Monday, May 31, 2021

The Forgotten 500 (Book)

The Forgotten 500: This book is one I'd given my pop and finally got a chance to read myself.  He really enjoyed the book and so did I.  The story centers around airmen who partook in bombing missions in Europe and on the way back some bombers were hit by anti-aircraft or damaged by German fighters and the flyers would have to bail out.  Many ended up in Yugoslavia.  You'll learn about the amazing plan to rescue these those airmen while also getting the back story on many involved.  The country itself was divided internally by two different factions while trying to resist German occupation.  The Chetniks had fallen out of favor of the Allies but still did everything they could to protect the downed airmen even at the expense of their own.  The Chetniks were led by General Draza Mihailovich. After the war the Allies regretted which side they took as Yugoslavia became a Russian puppet state thanks to the Partisans they had backed.

 The Allied and Yugoslavia politics play a big part of this book but the individual efforts are really what stand out.  Whether it be the villagers and Chetnik fighters who risked everything to harbor and support the men they took in, the men who had to evade capture not knowing how they would get home and the efforts of individuals within the US agencies who ensured these men got home.  This is a good read and definitely a part of World War II history that many probably don't know a lot about. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The New Mutants Movie (2020)

 The New Mutants: (MINOR SPOILERS) The daughter and I watched this last night and we both really enjoyed it.  The movie is centered around young mutants brought to a hospital where they learn to control their powers. Things are not as they seem and conflict ensues.  The catalyst is when Dani Moonstar arrives after her town and family are destroyed.  She is surprised to wake up in this special hospital after the tragedy.  Dani doesn't know she has powers.  From there the story progresses and you meet the others at the hospital.  The group is pretty diverse and throughout the movie you'll find out more about each.  The movie is pretty straight forward but the acting and characters make the movie.  The actors/actresses really stood out to me for some reason.  Actress Blu Hunt plays Dani while Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones fame plays Rahne.  The other young mutants are played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, and Henry Zaga while the doctor is played by Alice Braga.  I recommend this movie.  It isn't the typical super hero movie and the tone owes some nods to the X-Men franchise which The New Mutants comics were tie in to.  It is just a good movie to watch. The movie doesn't directly name all the characters but they are Wolfsbane, Psyche (Mirage),  Sunspot, Magik and Cannonball. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Mail Day: Trade #2 with J's Sports Cards

 Another great trade with J's Sports Cards from Twitter.  This is my second trade with him this month.  I received some BoSox and Braves for which I couldn't be happier.  We'll kick it off with this Chris Sale Blue Sparkle parallel which is exclusive to Wal-Mart mega boxes. Nice looking card.  
This design really works for me though when I look back on the original 1952 cards I am definitely "meh" about them. 
Dalbec's average has suffered this year but he still has some pop.  Hoping he can get that up and be a good all around hitter for the Red Sox.
A nice career stats variation and another Dalbec.
Tanner Houck is still very young and only has 27 major league innings.
Nice Diamond King while that Vazquez is a high number SP.  Another great batch of cards from J's Sports cards.  You can see our first trade from earlier this month here.  I'll end it with the reigning National League MVP and my favorite card of the lot.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Random Wax: 2019 Playoff Football Blaster

2019 Playoff Football: This is a brand I like and opened quite of bit of it since it came out.  This pack was probably bought in 2019 or early 2020 when there were still some cards lingering from the previous year on shelves.  The good ole days...  We'll kick this off with a Hall of Famer from years past.  Nice photo on that card.
We'll kick it off with some inserts.  Derrick Henry is such a beast.  I love watching him play.  Myles Garrett is an anchor on the Cleveland Brown defense.
Who didn't like the Patriots Stanley Morgan back in the day?  His son has struggled but I still enjoy seeing that name.  Not sure where Richard Sherman will land this year and Aaron Donald is still a stud.
I love the retired legends included in this set.  It's a pretty good list and I love pulling these guys.  When I scanned that Deshaun Watson I had no idea the turmoil that would surround him today.  Fun box of cards and a good set.

56 – Total Cards
17 – Retired Greats
8 – RC
2 – Star Gazing
2 – Rookie Wave
1 – Kickoff Parallel
1 – Thunder & Lightning
1 – 2nd Down Parallel #/49
1 – Panini Points (600)


Friday, May 21, 2021

Random Wax: 2019 Tops Opening Day Blaster

 2019 Topps Opening Day:  I've lost the breakdown for this one but I think it was one of a few very random 2019 blasters I randomly found in 2020.  I'm an Opening Day guy so there was no way I was going to pass these up. 
Looking back on these is so much fun.  Even better when the stars from 2019 still hold up today.  Freeman just reached 250 home runs for his career.  deGrom has started crazy good this year and Matt Olson is having a really good year so far as well.
Mascots are always fun and the 150 Years of Fun are fun inserts as well.  And pulling Ichiro cards is always fun.  I'll stop saying fun now...
Lindor is struggling in New York but he is still having fun cashing the mongo paychecks he is getting from the Mets.
More Acuna more better.  Torres is trying to get back to his 2019 self, and stats, while Hudson has had a good career as a Cardinal starter.  
Photos like this are always cool.  Not the standard photos we get used to.  
Plenty of star power in this box.  Always a good thing.  
We'll end it right here with this great photo.  That's a great way to celebrate..  I really like these cards and this box.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

