Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Love Exquisite

There's no way in hell I'd ever pay $200 for a box or tin of cards. As much as I love buying cards and getting an awesome pull, I just cannot pull the trigger on shit like that.

Last year I bought a pack of 2007 SPx for $20. I had never purchased a pack of SPx before, so I figured why not try it once. One Dennis Sarfate autograph later, I wanted my money back. I can't imagine getting that feeling knowing I just spent 10x as much on a box of Exquisite.

The hype for Exquisite at the National card show was mayhem. Between that and Allen and Ginter just coming out, that's all the dealers talked about. So as many of them were breaking case upon case of Exquisite, I'd just watch and see these great looking cards being pulled. And nobody pulled anything solid that day.

Now, I want to finally get some Exquisite. I just got my paycheck and can easily buy some of the holy grail of sports cards. With that said, I'm going straight to Ebay. As a Cleveland Indians fan first and foremost, I'm going to try and find Tribe cards.

Within the first few minutes, I've seen a ton of cut signatures listed, and sitting around $30. For all the hype these kind of cards get after being pulled, as the owner selling it, I'd be kinda pissed that I'm only getting back $30 in return. Then again, I'm not the seller so I couldn't careless. One cool cut signature I did see was Earl Averill, former Tribe great and one of the few who has his number retired with us.

I've got two cards I am going to be bidding on later today. One is a dual signature of Jeremy Sowers and Paul Maholm. The second card is a tri-patch featuring Hafner, Martinez, and Sizemore. Never seen this card before, and it'd add another great card to my already large Sizemore collection. Hopefully I'll be able to win the auction.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

3 All Star Selections, 1 MVP Vote Later.....

and a solid 18 years of service in the Majors, Attic Insulation brings you the best lefty specialist ever, Dan Plesac. Sure he retired in 2003, but he's so awesome he should be talked about as much as ESPN talks about Pacman Jones.

In 1,064 games, Plesac pitched 1,072.0 IP with a career ERA at 3.64. His final W-L was 65 wins and 71 losses, but any respectable baseball fan knows that wins and losses mean jack shit. How about his 158 career saves (58th all time), 1,041 K's (392nd all time!), or his best stat, he got one hit, in 15 career AB's!

Plesac is the leader of the lefty specialist craze (don't tell me otherwise, you're wrong) and should be in the Hall Of Fame. I'm a huge fan of his, for really no reason other than he's awesome (and probably the best Croatian to ever play in the Majors).

To my knowledge I have at least two Plesac cards, and am going to get every Plesac card ever made (I'd guess ~100?) along with his really rare Starting Line-Up figure.

Best part, I even have a screen-name based on Plesac. So Dan if you ever read this, you're the fucking man, and should be in the Hall.

Fuk-u got the wrong redemption card


Topps on Friday announced that Cubs standout rookie Kosuke Fukudome is the player redeemable for the 2008 Topps Finest Baseball Rookie Card Redemption #3.

Throughout the 2008 season, Topps will announce the subjects for the 10-card Rookie Redemption set. Each Master Box of Topps Finest includes one Rookie Redemption. The cards will be printed and shipped to collectors after Aug. 30, 2008.

Stay tuned to for future Rookie Redemption unveilings.
* #1 Johnny Cueto, Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
* #2 Jay Bruce, Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds
* #3 Kosuke Fukudome, Outfielder, Chicago Cubs

I wasn't really expecting Kosuke to be number 3 at all. After the Jay Bruce hype I for sure thought that they'd have another player be the third redemption; which would save Kosuke for around August and September when the Cubbies started to sniff a playoff berth.

With all the bullshit spewed out by Topps and UD so far this season with Kosuke, perhaps Topps realized that they needed a true Kosuke rookie card. Since the announcement I've seen two Ebay listings for his redemption card, one going for nearly 25 while the other is sitting at $18.50. Not Jay Bruce status yet, but I'm sure he'll eclipse the Great White Hope from Cincy soon enough.

I'm still holding my Number 5 Redemption Card, hoping and praying it's Clayton rather than some stupid Red Sox player who I won't want.


