Wednesday 31 July 2019

Eliminating a racing card from my Browns wantlist

Some time after joining the Trading Card Database, I started working on putting together wantlists for the Browns cards that I still needed. The site had many sets that I had never heard of, and I never knew where needed Browns cards would show up.

One day, I noticed that there was a Browns card in a 1992 racing set. Now, I had seen die-cast cars with trading cards, but one that I had previously posted about had a regular Browns card in it. It wasn't a card created for the car. I wasn't sure what to expect with the one on this checklist because there were no sample pictures, just a checklist that showed there was a card for each team.

Recently, I decided that I would look for the card on eBay. I found a couple of unopened blisters from different dealers at acceptable prices and decided to buy them both. One to open, one to save. Silly, but it is what I wanted.

Here they are.

When I received both cars, I noticed there was a sticker on the one on the left. I tried to peel it off, but it tore some paper off the front of the backing cardboard. The backing cardboard of the one on the left also had a hole punched through the NFL shield, no doubt so it could be displayed on a peg in a store.

With the hole, and the little bit of paper loss on the one on the left, I knew which one I was going to open.

Here is a photo of the car.

Woo hoo! A Browns helmet on the hood!

Of course, the main reason that I picked up these up was for the card.

1992 Racing Champions - NFL Racing Cleveland Browns

As you can see, the card has the team wordmark logo in the top left of the card, and Joe Gibbs is holding a racing helmet done up as a Browns helmet while standing in front of a Dale Jarrett car.

The border of the card matches the team colors. For the Browns, it has the orange border, with the wordmark in brown.

I don't think it is possible to get mint cards from these packages. The cards come clipped in to the back of the display stand that the car sits on. You can see a little mark on the bottom of the card between the 18 and Shell logo.

This card also came with the small ding on the top of the card. You can also see it in the photo before it is opened. Perhaps it was from the person pushing the card into the display stand.

The back of the card shows the previous year's schedule and results.

Looking at the bottom of the card, you can see the two indentations where the card was clipped into the display stand.

Some information about the 6-10 season in 1991.

It was Bill Belichick's first year as head coach, and it was an improvement from the 3-13 record from 1990.

In the twenty seasons since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999, they have had six wins or more in a season only six times. In the twenty seasons before the move, they had at least six wins in a season fifteen times, and two of those seasons were 14 game seasons.

The Browns only had one Pro Bowl player in 1990 - DT Michael Dean Perry. He had 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 81 tackles for the season.

It was nice to be able to eliminate this oddball card from my wantlist.

Tuesday 30 July 2019

A pack of 2019 Bowman Platinum baseball

I like picking up the odd pack of baseball cards to get an in person look at the cards as opposed to just seeing the cards on so many blogs. A second benefit to buying some cards, it also allows me to get cards to send to other bloggers. Lastly, another benefit is giving myself material for a quick blog post.

I didn't want to spend the money to buy a blaster box, but was willing to buy a single pack of 2019 Bowman Platinum to open.

I guess that I forgot to scan the wrapper, and don't feel like going back and doing it now, but the wrapper says that there are 12 cards inside, and that there is "One Exclusive Prospect Parallel Card Guaranteed Per Pack!"

I'm a Mets fan, so I'll hope for one to be in the pack.

Let's see the cards that I got.

The Colton Wong card will be put aside for Night Owl.

When I first opened the pack, I really wasn't sure which card was the exclusive parallel. I believe that the next scan revealed it to me.

I will assume that the Munoz card is the parallel as it really pops out in the scan.

I'm sure Fuji will be happy to get the insert card, and the Kershaw card will also be put into the Night Owl pile.

Wow, I guess it is a Yusei Kikuchi hot pack! Another card to add to the Fuji pile.

In the Cardinals games that I've watched in the last couple of seasons, I like the way Harrison Bader plays. I love his socks on the above card.

I like the Bowman Platinum cards. They all have a shiny front, and the cards feel solid.

No Mets, but it was a good pack to open.

Actually, who am I kidding? I love opening packs. I think that every pack is a good pack to open.

Monday 29 July 2019

Players with only one card in my collection - 19

Let's continue the series of posts showing cards of five players with only one card in my collection. I'm using sorting tools at The Trading Card Database to look through my collection on their site to see who only has one card, and then finding the first five names that I haven't posted yet. I'm also using the images from their site.