2019-2020 NBA Stickers

2019-2020 NBA Stickers: More of the different stickers I've had laying around for some time.  These packs contain one card and five stickers.  We've seen stickers go this route in recent years.  This is a sticker and a great one to pull.  Lillard is maybe my favorite player in the NBA right now and of course a Trail Blazer.  Just need Portland to make a deep run in the playoffs this year but they still play a little uneven at times.  Fingers crossed.
Some of the variety amongst the stickers include Season Highlights and Caricatures.  Variety always helps and I like both of these.
The Toronto sticker just doesn't look right without the other half of it.  The base design on these is good.  Not great but definitely something I like. The Matisse Thybulle below is not a sticker but a card.  Fun pack and I always enjoy picking up some stickers when I get the chance.  

6 – Total Stickers/Card
1 – Card
1 - Caricature
1 – Season Highlight
1 – Raptors Championship

Sunday, May 16, 2021

2021 Bowman

 2021 Bowman: A few of these were at my local Wally World yesterday so I grabbed three packs.  I have to say collation was bad amongst the three packs so I ended up with some duplicates which was disappointing.  Each pack comes with five Chrome and this Jo Adell was a nice Chrome pull and a great place to start.  The price point on these is $9.99.  I forget these are that expensive or I would have only pick up two packs.  I'll show off the other two packs throughout the year.
Almost every young player in these packs were players I'm not familiar with.  I did pull a Brave so hopefully in a few years I'll see Drew Waters in the majors.  I like the design this year.  It's a bit busy but I've found past designs on the boring side.
Some base Chrome.
Three Marlins highlight this Talent Pipeline Chrome insert.
Plenty of young players in these packs.  I was happy with the photos for most part as well.  
Veterans are also part of the set but it seemed like I had anywhere from two to six veterans in each pack.  These four were all duplicated in another pack.  Other than the duplicates I like these cards.  I won't look for more except maybe some singles.  

19 – Total Cards
5 – Chrome
2 – RC
1 – Talent Pipeline
1 – Rookie of the Year Favorites

Saturday, May 15, 2021

2020 Topps WWE Women's Division Hobby Box (Auto and Printing Plate)

2020 Topps WWE Women's Division: This showed up at lunch and I couldn't be happier.  This was delayed from last year and went through a format change.  Originally a 24 pack box, hobby boxes are now a single 60 card pack.  You still get an auto and relic.  I had the chance to cancel my order when the change in format was made but I didn't and I'm so glad.  My auto was this gold parallel Sasha Banks #/10.  Great pull for sure.  Love her autograph and she is a name in the sport.  The roster auto gold parallels odds are 1:58 packs.  Nice hit but there was another great hit in this box...
The design is fairly simple but I like it.  Plenty of room for the nice photos you'll see here.  
That Charlotte Flair blue parallel is #/25.  
Love these inserts.  To some the differences may seem negligible but I really enjoy seeing these gals then and now side by side.
This isn't my other big hit but this Superstar Mat Relic is a hit.  It is #75.

These four are Roster card inserts which includes NXT UK wrestlers as well.  Bless Topps for giving Charlotte Flair the horizontal treatment here.  This classic pose of hers deserves the space.   
I also like these Breaking Barriers inserts.  Something about the bricks.  Good to see China's inclusion in the set. 
Action photos are fun as always. 
Plenty of good photos across the different WWE platforms.
And my other big hit is below - a Magenta Printing Plate 1/1.  Those also fall 1:58 packs which is actually better than base card red parallels which is like 1:228 packs.  No matter, it is still a really good pull.  I really enjoyed this box and with the hits is definitely a winner.  I would have preferred the larger amount of cards originally planned for this set but it is still good.  Was hoping for more Alexa Bliss in my pull as well but again I have no reason to complain. 

60 – Total Cards
12 – Roster Cards
6 – Breaking Barriers
6 – Superstar Transitions
1 – Blue Parallel #/25
1 – Superstar Mat Relic #/75
1 – Magenta Printing Plate 1/1
1 – Gold Parallel Roster Autograph #/10

Friday, May 14, 2021

Random Wax: 2020 Bowman

2020 Bowman:  Have to say this pack probably felt quite a bit different when I opened it two years ago.  Boehm wasn't quite the player being chased in the hobby like he is today.  He's started off slow this year but had a great year last year with the Phils making expectations high for this guy.  This is a 1990 Bowman insert.

This set has a pretty good design that I like.  That Beck is a purple parallel #/250.  Some of these guys are still finding their way whereas players like Hoerner is already working on carving out his niche in the majors.
No matter how the players are doing it's fun to look at these with fresh eyes wondering if these guys have made an impression yet.
The set does include vets like Baez and Miggy.  Fun pack to look at now and have some hope that Boehm will become the player many think he will be.  

19 – Total Cards
5 – Chrome
2 – RC
2 – 1st Bowman
1 – 1990 Bowman
1 – Purple Parallel #/250