Wednesday 31 January 2018

Breakdown of contest winnings and Christmas pack 19

As can be seen with this blog, I am mostly a Cleveland Browns collector, but I do like baseball and every now and then find cool baseball cards that I want to keep.

Before Christmas, Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown held his Beermas contest and it featured a prize that caught my eye so I entered. As it turned out, I lost the contest but Gavin was tricky and actually had two identical prize packs and had a second chance draw. I was lucky enough to win the second draw.

Here is the card that caught my eye to make me enter the contest.


What a cool card!

Like most people, I knew about him from his perfect game in the 1956 World Series. I didn't know a lot about his career though.

Although I remember being told that he had lost 20 games in a season with the Orioles (21 in 1954), I wasn't aware that he made his debut with the St. Louis Browns the season before their move to Baltimore. They aren't the Browns that I collect, but it is a neat Browns link!

I also wasn't aware that he pitched 15 years in the majors, ending his career with the Cubs in 1967.

Coincidentally, there was a Browns link with one of the baseball cards that Gavin included.
Regular readers of Gavin's blog will know about that he collects his Guys from Granite, so I'm sure he has been sent multiples of many of them. I thought it was a pretty cool card when I looked at it, but then I turned it over to read the back.
Brian Giles shared the high school backfield with "Touchdown Tommy", the Cleveland Browns first round pick (9th overall) in the 1992 NFL Draft. Pretty neat! 

The prizes also included a couple of cards of a favorite of a bunch of friends of mine. No Browns tie in with him. He's a Viking.

I'm sure some of you caught his tv appearance, but most of you might recognize him more in his work uniform.

There were also a couple of early cards from the World Series champions.

And other prospect cards.

As a Mets fan, I appreciate the Reynolds card.  As a baseball fan, I appreciate the Rhys Hoskins card. As a Mets fan, I do not appreciate Rhys Hoskins doing so well.

There was also a note included with my package.

It wasn't just any old note, however. Being in a package from Gavin, it was on the back of one of his customs, a mini Dude. And the Dude came with friends.

Gavin, you do an amazing job with your cards!

Even if the package had ended there, it would have been great, but Gavin also included some cards for my collection.

There was a Met for my Opening Day binder.
I originally had Wayne Garrett's 1971 Topps card sitting in the page for the 1970 starters. It is nice to put the 1970 card in its proper place.

He also sent me some Browns.
Top (l-r): 2010 Panini Epix #23; 2011 Topps Platinum - Green #148 (#/499)
Bottom (l-r): 2011 Panini Totally Certified #196 (#/299); 2013 Panini Prizm - Blue #16

I must say that I really like both colored parallel cards here. It also helps that they are so easily identifiable.

Top (l-r): 2014 Panini Elite - Turn of the Century #127 (#/199); 2015 Topps Field Access - Autographs #64
Bottom (l-r): 2016 Panini Prizm - Prizm #128; 2016 Panini Plates & Patches - Blue #24 (#/50)

Everybody remembers Johnny Manziel as a Browns first-round pick from 2014, but he was their second pick in the draft after Justin Gilbert. Gilbert may have even been the bigger disappointment.

The Plates & Patches card is pretty sweet. I just picked up my first card, a base card, from that set on my last trip to Arizona. I was thrilled to see this one in the package.

Gavin, thanks for the great prize package and the extra cards that you added for my collection. They are greatly appreciated.


On to the next Christmas baseball pack.

1991 Conlon Collection from The Sporting News.

I love this set. I own factory sets of this series and the fourth series. I really need to remember to look for the missing second, third and fifth series.

Great names in here, and amazing photos. What a set! How can anybody hate these cards?

Saturday 27 January 2018

Best laid plans and Christmas pack 18

A couple of things have popped up to delay my COMC cards, which is also giving me time to figure out how I want to split them up.

While working on my wantlists, I discovered that Topps had put out a Browns team set in 2006 - you know the type, numbered as a team instead of the regular set number. I knew about, and owned the 2007 cards, but didn't have any from 2006. I let eBay help there.

They weren't expensive, and there was free shipping, so I bought two, one to open and one to keep sealed.

Good idea until I opened the first one.

Well, I got twelve Browns cards, but not the set. Missing were:
  • CLE8    Kellen Winslow
  • CLE9    Willie McGinest
  • CLE10  Joe Jurevicius
  • CLE11  D'Qwell Jackson
  • CLE12  Travis Wilson

I couldn't blame the seller. The team set was sealed. It was a Topps mistake from over a decade ago.

Still wanting the missing cards, I opened the second set hoping it was correct. It was. Was it bad that I felt relief to actually get what I ordered?

