Friday, September 29, 2023

Random Wax: 2021 Topps Opening Day Blaster

2021 Opening Day:  We are so close to playoff baseball it's hard not to be excited.  We'll kick off this Friday with a blaster of 2021 Topps Opening Day and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols.
Freddie Freeman is having a historic season hitting doubles like nobodies' business.  Unfortunately, Mike Trout's season ended due to injury....again.  Harper dealt with some injuries as well but bounced back with a really good year leading the Phillies to the playoffs.
Some of the young players in the box.
You get retired legends which is always a good thing.  I won't say these designs wow me but I like seeing these guys on fresh cardboard.
I really like these inserts and Yadi is a an all-time great and PC guy.
Mascots are a fun part of the set.  That Dubon is an Opening Day Edition parallel.
Even the backs of the mascot cards can be fun.

An all-time Royal fan favorite in Alex Gordon and another Yadi card.  I've always been a fan of Opening Day and sorry Topps went away from it.  Hopefully it comes back some day.

77 – Total Cards
13 – RC
4 – Legends of Baseball
3 - Mascots
3 – Opening Day
3 – Future Stars
2 – Opening Day Edition
1 – Rookie Cup
1 – Outstanding Opening Day

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Damian Lillard To the Milwaukee Bucks In Three-Team Trade

I knew it was coming but it still hurts.  Damian Lillard is my favorite all-time Trail Blazer and beyond hope I wanted him to retire in Portland.  Lillard now goes to the Bucks where he'll team up with Giannis Antetokounmpo.  At my core I don't like trade requests but it's part of the game.  Also at my core I'm glad he'll go somewhere where he can compete for a title and play with a great like Giannis. I hope he does great and gets that ring.

Portland's haul isn't bad but not great.  Sounds like Jrue Holiday will not be with the team long since his age (33) doesn't match up with the teams young core.  But Holiday should bring back something good. He's still an excellent defender and can shoot the three.  The definition of a 3 and D guy.  Something a contender would covet.  Deandre Ayton is probably the prize catch here.  He's only 25 and averaged 18 and 10 last season.  That said I'm not big on him, but we'll see if I can get behind the big man in a Portland uniform.  The Draft picks will probably be fodder in the future for another trade down the road.  It's not the haul Brooklyn got for KD but it good and much better than anything Miami could come up with.  What they get for Holiday could really make this look even better.  As is I give it a B+.

Portland receives: From Milwaukee, guard Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee's unprotected 2029 first-round pick, the right to swap first-round picks with Milwaukee in 2028 and 2030, From Phoenix, center Deandre Ayton, and forward Toumani Camara from the Suns in the deal.

Phoenix receives: From Portland, center Jusuf Nurkic, forward Nassir Little, and guard Keon Johnson,  from Milwaukee, wing Grayson Allen

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Random Wax: 2021-2022 Chronicles Basketball

 21-22 Chronicles: Who is Ja Morant this season?  We know he'll sit out the first 25 games of the season. Memphis won 51 games last season but lost in the first round to the LA Lakers without Morant.  I'm not a big Morant guy but he's an amazing basketball player and the league's better with him on the court free of off court distractions.  Fingers crossed that is the Morant we get this next season.
So much variety in these packs and this one packed a punch when it came to star power. I'm not complaining.  Three of the NBA's best here and you can make the argument that these are top 5 amongst today's players.
Chronicles though is about the youngsters.  Twenty-two of the pack's cards are RCs. Cunningham was looking so good before injury took him out last season.  Hopefully he can make a full comeback.  Trendon Watford has been solid as a Trail Blazer averaging 7.5 points in his first two seasons in Portland. 
Three solid young players here.
Scottie Barnes and Bones Hyland have both carved out niches on their teams.  Barnes probably has more upside and should see his roll increase with VanVleet moving on.  He needs to get better shooting from deep but he has potential.
Austin Reaves had a breakout year in LA and got a really good contract to match his output.
This was a good pack of cards.  The veteran star power is great and the variety adds to the fun.  Camps start soon and the season is just around the corner.  I'm excited.

30 – Total Cards
22 – RC
6 – Chronicles
4 - Score
4 – Playbook
3 – Luminance
2 – XR
2 - Threads
2 - Prestige
2 –Absolute
2 - Marquee
1 – Honors
1 – Phoenix
1 – Donruss Rated Rookie

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Random Wax: 2022 Contenders Football

 2022  Contenders:  Hurts and the Eagles aren't quite in high gear yet but they should still be a favorite to come out of the NFC though I'm sure it won't be easy.
Plenty of star power here.  I wish Jonathan Taylor's situation had played out differently.  He's too good not to be playing.  I get the plight of the running back but not seeing one of the game's best is never fun.
Look at this string of quarterbacks in my inserts.  Wow.  Contenders isn't a large set so the pulls should be vconsistent but this felt like a really strong pack.
I do like the vertical take here on the Game Day Ticket.  Not a perfect look but it's different good.
Feels like there were more inserts in these 2022 Contenders packs than in years past.  I could be wrong but that's the sense I get without going back and really digging into it.  Power Players are fun giving us a fun way of showcasing players.  Garrett Wilson went into the season with so much hope but wow how things changed in a matter of four plays.  Burrow is hurting and the Bengals are too.  They've struggled to start a season before and come back but this feels different.  Hope they can make something out of the season but it seems like a big ask.
I'm very happy with this pack. Plenty of stars and some good inserts.  Enjoy your Sunday of football!

