Monday 29 October 2018

One of these Panini buyback redemptions is not like the other

Months ago, I redeemed two cards from Panini from the 2017 Classics football set. I knew that they were autographed buybacks. I knew the players, and what the cards were numbered out of, but I didn't know what cards/teams would be chosen, or when they would arrive. They would be delivered to my home address in Canada.

A week or so into September, I received an email that one of the redemptions had been mailed. A couple of weeks later, a bubble envelope arrived.

The envelope was pretty much what I expected.

And there is the card, in a taped toploader, by itself in the envelope.

I don't know why, but I expected a letter or something with it.

Lets take a better look at the card.

I wasn't sure if I would be getting a Bronco or Redskin card of Portis.

A 2009 Donruss Threads base card is pretty generic, but it is a pretty cool on-card autograph. It also has embossing that doesn't seem to show up on the scan that seems to say "Recollection Collection 2017". (It's really hard to make out in hand.) It's a pretty cool hit from a box.

Enjoying the results of the first box, I decided to buy a second one, and once again pulled an autographed buyback redemption that I ended up redeeming at the same time as the first one. This one was better.

Last week, I received the shipping notice for the second card. It was being sent FedEx.

Okay, that's different.

Well, I got home tonight to a package waiting for me.

Yes, a package, not a bubble envelope.

I guess it doesn't matter that the photo is upside down. The silver tray underneath the bag is the same tray as underneath the Portis envelope, and that shows the package size differences.

All of a sudden, I have the idea of singing a song similar to Rattlin' Bog.

"...there's a box in the bag..."

"...there's an envelope (and packing paper) in a box, a box in the bag..."

"...there's a sealed card in the envelope, an envelope in a box, a box in the bag..."

Oh, and once again, just the sealed card in the envelope (in the box, in the bag), with no letter or anything.

Here are better scans of the card.

This one is a 2008 Donruss Threads card that also has the embossing in the upper right of the card, over Tomlinson's shoulder, and is numbered 1/5.

Again, it has an on-card autograph, and it is nice to get the Hall of Famer on a Chargers card.

This might be the best hit I've pulled from a box of any type.

I'm just shocked at the packaging and shipping differences between the two cards. I understand that Panini would want tracking for a card numbered out of 5 like the Tomlinson, but, wow, I don't want to think what that must have cost to ship to Canada.

Thank you, Panini! My two redemptions are quite nice and arrived safely.

A minute a card: five random cards from my collection 3

Hey, it's a third post about this. I think this is becoming a series!

Here is what the randomizer at The Trading Card Database found for me today:

1995 Upper Deck - Electric Silver #275

Michael Jackson! Woo hoo!

I think I preferred when he wore number 1 as opposed to 81.

I didn't have any of these Electric Silver cards until I got back into collecting years after these came out.

1991 Score #19

I'm a broken record: Clay Matthews should be in the Hall of Fame.

Not a very flattering off-balance photo of him, but look at those eyes!

I really should get a 57 jersey.

2012 Topps Chrome - Rookie Relics #RR-10

At the time, someone was probably happy to pull this card! Now Richardson is used as the warning to not draft running backs so high, and also not to trade first round picks for them.

I thought it was a good draft pick when it was made.

1992 Classic Four Sport #100

Touchdown Tommy! (Who didn't live up to the name in Cleveland.) I like seeing the college card pop up in the randomizer.

Seeing this reminds me that I really have to send a package to Gavin - this is one of his guys from Granite.

1994 Action Packed #19

I loved Action Packed when it first came out. One of my best pulls was in 1991 Action Packed, when I pulled a 24 K gold-stamped Joe Montana card.

The raised features really look odd in a scan. Vinny's face looks a little puffy.

Friday 26 October 2018

Players with only one card in my collection - 1

One nice thing about having my collection recorded on The Trading Card Database is that you can see all sorts of stats about your collection.

I've often sorted my cards by name to see how many cards I have of the top people in my collection, but today I decided to take a look at the end of the list to see how many players just had one card in my collection. There are a lot of them, and I've decided that it would make an interesting series of posts to go through them.

In going through the names, I have found some names of players that are only in my collection because they share a card with a Browns player. I don't consider those players to be part of my Browns collection so they won't be featured.  I also know that some of the players that I feature have more than one card out there, and that I'll probably eventually pick up another for them, but at the time of whatever post they are part of, they will have only had one card in my collection.

I will work my way down the list, posting five players at a time, and borrowing images from the Trading Card Database.

2014 Panini The National - Team Colors #4

An Ohio native, John Hughes was drafted by the Browns in the 3rd Round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Cincinnati. He played 53 games for the Browns from 2012-2016, making 5.5 sacks, forcing 1 fumble, and recovering 2 fumbles.

He also played 5 games for Tampa Bay in 2016, and 8 games for New Orleans in 2017 in his NFL career.

According to the Trading Card Database, he only has three cards - this one and Cracked Ice and Thick Stock parallels.

1987 Topps #81

This is a sunset card for Curtis Dickey, and shows his career NFL stats. It is the only Browns card of his career.

