Wednesday 31 August 2016

Bar contest winnings

I'm sure we've all watched sports in bars that have those scratch and win giveaways, and then have a ballot on the back to win some sort of prize.

Over the last couple of months one of my local hangouts bought a bunch of Blue Jays jerseys that they would draw for during select Blue Jays games near the end of the season. This bar has done this with other jerseys over the last few years, and one of the stipulations used to be that you had to be there for the draw. This year they decided to change that.

First of all, I did win something with the scratch cards. I got a really nice jersey beer bottle cozy.

Kind of neat, and I won't say no to free stuff from the bar. (Although I probably do have too many different beer glasses that I have won over the years.) Some of my friends seemed to walk away with one of the cozies each night, but not me, I mostly saw the 'Try Again' every time I scratched the card. But I did fill out the backs because, hey, why not?

And... 'bout that!

The first draw was last Thursday night, and I wasn't there. I didn't even go into the bar at all on the weekend. The bartender working on Monday evening texted me to let me know that I won. Woo hoo!

I went in later Monday night to pick up the jersey and one of my friends was there, and had been there for the draw on Thursday. He told me that one of the first things heard in the bar after my name was announced was, "But he's a Mets fan!", and I laughed at that.

The funny thing is that my reply to the bartender that sent me the text was, "Go Jays!?!"

To my friends at the bar that wondered if I would actually wear or keep the jersey, I laughed when I picked up the jersey - it is a Large. Yeah, not going to work for me. (I'm 6'4, and after behaving badly this summer I have just crossed the wrong side of the 300 lb. barrier. Have to start doing something about that.)

I thought about what to do with the jersey and pretty much immediately figured that I would give it to a friend of mine who's a huge Blue Jays fan, and as a single mom with two kids really doesn't have the disposable income to buy herself a jersey. The big problem is that she is tiny and this will be a dress on her.

I talked to the bar manager, and he told me where he bought the jerseys and said they might be able to exchange it so I will go to the store and see if I can get a smaller jersey for her. I thanked the manager for the promotion and told him and asked the other regulars at the bar not to be too upset when my name gets drawn for a second jersey! (I figure that the only time I will win is when I really don't care about the prize.)

There was a second draw last night during the seventh inning stretch. I didn't win the Stroman jersey they drew for. Oh, well, I've got five more chances to tick off my friends!

Monday 29 August 2016

Some new cards

Along with the cards that I showed last post, I added some more Browns to my collection over the weekend.

I picked up another pack of 2016 Prestige at Wal-Mart while I was down there and there was one Browns card in the pack.

2016 Panini Prestige #281

With today's release of Paul Kruger, Ogbah's pass rush will be counted on more than ever. It will be a growing year for a lot of young defenders on the Browns.

I also won a lot for eight Johnny Manziel rookie year cards for $10.50 plus $3.00 shipping. I needed three of the cards, with the draw being this autographed, numbered card.

2014 Panini Crown Royale - Rookie Silhouettes Autographs Gold #201

A seller on COMC wants $100.00 for the regular Silhouettes Autographs card which is numbered out of 299.

L: 2014 Topps Museum Collection #30
R: 2014 Topps Turkey Red #1

I bought quite a few Turkey Red packs in 2014 hoping to pull this base card with no luck. I bought the autographed version a little while ago and finally the base card is added to my collection.

At Wal-Mart I also bought some discounted packs of 2014 Panini Absolute Retail. According to my collection on the Trading Card Database, I don't have any Browns from the retail set, but now that I pulled the following cards I will have to compare them to what I have and see if I can see a difference. I managed to pull quite a few Browns.

Top (l-r): 2014 Panini Absolute Retail #47, 77, 104
Bottom (l-r): 2014 Panini Absolute Retail #116, 150
Off-hand, does anyone know how to tell the difference between the 2014 Hobby and Retail cards?

I watched the entire Browns/Buccaneers pre-season game on television the other night. It is going to be a long year!

Saturday 27 August 2016

From The Chronicles of Fuji

I made the drive down to my PO Box today and had an envelope waiting for me from Fuji. I am always pleasantly surprised at the generosity of other bloggers and was thrilled with the cards inside.
Top (l-r): 1999 SkyBox Dominion - AtlantAttidue #3; 2014 Finest- Atomic Refractor Rookies #FAR-CSH
Bottom: 2012 Panini Absolute - War Room Materials #6

We'll start with three of the twenty-four QBs to start for the Browns since 1999.