Now I just have to decide if I still want a sealed set.

The same seller also had another item that I was interested in, and again I bought two, one to open and one to keep sealed. (Yes, I have a problem.)

The first thing that I was curious about was whether that was a regular 2003 Ultra card, or whether it was a special one made to sell with the car. It turned out to be a regular one.

As for the car itself:

Along with the AFC license plate, I love the fact that the car is a Fleer Collectible.

Each team has a car. Here is the list with the players for each.

The bends in the cardboard are there because I scanned the back of the car that I opened.

I'm happy with the car.


Moving on to the Christmas baseball card packs, today brings us to a well seen product.

1991 Donruss!

Here we go, 15 cards. I'm going to change things a bit - three scans of five instead of a six and nine.

Teufel, Walker and Brooks. I'm okay with the start of this pack.

Another card of Nasty Boy, Norm Charlton to go with the Diamond Kings checklist.

What?!? Are you kidding me? Shorted a card again?

Ah, well, there is no point in making the same joke as I made two days ago. And frankly, at least it is a solid foursome of players.

(Just to let you know, I'm not actually looking at the cards before I pull them out of the pack. I'm just taking as many as I need and looking at each card as I place it down on the scanner. I wasn't aware that I was short until I went to put the final batch of cards down.)

Finally, the puzzle pieces.

Willie Stargell puzzle pieces 40-42

Eighteen Christmas packs in, and still a large pile to go! I didn't think that I would have as much enjoyment in opening them. It is fun to be reminded of the past.

Thursday 25 January 2018

2017 Browns cards and Christmas pack 17

While I was sorting my collection before Christmas, I realized that I really didn't have as much in the way of 2017 Browns cards as I should have. I decided that I needed to try and pick some up while visiting Phoenix area stores over the holidays. This post will show a variety of 2017 that I was able to find cards for.
2017 Panini Black Friday #15
I love this card. Had I bought it before making my post for my favorite card of 2017, it may have won. I would love to see all players show this much excitement, and I surprisingly I like the photo fading into the black border.

Top (l-r): 2017 Donruss #203 and #298
Middle (l-r): 2017 Donruss #304; 2017 Donruss - Rookie Gridiron Kings Studio Series #7 (#/100)
Bottom (l-r): 2017 Donruss #314 and #359
I've liked how Panini has handled the Donruss brand the last couple of years. It is a nice lower end set.

Up top are two of the best players to ever have played for the Browns. It was nice to pick up the Jim Brown base card for the card that I picked for my favorite card of 2017.

Top (l-r): 2017 Leaf Draft #27; 2017 Leaf Draft - Gold #27
Middle (l-r): 2017 Leaf Draft - All-American #AA-10; 2017 Leaf Draft - TD Machines #TD-08
Bottom: 2017 Leaf Draft #21
I don't mind the Leaf cards. Browns draft picks fit into my collection so I'll grab them if I find them.

After DeShone Kizer declared for the draft, his Notre Dame coach, Brian Kelly, made comments saying that he didn't think that Kizer was ready for the NFL, and that he could use another year in college. At the time I thought the comment was very self-serving as he probably didn't want to lose a star quarterback, but after watching the season, I think Kizer either could have used the extra year of college, or a veteran to sit behind and learn from. It might be great that he had so many starts in his rookie season but with the winless season, and all his turnovers, I think his career will have been shortened in the long run. I expect a veteran to be starting next year, and a quarterback to be drafted at the top of the draft to compete against as the future for the franchise. I just don't expect to see that many more starts with the Browns in his career.

L-R: 2017 Panini Absolute #20 and #10
The shininess of the Absolute cards really doesn't show in the scans.

Isaiah Crowell was not used properly this year. After hearing that the Browns would be committed to the running game, I really don't think they used him as they should. I think, because of that, he will sign elsewhere as a free agent this year.

I have no problem with the New England Patriots being back in the Super Bowl again, but I can't say that I'm happy to see Kenny Britt get there. My perception from afar is that I think he was happy to collect his paycheques but really didn't give the veteran leadership to the receiving corps that the team hoped he would provide. As a fan, he leaves a similar taste in my mouth as Andre Rison did for his stint with the Browns although Rison had way more production with the team.

Top (l-r): 2017 Panini Certified #40; 2017 Panini Certified - Mirror #39 (#/499)
Bottom: 2017 Panini Certified #136 (#/999); 2017 Panini Certified - Certified Potential Signatures #CPS-CB (#/99)
The backgrounds on the Collins and Garrett cards are much nicer in person. 

