Sunday, August 30, 2020

2006 Fleer Football


2006 Fleer Football: The Fleer company was purchased by Upper Deck in 2005 and this was one of the Fleer branded sports card sets they put out in '06 and '07.  These aren't bad looking cards but the design feels a little cheap if that makes sense.  Still I like the photos and how much room on the card is devoted to them.
It's always fun busting old packs because you just never know what fun cards you'll find.  This Maurice Drew rookie in his UCLA Bruins uni is one of those.  I was collecting in '06 so this is my first rookie card of his and like seeing him in his college duds.  We also see a gold parallel here.
I like the The Franchise inserts. Not sure who else was part of this insert set but I might track some down.  The backs won't blow you away but I do like the stats and they have some color.
This was a part of the eBay purchase I did some time back and it was a fun pack.  Great looking back at the players and seeing some of these designs in hand.


10 – Total Cards

3 – Fleer Futures

1 – The Franchise 

1 – Gold Parallel

Friday, August 28, 2020

Random Wax: 2016 Topps Opening Day Blaster

2016 Topps Opening Day:  This was a Wal-Mart online purchase.  It was about twice its original cost but seems inline with what they sell for today. You don't see many of these so I jumped on it.  I opened three packs for my post in March, 2016.  That pull netted me the infamous Jose Bautista bat flip card (great photo) and a Mike Trout.  I like this look especially how they handled the logo.  The foggy edges work for me as well though I'm not sure why I like it.  
Christian Yelich was good but not MVP good at this point in his career.
Part of the fun of these older cards is seeing some players in their prime with other teams.
Maybe the most fun is seeing early cards of guys who are now stars like these three guys.
I feel like Ichiro is geting beamed up to the Enterprise.  All three of these inserts are OK but no wow factor for me.  Well plenty of wow factor in the star power. 
Mascots are now a staple of the Opening Day sets and are always fun.
Love the photo on that Superstar Celebrations card.  Kris Bryant has no clue.  Nice Beltre photo on his card as well.  This was a fun find and box. It's exciting when these fall in your lap.  

77 – Total Cards
7 - RC
4 – Future Stars
3 – Superstar Celebrations
2 – Mascot
2 – Heavy Hitters
2 – Alternate Reality
2 – Striking Distance
2 – Blue Foil Parallel
2 – RC/All-Star Rookie
2 – Future Stars/All-Star Rookie
1 – Opening Day Stars

Sunday, August 23, 2020

2020 Donruss Elite Football

2020 Donruss Elite Football:  As soon as I saw the price point I didn't want to like these but just the opposite happened.  The design is nice. Kind of a blend of shiny cards and standards cards.  Pink parallels?  Why are these such a thing.  And now I'll walk that back a bit as I really like this Christian McCaffrey Star Status pink parallel.  Looks like a perfect insert from the 80s.  It works.  The card has raised portions to it ala Action Packed thought not quite as raised as Action Packed.   
The base set has 100 veterans and 100 rookies.  Jerry Rice graces the cover of the pack but did I get a retired great in my pull?  No!  Looks like those guys are only on inserts.  😞  I only pulled one RC but my pull of veterans was pretty strong. 
This is my one rookie card which happens to be a pink parallel.  Online posts state the rookie cards are numbered to 799 but that's not the case with this card.  I'm obviously confused.  The backs are nice.  Big full color cropped duplicate photo of the one on the front, write-up and stats.  Only two seasons of stats is the only negative.  And yep I pulled not one, but two Christian McCaffrey pink parallels in this pack.
Get to see players in their new team's unis with this set.
This is a good set and it was a good pack.  I'm still not thrilled with the price point though so I can't say I'll pick up more of these. But never say never. 