I had heard that Connor Shaw was in the Bears training camp after the Browns released him this year so I decided to see how he was doing to put something in this post. Sadly, after going 5-6 for 68 yards and a touchdown this afternoon against the Chiefs, he suffered a gruesome leg injury that is being reported as a broken leg just above the ankle. Sad news. Best wishes go out to him.

Brandon Weeden appears to be getting third-string QB reps with the Houston Texans behind Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage.

Top: 2008 Panini Gridiron Gear - Performers Silver #P-29 (#/250)
Bottom: 2004 Playoff Prestige - Xtra Points Black #34 (#/25)

Okay, I scanned these two running backs together but there is really no comparison between the two.

Leroy Kelly was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974, and twice led the league in rushing (1967 and 1968) after following Jim Brown as the starting running back for the Browns.

William Green played his four year career with the Browns and ran for just over 2100 yards in his career. But when I talked about being surprised at the generosity of bloggers, it is because I'm still amazed that people will send each other cards with such a small print run. I really appreciate receiving it to add to my collection.

Top: 2002 Bowman's Best Football #111
Bottom: 2004 Donruss Classics - Timeless Tributes Red #22 (#/100)

A former Virginia Tech receiver, Andre Davis played the first three years of his eight year career with the Browns.

I don't quite see the bottom card being red, but that seems to be what it is called.

L: 2004 Flair #66 (#/799); R: 2008 Finest - Blue Refractor #82

And we finish up with two cards of former Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.  It is always fun to see early cards where they are wearing numbers that they never wore during their career.

Fuji, thanks for the great package of cards! I really appreciate the additions to my collection. I have a few more additions to your collection about to hit the mail soon.

Thursday 25 August 2016

Less Bark

Although I was expecting to post something different today, I changed my mind after seeing the reported trade of Barkevious Mingo to the Patriots.

2013 Panini Contenders #107

His name always stands out, but his play at LSU led to him becoming the #6 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

2013 Fleer Retro #64

Listed as 6'5, 240 lbs, he had tons of speed and it was assumed that he would do a great job as a pass rusher, and only improve as he added muscle and weight as he got a bit older. He started his career strong, with one sack in each of the first three games that he played, but had only four more in 43 games after that. For the last couple of years, he was used mostly as a drop back coverage linebacker.

2013 Score #339

I own 38 cards of Barkevious Mingo, of which 6 are autographed. 32 of the cards I own are from his rookie season.

2013 Panini Prestige - Rookie Extra Points Red #208

So many of the cards I own have training camp photos with his name taped on the front of his helmet.
2013 Topps Magic - Autographs #92

As opposed to most of the Browns autographs in my collection, I actually pulled this one in a box that I bought. I was so happy to actually get a Browns hit. I have four different copies of the 2013 Topps Magic card - the base card, this autograph, the mini parallel, and the mini black parallel.

2013 Topps Prime - Silver Rainbow #126

This is the lowest serial numbered card that I own of Mingo. I'm sure I'll eventually get something lower than a #/50, but for now this is it.

Don't you love when card companies use the same photos in different sets, especially during the same season?

2014 Panini Prestige #44

Hey, look, no name sticker on his helmet!

I like these Panini Prestige cards. I think it is a good picture of him and I like it highlighted over the brown and orange background.

2014 Panini Sticker #100

Did somebody say sticker?

2014 Topps - Signatures #TA-BM

There was a lot of talk during this year's training camp that Mingo had put on muscle, and that the Browns were going to use him at inside and outside linebacker depending on circumstances of the game. Sadly, this meant that he really didn't have a position, and while watching some of the preseason games, you could still see his speed getting him to the play, but then he had trouble making the tackle.

I hope that the Patriots find a way to use him to the best of his abilities, and that he has a successful stay in New England. Unfortunately the Browns didn't get much to show for the #6 pick of the 2013 Draft, and since he was bookended in the first round by Richardson and Weeden in 2012, and Gilbert and Manziel in 2014, it is easy to see why the Browns are not finding much success.

