2016 Topps Update Series – Update

In a previous post, I wrote about my joy in breaking a hobby box of 2016 Topps Update Series.  This box was unusual in the sense that it had all 300 base cards, so I paid a little more attention to the inserts than usual.  After a trade attempt got me interested in the Kenta Maeda Fire insert (so what if I thought the dude’s name was Kadea Meada), I of course was even more interested when the trade fell through.  I was looking for that card. 🙂

It’s always nice to find a card that you want in a random pack!  I like to use those 50 cents off Topps coupons on single packs.  I was looking for a couple of packs of Allen & Ginter but could no longer find them.  After a couple of weeks of checking various Target stores (that’s where I usually go for my low-end packs), I surrendered and decided to just buy a couple of the US packs (even though I had the base already).  Lo and behold, the first pack had that Maeda insert!  I was psyched!  The second pack had a retro Trea Turner auto, which turned out to be an insert for the Target retail packs.  Also got plenty more doubles for trading.  Pretty cool for a couple of $1.99 12-card packs (minus $0.50, minus 5%, plus sales tax, something like that — not quite sure where the 5% Target discount comes into play).  Glad I finally used those coupons. 🙂


2016 Topps Archives Father-Son Inserts

Just completed a small seven card insert set, the 2016 Topps Archives Father-Son Inserts.  I’m old enough to know players from most of the generations represented.  Even though the phenomenon of professional athletes having children who also become professional athletes is well known, I still find it interesting in individual cases.  As a Mariners fan, of course my favorite case is with Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr., who were both stars, both played for the M’s and Red, and played together.   There’s also the 1992 Upper Deck “Bloodlines” card featuring Ken Sr., Junior, and his brother Craig (a minor leaguer in the M’s system who played at various levels, including Triple-A Tacoma).  Sometimes it really is in the blood, huh?


Meeting Edgar!

I recently had those distinct pleasure of meeting Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez during a “meet and greet” event.  (Thanks to my man DW in AZ and Crave the Auto for the heads up.). Actually, I signed up for a pregame meet and greet with him last year, but it was cancelled because, well, he was the M’s new hitting coach.  The Mariners gave a signed baseball as a consolation prize, which was a nice gesture.  While it’s awesome to receive signed memorabilia through a purchase or as a gift, you know and I know that it’s way more meaningful and fun to meet folks in person while they sign.  I’ve seen Edgar plenty of times during BP at Safeco, but he usually scurries into the dugout rather than signing autographs.  Anyway, it was great to finally meet him!  Sometimes these events turn into assembly lines and you have just enough time to say thank you.  However, Edgar was really chill and cordial.   After he signed my mini batting helmet, I thanked him and also complimented the efforts by he and his wife Holli, through their Martinez Foundation, to improve public education in WA state by supporting the recruitment, training, and retention of teachers of color.   It turned out, as Edgar told me,  that the Martinez Foundation merged into the TAF (Technology Access Fund) which partners with school districts to help students across the state.  It was nice to hear that their support of education is still going strong.  I enjoyed our brief conversation, and the signed mini helmet is awesome!  Fun day 🙂


Gypsy Queen Framed Parallels

I am generally a fan of parallel versions of cards.  Of course, some manufacturers get carried away, but to me many parallels have a look and feel that is significantly distinct from, and better than, the base version.  For examples, here are 3 cards that I came across today that I really like, 2015 Gypsy Queen white framed parallels.  These were in the retail value packs.

These pictures don’t really do the cards justice.  In person, I like how the base of the card is recessed and the white frame is placed on top and makes it “pop”, especially against a black background.  Looks better than brown border on the regular base cards in my opinion.  The 2016 has blue borders (and sometimes green, and probably red, purple, and several other colors) in the retail packs.  They look nice too, but I think the white ones look even better.  I only have three of these and am willing to trade them.  If you are interested please contact me. 🙂

Cards pictured:

2015 Gypsy Queen White Frame Parallels:

  • 41 Ivan Rodriguez – Texas Rangers
  • 201 Marcell Ozuna – Miami Marlins
  • 232 Matt Garza – Milwaukee Brewers

NFL: Do we really need TNF? in London? on a Sunday? during the regular season?