I just listened to two different voicemail messages about the same topic:

All 7,000 of my Cleveland Indians cards are currently sitting back home at my house.*

Since work doesn't like to give me hours anymore, my card purchasing (along with blogging) has slowed down considerably. But this is all going to change over the next few days as I go home to get the huge amount of Tribe cards.

As for the cards themselves, they've already had quite a trip. Between packing nearly 7,000 cards and making their adventure throughout this country, apparently it's quite a toll. When the cards arrived at our local branch, supposedly one of the boxes ripped really bad, and cards spilled everywhere. Luckily for me, my family knows nearly all the mailmen so they helped pack up the box and hand delivered them for me.

Hopefully with all the upcoming Tribe card blog posts, the real Indians will start to play some good baseball and maybe (probably not) try to contend for at least a glimmer of playoff hope.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


As I'm perusing Ebay, I decide to see what's newly listed for MLB Showdown. Nothing really worth note as I have most of what's listed, but I always keep hope that there will be a lot of super rare promos I need to finish my sets (2002 DCI promos).

I decide to check the NFL Showdown listings as well. Nothing new either.

So I go to the most pathetic sports card game ever made by Wizards, NBA Showdown. This set was put out a year too early in my opinion. Had it been the 03/04 season, I think it would have had some staying power much like any other cards made from that year for one reason only, Lebron James.

Usually for NBA Showdown's listing it's chock full of the old NBA Showdown games that were made for Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. Sprinkled in, you'll find around 4-5 Starter Decks featuring Tracy McGrady on the front. Over the past month or two, there have been listings for lots of 5 packs a piece, usually starting at $0.99. Whoever lists those should just keep them all together and sell by box, they'd make far more money.

I was shocked today though once I saw this listing:

I don't even know where to begin. It's not even a full set. Hell, half of what's missing are rares! Tracy McGrady himself, the coverboy of the whole thing, IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS LOT!

All for the low low price of $299.99. Oh yeah, since it's not from the US tack on $30.00 for shipping. I'd love to meet the buyer and seller of this item. A little over a year ago, I bought nearly 500 NBA Showdown cards for about $30, included were nearly 75% of the common set, at least 2 of all strategy card, about 15 rares, and everything to learn how to play the game!

NBA Showdown is a great card game that flows smooth, doesn't take long, and has plenty of strategy to tide over even the most competitive gamer. However, I don't think this game is worth nearly $350 dollars.

I'll probably blog about each of the Showdown Sports in the next coming week.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I'm back from Chicago. This trip marked the first time I was ever on the Southside for a baseball game. Saw the Sox take on the Rockies. Comiskey isn't really that exciting and not memorable at all. My dad and I had fantastic seats, but the stadium is pretty bland. Sox won 5-4 (I think) and the highlight was that we both bought Albert Belle T-Shirts for $5!

I didn't get a chance to visit any card stores, unlike last year when I visited a place called Legends Sportscards, which had a wide array of product, along with a lot of cool old memorabilia pieces throughout Chicago's sporting past.

My main hype lately has been all about Upper Deck Legendary Cuts. After seeing some of the cards online, I'm with a few other bloggers when I think this set really has not much going for it. The checklist isn't anything too special, and the only amazing pulls are the cut auto's of guys like Babe Ruth and company. So basically, these cards will never be able to be had by the common collector. Hell, I went on Ebay and saw a "Master Set" sitting at under $200. Poor guy is selling it hoping to recoup some cash after he dropped a bucketload on 3 cases (!!!).

Since I didn't buy a box of Legendary Cuts, I might buy a box of Allen and Ginter (or two), or perhaps start my hockey collection back up once Be A Player comes out. What do you people suggest (all 2 of you who read the blog)?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

MLB Showdown

Back in 2000, my dad took me to a card show. Usually I loved to go to card shows with him because he'd show me all the great old time players, former Tribe players and how bad they were, or just buy boxes of cheap wax and break them open with me when we got home.

However, my interest in sports was dwindling. I still played them all the time, attended Tribe games all the time, and even opened some packs here and there, but the main priority I had at this show was simple:

Pokemon cards.