Although he is no longer with the Browns, I still have over 500 cards left to find of Barkevious Mingo, so at least his great name will linger in my collection for years to come.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

2016 Panini NFL Stickers

For the last few years I have always bought a box or two of Panini's NFL stickers. I have yet to complete a set, and haven't even taken advantage of their "missing stickers" order form in the middle of the book.

I am a big fan of the stickers as they are an inexpensive way to get kids to start collecting. The very first sticker set that I collected was the 1979-80 Panini Hockey World Championship set. One of the hockey rinks that I played at sold the stickers and I made sure to always pick some up with my allowance money every time that I played there. I still have the mostly complete sticker book.

That being said, I bought a box of this year's football stickers last week and I'll show you examples of the various stickers found in the set, using Browns stickers when possible, but other teams for types of stickers that I didn't get a Browns one of, or where there are no Browns in the set.

The first 8 stickers of the 485 sticker set are a breakdown of the various NFL divisions.

Sticker #2 - AFC North

The backs have the sticker number, and an ad for Panini Gridiron. The album separates the AFC and NFC and has the division name for each listed under the spot for that sticker.

Some of the backs are horizontal, but still have the same information.

Stickers 9-14 show draft picks at the 2016 NFL Draft. The stickers are of the first 4 picks (Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott) and the 22nd and 23rd picks (Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell). I'm not sure why they jumped to the 22nd and 23rd picks, but recall that they have done that before. The album just lists the pick number (1st Overall, 2nd Overall, etc.) under the space for the sticker and doesn't give the name or any information of the player chosen.

Sticker #12 - 4th Overall Draft Pick

A lot is expected of Ezekel Elliott running behind the Cowboys offensive line. I hope he does well and that with his success teams will once again look at running backs higher in the draft.

From there the set has pages for all 32 teams, each team getting 14 stickers. The breakdown for each team is as follows.

Each team has a foil logo sticker. The spot for the sticker shows the conference and team logos, but doesn't have the city or franchise starting date in the album.

Sticker #183 - Foil Denver Broncos Logo

Each team also has a mascot sticker. However, these are not the regular team mascots that you might first think of. These are the "Rusherz" from the NFL kids cartoon "NFL Rush Zone". For these, in the album, there is just an empty space with no information other than the sticker number.

Sticker #100 - Browns Rusher

I like how it looks like a fabric background on the stickers.

There are also three foil stickers for each team, with each of the players also having a regular sticker as well.

Sticker #103

I liked seeing RGIII in a Browns uniform, and also seeing that Travis Benjamin was in a Chargers uniform. The stickers account for many of the off-season moves.

Sticker #102

The color surrounding the name and helmet is coded to each team, with the Browns having (surprise!) a brown background. It doesn't show up great on scans of the Browns' foil stickers, but will be seen more easily below.

Under each foil sticker spot there is a comment for each player. Duke Johnson's reads, "Third on the Browns in 2015 with 913 yards from scrimmage."

Of the nine cards left per team, eight of them are regular player stickers.

Sticker #105
Sticker #106

Sticker #107

As you can see, rookies are marked. From looking through the sticker book it doesn't appear that every team has a rookie in the set. Coleman is the only Browns rookie in the set.

Sticker #111

Sticker 112

There is information regarding each player on the side and below each of the regular stickers. Looking at the spot for Joe Haden's sticker, along the side at the bottom it shows his position 'CB', and above that lists his DOB, college, height, weight and seasons played. Below the spot for the sticker it has his 2015 season and career stats.

For RGIII they show the 2014 season stats as he did not play in 2015, and for Joe Thomas' spot in the album they just list the following information, "Six-time First Team All-Pro", "Selected to nine consecutive Pro Bowls (2007-15)", and "Co-hosted the show Outdoors Ohio with D'Arcy Egan".

I'm not sure what to call the last card in each team set. I'm going to go with it being an animated version of one player on each team. It is a second sticker of a player already in the team set, but not one of the players that are a foil for the team.

Sticker #411

I think that these were probably made by having a computer turn a photo into animation, but I'm not sure. All I know is that I really like them. They look pretty cool. This sticker is featured in the middle of the page surrounded by the regular team stickers. The space has no information around it, but the place where it goes has the sticker number and team logo.

After all the teams are dealt with, there is a page for Pop Warner football with stickers 463-469. The first six appear to be action shots, with #469 being a foil Pop Warner logo. No information is provided in the album about any of the stickers.