30 – Total Cards

3 – Pink Parallel

1 – RC

1 – Star Status

Friday, August 21, 2020

2020 Topps Archives Blaster

2020 Topps Archives:  I always look forward to Archives cards so I made an extra trip to the store last night looking for them and guess what I found?    This year's set pays homage to 1955, 1974, and 2002 Topps baseball.  This Hank Aaron poster card insert was my favorite from the box.  Overall I'm not blow away by this year's Archives but the cards are solid.
The '74 are my favorite of the three base designs.  That Schmidt card looks like it really was in the 1974 set.  The retired greats are one of the reasons I like this brand so much.  
The '55 cards are not a favorite of mine per se but they are OK and the backs are my favorite.  Lots for a fan to take in.  I like in.
The '02 cards aren't bad.  I wasn't collecting during that decade so it's kind of fun seeing the design with both retired and current players.
The rookies were represented well. Rookie Hair of the Year award goes to Dustin May.  That blue parallel is #/175.
The backs of the 2002 cards are nice.  I like all the stats, the additional photo and league leading stats in red.  The fun facts on the '55 are fun.

A couple of inserts - 1960 Topps All-Star Rookie and Bowman Archives.  Neither are spectacular but I do like the Bowman card.
These two are hot in the collecting world.  Bichette is off to a hot start this season while Guerrero Jr. is still figuring it out.
 This Yordan Alvarez is a 1964 Giant Size card that comes in the blasters.  Not sure what I'll do with an over sized card but that is always the rub with smaller or larger cards.


57 – Total Cards
19 – 1974
18 – 2002
15 – Retired Greats
14 – 1955
10 – RC
1 – 1990 Rookies
1 – Bowman Archives
1 – 1960 All-Star Rookies
1 – Purple Parallel #/175
1 – 1964 Giant Size Card
1 – Base Nickname Poster Cards

Monday, August 17, 2020

Random Wax: 2019-2020 Hoops Basketball

2019-2020 Hoops Basketball:  NBA Playoffs start today!  This pack has been around for a while and today is a good day to post it.  Plenty of stars in this pack who will feature prominently in the games.  LeBron and the Lakers may not have looked that great in the bubble but have to be right there with the Clippers as favorites to come out of the Western Conference.
Speaking of the Western Conference, the Clippers aren't the #1 seed but do seem to be the favorite to win the West and maybe take it all.  Jusuf Nurkic was able to come back from injury thanks to the break in the season and was a big part of the Blazers run at a playoff spot.  Jimmy Butler is a favorite of mine and is a part of the very good Miami Heat after being traded there in the offseason.

Some pretty good inserts and of course Ja Morant is right up there with Zion as far as being chased by collectors and fans.  He is so good.
This was a fun pack led by its star power.  If the Lakers are to compete for a championship that guy below will have a lot to say about it.  He's looked good in the bubble and I'm excited to see what Anthony Davis will do in the playoffs.


30 – Total Cards

7 - RC

2 – Hoops Tribute

1 – Frequent Flyers

1 – Class of 2019

1 – Lights Camera Action

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers Clinch Playoff Spot


Portland defeated Memphis yesterday to clinch the #8 seed in the Western Conference.  It was a great game and a tough one for the Trail Blazers.  C.J. McCollum came up huge in the fourth quarter with 14 points and Portland needed all of them.  Portland was actually up by 16 at one point in the game but trailed for much of the fourth quarter before pulling out the win.  Memphis shot 56% from three.  Part of that was some bad defense but the Grizzlies still had to hit the shots and they did.  Great game from Ja Morant and Jonus Valanciunus and the team played well as a whole.

Portland dealt with a disappointing season prior to the bubble where they went 6-2.  Before the season stopped they had injuries from Nurkic and Collins but both were able to play in Orlando.  They were able to trade for Hassan Whiteside, who had an outstanding season, and signed Carmelo Anthony who has surprised everyone playing both forward spots.  Still they struggled but turned it all around in Orlando.  Damian Lillard took his game to another level this year averaging 30 points and 8 assists per game while shooting 40% from deep.  See his shot from the logo against Brooklyn?   And it's not the first time he's done it.  It is so much fun watching this guy.