I was crazy for those stupid things. Even though I was at a show where millions of cards were, I wanted to collect and "battle" with cards of animals that looked like they just came from the Chernobyl plant. My dad would (I think) reluctantly drive me to Toys'R'Us every Wednesday so I could play in the league and get promo cards.

One Wednesday, everything changed when I walked into a game called "MLB Showdown". It was a new card game made by the same people who make Pokemon (Wizards Of The Coast). I love baseball, so I picked up a starter set and 3 packs.

My Pokemon adventure was done the moment I got home. I cracked open the starter, and my dad was interested to see what I bought. The first pack gave me my first foil, Kenny Lofton. My father and I played a few games that night, and I decided I was going to see if some of my friends wanted to convert from Pokemon to MLB Showdown.

Over the course of the six years that Wizards made Showdown, I never stopped collecting, and now have nearly 15,000 cards. Most of the cards have little to no value and couldn't be given away, but I like them because it reminds me of all the time I spent late summer nights watching a late MLB Game or Baseball Tonight while constructing decks and deciding between putting in Todd Van Poppel or Scott Sauerbeck. In the end both of those players were in my bullpen.

In 2006, Wizards stopped making the game due to lack of interest and the fact that the MLBPA wanted way more money for a new contract with Wizards.

I (along with Jim) still buy MLB Showdown, but it's getting much harder now because no place carries a product that is 3 years out or print coupled with the fact that it really didn't sell all too well.

I like to thank MLB Showdown for getting me back into baseball cards. Had I not found those cards and bought them, I'd probably be playing World of Warcraft in my parent's basement eating Dorito's and 3 day old Taco Bell. At least to me, I'd much rather own 15 Darren Oliver cards as opposed to playing World of Warcraft.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Soccer Cards (Football Champions)

With Euro 2008 in mid swing already I figure I'd make the first football (soccer) post. I've followed the sport for a few years now, and support London's only true north team, Tottenham Hotspur. The team has a lot of talent, but always falls short, many people (myself included) compare them to the Chicago Cubs, or better yet my own hometown team, The Cleveland Indians.

Wizards of the Coast, who made my favorite game ever, MLB Showdown, had it's own card game overseas, called Football Champions. With the end of MLB Showdown in 2005, I had nothing to collect and play. And with me being a soccer fan and not owning any of these cards, I decided I'd start to collect.

The cards themselves were made in England for two seasons. The 2001-2002 season was made by Wizards of the Coast and feature stars like David Beckham (Manchester United), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur), and many others. There was the base set and then Title Race, which was a smaller extended set. The second year, they were made by a different company, Subbuteo, who makes the table top football game that is wildly popular overseas. France had one season made, which was 2001-2002. Just like the English, the France set had a large base set and an extended set called "Pour Le Titre".

The largest sets by far came from Italy. They had sets from 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005. Each of these sets had the base set, along with their "Calciomercato" extended sets. Along with these sets, Italian Football Champion players had the chance to earn plenty of promotional cards, some of which are very hard to get, even today.

Some of the best sites to check out Football Champions are: (Ebay England) (Ebay France) (Ebay Italy) (La Fumetteria) (LPP Collecting, Italian Site)

I mostly got all of my Football Champions through the various Ebay sites. There's actually a listing for over 100+ Italian foils from all the years, something which would greatly help in trying to finish my collections.

If you read this and have FC Cards, I'd gladly trade.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Indians Cards!

Much like Jon, I love to collect anything with the Indians name or Chief Wahoo logo on it. I have a ton of Tribe cards, and love breaking them out here and there to look at some of the names (mostly Topps Total 2002).

However, recently, I've been wanting to purchase a bulk amount of older baseball cards just for the sole purpose of looking at pictures, uniforms, and names of the players. Over on David's Indians card blog (It's in my blog roll, check it out!) he posted this fun card listing:

7,000+! This is a dream come true. It sold on Ebay for nearly 50 bucks, and I was the lucky winner (yes I'm a sniping pro). I really excited to be receiving this and plan on uploading many photos to this blog. Unfortunately at the moment my USB drive is broken, so any pictures I take, do no good.

