Saturday, November 4, 2017

october nue jays

This October, I made what was probably my 5th or so return to card blogging. I've had a pretty good outlet over at Jays From the Couch in regards to analysis and speculation, but there was always that urge to write beyond that wall, to really just spill out my love - and frustrations - in a more appropriate arena.

Luckily, my ebay, comc and blogspot passwords all still worked, so I didn't lose much time there. However, I needed some material, and pulling nothing but Yankees from 2017 products wasn't going to cut it. So I resorted to ebay, and it went well.

I don't recall which year of heritage this came from, but this one had been on my radar for a long time. Stieb is a legend in the land of the Blue Jays, and his silky smooth autograph on the 1990 Topps is just beautiful.
I don't have the original, but I am sure one of you out there does. Unlike the nice blue border above, it's purple, but still represents the obnoxiously 90's flavour of that set:

A couple weeks back, I complained almost endlessly about 2017 Topps Fire. Don't get me wrong - it's a total trash fire. I was, however, drawn to the following card:

It's the blue parallel of Jose Bautista's Monikers insert, under the guise of "Joey Bats." The graffiti on these is a nice touch, with the player bursting through a brick wall. The blue works well with the Jays uniform. These might be the only redeeming part of the Fire set.

Here's a 2017 Bowman Green parallel (90/99) of future super-utility Jay, Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., making his debut here at PGS. Personally, I find the "paper" designation to Bowman flagship demeaning. Baseball cards are paper. 

Chrome is what brings everyone to the show, and as much as I do like the chromes and their associated refractors, I enjoy the flasghip so much more, even in the worst Bowman design, possibly ever. The above Gurriel auto was purchsed in conjunction with the Stieb that led this post off, coming in at about $7 American. 

At this point, you might notice a theme growing. While most Jays prospectors are going heroically strong on Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., I'm doing the same on Gurriel and the next guy. Gurriel has some development issues at the moment, but I am pretty confident in the guy. This gold refractor (44/50) came from the National Convention packs.

I was really excited about Justin Maese once he was drafted by the Jays in 2015.He has struggled a bit, but much of that was due to injuries. One thing he's already mastered, though: The Pitcher Struggle Face. 

What's a ZJ?
Zach Jackson checks off two important collections of mine: Team USA and Blue Jays. Not to mention this 2017 Panini Baseball Stars & Stripes is limited to just /99 and features a swatch of digital camo jersey, which I am admittedly a sucker for. 

While only featuring seven scan-worthy cards, I feel like I did pretty well in October 2017 in regards to ebay pickups. Already for November, I have two Gurriels and one Marcus Stroman on the way, not to mention countless Anthony Alford and Marcus Stroman auctions ending soon. November should be a good month. 

*If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

drinkin' & rippin': 2017 topps heritage minors

Tuesday the 24th was a long day. Some travel, meetings, a webinar, an more travel. After returning from beautiful Avon, NY - gassing up the rental and jamming the key into the drop box, I returned home to find a svelte cardboard box on the table from Dave & Adam's Card World. Inside were two boxes of 2017 Topps Heritage Minors and some free hockey packs.

I haven't bought boxes since about 2013 or so, again with a Topps minors product in Pro Debut. Then, I did well. This time, well...let's see.

Drinkin' and Rippin' is a simple concept. A boy, a beer and a box of cards. In this case, two hobby boxes of 2017 Heritage Minor Leagues. The beer in this case is from Thin Man Brewery in the Elmwood area of Buffalo and is the double-dry-hopped version of their Very Friendly IPA. It's fucking great.

On to the cards.

My goals were simple: a few Blue Jays, some hot prospects, and some Yankees to flip. If we can't avoid all of the Yankees seeded into today's product, we might as well profit.

It started off as expected, with plenty of Yankees to be had. I think they made up at least 10% of the base set and closer to 15% of the inserts. This is a lot easier to disguise in minor league sets where all levels of the minors cloak the pinstripes.

Each box contains a relic and an autograph, and Box 1 was a dud in that regards. The following are two of the lesser impressive or impactful available.