Next up for these guys are the Los Angeles Lakers.  I'm stoked.  While Portland shouldn't win this series it sure seems like it could be fun.  Lakers haven't been dominant in the bubble.  Still, they have Anthony Davis and Lebron.  I'm not picking against them but I'm excited for this match up.  As a fan I just hope Portland isn't exhausted after their run to just get into the playoffs.  Still I'm excited to see Portland in and to see more Trail Blazer basketball.  Go Portland!

1990 Score Football Series II

1990 Score Series II Football:  Another pack from the Amazon card pack lot purchase.  I already busted a pack of Series I here and pulled a great looking Junior Seau Rookie and Dan Marino.  This one may not have been that exciting but there are still a couple of Hall of Famers and players I really liked including this Mark Duper.  He was crazy good and it always helps to have Dan Marino throwing to you.
Givens was sneaky good too.  He had 1000 yards his rookie year but somehow never got 1000 again in his career.
These are all guys I admired back in the day.  The career of Joe Morris, like many running backs, was too short.  Still he was an All-Pro once, two time Pro Bowl selection and won a Super Bowl in his time with the Giants.  I always liked Paul Gruber.  He had a successful career but surprisingly never even made a Pro Bowl.  This was a fun pack and still very happy with this Amazon purchase.


16 – Total Cards

1 – All-Pro

1 – Hall of Famer

Friday, August 14, 2020

2020 Donruss Optic Baseball

2020 Donruss Optic: I picked these up because they were there.  The Donruss design is a good one this year but Optic isn't my thing.  And of course having no license is a big con.  That said these aren't bad looking cards.  I did have a nice pull which always helps.  This Acuna Diamond King was definitely the highlight for me.
These guys add quite a bit of star power to the pack.  
The insets are fine.  Not sure what the Stained Glass insert is going for and Illusions is OK but not a home run.
Rookies get to shine here as well.  Nice Yordan Alvarez lime green parallel.  Not saying lime green is a favorite of mine though.
More solid pulls.
 The inclusion of retired greats is always a plus for me and Rickey is a PC guy for me.  This was a pretty good pack.  I doubt I'll grab more of these but I know many collectors are big fans.

16 – Total Cards
5 – Rated Rookie
4 – Lime Green Parallels
2 – Diamond Kings
1 - Illusions
1 – Retro 1986
1 – Stained Glass
1 – Retired Great

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

13 Hours - The Movie and Book


13 Hours is the book by Mitchell Zuckoff and the movie documenting the attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, an information officer and two security contractors.  Both the book and movie do a good job staying away from politics in the account of what happened that night.  Using personal accounts the book does a good job of setting the scene and taking you through what happens from start to finish.  I happened to be in the middle of reading the book when the movie came on TV so I watched it.  As always some liberties are taken but it does a decent job of sticking to what happened.  Just jazzed up a bit as is done with any movie adaption.  I highly suggest both the book and movie.  The book is an easy read and provides plenty of background on the main players as well as details from the attack.  The movie is gripping and does its job of making you want to know what happens next.   I, too, will stay away from the political side of this but do want to highly recommend both of these.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

2004 Upper Deck Football

2004 Upper Deck Football:  A part of that eBay purchase a while back this was a pretty cool pack.  I wasn't collecting during this time frame so they look vaguely familiar but not sure I've ever seen them in hand before.  I really like this photo of Peyton Manning.  Looks like he is in a bit of trouble but I can imagine he still has his eyes downfield looking for a way out this jam.  And I wouldn't doubt he did just that.
The designs are fairly simple but I like them.  The name can be a bit tough to read but that's not uncommon with foil.  Another great photo on that Tedy Bruschi.  The photo on the Star Rookie is pretty cool as well.  Darling may not have had a good career but he'll always have a cool photo on this card.
The backs are simple.  I like the big logo and color but dislike the small stats.  The amount of stats isn't an issue but the fact that the font size is so small is.
I really like how the team logo is a smaller version on top of a muted bigger version of the same logo.  Nice touch. This was a fun pack and a win in my book.  I've already looked at the possibility of picking up more to rip.  Love seeing Drew Brees in his Chargers uni. 

8 – Total Cards
1 – Star Rookie