the Rizzo shot.
 The younger players are of course a good part of this set and my box delivered on some of the big, if not biggest names of up and coming players.
Some more great photos.  Thor with all that hair is probably always a good picture.  Great leaping catch by Kevin Pillar.  Not sure what happened in this photo but I like the expression on Matt Carpenter's face.
Two of the inserts included Team Traditions and Celebrations as well as Opening Day cards like this one featuring a come from behind win for Atlanta last year in their first game.  That Bobble Head museum is pretty cool.
The 150 Years of Fun inserts highlight different aspects of players being able to enjoy the sport or even how they enjoy time away from the sport.  And who's more fun than David Ortiz?  These inserts were also the source for all the retired greats I pulled.  There were three insert sets, Rally Time!, Sock it to Me!, and Dugout Peeks, that I didn't pull any of.  That's pretty disappointing to think that out of 36 packs I couldn't pull at least one of each.
Two more players I didn't manage to grab in February.  That's a nice Arenado photo as is the Greinke photo.  I will say it seems like we get this same photo angle on a lot of Greinke's cards.

I pulled a Kyle Freeland auto.  He had a great year for the Rockies last year and I was excited to grab his autograph.  I'm happy with my box and pull overall.  Good looking cards and inserts.  I'll post again tomorrow showing off more of the cards.  

252 – Total Cards
18 – 150 Years of Fun
18 – RC
9 - Mascot
8 – Topps All-Star Rookie
6 – Opening Day
3 – Team Traditions & Celebrations
1 – RC and Topps All-Star Rookie
1 – Opening Day Autographs

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mike Trout Close to Signing 10-Year $360M Extension

2019 Topps Base Card, Variant, and Topps Now
Mike Trout is reportedly close to signing a 10 year $360M extension.  I for one think he deserves every penny.  For as good as Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are they don't hold a candle to Trout.  He has put up massive numbers over his career.  I'd even say he gave the Angels a hometown discount.  Some are saying he should leave the team - they're no good - but they now have 12 years together to figure it out.  Also Trout doesn't seem like one who seeks out the limelight or drama and I think he is comfortable with the Angels and not looking for change or chasing uncertainty.  I love the idea of Trout spending the entirety of his career with the Angels.  We don't see that enough.  This is great for both he and the Angels.  I think he is the best all-around player I've ever seen in my 40 something years of watching the sport.  And the man can mash the ball.  He's fun to watch and after seeing free agency play out like a Greek tragedy over the winter baseball really needed a good story like this.