The Jorge Mateo (a Yankee, of course) was the first "hit" to come out of the packs, and man. I wasn't ready for this kind of disappointment. The cards are absurdly thick for not being patches, resulting in packs of just three cards. At least Mateo is a good player, and a fast one at that: he stole 234 bases in 452 minor league games so far, and he's just 22 years old.

Next up came the auto, from Jacob Heyward. I had to look him up, which isn't a good sign. The Giants' LF prospect had a pretty mediocre season in 2017 at A-Ball.

The autos take the look of the base card, but come backwards in the pack as they're potentially hard to spot. With Heyward signing blue on a white jersey, it wasn't difficult in this case.

Here's a short print of Twins' middle infielder Nick Gordon. This one shows just how pretty these cards can be in their 1968 glory. There was another significant SP in these boxes, but this one was a football player in a baseball set for some reason:

Baseball America All-Stars fan 1:6 packs, so I was hoping for six, and received six.

These are really excellent, bringing the scouting and prospecting aspect to the hobby without having shlubby Bowman scouts signing sticker autos. I was very lucky to pull Blue Jays' top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and future impact OF Ronald Acuna of the Atlanta Braves organization. Vlad Jr. cards are already looking extremely collectible.

Speaking of Blue Jays, there were plenty in Heritage Minor Leagues, a 250-card set.

Again, Guerrero is looking awesome. Redi-Foley...might be considering his next murder. The Rios is a total dud. But there's more:

We get ROWDY and Urena in the next batch, along with a J.B. Woodman. Urena was solid in his limited MLB debut in 2017, but Tellez was disappointing with Triple-A Buffalo.

Another future Blue Jay falls from the 1:5 Topps Discs insert, this time Bo Bichette, who won a MiLBY award for Offensive Player of the Year. When I say falls, I mean it literally. If you're not paying close enough attention, when you pull the deck of cards out of the pack, the discs fall out freely. There were also some mascots involved in this set, but I couldn't care less about those.

Of course, with it being a Topps release, there were plenty of parallels:

Blues fall 1:17 and are numbered to /99.
Greens fall 1:33 and are numbered to /50.
Grays fall 1:66 and are numbered to /25.

None of the above are particularly interesting and they'll probably end up on ebay.

On to the good stuff. This box treated me well with the second memorabilia card, as I added ex-Blue Jay and current Oakland Athletic Franklin Barreto to my collection.

plain gray swatch

After that, though, a case hit:

You might be thinking, "Hey, that's just a base card." And you would be right, but in this case Topps has dropped Arozarena's first name on this card (it's Randy, by the way) and printed them at a scant enough amount for them to be inserted at 1:714. This one already sold on ebay, but there's not much demand for this listless variation.

While the Arozarena pull was a good one, it paled in comparison to the autograph in box two. Prior to this one, I was a little disappointed.

Looks familiar, right? It's the first card in this post, but it's also a photoshopped and autographed version of it, featuring one of the game's elite prospects in Eloy Jimenez. While not rare, this is a huge pull for the player alone.

Heritage Minors 2017 was a good break, but most of it's allure comes from very rare parallels and the potential of guys like Eloy Jimenez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Gleyber Torres. It's affordable at just $52/box, and the reward can be either significant or non-existent. It's a bit of a roulette, nut fun nonetheless. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

getting blasted: 2017-2018 o-pee-chee

Last weekend I had the urge to rip some hockey cards. I was hoping for some Upper Deck flagship, unaware that the release date isn't until November 9th. Not to worry, though, as MVP and O-Pee-Chee were already on the shelves, and I happily walked away with a fresh blaster of the latter.

O-Pee-Chee is an important set in regards to the history of hockey, and it's recent resurrection has resulted in a very popular and fun set. I made a run at the complete set a few years back, but gave up rather quickly despite its availability. At the time, it just wasn't in the the cards.

The main set is simple and reminds me of some Score designs in the mid-to-late 1990s. The cards are purely cardboard without much noticeable gloss on the front and zero gloss on the back. OPC remains one of the few sets that please the sense of touch for those who collected before the 1990s miss.