2018 Donruss Optic - Pink #113

Damion Ratley was a sixth round draft pick of the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft. He played in thirteen games, starting three, during his 2018 rookie season. He had some nice moments during the season but will be in a fight for one of the last receiver spots on the team this year.

Damion Ratley has 93 cards listed on the Trading Card Database with cards in many sets. I've only managed to get this one so far, but have no doubt many will follow.

1963 Topps #22

I'm sure that most people don't know the story of Don Fleming. I can't remember when I first read about it, but I'm sure it was after I looked at the list of numbers retired by the Cleveland Browns, and found Don Fleming's #46 as one of them.

Don Fleming was originally drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 28th round (yes, 28th) of the 1959 NFL Draft.

Fleming convinced the Cardinals to trade him to the Browns before the 1960 season where he could play with his good friend, and fellow defensive back, Bernie Parrish.

The card back above shows that over the 1960-62 seasons, that Fleming had 10 interceptions. Pro Football Reference shows that he also had 4 fumble recoveries as well, and that Fleming was named a First Team All-Pro by the Sporting News for the 1962 season.

During the off-season, Don Fleming worked a construction job. While on the job, on June 4, 1963, Fleming was electrocuted, and died one week shy of his 26th birthday. Earlier in the day, the Cleveland Browns had announced that Fleming had re-signed for the upcoming season.

Fleming's death came seventeen days after the death of fellow Brown, Ernie Davis. The Browns retired both of their numbers in memorium.

This is Don Fleming's only mainstream football card. He also has cards issued by Kahn's Weiners, and the National City Bank in 1961.

2017 SAGE Hit #4

Everybody knows about the quarterback issues that the Browns have suffered since their expansion return in 1999. I hope, and expect, that Baker Mayfield will be the answer to those problem.

From 1999 - 2012, the Browns had no problems with their kicker. It was Phil Dawson. There was nothing to worry about. Then he left as a free agent, and the Browns kicking problems began.

The Browns used five different kickers in the four seasons before they drafted Zane Gonzales in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

As a draft pick, he was expected to beat out incumbent Cody Parkey for the kicker's job for the 2017 season. He did, and was 15-20 on field goals, and 25-26 on extra points during his rookie season. An undrafted free agent was brought in to compete with him for the 2018 training camp, but Gonzalez was expected to win the job, and did, starting the 2018 season as the Browns kicker.

Unfortunately, the start of the 2018 season did not go well for Zane Gonzalez. He had a possible winning field goal blocked in overtime during the season opener against the Steelers, and then he missed two field goals, and two extra points in a three point loss to the Saints in Week 2. He was waived the day after the Saints game.

Zane Gonzalez doesn't have any cards in a Browns uniform, but has 20 cards in the 2017 SAGE Hit set. I'm sure that I will eventually come across some of his other cards for my collection.

2007 SP Authentic #114 (#/1399)

I can't believe that it has been so long since Charles Ali played with the Browns.

An undrafted free agent, fullback Charles Ali made the Browns team in 2007 and played two seasons with them before being among the final cuts of their 2009 training camp. There was a coaching change between the 2008 and 2009 season, and I wonder if role players like fullbacks are changed more than normal when the coaches change.

The Trading Card Database lists this card, and a gold parallel as the only football cards for Charles Ali's career.

2018 Panini XR #134

Chad Thomas was selected by the Browns in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He suffered a groin injury in training camp, and played very little for the Browns during the 2018 season.

I've read many articles hoping that Thomas will step up and be a valuable contributor to the Browns this year.

There are over 100 Chad Thomas cards listed on the Trading Card Database. I'm sure it is just a matter of time before I add some of them to join this card in my collection.

Sunday 28 July 2019

Value pack of 2019 Donruss Elite football

Here is another thirty card value pack that I picked up recently.

I've had pretty good luck recently in getting Browns cards, so I hope that the luck continues.

Third card in the pack, and I get a Baker Mayfield card. Awesome!

The cards are shiny, and there is a diagonal pattern on top and bottom, but the player is not blocked by it. Along with the player's name, the card shows the team logo, position and player number. I like that.

Here is the back.

Again, as with the other 2019 sets, Panini has not put any biographical information on the back of the card. I know I can look it up online, but I like having it on the back of the cards. Simple things like the college that the player attended can help me find cards that other bloggers might be interested in. (And, yes, I generally know what colleges that Browns players went to, but I don't follow other teams as close as the Browns.)