22 – Total Cards
4 – Emerald Parallel
2 – Power Player
2 – Rookie of the Year
1 – Legendary
1 – Winning Ticket
1 – Game Day Ticket
1 – MVP Contenders
1 – Touchdown Tandems

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Random Wax: 2021 Contenders Draft Picks Football


2021 Contenders Draft Picks: I wouldn't say Baker Mayfield is relevant again but he is a 2023 starter, won that game, and the reigning Nickelodeon Valuable Player (NVP).  It's on his reference page so it has to be a thing.  Just saying. 
Two years removed from this set being released and Kirk Cousins maybe has more credibility than Russell Wilson?  Injuries has taken the wind out of his Leonard's sails but he was great during those first four years of his career.
I'm a Todd Gurley fan.  I know the end of his career didn't go well but I'll take this Game Ticket Purple Parallel.
These horizontal Front-Row Seats inserts allow Panini to show off some photography.  The officer in the background cheering on the play is great.
Love the college unis on these and this set has a good look to it.  A bit different from other Contenders designs because we get to see photos with backgrounds.  Kamara is another example of how quickly things change.  

18 – Total Cards
1 – Front Row Seats
1 – Draft Class Purple Parallel
1 – Game Ticket Purple Parallel

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Patrick Mahomes Tin (Prizm, Donruss Optic, Select)

 Full slate of NFL games today.  Doesn't get much better than that.  These NFL tins showed up on the shelves last week.  I shouldn't buy these things but I get sucked in.  I picked up a Mahomes whom I really like so here I am...
These come with four packs of cards each having four or five cards each.  This 2022 Prizm pack had a great pull with retired greats as well as A-Aron.  How Rodgers does in New York is one of the big storylines of the 2023 season.
The 2022 Select Draft Picks cards are my favorite.  They don't have that generic silver or white borders.
I'm not a fan of 2021 Donruss so these 2021 Donruss Optic cards don't do much for me.  I do like the Elite Series Rookies insert of Josh Palmer.  
I do like the look of these 2022 Donruss Optic cards.  Much better design.
Some of the remaining cards.  I really like that Stefon Diggs card.  Prizm and Optic really aren't my thing but I did enjoy this tin and the cards.  An impulse buy for sure.

Patrick Mahomes Tin
17 – Total Cards
2022 Prizm
4 – Total Cards
3 – Retired Greats
1 – Green Prizm Parallel
2022 Select Draft Picks
5 – Total Cards
2 – RC
1 – En Fuego
1 – Retired Great
2021 Donruss Optic
4 – Total Cards
1 – Elite Series Rookies
2022 Donruss Optic
4 – Total Cards
1 – Rated Rookie

Thursday, September 7, 2023

2023 Score Football

 2023 Score Football: New NFL season so let's do some new football cards.  These have been on the shelves for a bit but this is a great time to show them off.  Josh Allen and the Bills should be playoff bound again this season but they need to get over the hump when they play tougher competition in the playoffs.
This design looks like an insert to me.  Maybe something with a score at the bottom.  But I like it.  It's not perfect with the side borders a bit clunky but I'll grab more of these for sure.  Love that throwback 1976 helmet Diggs is wearing with the additional red stripe.
Really good photo on this Sack Attack insert.  It works well in this vertical look.
Rookies are well represented.  Here we have the 2003 Throwback Rookie, base rookie card and Protential inserts.  All three are good but I really like the Throwback Rookie design.
Celebration inserts go vertical as well.  Another good choice and who doesn't love a lineman getting in on the fun.
The backs are fine with plenty of color but I'd still like to see more stats.
Huddle Up inserts work for me to.  Not sure why I'm good with something as simple as a huddle photo but I am.
This was a fun design and fun pack of cards.  Can't wait for the game tonight as the season kicks off.  Everyone enjoy!
30 – Total Cards
6 – RC
3 - Protential
3 - Celebration
3 – Red Parallel
2 – Sack Attack
1 – Huddle Up
1 – 2003 Throwback Rookie

Monday, September 4, 2023

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

GOTG3:  Finally got around to watching this one.  It was really good.  I don't care for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 so I was in no hurry to watch this one.  This is one is straight forward and fun which it should be.  This centers around their life post Avengers movies and the loss of Gamora.  After one of their team is attacked they launch into action to save them.  I enjoyed the movie and it works.  The characters are pretty true to who we know them as.  The storyline is solid.  Good stuff.