Friday, January 31, 2020

Random Wax: 2019 Contenders Draft Picks Football Blaster with 2 Autos

2019 Contenders Draft Picks Football:  This blaster showed up at a reduced price at Wal-Mart.  Seems pretty fast considering there is older product still sitting there.  These blasters come with two autos so I jumped on it.  The two players I pulled, Joe Jackson and Andrew Wingard, have actually seen time on the field which hasn't always been the case with autos I've pulled in the past in the various Contenders Draft Picks offerings.  You just have to go in knowing the odds of pulling the big autos is extremely low.  Love that Bulldogs uni on Todd Gurley and he is a PC guy for me so we'll start this one off right.
This Contenders design isn't my favorite but think if the player photo had somehow been a bit bigger It would have made a big difference.  The combo of current players, retired greats and rookies in their college unis make these pulls enjoyable.
You'll find a few inserts here as well as parallels.  I like the Legacy inserts.  The Game Day Ticket inserts of rookies has a nice design.  Deebo has to be feeling some nerves right now as he goes up against the Chief in the biggest game of the year and his career.
The small set size means plenty of star power in each pack.  It seemed like this box was light on actual college players who might be drafted this year compared to the first blaster of these I opened.
The hardest part is deciding on which players to showcase.  Tom Brady, alias man crush, is a no brainer but there were plenty of others in this pack that could have made the cut.  I might look for some singles from this set here on out but not sure I'll grab any more blasters.  This was a fun box and find.

42 – Total Cards
2 – College Ticket Autograph (1 – Draft Ticket Blue Parallel)
1 – Connections
1 – Legacy
1 – Game Day Ticket
1 – Draft Day Ticket
1 – 2019 Draft Class

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Random Wax: 2019 Score Football

2019 Score Football:  It's Super Bowl week so Tom Terrific is as good and it gets when it comes to the big game.  He and the Pats get to watch this one from home but they've had more than their share of time in the big game. 
Pulled a 49er and a Chief, albeit ex-Chief in this pack.  Can't wait to see what Garoppolo will bring in the biggest game of his young career.  This set with it's throwback look is a favorite of mine and I love busting these packs.
Score offers plenty of insert options so variety helps in these packs.  This year's Captains inserts aren't my favorite design for those but I still like the concept.
Another Epix.  I know someone who might be interested in that Barkley...  I'm always down with throwback so these Throwbacks inserts are nice pulls. 
This was a fun pack for pulling Tom Brady alone but there is plenty of fun had in these with the inserts and great design.  I'd be shocked if this was my last pack of 2019 Score.

40 - Total Cards
6 - RC
3 – Red Parallel
2 – Epix
2 – Captains
2 – Throwbacks
2 – 2019 Draft
2 – Signal-Callers
2 – All-Hands Team
1 – Huddle Up
1 – Fantasy Stars

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Random Wax: 2019 Donruss Football

2019 Donruss Football:  This year's Donruss football offering is one I like.  I pulled a Matt Ryan Retro 1999 card and it is one I really.  That is a really cool design.  I've read Retro 1999 is a hobby only offering so I'm not sure how I got hold of a hobby pack.  
Some nice stars in this pack including Travis Kelce who still has one more game to play.
More solid players including an all-time great in Steve Largent.  Loved watching him play back in the day.
This was a solid pack with more players I was happy to pull.
I like this team card.  It has the Patriot's schedule on the backside.  Design is simple but I like the idea of cards like this.

Will Phillip Rivers return to the Chargers?  Eli has retired already.  I think Rivers comes back but there are definitely mixed signals out there.  This was fun and a solid pack.

30 – Total Cards
4 – RC
1 - Retro
1 – Team Card
1 – Retired Great

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Random Wax: 2019-2020 Upper Deck Hockey

2019-2020 Upper Deck Hockey:  The All-Star game is in St. Louis this weekend and maybe, just maybe I'll get out to Fanfest.  While I'm a casual hockey fan I think this could be a lot of fun and All-Star games don't come around in cities near you very often.  This Crosby guy is good right?  
As always photography takes center stage on Upper Deck hockey.  You get one insert per pack so the base cards will be there for set builders.
Tyler Bertuzzi will be representing the Red Wings this year in his first all-star game.
Silfverberg and Stanley Cup Champion Pietrangelo will also be in this weekend's all-star game(s).

  Hockey cards are always fun and so is the game.  I just wish I knew about the players and teams better.  I do love watching in person and need to make more of an effort to get to a game soon.

Upper Deck Portraits inserts come 1:6 packs.  This was definitely a Sidney Crosby pack two of one of the game's best.  I wonder if he'll have a big weekend.

26 – Total Cards
1 – UD Portraits

Friday, January 24, 2020

Random Wax: 2016-2017 Hoops Basketball

2016-2017 Hoops:   I'm a sucker for older basketball packs so this was an easy pickup some time back.  This pack starts out with a great photo of Anthony Davis laying it up against his future team, the Lakers.  I really like that NOLA jersey as well.
    Bradley Beal is having a great year though he's going solo in John Wall's absence.  Chris Paul is on his second team since leaving the Clippers via trade.  The thirty-four year-old is having a good year but not a great one for the Oklahoma City Thunder who who are surprising me with their 26-19 record.
Nikola Jokic is a stud for the Denver Broncos so this Faces of the Future insert was pretty prophetic.  Malcom Brogdon was traded to the Pacers last offseason and is helping the surprising Pacers who have done very well even without Victor Oladipo who is still out due to injury.
Zach Lavine is having another outstanding year for the Chicago Bulls whom he was traded to in the Jimmy Butler deal.  Fun pack.  I enjoy looking back and of course finding stars but also seeing how things have changed and how players have progressed.