In the last week, I received my 2005 Playoff Prestige Grady Sizemore Purple Parallel /100 along with my 2008 Co-Signers Sizemore Printing Plate.

Also, I'm going to Chicago with my parents for the Peterson Bowling Tournament, and hope to find a few card shops out there near the hotel so I can bust some packs, or start a Ryan Theriot collection.

I'm going to write about baseball cards

I figure I'd like to do a bit of an introductory post here before I go on writing about baseball cards in general. With that in mind, let me explain first why I decided I'd write here about baseball cards at the invitation of my good friend Andy. First and foremost, I like to write. I like having an excuse to write. Baseball cards sound like a pretty fun excuse, at least to me. I've also written here and there about baseball cards before (at the now-defunct Future Considerations. I even wrote a post there once that got featured on Deadspin, which I find quite braggable. Which I imagine is something you'd have picked up on as I'm blatantly dropping that in here for no real reason). My first job was at Dave's Dougout, a baseball card store in Albany, CA. I worked there for about four years. I'm a lifelong collector myself. I know cards and I want to bring some of that knowledge here in the written form.

I think baseball cards are pretty awesome. The photography, the design, the look, the feel. I've learned more about baseball players (and football and basketball players) from cards than I think through any other outlet over my years so far. What he looks like, what teams he played for. Baseball cards are like a visual history of the game and the times that surrounded the game. The best cards can capture a player in a moment like few other mediums.

I think it's a shame the baseball card industry has hit a snag (I'm doing my best to refrain from saying it's dying). I think it's a shame more and more card shops close with each passing year. I think it's a shame more young people like Andy or myself don't bother with baseball card collecting. Most importantly, I think it's a shame that baseball card companies focus so much on the thrill-seeking involved with baseball card collecting nowadays. I, too, enjoy a great pull here and there, but I also get as much (if not more) enjoyment out of card collecting when I find an obscure card of an A's minor leaguer or a Northeastern alum for a dollar at a card shop. That's part of what I want to bring here: an appreciation for the obscure, the low-end, the offbeat, and the simple of the baseball card world. I want to write for the person like my dad who spends some of his free time putting together cheap basketball sets and bidding on common 1966 Topps cards on Ebay looking to finish a set. I want to show how can it be exciting to find the simple cards that relate to you in a collecting world that glorifies rarity for the sake of rarity these days. I hope, throughout my time writing here, that I accomplish just that.

To end things, let me share one of my favorite cards in my entire collection with you:

2002 Topps #334- Season Highlights: Oakland Athletics win 20 consecutive games. This card's pretty well worn by now. It's the one baseball card I keep in my wallet. Back in 2002, 14-year-old me witnessed wins 18,19,20 in the A's American League record-breaking 20 game win streak. All three games ended in a walk off for the A's, and to date that three game stretch remains my most memorable and my favorite moment as a sports fan yet. This card commemorates that streak, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in your collection.

Lastly, forgive the photography. At some point I'll figure out how to take pictures of cards right. That point is not right now.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Number 5, The Finale.

So here's the last of my boxes of Topps Finest, for at least a little while. So far I'm at 38% done for this set, and at a rate of 18 base set cards per box, this is an expensive and tough set to get. Out of all my boxes, my biggest pull by far has been the Jay Bruce redemption. Since then, I have not pulled a redemption card nor have I pulled anything crazy (1/1, cut autos). Most likely, Ebay will be the way I go about collecting the rest of this set. But before I check out Ebay, I'll finish by opening my last box. Here goes:

Pack One:
Felipe Paulino Rookie (Astros)
Manny Ramirez
Vernon Wells
Jermaine Dye
Felipe Paulino Rookie Refractor (Astros)
Eric Byrnes

Well, a pretty tame pack to start things off. Although this was tame, I am almost positive I needed all of these cards to build my set, so thumbs up.

Pack Two:
Eric Chavez
Finest Moments David Wright Blue Ink Autograph
Finest Moments Felix Hernandez
Lance Berkman

Well I pulled my autograph in the second pack, and what a great auto it is. David Wright is the second coming of Christ to most Met's fans, and his signature is right up there with Brian Bannister. Kinda pissed I only got 7 cards though, what the hell Topps?

