Annoyed, but not

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , , , , ,

First, the annoyed bit. Let's get that out of the way first.

I'm going through my jumbo box of 2013 Series 1, and I've opened four packs so far. That said, pack #4 was a complete bust. Every single base card that I pulled was a duplicate of one of the cards in the first three packs, with I'd say 70% of them being from pack #3 (that is, the pack that was lying right next to it in the box). That's just really, really poor collation.

Okay, not every single base card was a duplicate. There was one (one!) different card, and here it is.

I was hoping I would get one of the Out of Bounds short prints, because now I have something to put in the glaring hole on the first page of the binder where card #7 is supposed to be. And Albert Pujols is a nice one to have. That said, he is available for trade if you have a Jay Bruce, Paul Konerko or Todd Frazier OoB short print to trade.

Now for the good part. I mentioned a big eBay purchase the other day. Well, it arrived, quicker that expected:

This is one of the printing plates for 2009 Spectrum, aka the "Four Rainbows" that I've been chasing since, well, 2009. Three years ago, I let a Lincecum printing plate slip through my fingers because I was on school camp and got my times confused (and missed the ending by an hour). I wasn't going to let Felix get away.

The goal for me is not to get all the printing plates, but at least one from each of the four rainbows. One down, three to go.

2013 Topps - First Thoughts

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

I opened the first jumbo pack of Topps 2013 Series 1 this morning. Unfortunately, there were no hits and/or short prints, like there was with my first packs of 2011 and 2012. Maybe all the good stuff is yet to come. At any rate, I'm posting my initial thoughts on 2013 in this post, then I'm going to go and see what else I got.

I'm not sold on the white backgrounds at the bottom of the card that bleed into the white borders. They give the cards a kind of unfinished look. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it just seems like the cards need a defined boundary. Baseball is such a game about lines, that to see baseball cards without them is somewhat unsettling.

The "Career Chase" blurb on the back of the cards is, frankly, stupid. It's dumb because it's meaningless. Why put that "with 28 wins, Daniel Hudson is 483 away from Cy Young's record of 511." when everybody in the world knows that Hudson (or anybody) is never going to break that record. How about relatively meaningful stats like "Hudson is 72 wins away from 100 for his career" or maybe team records. Don't put that Ryan Howard needs 462 home runs to break Bonds's record - I can subtract 300 from 762 myself, and besides, Howard is not even halfway there and he's already washed up. The Career Chase is a completely useless feature that didn't have to be.

Okay, on for something I do like; specifically, for the first 60 or so cards (which the exception of Bryce Harper and card #1), Topps has assigned the card number to a person who wears that uniform number (although why they didn't give Mo Rivera card #42 is anyone's guess). That's a nice touch. Boo, however, for not issuing a Mickey Mantle card this year, while still keeping card #7 "retired", thus creating a big hole on the first page of the binder. Seriously, Topps, it's time to drop that stupid gimmick. If the Marlins can un-retire jersey #5, you can un-retire card #7. Hell, give it to a Yankee every time if you must. I can live with that.

The Three Stars of the pack:

3. Dustin Ackley batting. I'm a sucker for those shots taken a millisecond after the ball leaves the bat.

2. Adam Jones diving. As a coach, I appreciate defensive fundamentals, such as a fielder following the ball all the way into his glove.

1. Dee Gordon turning the double play. An otherwise routine defensive play made remarkable by the stunning presence of Brandon Moss's green-and-gold uniform in the foreground.

Here's Jose Reyes in an airbrushed Blue Jays uniform...

...and here's Heath Bell in an airbrushed Diamondbacks uniform

I'm not holding my breath to see Shin-Soo Choo in an airbrushed Reds uniform, but it would be nice if Topps held his card back to Series 2 so we didn't have to see him in Indians threads.
(Update: I just looked at the checklist. Choo is card #17 because he wears #17. Damn.)

No great insert cards of note. The most impressive was an Adam Jones die-cut card. Since I'm only planning on collecting four of the cards from that set, to get one that I needed straight away was a nice start. I also got a Bryce Harper insert card, which is good, I guess.

I don't plan on posting any more about Series 1 until I finish the whole box, and then I'll recap. Until that time, I'll be doing more baseball-related posts instead of card posts. I did have a major eBay purchase yesterday that I'll be sure to blog about once it arrives.

Wow, post #300

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

Sorry it's not terribly worthy of a round-number milestone.