Le'Veon Bell sporting his new Jets duds with some sort of sideline crowd in the background. I wonder how they managed that...

I think Amari Cooper is going to have a good year with the Cowboys. I don't think he was used as well as he could have been with the Raiders.

Is there anyone out there that doesn't like Larry Fitzgerald? He's a great receiver, and seems to be a great teammate. I bought a Fitzgerald jersey a few years back when I went to a Cardinals game. It is the only non-Browns football jersey that I own.

Awesome, a second Browns card in the pack! Nice to see you, Myles Garrett.

This scan also has two of my three pink parallels. The third was horizontal, so I put it with the other horizontal card to scan. The Sternberger parallel is the only rookie card that I pulled in the pack.

Here is the back of the Garrett card:

Okay, a very simple thing that could improve the back of this card. If Panini wants to only show one season of stats, as well as career stats, then they should at the very least say how many seasons the career consists of. I would also like to see a column for games played. Those are a couple of very minor additions that could improve the backs.

Wow, a 'hit' in the value pack! I don't know if getting a Ravens player is any better than getting a Steelers one, but a lot of people seem to be very enthusiastic towards Lamar Jackson.

The Mahomes insert is a pink parallel. The letter in the name is slightly sunken, but it is not a relic or anything.

It looks like it is a Mahomes hot pack.

It looks like I can't go through a pack without getting a Steelers card.

Four QBs to end the pack. A lot of them throughout the pack. I guess that gives it some star power. 

The Donruss Elite base set is 100 cards, and has five Browns in it. I managed to get two of them here. 

The rest of the set are 100 rookie cards numbered out of 699. I didn't get any in my value pack. There is only one Browns card to chase among those - Greedy Williams.

I'm very pleased with this pack. I got two Browns cards, and actually got a relic card in a pack I randomly pulled out of a box at a Walmart.

I'm doing pretty good with Browns cards in packs that I open this year. I may have to tone down my complaining that I pull so poorly.

Friday 26 July 2019

Surprise PWE from TCDB user 'karsal'

On Wednesday, my roommate brought in the mail from the community mailbox for our home. It is very rare that I get unexpected mail, usually I find unwanted mail (read: bills), along with various bits of junk mail. On Wednesday, however, there was a PWE addressed to me with a return address that had no name on top of it. It took a very short time for it to register who the envelope was from, and that was made easier by the fact that I could feel the stiffness of cardboard inside the envelope and knew that it had to be from a card collector.

Inside the envelope were three 2019 Panini Prestige cards. I laughed when I saw them because I had already started working on the post about the Prestige value pack that I had bought. I figured that this would make a natural follow-up, and so this PWE jumped ahead of some other planned posts.

2019 Panini Prestige #35

Isn't that first sentence from the back of the card an indictment of the Browns franchise? I hope that those seven wins become his career low for a season.

2019 Panini Prestige #54

Hey, look at Baker Mayfield hiding behind Nick Chubb on the front of this card!

The three carries for 105 yards against Oakland that are mentioned on the back of the card included touchdowns of 63 and 41 yards. It makes it easy to figure out how far the third carry went.

Nick Chubb also set the franchise record for the longest run with a 92 yard run against Atlanta.

I commented about Mayfield being behind Chubb on the card. My mind went there because I'll always laugh at the association between Mayfield and Chubb.

Some football fans will have seen, or heard, that Baker Mayfield was "mic'd up" during the Browns game against the Falcons. I can watch the video over and over again and love the exuberance shown by Mayfield. The video also shows Chubb's 92 yard touchdown run. If you don't want to watch the whole video, watch from the 2:35 mark.

I don't think I'll ever forget that.

The final card sent to me is my first Baker Mayfield "hit".

2019 Panini Prestige - Stars of the NFL #SS-BM

I probably could have gone without showing the back of this card. The scan really doesn't add anything to this post. After complaining about the backs in my last post, however, I feel that I should show this one too so that you can see that the back is really no better on this card.

Going back to the PWE. In the body of the post, I haven't yet identified the sender. I did in the post title, but I had a musical reason why I wanted to go back to it at the end of this post.

The return address on the PWE was from Pembroke, Ontario. Quickly I realized that it must be from TCDB member 'karsal', who I met at the last local card show.

What musical reason could come out of that? Well, seeing Pembroke always makes me the think of a music lyric: "...and high on the ceiling of a Pembroke club there was twenty nine boot marks signed with love."