Sticker #463

Sticker #469

The next page of the sticker album is dedicated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Stickers 470-475 are the six inductees and sticker 476 is a foil sticker of the Hall of Fame logo.

Sticker #470

It is interesting that the college is shown for each of the Hall of Fame inductees.

Sticker #476

In the album there is a small section detailing what years the player played in the NFL, their position and some highlights for each player. For example, Favre's shows that he is a QB, played from 1991-2010, was a "3X NFL MVP", and has a "NFL RECORD 297 CONSECUTIVE GAME PLAYED".

Stickers 477-483 are of Super Bowl 50.

Sticker #478

Each sticker has its own caption underneath it in the album. The caption for the above sticker reads, "Carolina's Luke Kuechly brings down Peyton Manning in the fourth quarter. The Panthers notched five sacks in the contest."

Finally, on the last page of the sticker album are stickers 484-485. There were no captions or any identifying information in the album for these stickers, and I didn't get either of the stickers. Looking on eBay, I found out that sticker 484 was a foil NFL logo, and sticker 485 was a foil sticker of an official NFL football.

Each pack of stickers is priced at $1.00, and contains 7 stickers. A box of stickers has 50 packs. Of the 350 stickers in my box, I received 270 different stickers. I may buy a second box at some point to try and complete the set, but have found in the past that I haven't had any luck doing that.

All in all, though, I really enjoy the stickers that Panini puts out and look forward to them each year.

Monday 22 August 2016

More from a local card store

I poked my head back into the first local card store that I went to last week to pick up a card for a fellow blogger that I saw on display while I was there. To my surprise, the owner said that he had found more Browns for me. As it turned out I already had two of the autographed cards that he found, but I still wound up needing (and buying) the following cards.

2006 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia - Star Gazing Materials Prime #29 (#/50)

It is always nice to get a piece of a number in your patch. Sadly cards like these are so much cheaper with the Browns since so many of their draft picks have not turned out so well.

2007 UD Trilogy - Materials Gold #TM-BQ (#/33)

Another card that was probably a lot more expensive when it was pulled. There are a couple of scratches on the card, but obviously it is quite welcome in my collection.

2007 UD Ultimate Collection - Rookie Materials Silver #URM-JT

The one first round pick that has really worked out since the Browns returned. It is always nice to get more Joe Thomas cards from his rookie year.

2008 Playoff National Treasures #180 (#/99)

My eighth Martin Rucker autograph. A second Rucker autograph was one of the two cards that I didn't buy due to it being a double.

2009 SP Authentic - Chirography #CH-DQ

I enjoyed watching D'Qwell Jackson playing for the Browns and it was great that he overcame two serious injuries while with team. I hope he continues to play well with the Colts.

2009 SPx - Winning Materials #W-JL (#/249)

I was happier to see Jamal Lewis rushing for our team than running against us.

2010 Topps Unrivaled - Rookie Autographs #128 #/780)

This is my ninth different Carlton Mitchell autograph. A couple of years ago Mitchell signed with the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL, but injuries derailed his season with the team. I almost wanted to find him and let him know that I probably had the largest collection of his autographs in Ottawa before he even played for the team.

Now we get to a few more recent cards, including this one that would have cost me a lot more money if I had been approached to buy it during the last two years.

2014 Panini Contenders - Playoff Ticket #240 (#/99)

I've said it before, I like Manziel's autograph.

2014 Panini Elite - New Breed #24 (#/299)

2014 Panini Elite - New Breed #14 (#/299)

A couple of inserts from the same subset. Still one more Brown to find from the subset, a Terrance West card.

2014 Panini Elite - Throwback Threads #23 (#/199)

Nice to see the classic Browns uniform on the Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome.

2016 Score - Franchise Red #7

The owner said that he had cracked a box of this year's score and had pulled this Browns insert and the next autograph and put them aside for me but didn't have them when I went in last week. He said he would have to look to see where he put his base cards from the set.

Sad to see Benjamin picked as the franchise player in this set since he's playing for the Chargers this year.

2016 Score - Rookie Signatures Scorecard #341

Based on how many consecutive years the Browns have had to start three QBs, there is a chance that Kessler will have to start a game late in the year. Nothing against him, but I hope not. I'd rather see one QB play well and stay healthy for the whole year.