My 2013 box came today (spoiler alert: I thought it might). Unfortunately, there was no time to get stuck into it. This year, of course, I'm going to change things up a bit with my recaps. I'll post my thoughts on the first pack, of course, because it's a new set and there will be doubtless lots to say. But then I'm going to do a whole-box recap with hits, special cards, inserts and what I think were the pick of the base cards. Hopefully, with it being a jumbo box, I will get one of every base card. That's what I get the jumbos for.

However, I've been thinking about the blaster boxes. The main attractions, for me, are that you get a bunch of insert cards (good if you're collecting insert sets) and the manu-patches. Last year's retired number patches were, for me, as good as it gets. I started out just wanting to collect the teams and players in my PCs, and now I'm thinking about going for the whole collection.

However, in looking at the two types of manu-patches on offer for 2013, I can't say that I'm too impressed. This time, I really will just go for the players in my PC (not even worrying about the teams; that's how underwhelmed I am). Same with the insert sets. There really aren't that many that interest me. I'm not going to collect the '72 minis because - treason alert - I think the '72 set looks stupid. I've never liked it, not since I was 9 years old and saw the reprints in that K-Mart MVP set. I'm probably in for the Chasing History set (key word: history) and Chasing the Dream (because I always collect the rookie insert set) and that's about it.

Due to my lack of interest in the patches and inserts this year, I'm probably just going to stick to hobby boxes and pick up the few manupatches I want off of eBay. What say you all? Is this a solid plan? What are your thoughts on the blasters and this year's crop of insert sets?

Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

And what better way to celebrate than to do some shopping? I need to clean out my closet, how do these replacements seem?

I know this really doesn't have to do with pitchers and catchers reporting, but I'm very excited that Spring Training has begun and I wanted to commemorate the event, somehow. On a card-related note, the USPS tracking information says that my 2013 Topps jumbo box is in "AUSTRALIA" so that's something, I guess.

No more detailed information, just "AUSTRALIA." How very useful.

When they say snail mail...

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , , ,

...they ain't kidding.

First, some background. I made some eBay purchases in late October. My mom mailed them, along with some other stuff, in early November. Here's the postmark:

The package arrived in my

I had pretty much given up hope. Usually, when a package takes a long time, it's because Customs and Quarantine has it, they saw something on the X-ray they didn't like, and they opened it up and inspected further. I've had that happen a couple of time (usually with food involved) and when they do that, they seal the package back up and include a little card explaining what they did and a number to call if you want to complain (not that it would do any good).

No card in this package. So who knows why it was delayed. And for so long.

I'm just glad that Australia Post (or possibly the USPS, there's no way of knowing on which side of the Pacific it got lost on) found it. Because one of the cards was the one on the top row, in the middle.

As you can see, that card completes my Griffey Spectrum rainbow. That's two rainbows down, two more (Ichiro and Felix) to go.

Finished sorting

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

Just finished going through all my '75 Topps. It's too late to do a full-blown post, but I now have 449 cards, more than two-thirds of the way through the set. I'm pleased with that result. The lot of 422 cards added approximately 300 new cards to my set, as well as quite a few for the team sets.

This weekend, I'm going to post the cards I have of players who went on to become managers.

Oh, and I did get a Brett card amongst all of them. :)

A passel of '75s

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in ,

I love watching the show Storage Wars. One of my dreams is to win a storage locker auction and find a whole bunch of 1975 Topps cards in the locker. There's just two things wrong with that dream:

  1. There aren't any storage locker auctions in Australia. Here, if you don't pay your bill, the companies just open up the locker themselves, take all the good stuff and sell it, and throw the rest away. Which I suppose is fair enough.
  2. Even if there were storage locker auctions here, I highly doubt any lockers would contain any 1975 Topps cards.
However, I have a new friend named Jeff. Jeff is a storage auction enthusiast who happened to come across some 1975 Topps cards in a locker he bought. 422 of them, in fact. So Jeff put the lot on eBay, where I was able to snag it for right around 42 bucks. In other words, I got all those cards for the 10-cents-a-card benchmark I think is fair.

The cards arrived yesterday, and so far I have resisted the urge to bust out all of them in a hours-long 1975 Topps cataloguing and filing orgy. I've only gone through a third instead. Here are two highlights.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the best card in 1975 Topps. Not Robin Yount, or George Brett, or either of the Hank Aarons. Why is this Herb Washington card the best? Check out his position.

Now check out the back. Even his stat lines are different, adjusted to reflect his unique position in baseball history.

Finally, here is a "Joy of a Completed Page" - my first completed page of '75 Topps.

More to come as I go through the second lot of my "Storage Wars" cards tonight.