Sunday 21 January 2018

Recent Arizona trip and Christmas pack 11

I was pretty much caught up on organizing my collection when I received my COMC Black Friday order, except for a few minor things, but once again have found myself falling behind. Part of this is because of my Christmas and January trips to Arizona, but part of it is because I keep putting cards aside that I want to blog about. I really have to work on getting better at this.

Even though I have older cards to show, I'm going to jump to some cards that I picked up during last week's trip to Arizona, because I want to show a few photos from my trip.

Early this summer I found some nice cards at Phoenix Sports Cards in Glendale. I didn't make it back there during my second summer trip, or at Christmas so I figured that I would try to get out there again to see what they might have. I found some great cards there, and may have spent a little more than I wanted to but that was more because of quantity as opposed to prices. (Although, Daniel if you're reading, the prices might not have been quite as good as some of the cards I found at AZ Sports Cards when we were there at Christmas.) It's just one of those things that if I lived in the area I might tempt fate and leave a few behind and pick them up a few at a time, but since I didn't know when I would be back again, I didn't want to leave them.

Here are most of the cards that I bought.
Top Left: 2001 Fleer Game Time - Uniformity Courtney Brown
Top Right: 2002 Michigan TK Legacy - Mates Autographs #MM7 (#/250)
Bottom Left: 2004 Leaf Limited - Common Threads #CT34 (#/50)
Bottom Right: 2005 UD Ultimate Collection - Game Jersey Gold #GJ-BK (#/50)
 It is always nice to find older insert cards that I need. The backs of all the jersey cards state that they are all game-used. If they are, it is cool to have a piece of Hall of Famer Warfield's jersey, but a shame that it would even be cut up in the first place.

Ever since I started cheering for the Browns, I have had a fondness for their Tight Ends (okay, that sounds bad) so I was happy to see this Aaron Shea card that wasn't even on my wantlist. It may have been one of the cards I was most excited about from this whole purchase. It isn't something that I would have regularly been looking for.

Top Left: 2005 Topps Turkey Red - Autographs Gray #TRA-BE
Top Right: 2006 Donruss Threads - Football #36 (#/250)
Bottom: 2007 Ultra - Comparisons #UC-TF
I like adding missing Braylon Edwards cards to my collection, but still really hate his comments towards Cleveland fans after he was traded to the Jets. Even if most Browns fans are Buckeye fans, they are perfectly willing to cheer for Wolverines that play hard for the Browns. Fans just don't like their Pro Bowl wide receivers dropping balls they think should have been caught, especially when they remember commercials like this.

I love the piece of football in the Droughns card. It's a nice change in a memorabilia card than a piece of jersey.

As for the Joe Thomas card, what can I say? Even if I had already owned a copy, which I didn't, I will always grab a Joe Thomas rookie year insert card for less than a dollar. I really hope he comes back to play again next year. I think he will as he was still playing great when he was hurt.

Top: 2012 Topps Chrome - Rookie Relics #RR10
Middle: 2012 Topps Chrome - Rookie Relics Purple Refractors #RR10 (#/75)
Bottom Left: 2012 Bowman - Accolades #BAC-TR
Bottom Right: 2012 SAGE HIT - Autographs #A103
A nice collection of cards from the Browns two first round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. These cards would have been considered nice pulls when they were opened but are now pretty inexpensive pick-ups to fill holes in my collection.

Left: 2013 Fleer Retro - Ultra Autographs #64
Middle: 2014 Topps Chrome - Purple Refractors #146
Right: 2014 Topps Fire - Forged By Fire #FF-JMA
I think I have to show Barkevious Mingo cards because of his name.

As much as I might complain about parallels, I have always enjoyed the different colored refractors for Topps Chrome. Again, a large part of that might be because they are generally easily identifiable.

I shake my head when I buy missing Johnny Manziel cards, and know that there are plenty of them for me to buy, but I really enjoy this die-cut one. I just wish he had set the league on fire.

Top Left: 2015 Leaf Draft - Autographs #BA-XC1
Top Middle: 2015 SAGE HIT - Autographs Black #A127
Top Right: 2015 SAGE HIT - Autographs Red #A132
Bottom: 2015 Panini Crown Royale - Rookie Royalty Signatures #RRS-DA (#/199)
The Browns had twelve draft picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, with Danny Shelton being drafted in the first round, Xavier Cooper being drafted in the third round, and Randall Telfer being drafted in the sixth round. Nice to pick up more autographs of the three of them.

I actually own a Xavier Cooper jersey, and when I'm wearing it, I often get asked who it is, and why I have it. One of my old roommates is a big Washington State Cougars fan and decided to buy me the jersey for Christmas after the Browns drafted him. After playing with the Browns in 2015 and 2016, he was released at the end of training camp before the 2017 season. The 49ers claimed him off waivers, and he played five games for them before being released and signed by the Jets for the end of the season.

Until writing this post, I assumed that Rannell Hall was an undrafted free agent that the Browns signed after the draft but it appears as though he was originally signed by the Buccaneers and then the Browns signed him off of the Buccaneers' practice roster late in the 2015 season. It looks like this card doesn't actually fit the self-imposed parameters of my Browns collection. Oh well, it isn't the first time I've bought a card that doesn't fit into my collection. Any UCF fans out there wanting this card?