I don't expect many of you to know what song that is from, so I'll just go ahead and link the Stompin' Tom Connors song, "Big Joe Mufferaw":

Kari, thanks for the great cards! Look forward to seeing you at a future Ottawa card show!

Thursday 25 July 2019

Value pack of 2019 Panini Prestige football

Here is a look at another 2019 football set with a value pack I picked up last week.

The pack has thirty cards which means that it is guaranteed that a couple of teams won't have cards in it. I'm hoping the Browns aren't shut out.

The design is pretty similar to previous year Prestige cards. You can see the player's name and the team logo, but no position on the front.

Of course the Steelers are never shut out in any packs that I buy.

I wish that they could find a few different type of photos in this set other than players running with the ball. The only two so far that haven't been running with the ball are Jameis Winston about to throw the ball, and Jason Pierre-Paul, the only defensive player in the pack so far.

All right, the Browns aren't shut out of the pack! Jarvis Landry ! "Bless 'm"!

Now we can see what the backs of the base cards look like.

Okay, now we see the back. No position on it anywhere. No biographical information about the player at all. About as basic statistics as one could show on the back of a card. The photo on the back is cropped from the photo on the front of the card.

Not impressed with the back at all.

Some defensive representation in the pack.

The top two cards are my green parallels from the pack.

The other two inserts weren't back to back in the pack, but I moved them to be together so that I could scan these four cards together. That left me two horizontal cards to scan together. (With the thirty cards in the pack, this allows me to have seven scans of four cards, and one scan of the two horizontal cards.)

Woo hoo! A Baker Mayfield insert card!

As you can see from the Blue-Chip Recruits card, Byron Murphy played his college football for the Washington Huskies. He was drafted in the second round by the Arizona Cardinals, bringing him home as he was born in Scottsdale.

Here is the back of the Mayfield insert:

I like the write-up on the back of the card, but again, nothing really stands out to me about the card back.

I like that the photo was taken of Mayfield in the Browns color rush uniform.

The final four cards in the pack were the rookie cards.

You can barely see the lightning bolt of the Los Angeles Chargers in the top left of Jerry Tillery's card. It kind of blends in to his Notre Dame teammate's helmet.

I don't think that I'll be buying any more packs of this year's Prestige set. It really doesn't do anything for me. The one advantage that it has over the Score set that I've shown is that it actually has the rookies with their NFL teams.

I will still pick up all the Browns cards from the set, and will have a small post tomorrow about a few that I've already received in a PWE from another collector.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

More Score - 120 cards to show

Over the last few weeks, since I bought my Score blaster, I've also picked up three of the 2019 Score 40 card Value Packs.

As you all know, it is fun to open packs. I really don't have too much expectations when I buy these packs. Based on there being 32 teams in the NFL, I would hope that each pack would have at least one Browns card in it, but I know that I've been unlucky enough to be shut out before. I just hope it doesn't happen too often. If it does, then I'm likely to stop opening packs.

Here is what I pulled in the three packs.

Pack 1:

Eric Berry is still a free agent right now. I would love to see him join the Browns.

Dion Lewis is a former Browns player.

Another former Browns player here with the Steelers card of Joe Haden. It has an interesting photo.

It still seems funny to see Adrian Peterson in a Redskins uniform.

When I went through the cards in my blaster a couple of posts ago, I pointed out a few cards that had photos in the smoke that I assume is from the pre-game introductions. Here is another one with the Julius Peppers card.

I like seeing punter or kicker cards.

The packaging at the beginning of this post mentions that there are exclusive red parallel cards inside. This one starts the insert cards in the value pack.

The Saquon Barkley is a red parallel of an insert card. I really wish that inserts wouldn't have parallels.

I don't like seeing that the Michael Thomas' All-Hands Team photo on the card happened against the Browns.

Two Saquon Barkley inserts in the same pack.

Between the last two scans, you can see the three different type of Epix inserts - Game, Season and Moment.

Uh, oh, starting to look like this pack is going to shut me out from getting a Browns card to add to my collection.

Josh Jacobs was a first round pick of the Raiders.

For the rookies in this scan, Rodney Anderson was drafted by the Bengals, Dwayne Haskins was a first round pick of the Redskins, and Nick Brossette signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent.

The Jaylen Smith card is my first double that I've opened from this year's Score cards.