First, the Maple Leafs. Believe it or not, the Matthews above is my first of the NHL's version of Aaron Judge. He's featured on card No. 1 in this set, and is very much "The Guy" in NHL collecting right now. I'm not working hard at collecting Matthews, I'll center that attention on Nazem Kadri.

Marquee Rookies, Checklists, Season Highlights and League Leaders fall at 1:2, and somehow I only noticed this one aside from the checklists.

Falling 1:2 as well are the vintage parallels, which are really my favorite thing about this set. They can get frustrating if you're going for a complete set, but overall are fun and excellent-looking in 2017-2018. I managed one Maple Leaf, Connor Brown.

Rainbows come at a rate of 3:blaster or 1:8 packs. Managing three was huge, even if it involved two New York Rangers. As we'll see coming up, though, I broke the odds multiple times in this blaster.

This Aleksander Barkov is a parallel-parallel, a Mini Black Foil insert coming at 1:41 packs. You'll generally see one of these per hobby box, and I was lucky enough to get one in a blaster. If there's any Panthers collectors out there, get at me. I'd love to share this with someone who might appreciate it more, and I have mini top loaders to protect it in.

As I mentioned above, I broke the odds multiple times in this little box. The Barkov would have made me happy enough, but the following was the true gem:

Despite the rounded corners being completely cut off, you can get an idea that the above Shea Weber Playing Card Foil Parallel is a real beauty. These come at a rate of 1:66, so this was a huge pull for a $20 USD blaster. Good stuff like this is why folks come back to OPC so strongly every year.

O-Pee-Chee continues to impress, and I implore any hockey collectors to go out there and grab some of this product. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

fire emojis, or a lack thereof

Oh, hey Bryce

I knew what I was getting into, I swear. I saw the pack and blaster box breaks elsewhere of the chaotic, completely nonsensical Topps Fire, but I jumped on it anyway. Splatters, holograms, flippability. All things aside, it came down to one thing: I hadn't purchased cards in a long time and this was something new.

I use the term "new" loosely, as Fire represents an unholy marriage between such classic sets as Circa Thunder and UD-x. Those were classics, right?

Right, of course they were. Let's jump into this blaster. My goals were simple: more Blue Jays than Yankees, some colorful stuff, and that's about it. Maybe this was a hate-rip. I don't even know anymore.

Pack 1:

Ken Griffey Jr.
Johnny Damon
Seung-Hwan Oh
Stephen Strasburg
Roberto Osuna
Carlos Correa /299 Orange somethingorother (1:10)

So...that's a pretty good start. This pack was purchased before Houston's unforgivable ALCS collapse, I'm still kind of mad. Also, if you're going to highlight some of the game's greatest players of all time...maybe avoid their overweight DH phase.

Pack 2:

Matt Olson
Pedro Martinez
Joe Musgrove
Carlos Correa
Jonathan Villar
Wade Boggs - Monikers (Gold, 1:5)

The monikers seem hit-or-miss. Chicken Man is one I've definitely heard, but as we'll see later, they get more obscure. If you squint hard enough, you can almost see Boggsy behind the FIRE logo, "Chicken Man" written in stereotype-style graffiti, and for some reason - bricks. 

Pack 3:

Carl Yastrzemski
Reggie Jackson
Gary Sanchez
Lorenzo Cain
Kenta Maeda
Dan Vogelbach, the other orangesomethingorother (1:4)

There's...nothing worth mentioning here, other than a big shift in Jays: Yankees to 2:1. Yaz represent the FOURTH retired Red Sox within the first three packs, as well. Fun.

Pack 4:

Rob Zastryzny (who?)
Raimel Tapia
Renato Nunez
Wade Davis
Xander Boagerts
Clayton Kershaw Fired Up (Gold, 1:20)

I have no problem with this pack. Three rookies right off the bat, even if only one of them is likely to be in the league five years from now. Another Sox to end the pack isn't terribly inspiring, but the Kershaw is a beaut.