I was very impressed with Myles Garrett when he was healthy. I hope he plays a full season next year.
Top (l-r): 2017 Donruss Certified Cuts #84; 2017 Panini Crown Royale #95
Bottom: 2017 Panini Contenders Draft Picks - Game Day Tickets #25
David Njoku showed flashes of his receiving abilities throughout the years. He should be a good piece for the Browns to build on.

As a first-round pick, Corey Coleman should also be a piece to build on but he has to stop getting hurt. If his health and production don't improve, he will be joining the ranks of wasted post-expansion Browns first-round picks.

Top (l-r): 2017 Donruss Elite #21 and #23
Bottom: 2017 Donruss Elite - Man Coverage #14
Another shiny set from Panini. I would like to see more of the play in the background of the cards. I like the photo on the Jamie Collins insert card. Funny thing about that, Collins didn't get a base card in the set. The base set is too small, and filled with too many rookies, but sadly that is the nature of card sets these days. This base set has 100 veterans and 100 rookies, and too many great players are not represented. In a way it is nice to at least get cards as inserts of players not found in the base set.

L-R: 2017 Panini Origins - Red #91 (#/299); - Orange #91 (#/150); - Blue #91 (#/60)
Nice to find these parallels. Eventually I will get the base card. These cards are solid, on a thicker cardboard.

L-R: 2017 Panini Phoenix #141; 2017 Panini Playoff #118
I believe that this is my first card from the shiny Phoenix set.

The photo on the Jim Brown card is the same as his Donruss card but cropped closer. I'm not going to complain, though, since I like the photo.

Top: 2017 Panini Prestige #260
Bottom: 2017 Panini Prestige - NFL Passport #13
I had some other Prestige cards before going down, but it was nice to find cards of these rookies.

Top (l-r): 2017 Panini Prizm #13, #14 and #60
Middle (l-r): 2017 Panini Prizm #99, #124 and #190
Bottom (l-r): 2017 Panini Prizm - Prizm #222; - Orange Prizm #242 (#/275); - Purple Crystals Prizm #190 (#/75)
Nice to see six Browns in the base set, and since you can't read their names with the scan they are Duke Johnson, Cody Kessler, Kenny Britt, Isaiah Crowell, Jamie Collins and Corey Coleman. Rookies are only found in Prizm form, and there are plenty of different parallels to find.

L-R: 2017 Panini Rookies & Stars #254 and #255
As you can see in the various scans, I found quite a few rookies cards and parallels where I don't have base cards or veterans. I blame that on store owners putting out boxes of rookies and parallels for me to look through but ignoring the regular base cards that I want as well. I'm sure they are in a box somewhere, but not where I can easily see them when I'm looking through their stores. I wish that would change, but I guess that the return on investing the space necessary for the base cards isn't as good as on rookies and inserts.

Tops (l-r): 2017 Panini Unparalleled #43; - Lime Green #43; - Pink #43
Bottom (l-r): 2017 Panini Unparalleled - Lime Green #44; - Year 2 #YT-CC
 Unparalleled? Yeah, that is too easy a joke to make as you look at the parallels above.

Speaking about their parallels, checklists seem to show them by colors, but on the back of the cards the lime green cards are labelled as "Wind Chimes" and the pink is labelled as "Swirlorama". Do you think those names will catch on?

Top: 2017 Panini XR - Orange #26 (#/75)
Bottom (l-r): 2017 Score #343 and #360
This is my first Panini XR card, and once again it is a parallel.

I already owned the Cleveland Browns cards from 2017 Score, but still needed these two rookies with their college teams. I know there are a few other rookies that I still need (Garrett, Peppers and Dayes). Eventually I'll pick them up.

That ends it for the cards that I picked up in Phoenix. Now I can start working on my COMC order in future posts, and I have to drive down to my PO Box that I haven't been to in a while and where I will find some more cards.


Continuing with my Christmas baseball packs, today's is...

 ...1991 Classic Best minor league cards!

 I remember watching Gabe White pitch with the Ottawa Lynx, the AAA farm team of the Expos.

The logo card is actually the checklist for cards 199-264.

One thing that I liked about these cards was their backs.

It is nice to see the parent club logos on the back of the cards, and the minor league team's logo in the bottom right of the card back.

If anyone is interested in any of these minor league cards, let me know.

Wednesday 24 January 2018

More individual cards from Christmas and Christmas packs 14-16

I hit a few different card stores in Arizona at Christmas, and filled a few holes in my collection. Here are more of the cards that I obtained during that trip.
2005 Topps All American - Gold Chrome #25 (#/555)
I really enjoy this 2005 set of retired players in their college uniforms in the style of the 1955 Topps All-American set. I was happy to find this gold chrome parallel.