Dear NFL,

I just want to say that I don’t think we need Thursday Night Football. Sunday, Sunday Night, and Monday Night Football are plenty.  Half the time I don’t even remember that there’s a game coming up.  When I do remember to watch and figure out what channel the game is on, the play appears sloppy and the teams don’t look as well prepared as on Sunday and Monday.  That’s assuming that I stay awake through another snooze-fest.  Special editions of TNF, especially the overseas games, are even worse.  I realize that your league is in the business of making money, but how many Europeans really care about an American Football game in London?  At least play the game at an American military base so the troops can enjoy it.  I can live with exhibition games overseas, but games that count in the middle of a regular season?  C’mon, man.  The NFL should play on only one Thursday a year, and that’s Thanksgiving.


Vinny B

2016 Topps Update Series

I’ve been looking forward to today’s release of the 2016 Topps Baseball Update Series for some time now!  This might be my favorite Topps release after Stadium Club and Archives.  I like seeing some of the younger players who made enough of an impact to earn a card :), traded players in new uniforms, and All-Star Game highlights.  David Ortiz is on the cover of the hobby box I got today at my favorite local card shop, DJ’s Sportscards in Renton, WA.   Wonder if there will be a bunch of inserts featuring him (haven’t looked at the checklist lately).  Will report back after I unpack the box!

Broke the box.  It was pretty cool!  Actually got all the base cards US1-US300 in the hobby box, plus 21 doubles.  Included are two cards for the elusive Gold Glover Matt Weiters (who has not been in most, if any, of the recent Topps releases).  Takes a bit of the challenge out of building the base set, of course, but allows me to focus on the inserts.  I think I’m going to work on the 10 “First Pitch” cards (got 6 of them already).  My favorite card is a Frankie Lindor All-Star Stitch workout jersey relic (gold patch), ASTIT-FL.  (Does anyone else think that abbreviation is funny?)  I also like the Fire inserts and the golds and rainbow foils that I got.  There was a 1/1 printing plate for card US220 Colin Moran Astros RC, I like how those things look.  I guess a cool auto would have made all this even better, but all in all I really like the cards I got in this box!   Here are a few pictures.  🙂


Rewind: 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

Just for fun 🙂

O-Pee-Chee Hockey cards crack me up!  Sure, they’re super low-frills, cheap, almost junky, and make me wonder, does anybody really buy this stuff?  Yet, they’re also appealing to hockey traditionalists, base collectors, and set builders — like me!  There’s something I like about sets that include “regular” players in addition to all the rookies and stars.  Even though we’re already up to 2016-17, I went the clearance route and got a nice deal on a couple of boxes of 2014-15 OPC (ok, plus a few packs) at my favorite local card shop, DJ’s Sportscards in Renton, WA.  Fun stuff!  Broke the boxes (256 cards each) plus some extra packs, and got 391/500 regular base cards (with 17 doubles), 25/54 rookies, 25/54 legends, 59 retro parallels, 17 rainbow parallels, 5 black parallels #’d/100, 22/100 stickers, 4/45 V Series A cards, and 1 auto.   I’ve included pictures of some of the cards I got and listed them below.  If you’re looking for rare autos, GU jerseys, low serial #’s, etc., with good resale or investment value, OPC is not for you, but if you’re a hockey enthusiast you’ll probably enjoy it!  I’m looking forward to completing a set of cards 1-500, with one regular or parallel card for each player.  (Have 412 players already, so this is very much feasible.  May buy a few more boxes or just do it through trading.) Contact me if you’d like to trade!

Cards Shown from 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee:

  • #1 Martin Brodeur NJ Devils
  • #505 Vincent Trochek Florida Panthers Marquee Rookie
  • #599 Peter Forsberg Quebec Nordiques Marquee Legend
  • #S-40 John Tavares New York Islanders V Series A
  • #S-HO Peter Holland Toronto Maple Leafs OPC Signatures
  • #598 Eric Lindros Philadelphia Flyers – Marquee Legend Rainbow Parallel
  • #139 Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators Rainbow Parallel
  • #293 Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning – Black Rainbow Parallel #092 /100
  • #ST21 Shea Weber – Nashville Predators (yeah) – Sticker
  • #ST10 Jordan Eberle – Edmonton Oilers – Sticker
  • #ST-22 – Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets – Sticker
  • #459 Dan Hamhuis – Vancouver Canucks – Retro Parallel
  • #2 Teemu Selanne – Anaheim Ducks – Retro Parallel
  • #S-11 Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators – V Series A