The Baltimore Colts selected him 5th overall in the 1980 NFL Draft.

1991 Stadium Club #472

Ralph Tamm was drafted by the New York Jets in the 9th Round of the 1988 NFL Draft, and had a NFL career that stretched from 1990-1999. He played in all 16 games for the Browns in 1990, starting 12 of them, but then only played in the season opener with the Browns in 1991.

After two games with Washington, and one with Cincinnati in 1991, he moved on to play with San Francisco from 1992-94, Denver from 1995-96, and Kansas City from 1997-99.

According to the Trading Card Database, other than this card, Ralph Tamm has one other card - a Pacific card with Denver from 1997.

1982 Topps #65

Robert Lee Jackson was the 17th pick of the 1977 NFL Draft.

This card shows all of his Cleveland statistics. After 1981, he played four games with Atlanta during the 1982 season. This appears to be his only football card.

The middle initial on his card was to differentiate him from a Guard, Robert Edward Jackson, who played with the Browns from 1975-1985.

1965 Philadelphia #30

Walter Beach was drafted by the New York Giants in the 15th Round of the 1960 NFL Draft. He never played for the Giants, going instead to the AFL where he played for the Boston Patriots in 1960 and 1961.

He joined the NFL and the Browns in the 1963 season, played on their 1964 Championship team, and finished his career with them after the 1966 season.

This appears to be his only football card.

I'm sure, though, that even had you never seen this card before, you have probably seen a photo with Walter Beach in it.

When he joined the Browns, Walter Beach became close friends with Jim Brown. That friendship, and Beach's activism, brought him to the Muhammad Ali athlete summit, and kept Beach working with Jim Brown and his Amer-I-Can organization.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Value Pack of 2018 Donruss football

Here is the second value pack that I bought a few days ago when I drove to Ogdensburg to renew my post office box.

I knew that there were Baker Mayfield cards in this set showing him in a Browns uniform, so I picked a value pack of 2018 Donruss football to see if I could get one.

As much as I dislike the Steelers, I don't mind seeing Ryan Shazier on television as he visits his old team. After his spinal injury, it was good to see him walking on the field in Cincinnati where he suffered the injury.

I'm sure all of these players have had to be careful not to trip on the graphics at their feet. I joke about the graphics, but I like the cards. I just wish the player's position was somewhere on the front of the card.

I like that all these photos appear to be game shots.

Nice to see a Browns card. I was a little disappointed to hear that Carlos Hyde was traded to Jacksonville last week, but I understood the reasons why. I think that Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson should be able to handle things for the Browns.

I think that Hyde was a very valuable person to have with the team through training camp and the start of the season. He is a good professional that seemed to fight hard on every carry. I think he did a good job of mentoring Nick Chubb, and I wish him well in the future.

Of course, Leonard Fournette will still be the starter in Jacksonville when he's healthy, so Carlos Hyde might not be as busy as I'm sure he wishes he would be.

Here are my four Press Proof Blue parallels from the pack. The blue looks good on the Oilers and Lions cards.

The Browns need another experienced wide receiver. A Cleveland sports writer wrote an article on receivers that might be available. Golden Tate was one that was mentioned. If he is available, I think it would be a very good pickup. He's a solid veteran that would provide a dependable target for Baker Mayfield.

Well, we moved on to the rookie portion of the pack, and I got a card of one of the top rookie quarterbacks, but it is Sam Darnold instead of Baker Mayfield. Maybe I'll have better luck next time.

I like the Rookie Gridiron King card. It has a bit of a textured feel to the front of it.

I love the photo of Uchenna Nwosu stretching on his card. How would you like that for your rookie card?

That's it for the fronts of the cards. Here are examples of the various backs.

As for the pack, it contained one Brown that I needed, so that is good. I like how Panini is handling the Donruss brand. It is an inexpensive set that shows the rookies with their new teams. I'm sure that I'll pick up some more Donruss packs when I get the urge to open something.  I just wonder if I'll find a Mayfield card in one of them, or whether I'll find one somewhere else first.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Value Pack of 2018 Topps Heritage High Number

Yesterday, a friend asked me if I wanted to drive down to Ogdensburg with him. I knew that I didn't have anything waiting for me at the post office, but I did need to renew my P.O. Box before the end of the month, so I went with him.

While down there, we popped into Wal-Mart, and I picked up two value packs of cards. Here is the first one:

I'm happy to see a Mets card this early in the pack, although Conlon's eyes look a little freaky to me.

Yay! Another Met! Tomas Nido is a good defensive catcher, but needs to improve his hitting to step into a regular with the team.

I liked watching Drury with Arizona. Too bad it didn't work out for him in New York. I wonder if he will be in Toronto's future plans.

I have fond memories of Lucas Duda with the Mets. It was nice to see his card in this pack.

Another former Met in Reed, and I'm pretty happy to pull an Ohtani card.

Looking through the cards, I don't believe I pulled any short prints or variations, but that's fine, I like what I got in the pack.

Sunday 21 October 2018

A minute a card: five random cards from my collection 2

I think doing these on Sundays will allow me to avoid talking about disappointing games.

