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