30 – Total Cards
3 – RC
1 – Teal Explosion Parallel
1 – Faces of the Future

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2020 MLB Hall of Fame - Derek Jeter and Larry Walker

Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were voted in to the MLB Hall of Fame today.  Jeter, though a Yankee, was a great player and deserves all the accolades he receives.  He's a huge reason New York won five World Series during his career.  He had so many outstanding years and is definitely one of the all-time greats at the position.  He was crazy durable and consistent.  
  As David Schoenfield (ESPN) mentioned, Larry Walker probably benefited from voters who rely more on modern stats and are willing to overlook someone who doesn't necessarily have the longevity we are used to seeing in many hall of famers.  I wouldn't have voted for him but I've been swayed before and he might be one I could come around on.  Walker had some over the top dominant seasons and was great defensively.  To me he was a hustle guy that everyone would want as a teammate.  His bat, his glove and they way he played the game made him an outstanding player.    

I love Hall of Fames and the passion that goes behind the arguments for and against different players.  I will say one of the few things I really don't like is someone saying a player isn't a "first ballot hall of famer".  A player either is or he isn't qualified to join the hall of fame.  It's cut and dry.  If you would vote for a guy in year two, three or four then he deserved the vote in year one.  Rant over.

2019-2020 Contenders Basketball

2019-2020 Contenders Basketball:  I liked this design on the 2019 Contenders football and I like it again here.  Not sure what it is about that circle and logo but I'm digging it.  It hearkens back to 2011 Topps designs that I really liked as well.  One of my first Trae Young of the year lead off and hopefully I'll pull many more soon.
A ton of star power in this pack.  I know the set size isn't huge at 100 but this pack still hit it out of the park.  The section, row and seat at the top reference the player's weight, height and jersey number.  It's nice seeing players in their new team's jersey's in this brand.
The inserts are nice and we get a look at retired greats on this winning ticket.  That Marc Gasol is a Game Ticket green parallel though the color didn't come out at all in the scan.
The backs are nice and colorful but devoid of stats unfortunately.  The photo is the same from the front but with the background now in place.
This was a fun first pack for Contenders.  I know the brand doesn't do it for everyone and I get it can be a bit similar from year-to-year.  I like this year's quite a bit and this pack and all it's stars definitely are a good start.  

22 – Total Cards
1 – Game Ticket
1 – Winning Ticket
1 – Front Row Seat
1 – 2019 Draft Class

Sunday, January 19, 2020

1997 Upper Deck Legends

I recently picked up a lot of 1997 Upper Deck Legends football cards.  For $7 I received 170 cards with some being duplicates.  I wasn't familiar with these before but the set highlights retired legends.  The autograph checklist is pretty amazing.  That explains why boxes of this are over $500.  
Products like this are fun for finding players of the past on new cardboard and it seems as though this set was "ground breaking" in that regard.  Joiner and Bartkowski are two all-time favorites and there are a ton of personal collection guys like Lee Roy Selmon.
The design is fairly simple but it leaves plenty of room for the photos.  I do wish they had added a team logo.  Still this is a solid look.
Seeing all these players really was a walk down memory lane.  Who didn't like Jim Zorn back in the day.  His being a lefty and his ability to keep plays alive with his legs made him fun to watch.
The backs are great.  Nice big photos, career stats, highlights and a writeup.  The back photos are usually a cropped version of the front but not all cards are like that.  This Bubba Smith photo is different from the front.  I'm glad.  I really like this photo.  This Vince Lombardi Legendary Leaders cards is one of the two subsets.
I'm extremely happy with this buy.  For much less than the price of two fat packs I picked up tons of all-time greats and favorites.  Lots of fun here and I think I received plenty of bang for my buck.

The other subset is Super Bowl Memories like this Roger Craig card.  I'm a big fan of photos from actual championship games.

170 – Total Cards
7 – Super Bowl Memories by Walter Iooss

1 – Legendary Leaders

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Stranger Things Season 3 (NO SPOILERS)

I've enjoyed Stranger Things but was a big slow getting around to season three.  I think this might be my favorite season.  While the first episode seemed a bit slow to me things picked up quickly.  I really liked the different story lines and how they all met in a big crescendo in the final episode.  Some characters played larger roles and we get a few newbies to help round out an already strong group.  I think if you like the series you'll like this season..and you've probably already seen it.  Seems like more action in this season and it all plays out over a short period of time.  That's all I got and don't want to give away anything to those who may not have seen season 3.  I always look forward to hearing what others think.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Random Wax: 2019 Archives Baseball

2019 Archives Baseball:  Back to some baseball cards.  This week has been tough with all the talk of cheating.  If anyone can bring back some balance it is Hank Aaron.  Here he is showcased in the Topps 1958 design.  Not necessarily a favorite of mine but this is a good photo of Hank in that classic uni with the sleeve logo.
PC guys Chipper and Ichior really make this pack fun.  Rocket Roger Clemons as a Red Sox is always a good thing.  I know I'm a Red Sox guy but I've never been a natural fan of his but I have been warming up to him as of late.
Eric Hosmer is another PC guy and who wouldn't want Joey Votto on 1st base?  Really nice photo of Bob Gibson.  I didn't know he ever smiled.
That Will Cordero is one of the Montreal Expos 50th Anniversary inserts.  Duke Snider just looks like a classic baseball player in that photo.  This was a fun pack.  I like the Archives brand and there will be more of these in the future.
These Topps Magazine inserts are favorites of mine.  Very glad they are one per pack and I think I'll put this one on my list of insert sets to complete.

18 – Total Cards
6 – 1975
5 - 1993
5 – 1958
1 – Topps Magazine
1 – Silver Parallel #/99
1 - 50th Anniversary of the Montreal Expos