Pack Three:
Jake Peavy
Frank Thomas
Donny Lucy Rookie Blue Refractor /299 (White Sox)
Topps Team Favorites Dual Alfonso Soriano/Felix Pie
Brian McCann

Cool. A nice variety of stuff in this pack. Although now that I got another Team Favorite Dual card, I'm really wondering when Felix Pie became a fan favorite up in the north side.

Pack Four:
Brandon Webb
Andruw Jones
Chris Young Green Refractor /199
Redemption Card Number 5
Alex Rodriguez Refractor
Jorge Posada

Hey I finally got another Redemption card. Thankfully it was not number 3. I really think that the Fukodome card will be announced right around the All Star Game, so getting number 5 helps my chances, I hope.

Pack Five:
Robinson Cano
Billy Buckner Rookie (Diamondbacks)
Finest Moments Andy Pettitte Refractor
Finest Moments Ryan Howard
Scott Kazmir

Meh, not a bad pack, not a great one. I wish that the Pettitte card wasn't a refractor, there's so many Finest Moments cards to collect (Ankiel!). However, I'm thinking about trying to complete a refractor complete set too, but that is pretty insane along with being very costly.

Pack Six:
Gary Matthews
Mel Stocker Rookie (Brewers)
Finest Moments Tom Glavine Blue Refractor /299
Topps Team Favorites David Wright
Roy Oswalt

A nice way to end my box run. Looking at the back of Mel Stocker's card, I'm sensing this guy will never see daily play in the Majors. Drafted in 2001 and currently playing in Huntsville, that doesn't sound very promising. The Glavine I'm really happy about, I've always liked him and this card is real nice to have. The David Wright Team Favorites is a solid looking card too.

I'll edit this post a bit later with pictures.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mini Box 4

After last night's heart-breaking loss for my Pens, I've given up hockey cards (for now) and gone back to baseball. I haven't tried to collect any sports set since NFL MVP 2000, which I completed. Granted I have completed various MLB Showdown sets, but those have barely any value. Given the fact that they are almost impossible to find now, I've gone to Topps Finest 08. Currently, I'm sitting at about 28% of the base set done. So without further adieu, here is installment number 4 (of 5).

Pack One:
Wladimir Balentien Rookie (Mariners)
Seth Smith Rookie (Rockies)
Paul Konerko
Manny Ramirez Refractor
Aaron Harang

Boring pack. I did want the Balentin though, if not for the set, for his fun name.

Pack Two:
Tim Hudson
Josh Banks Rookie (Blue Jays)
Finest Moments Dan Haren Refractor
Finest Moments Clay Bucholz
Nick Markakis

There are way too many Finest Moments Inserts in this set, and at about 3-4 a mini box, it'd be impossible to complete. Luckily I got two in this pack.

Pack Three:
Frank Thomas
Jeff Francis
Tom Glavine Blue Refractor /299
Topps Team Favorites Bobby Crosby
Nick Markakis

Another Markakis to end the pack. I hope this isn't a collation trend that I will see repeat itself. Bad card collation is the biggest pet peeve of mine. This is what slowly turned me off of a game I loved to play and collect, MLB Showdown.

Pack Four:
Chase Utley
Ryan Hanigan Rookie (Reds)
Dan Haren Gold Refractor /50
Freddy Sanchez Refractor
Troy Glaus

Wow. I didn't think I'd ever pull a Gold Refractor, even though they are listed as 1:7 packs. Now all I need is a White X-Fractor (yeah right). Cool that I pulled a Freddy Refractor to boot.

Pack Five:
Ryan Zimmerman
Alberto Gonzalez Rookie (Yankees)
Clint Sammons Rookie Blue Refractor Blue Ink Autograph (Braves) /399
Finest Moments Brandon Phillips

Well Sammons is my autograph for this box. And looking at the back of the card to check his stats, I don't think this card will gain any value. Although a quick check on Baseball Reference, and Sammons is currently in AAA hitting .273/.343/.373/.716. Mediocre at it's finest! Oh well, still a cool card.

