03/23/19 – Mariners FanFest

from 2019 Mariners FanFest

Nice autos from Ryon Healy, Dee Gordon, and Domingo Santana.  Thanks guys!

Braden Bishop, Ryon Healy, Dylan Moore, Dave Sims, and Jerry Dipoto all signed the 2019 M’s team ball.  Thanks gentlemen!


Ray Allen for 3 — Yes!

So let’s say I’m on a bit of a Sonics autos kick and I get a nice card like 2007 Topps #SSW-7 Signature Swish Auto #13/25.  It’s cool, but…. the auto is not that easy to read.

That’s when I start messing with light angles to bring out different features of the card. Amazing how different it can look under different lighting and angles.

I also start messing with it in PicsArt or other photo editors.  Check out the last one with the extensive green and gold!

Even though the auto legibility is not the best, the Swish swirl thing and the picture of Ray about to launch a shot are both very cool.

Of course, after all that I can just go out and get a different card, 2016-17 Panini Revolution #25, and be super psyched that it’s got all the pizazz from the wavy hyperplaid refraction pattern and that it’s an on card auto…

… until I notice a couple of strange white specks on Ray Allen’s face and start saying, man, oh man, did I really pay that much for that?  I thought they were specks on the top loader or scanner.  Ugh, I should have asked, what was I thinking… blah blah blah it can go on ad infinitum.

Still, it’s not like I see the specks looking across my desk at the card.  Instead I see the nice clear auto and the sweet refractor effects with different lighting and angles.  The background looks awesome and really makes the signature pop under full spectrum lighting!  There’s that also that very pleasant feeling I get when I pick up an on card auto.  So even with the blemish it’s a great card and, in flattering lighting, can be the best of the three.

Three?  Yes, since I’m me and we’re talking about Ray Allen here, I decide to get one more, 2018-19 Panini Crown Royale #CA-RAL.  I think it’s the best of the three in regular suburban lighting. 🙂  Even though it’s a sticker auto, it’s got a nicely centered and clearly legible signature, the characteristic die-cut Crown Royale design, the rainbow foil in the crown, and an interesting facial expression .  It looks as if Ray is deciding whether to drive in or pull up for a three.  It doesn’t look like he’s going to pass this time lol.  Anyhow, it’s also a gold parallel (#6/10) which is a nice match with the Sonics green and gold color scheme (on either side of those mid 90’s green and red Christmas cartoon unis).  Pretty sweet!

I think that’s good enough for now.  Another three from Ray Allen! 🙂

2019 Topps Series 1 – It Is What It Is :)

I picked up a hobby box of 2019 Topps Series 1.  I know the cards and hits are not fancy, but I appreciate (and expect) comprehensiveness, traditionality, and tradeability in the flagship releases.  Other than that, my expectations were not particularly high.  I wasn’t disappointed lol.  Since then, I also picked up a blaster, fat pack, and three retail packs, and have about 90% of the 350 card base set plus about 8 million doubles.  Don’t ask me why I bought so many. 🙂

The base design has its strengths and weaknesses.  I like the photos this year.  It seems like there are more action shots than usual.  The curved border design with the “almost full bleed” image is also cool.  However, I think the capitalized last names and the social media handles are corny.

The parallels are nice.  There are the rainbow foils, “150 years of professional baseball“ stamps, and image/player variations that are not numbered.  The foils look particularly good with this design.  I like the #/2019 gold camo pixel thing better than the faint gold wedge effects they’ve used the past couple of years.  There are cards #/150 with the regular front and new age “advanced stats” on the back.  Maybe I’ll use the card I have as an opportunity to learn more about the new acronyms, how the numbers are calculated, and what they actually mean. 🙂

The 35th anniversary retro 1986 subsets (regular and Silver pack chrome) bring back a great design. Hard to complain about this one lol.

In my opinion, most of the inserts are boring.  They cover a wide range of baseball’s history, too wide in my opinion.  I prefer how the Heritage historical inserts focus on a particular year.  There is also an overemphasis on the Yankees in general.  I know the Yanks are the most popular and most successful baseball franchise, but c’mon man, the other teams count too!  I do like the 150 years manufactured relic card more than I thought I would, and the Home Run Challenge cards are fun.  (I actually won a #’d card from one of my players last year!)

This Albert Pujols retro GU bat relic is a pretty cool hit, much better than I expected!  I’ve not had positive experiences trying to get his autograph at the ballpark, so I’m not much of a Pujols fan.  However, I certainly respect his baseball accomplishments and have accumulated some nice cards of his, so I think this one also goes in the keeper bin. 🙂

Overall, I appreciate the comprehensiveness, traditionality, and tradeability of this flagship release.  Although I would prefer more exciting inserts, I like the base, parallels, and 35th anniversary subset designs.  The hit was better than I expected.  It could be better but it could be way worse.  It is what it is.  🙂  I give 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball 3 out of 5 stars.