Same rules as last week (although I've changed the name from 'five minute post'), the five minutes refers to up to one minute to comment about each card, the set-up time for this post don't count in the five minutes.

Let's see what random five cards the Trading Card Database gives me this time:

1994 Pro Line Live #23

Bernie Kosar's backup at Miami, although Kosar was younger. Replaced Bernie in Cleveland. Ended up having a fairly long career with stops in Baltimore, New York and Dallas afterwards that I remember.

2014 Panini Certified #154 (SN/999)

Did not have a great career with the Browns. Has made a couple of stops in the league since being released. I know he is playing somewhere now but not sure where.

2010 Panini Certified #297 (SN/699)

A nice cards that the Trading Card Database tells me was a redemption card. I'm pretty sure I picked it up in a store nice and cheap.

Hardesty looked good at various times, but couldn't overcome injury problems year after year.

2001 Pacific Canvas Impressions #32

If I recall correctly, these cards only look like canvas, but feel glossy.

I really don't know what I can say about Tim Couch that I haven't said already. Oh, I know, he did color commentary for the Browns during pre-season. I enjoyed listening to him.

2011 Playoff National Treasures #270 (SN/99)

I had high expectations for a long career out of First Round Pick Phil Taylor. Sadly, injuries derailed his career, and this first round pick didn't work out for the Browns. A common story.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Hard hitting story: A spotlight on Jamal Lewis

As you might imagine, I really don't like the Baltimore Ravens.

I had to put up with three years of not having a team to cheer for, and for just over half that time didn't even watch a NFL game. I had to watch the Ravens win two Super Bowls, when my team hasn't even appeared in one. I had to watch one of my favorite players become their GM, and wear a Ravens golf shirt in a NFL Network show that talked about the Browns move to Baltimore. And I have had to put up with the Ravens beating the Browns three of every four times they have played them.

I also had to watch one of their running backs run for 500 yards in two games against the Browns during the 2003 season. (295 yards in Baltimore on September 14, and 205 yards in Cleveland on December 21.)

2005 Donruss Classics - Past & Present Silver #PP-6 (#/500)

This is one of three Jamal Lewis cards as a Raven that are part of my collection, all of them shared with Jim Brown.

In twelve games against the Browns, Lewis ran for 1524 yards (5.62 yards/carry), and 8 touchdowns. I hated having to watch the Browns play against Jamal Lewis.

When, all of a sudden, Jamal Lewis signed with the Browns as a free agent in 2007, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I really didn't like what he had done to my team in the past, but on the other there was the feeling of 'if you can't beat him, get him to join you'.

2007 Upper Deck #43

This card is for Night Owl. We had a nice discussion the other day at how wonderful it is to see a card of your team featuring a photo of the player in a hated rival's uniform.

Jamal Lewis played three seasons with the Browns, being placed on injured reserve after nine games in his final season - 2009. In each of his two full seasons with the Browns, he rushed for over 1000 yards. He did his best to bring a winning attitude to the Browns. I learned to like him.

At this time, I have 130 different Jamal Lewis cards in my collection. I only own one autograph, received from Wes last December.

2008 Upper Deck - Signature Shots #SS13

Here are some of my favorite Jamal Lewis cards from my collection.

2007 Topps Chrome - White Refractors #TC66 (#/869)

I don't own many white refractors, and really like the look of this one.

2007 Topps Triple Threads - Sepia #48 (#/639)

I also have the Emerald parallel of this card, and Lewis really pops out from the green background on it, but this one just fits the Browns uniform better.

2008 Playoff Contenders #25

I like how the two images on this card show both the brown and white uniforms.

2008 SPx #76

Who doesn't like die cut cards?

2008 Stadium Club - First Day Issue #42 (#/1499)

Or 1st Day Issue cards?

2008 Topps Mayo #59

I also like this Topps Mayo set, and the Lewis card in it.

2009 Philadelphia #47

Here's another modern card with an old-time look.

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

I own a few Lewis memorabilia cards, but with two colors, this one has the best swatch on it.

2009 Topps National Chicle #C64

Here's yet another modern card with an old look, and I have something else to go with this card to finish up with.

2009 Topps National Chicle - Magenta Printing Plate #C64

I'm not sure how many Browns printing plates I own, but I'm not going to miss this chance to show one again.

As to why I decided to do this profile on Jamal Lewis, well, it is because of an article from last May that I just came across the other day. I really recommend reading it.

Jamal Lewis is 39 years old, and I am amazed at how he is dealing with his post-career health issues. I don't know if I would have his optimism, and the fight in me that he has. I'm also very disappointed to see what they say in the article about how the NFL is dealing with a former player with cognitive damage.

Thank you, Jamal Lewis, for the sporting entertainment you provided me, even as I was yelling at the tv when you set a then NFL single game rushing record against my team. I hope that football continues to make safety and helmet improvements, and makes it so other players don't end up with the same lasting heath issues that you are dealing with. I'm sorry that former players like you have had to suffer for these safety improvements and protocols to come about.