Pack Six:
Bill Murphy Rookie (Diamondbacks)
Dan Meyer Rookie (A's)
Topps Team Favorites Dual Robinson Cano/Melky Cabrera Refractor
Topps Team Favorites Robinson Cano
Brad Hawpe

Not bad at all. Two inserts I did not have yet, along with two rookies and Brad "Drop It Like It's" Hawpe.

Mini Box breakdown:
Percent of Set Complete: 38% (63 out of 166)
Doubles: 2, Topps Team Favorites Bobby Crosby, Nick Markakis
Refractor: 2, Manny Ramirez, Freddy Sanchez,
Blue Refractor /299: Tom Glavine
Gold Refractor /50: Dan Haren
Topps Team Favorites: Bobby Crosby
Topps Team Favorites Dual Refractor: Melky Cabrera/Robinson Cano
Finest Moments: Clay Bucholz, Brandon Phillips
Finest Moments Refractor: Dan Haren
Rookie Autographs Blue Refractor /299: Clint Sammons

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


2/10? Yeah right. If memory serves me right, this card is out of /530 or so. Update doesn't parallel that much. Good try. Anyone that pays $50 for this should be refunded.

Here's a real version of the card. To be totally honest, I didn't think fake relics would make it's way onto a low end Sizemore card.

Grady Watch

This is the second time this card has been listed on Ebay. First time, it went up to ~$135. The seller's reserve was not met. With a little over 2 days left, I'm going to be really curious to see how much this goes for.

So far Sizemore has played horrendous through 1/3 of the season. Hitting at a clip of .257 for a leadoff hitter isn't anything great. However, his .371 OBP and his .477 SLG aren't too off his career norms. The last time this card was listed, Sizemore was in the mid .260's average wise.

With the Tribe slowly slipping game by game, and Grady not hitting, his cards shouldn't fetch much dollar right now.

It'll be interesting to see how his drop in production effects this ultra rare card.


Hockey used to be my favorite sport next to baseball. Growing up, our cable company used to receive a few Pittsburgh channels, and my dad was a fanatic of hockey. Since Cleveland didn't have a professional team, we followed our closest team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I was a huge fan of Mario, Jagr, Ronnie Francis, Paul Coffey and Tom Barrasso. This was during the early 90's when the Pens were the top of the food chain in the NHL. Once our cable company stopped carrying the Pittsburgh stations, my only chance to watch the NHL was on ESPN.

This is where my love affair with the Detroit Red Wings started. Yes, I was a band-wagoner. My favorite player was Sergei Federov. The Russian 5 was what I thought the best thing ever to happen to hockey. Those classic matches between the Wings and the Avalanche on ESPN was like Christmas to me.

And to help feed my hockey addiction, there was a card store at the end of my street. Every Saturday I'd go bowling in the morning with my friends, and then we'd all go two doors down and splurge on cards. Our parents would give us about $10 or so and we'd buy any cards we thought were awesome. Most of it was Collector's Choice. One day, I'll post some of my favorite cards from those years.

The other day when I went to Medina, I didn't see anything I really wanted to buy, and to make the trip worth it, I bought 3 packs of hockey cards, UD Series 2. I've changed my favorite team again, this time being the Columbus Blue Jackets along with my old favorite, Pittsburgh Penguins. And since Malkin is on the cover of UD Series 2, I had to buy a few packs.

I'm looking foward to Pittsburgh winning the Stanley Cup and the start of the 08/09 season, a new NHL video game, and all the new hockey sets coming out.

But for now, I'll stick with my 3 packs of UD Series 2.

Pack One:
Patrick Marleau
Tomas Holmstrom
Darryl Sydor
Paul Kariya
Rookie Materials Jonathan Toews Game Worn* Jersey
Jere Lehtinen
Shane Doan
Michel Ouellet (Victory?)

Some of the names in here already bring me back. Marleau, Holmstrom, Sydor, Kariya!!!, Lehtinen, and Doan. I used to love Kariya when he was with the Ducks. Odd to see him in a Blues shirt (yes I know he's played for other teams in between the Ducks and Blues).