Top Left: 2016 Panini Absolute - Rookie Force Materials Red #8
Top Right: 2016 Panini Black Gold Collegiate - Quad Materials White Gold #22 (#/99)
Bottom Left: 2016 Panini Classics - Significant Signatures Bronze #279 (#/49)
Bottom Right: 2016 Score - Rookie Signatures Showcase #435 (#/99)
After the twelve picks in 2015, the Browns had fourteen picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. Cody Kessler was drafted in the third round, while Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton were both drafted in the fifth round.

I will be surprised if Cody Kessler is with the Browns next year. Although they expected him to be the starter in the off-season, he was out of that role before training camp ended, and although I expected him to be given a shot to start at some point during this 0-16 season, obviously Hue Jackson didn't need to see if he could win a game. One thing that I appreciated in his 2016 season was his accuracy and low turnover numbers.

I think the Browns will sign a veteran quarterback, and use the number one draft pick on a quarterback, and keep DeShone Kizer to develop. This leaves Kessler as the odd man out. I'm sure that another team will sign him and give him a shot as their backup quarterback.

I almost missed the Black Gold Collegiate card as I was looking through the available football cards, but then I noticed Kessler on it at the last moment. You can't really tell from the scan, but the USC players on the card are (clockwise from top left) Cody Kessler, Nelson Agholor, Tre Maddon, and Su'a Cravens.

Top Left: 2017 Panini Elite Draft Picks - Draft Picks Autographs #130
Top Right: 2017 Panini Gold Standard - Golden Jumbo Threads #34 (#/99)
Bottom: 2017 Panini Preferred - Preferred Pairings Booklet #27
Matthew Dayes was drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of NC State, and was a kick returner and back-up running back for the Browns this year.

I was surprised to the see a booklet card in the monster box of cards I was looking through. As it turned out, it was a Browns card. But really to me, except for the fact that it had a Brown on it, it is quite a boring card. However, I don't own too many booklets, and since it was reasonably priced, I picked it up.


These cards came from the only card store I went to during my trip. I had to spend most of the trip around the house, or with family. I really only had the one day that I went to the card store to myself, and wasn't even sure if I was going to get to the store or not.

One of the days that I was there, my sister and older cousin woke me up to ask if I wanted to for a hike with them. They decided they were going to hike the Pinnacle Peak trail.

It was a beautiful morning, more so since the weather at home was so miserable, so I went with them. Okay, part of the reason was that I didn't want my sister to be able to bug me about being too lazy to join them.

Here is one photo from part way up the trail looking down at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale.

From the hike, this is the only good photo that I took. My cousin took way more photos, but has not forwarded them to me.

I had a good time on the hike, and finished it, but was standing there sucking wind on more than one occasion. This was a little embarrassing when young mothers would jog past you on the trail with babies strapped to their backs. I should probably make a point of climbing the trail once on each trip - or maybe look for different trails. I have to remember that exercise is good for me.

On my free day in Arizona, I almost went to some small car auction that was going on there. If any of my friends from home were with me, we would have gone for sure. We all seem to spend a lot of time watching it on tv so it would be fun to be there in person. However, going alone wasn't as appealing as joining my mother's next door neighbor for a couple of hours in the desert.

Sitting in a Can-Am Maverick
Yeah, spending between 90 minutes to 2 hours playing in the desert was fun!

This picture doesn't really do justice to how beautiful the desert is.

Our trip took us down to what I believe is the Verde River, in the Tonto National Forest, which I had driven to the edge of before, but didn't continue down to the parking lot where we parked and I took this photo. My mom's neighbor told me that he has seen wild horses here in the past.

I can't believe how much fun I had, and the ridges we climbed, and the hills we rode down. It was a great time, and I can't wait to do it again some time in the future!

After finishing, I had time to drive to the card store and then meet some friends to play Buzztime Trivia at the Tilted Kilt in Scottsdale.


Finally, on to the next pack of Christmas baseball cards that I'm going to show. This is one that I opened a lot of when it came out.

Here's what I found inside.

I've always liked the artwork checklists, and Kevin Mitchell is a former Met, so that is a nice card. Also nice to get one of the Nasty Boys.

I really like the photos on the Ozzie Smith, Ron Hassey, and Jack Armstrong cards. (Can you imagine what Armstrong feels when people bring this card to him to sign?)

Jack Clark and Don Mattingly join Ozzie Smith in adding star power to this pack.

No Reggie Jackson insert, but still the team hologram to show.

I guess this turned into a bit of a Reds hot pack, with three cards and the hologram.


  1. Great stuff! I don't do a lot of football, but I've always liked the football relics that have words on the ball. There have been some great deals to be had at AZ Sports Cards for sure!

  2. I enjoy seeing pictures of places I'll never ever get to. Arizona is one of those places, so I enjoyed the pictures. I have a friend who mountain climbs for fun, and posts pictures on facebook all the time. I wish I could do that, but I know I can't...aside from the fact that I would get lost in the woods and eaten by a bear, my back would give out way too soon.

  3. My sister and her family live in Scottsdale. I'm always blown away by how beautiful that area is.