The other rookies are Trayveon Williams, drafted by the Bengals, Dexter Lawrence, drafted in the first round by the Giants, and Dexter Williams, drafted by the Packers.

No Browns in the pack, but I was lucky enough to pull cards from all three division rivals. Sigh.

Pack 2:

I did say earlier in the post that I like kicker and punter cards. Too bad that I pulled one from the Ravens. Justin Tucker is pretty talented though, not just a great kicker, but a great singer as well.

Flipping through this pack, I get Tucker, then Shawn Williams of the Bengals as the third card. It kind of left me feeling blue when I moved on to the next card...  Okay, sorry, that wasn't a very good one.

And I didn't stay blue for long. Two Browns players in the next four cards of the pack!

Let's see their backs.

I would hope that Callaway would improve on his stats for his second season, but the arrival of Odell Beckham, Jr. will probably make that difficult. I could see Callaway's targets dropping for the season.

I hope that Garrett moves well past the Browns single season sack record this season. It could be quite possible now that he has Olivier Vernon playing on the defensive line with him this year.

I'm happy that the Browns will not have to face Antonio Brown twice a year anymore.

That is a pretty cool photo of Stefon Diggs waiting for the ball to arrive. It is always cool when you see the whole ball like that in a photo on a card.

What is better, the cheerleader in the background of Desean Jackson's card, or the photographers in the background of Tajae Sharpe's red parallel card?

The top two cards are the last red parallels of the pack. Johnathan Abram was a first round pick of the Oakland Raiders.

Awesome! The Baker Mayfield Signal-Callers insert card!

This has been a good pack for the Browns, enough so that I'll ignore the fact that this pack has seen the return of getting Steelers insert cards.

I wish that they used a different photo on the back, but I won't complain about getting a Browns insert card.

Clelin Ferrell, on the NFL Draft insert card, is another Oakland Raiders first round draft pick.

More draft picks to identify.

Dwayne Haskins was a first round pick of the Redskins, while Justice Hill was drafted by the Ravens, and D'Andre Walker was drafted by the Titans.

A.J. Brown makes two Titans draft picks in a row in the pack, followed by Nasir Adderley, drafted by the Chargers, Tyree Jackson, an undrafted free agent signed by the Bills, and Johnnie Dixon, an undrafted free agent signed by the Texans.

This pack was very successful. It had three Browns out of the 40 cards, and had no doubles in it from what I had bought previously.

The next pack was bought last night as an impulse purchase when I was running some errands.

Pack 3:

Okay, seeing Baker Mayfield on the top of this impulse purchase makes me very happy.

A grouping of four running photos in this scan. It is interesting that you can pretty much see each defender locked in on their target, whether it is the ball, or the quarterback.

As the only offensive player pictured, Jay Ajayi seems to be looking out for the defenders.

I suppose that it would have been too much to hope for to go through a pack with no Steelers.

Just a little while ago, I had a notification of a football story pop up on my phone letting me know that Taylor Lewan was being suspended for four games after testing positive for a banned supplement. That is too bad for the Titans. It means they will be missing their Pro Bowl left tackle when they play the Browns in their season opener.

I like the leaping photo on the Marquise Goodwin card.

Oh, boy! A red parallel of a Steelers insert card! The only good thing I'll say about it is that it is nice to see an offensive lineman represented in an insert set for receptions.

The DeAndre Hopkins All-Hands Team insert card has a great photo. It is nice to see him all stretched out on the card.

Damien Harris was drafted by the Patriots.

All right! A second Browns card in this value pack!

I hope to see many Browns celebrations this season!

Rashan Gary, on the NFL Draft card, was a first round pick of the Packers.

The two cards on the bottom of the scan are doubles from my blaster.

Continuing on from the last two college cards from the previous scan, these four are all doubles as well.

Once again, with two Browns cards among the forty in this pack, I'm pleased with the pack.

With the cards that I've bought, I'm not likely to try and complete the set, and am willing to trade off cards from my Score posts. I'll probably continue to buy some more packs as I get the urge as long as I don't start pulling too many doubles. When I do buy them in the future, I may post the Score packs, or may not, depending on how much stuff I have to post about in the blog.

At this point, I still need six of the ten Browns base cards, and there are at least two more of the college team cards that I need to get for my collection, their draft pick Greedy Williams, and a undrafted free agent signee, David Blough.