*Game worn now means photo shoot worn....hahaha. Really odd but it's a jersey card and in my first pack of hockey, a solid way to start I think.

Pack Two:
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Chris Drury
Robert Lang
Kimmo Timonen
Johan Holmqvist
Tuomo Ruutu
Jonathan Cheechoo
Nikolai Zherdev

Awesome pack. Robert Lang was a Penguin for awhile, and he's a pretty solid player. Ruuto and Cheechoo in the same pack are nice too. But the icing on the cake came in the Zherdev card. Zherdev is one of my favorite players and is a hell of a player too. I always have loved left wingers too.

Pack Three:
Derek Morris
Rick Nash
Ryan Malone
Martin Rucinsky
Brandon Bochenski
Philippe Boucher
Young Guns Matt Keetley
Mike Lundin Rookie (Lightning)

One (if not the) best offensive players in the game, Rick Nash as my second card. This is actually my first Nash card, and it's got a pretty cool photo. When I got to the Flames goalie card, I at first thought it was an insert for Kipper, but nope. Oh well, hopefully I'll pull a Kipper soon.

These cards are pretty awesome, and with the NHL Finals having my interest, now is a great time to get back into hockey. Plus once baseball is over I'll have a full plate between the NFL, NBA, English Premier League, and the NHL.


Mini Box Number 3!

I bought a Master Box of Topps Finest two days ago. I haven't opened all of the boxes, so I'm going to crack this one right now considering there really isn't anything else to do at 10:16 in the morning. Here we go!

Pack One:
Albert Pujols
Erick Threets Rookie (Giants)
Sam Fuld Rookie Blue Ink Auto (Cubbies!)
Finest Moments Fausto Carmona
Alex Rodriguez

Not a bad pack. Excited about the Carmona card. Sam's card says
Fuld's hot start for teh Double-A Tennessee of the Southern League included a 6-for-9 efford on April 23-24 that raised his batting average to .500. Both performances for the Smokies came against the Mobile BayBears.

Well that's neat. Currently Sam sits in Triple A Iowa hitting .222/.310/.317/.627. Granted he's only had 63 AB's, but in those 63 AB's, he's managed only 4 extra base hits. At the age of 26, Sam has most likely hit his ceiling in baseball.

Pack Two:
Luke Hochevar Rookie (Royals)
Josh Newman Rookie (Rockies)
Travis Hafner Blue Refractor /299
Topps Team Favorites Melky Cabrera
Dmitri Young

This pack is mostly all doubles. The only saving grace was the Hafner refractor. And the way he's been playing (or not playing), I'm not entirely sure if his card could be considered a saving grace.

Pack Three:
Radhames Liz Rookie (Orioles)
Joe Blanton
Finest Moments Brian Bannister
Finest Moments Brandon Webb
Jim Edmonds

Brian Bannister! I don't know why but I really do like the Royals. And getting a Bannister card is really awesome. Hopefully I get a Gordon soon.

Pack Four:
Jeff Clement Rookie (Mariners)
Joey Votto Rookie (Reds)
Johan Santana Green Refractor /199
Johan Santana Refractor
Freddy Sanchez

Two Rookies in one pack, granted I have Clement already, but Votto was a nice pull. Two Johan cards in one pack, and neither are the base set card, odd. And to top it off, I got a Bucco! Yeah, I like Pittsburgh too; only the Pirates and Penguins though, screw the other two teams they have.

Pack Five:
Bryan Bullington Rookie (Pirates)
Rob Johnson Rookie (Mariners)
Finest Moments Ichiro Green Refractor /199
Dual Topps Team Favorites Eric Chavez/Bobby Crosby
Johan Santana

Well, I got my Johan base card. Pulled my first dual team favorites and they are sharp looking cards. I really like the way the Finest Moments looks with a green background too. Plus another Pirate is always a plus, even if he is damaged goods.

Pack Six:
Chris Carpenter
Donny Lucy Rookie (White Sox)
Adam Dunn
Todd Helton Refractor
Johnny Damon

Pretty bland pack, but the other five were solid, so I won't complain.