The set even duplicated the backs.

I was curious as to whether the cartoons were taken from the original set, and after looking at the gallery at the Trading Card Database, I found this back on card 39.

There's the cartoon! However the distance of the penalty has changed in the 50 years between the sets.

Here are a couple more cards from college sets that I needed.

L: 2012 SAGE HIT - Red #148; R: 2013 Press Pass #31
I don't know what to think about red sparkles being added to the border of football cards. Well, okay, I do know what to think. I don't like it, and don't want to see it used again. I guess that I'll have to keep it sleeved so that sparkles don't rub off.

And, of course, I have to show Barkevious for his name.

Top: 2013 Panini Black - Onyx Materials Jumbo #25 (#/99)
Bottom: 2014 Bowman Sterling - Jumbo Rookie Patches Blue Wave Refractors #BSJRP-TW
I like these two cards, and the fact that they were pretty cheap. There is something interesting in the fabric of the Jordan Cameron card that you can barely see in the scan - there is a large seam running across the fabric which gives it a nice texture when holding the card. It is white, but not as boring as you might first think.

L-R: 2014 Panini Hot Rookies #413 and 428
A local card store has a box of 2014 Panini Hot Rookies. I keep looking at it, thinking about buying it, and then thinking better of it. I know that I will get too many cards that don't fit my collection. These two cards bring me up to owning 7 of the 13 Browns base cards in the set. I'm slowly but surely getting there.

This next card was given to me as a Christmas gift by SaintOrm from the Trading Card Database. I bought some items from him on eBay, and since he was in Phoenix I arranged to pick up the winnings from him in person. I found this wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper with the items that I picked up. It was very generous of him.

2014 Panini National Treasures - Rookie NFL Gear Quad Materials Prime #RGD-TW (#/25)
I love the look of the card with the four different materials, and then with it being numbered out of 25, well, it is a pretty generous gift.

Finally, before getting into 2017 cards in my next post, here is a 2016 rookie card that I picked up.
2016 Panini Plates & Patches #195 (#/79)
It was nice to finally pick up a base card from the Plates & Patches set. It is good to have another set represented in my collection. It might just be me, but it seems like Higgins is almost popping out from the card. I think that makes it a nice design.


Now we'll get to the latest of my Christmas baseball packs, three packs of...
...1990 Donruss!

Pack 1:
Interesting first four cards - a Justice RC, Bell MVP insert with his hat resting beautifully on his head, a nice Expos uniform and a Met. A nice start to the pack.

Back to my crooked scans...  I'm not going to say that any of these cards jump out at me.

 Always nice to see a Diamond King card, and the Ron Gant card always reminds me of one of my old college roommates. Any time he saw Ron Gant on tv he always exclaimed, "Hey, I own one of his suits!" Needless to say, I heard that a lot in the 1992 World Series versus the Blue Jays.

 The Juan Gonzalez rookie card is pretty cool to get.

Yastrzemski puzzle pieces 37 - 39
I like the Donruss puzzles but really, what can I say about three random pieces?

Pack 2:
 Not much to comment on here except for the fact that I got another Gant.

 An All-Star card, and a second George Bell today.

 This isn't a bad foursome. Otis Nixon in an Expos uniform, a Diamond King and Finley and Key.

I went to college with a Jeff King. I used to bring him cards to sign. He never did. I still see him once or twice a year, most regularly at a local game convention in May. I should try to remember to bring this with me and ask him again. I'm sure he would get a laugh out of it.

Yastrzemski puzzle pieces 4 - 6

Pack 3:
 Another Met, and a Bo MVP card. Nice start to this pack.

 Former Met as a Diamond King, a former favorite player in Hrbek, one of the best Blue Jay pitchers ever, and Leonard at the end of his career (and I forgot that he wore 00.)

 Very similar pictures of HoJo and Ryno. I seem to remember Smiley winning 20 one season, but don't remember when.

 Wait a second! Where is my 16th card?!?

If I was opening this in 1990 I wouldn't have even noticed that I was short a card. To tell the truth, if I wasn't scanning them for this post, I wouldn't have noticed either. Oh, well.

Wait! I figured it out!

I'm sure one blogger will agree with me that the missing card was obviously of Bob Walk and it decided that it was too cool to wait in that pack for 27 years to be opened. To heck with that, it left the pack.

Yastrzemski puzzle pieces 43 - 45
Once again, it was fun to open these packs and they brought back some nice memories.