Mini Box breakdown:
Percent of Set Complete: 28% (47 out of 166)
Doubles: 9 Adam Dunn, Chris Carpenter, Joe Blanton, Donny Lucy, Luke Hochevar, Jeff Clement, Radhames Liz, Josh Newman, TTF Melky Cabrera
Refractor:2, Todd Helton, Johan Santana
Blue Refractor /299: Travis Hafner
Green Refractor /199: Johan Santana
Topps Team Favorites: Melky Cabrera
Topps Team Favorites Dual: Crosby/Chavez
Finest Moments: 2 Fausto Carmona, Brandon Webb
Finest Moments Refractor: Brian Bannister
Finest Moments Green Refractor: Ichiro

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

2008 Topps Finest Mini Box Number 2

Yesterday I (along with the other blogger on here) went to two card shops. The first one, Medina Sports cards and Collectibles is located in downtown Medina, Ohio.

I've seen this shop listed on Ebay, Beckett Marketplace, and so I figured they'd be a premier store. Not to knock the owner, who was a very very nice man, but the store really didn't match up to the way I envisioned it. I figured it'd be a newer store with lots of wax to sell and plenty of cards that are well out of my price range.

Well, I guess I was right about the second idea. The store did have plenty of cards for sale (most notably a Cliff Bartosh signed card for $15.99!!). The place had many cool memorabilia items decorated around the interior, however most of it was not for sale. I bought a few packs of 07-08 UD Series 2 Hockey and a pack of the new 2008 Bowman Baseball.

After we left, both of us really wanted to purchase some fun stuff, so we headed back to our usual store, AllPro, in Stow.

I bought a Mini of Finest while Jim bought a box of 2008 SPx baseball.

Here's my box pack for pack:

Pack 1:
John Lackey
Chris Young
Finest Moments Ryan Zimmerman Blue Ink Auto
Luke Hochevar Refractor
Luke Hochevar (Royals) Rookie

Not a bad way to start the second box I've purchased this year. Zimmerman's auto is a nice one too. Pulling Luke back to back was a bit odd though, but I like the Royals, so I'm not complaining.

Pack 2:
Dontrelle Willis
Roy Halladay
Lance Berkman Black Refractor 56/99
Topps Team Favorites Melky Cabrera
Joe Blanton

Not a bad pack. The Berkman refractor is my first Black Refractor I've pulled, and it's nice that it's Berkman, the way he's been playing so far.

Pack 3:
Derek Jeter
Chien-Ming Wang
Finest Moments Justin Verlander
Finest Moments Pedro Martinez
Radhames Liz Rookie (Orioles)

Bleh. Too many New York cards. This pack should be sent to ESPN, they'd love it.

Pack 4:
Magglio Ordonez
Cole Hamels
Ryan Zimmerman Blue Refractor 168/299
Hideki Matsui
Adam Dunn

This box should have been sold to a Zimmerman collector. I'm not going to complain though, Zimmerman is a good player to have.

Pack 5:
Ivan Rodriguez
Kenji Johjima
Topps Team Favorites Melky Cabrera Refractor
Topps Team Favorites Bobby Crosby
Jeff Clement Rookie (Mariners)

Already pulled the regular Melky, glad to see it was a refractor rather than a double.

Pack 6:
Dan Uggla
CC Sabathia
Finest Moments CC Sabathia Black Refractor 04/99
Finest Moments Frank Thomas
Josh Newman Rookie (Rockies)

Awesome. As a Cleveland fan, I'll certainly take this pack. On top of two CC's the Finest Moments card is a black refractor.

Mini Box breakdown:
Percent of Set Complete: 22% (36 out of 166)
Doubles: 0
Refractor: Hideki Matsui, Luke Hochevar
Blue Refractor (1:2): Ryan Zimmerman
Black Refractor: Lance Berkman
Topps Team Favorites (1:?): Melky Cabrera, Bobby Crosby
Topps Team Favorites Refractor: Melky Cabrera
Finest Moments (1:?): Pedro Martinez, Frank Thomas
Finest Moments Refractor (1:4): Justin Verlander
Finest Moments Black Refractor: CC Sabathia
Finest Moments Autograph: Ryan Zimmerman