Pack 5:

Jose Canseco (why?)
Dave Winfield
Francisco Lindor 

Zach Britton
Dellin Betances
Billy Hamilton (Green, 1:14)

Is anyone else singing Christmas carols to themself?

Despite the green Hamilton, this was a garbage fire. Two Yankees and a Canseco. You can't get much worse than that. Ratio update: 4:1 in favor of the Evil Empire.

Pack 6:

Eddie Mathews

Aaron Boone (WTF)
Cal Ripken Jr.
Jon Lester
Michael Fulmer
Ricky Henderson Monikers - Gold (again?)

We've reached so deep into the garbage that that super gross water that forms at the bottom is leaving a stink on my fingers that will last for weeks. AARON BOONE?! Come on. 

The Moniker insert here is Rickey Henderson, listed a the "Man of Steal" which I do not remember ever hearing. There must have been a better option than this. 

I picked Eddie Matthews for the lone scan from this pack to illustrate how ridiculous the retired players look on a design like this. An absolute atrocity.

Pack 7:

Tyler Glasnow
Dansby Swanson
Didi Gregorious
Evan Longoria
Yoenis Cespedes
Roberto Osuna (Flame? There's no flames. It's...reddish, though.)

Didi is currently my least-despised Yankee, but he brings the ratio up to 5:2, which is horrifying, but expected. Osuna saves the pack, even if it's the second iteration of Osuna in the box, with no other Ajulejos represented. It was a fair ending.

But overall, yes...this was a hate-rip. What a monstrosity of a product. Legends on glorified holoboard emoji cards? Aaron Boone? Come on. This is the kind of garbage that Topps can keep throwing out there, and the lack of competition on the market means we'll buy it right up. 

Oh, dammit. 

There's another pack. Four exclusive gold minted super ultra mojo boner base cards inside! This is a threat, not a promise.

Clayton Kershaw
Mike Trout

Jeff Hoffmann
Ryne Sandberg

So, there's that. There's very few positives in this product, one of which is the very excellent "Joey Bats" Monikers available and also some Marcus Stromans. Other than that, it's just plain awful.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Future of Baseball in Syracuse

On Monday, news leaked that my "hometown" team, the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, had been purchased by the New York Mets. Take a look around this blog and you'll see some throwbacks to the franchise and its significance to me, especially regarding the logo.

I use the term hometown loosely, as I grew up more than an hour away from Syracuse and identify completely with Western New York and the City of Buffalo. However, its where I live and the Chiefs are the team I have been watching since the early 1990s, so anything similar to what happened earlier this week gets me a little edgy.

Syracuse is not a baseball town, and it never will be. That's fine. Neither is Buffalo. But people here are fickle and miserable and find every reason to hate going to games, sometimes myself included. Attendance is poor, but it's getting better due to GM Jason Smoral's relentless spirit and unending promotions. Can the Mets affiliation save baseball in Syracuse? I'm not sure. But we can explore this a bit. In order to at worst - maintain - baseball in this city, here are some suggestions.

  • Retain Jason Smoral. Smoral has been GM of the Syracuse Chiefs since 2013, or since I've been living here permanently. Since he took over, the Chiefs have increased their attendance, mostly due to the aforementioned string of promotions, peaked by 2017's "What If" Night which featured the temporary re-brand of the Chiefs to the Syracuse Salt Potatoes. The promotion did so well, they sold merchandise to all 50 states and ended up finishing the season with yet another Salt Potatoes night versus my Buffalo Bisons. It brought something to the game that this area lacks entirely: community. I don't think any of this happens under any other GM, and that's why he needs to stay.
  • Go full re-brand. In the past the Chiefs have updated their colors (blue for Toronto, red and navy for Washington) and modernized their logos, but they've been the same since the 1960s (1950s?) and quite frankly, they've been left behind. Syracuse need to run with 2017's Salt Potatoes promotion and take the path of Binghamton, Richmond, Fresno, Round Rock and other successful MiLB teams have: get weird. 
  • Update the food options. The food vendor at NBT Bank Stadium is truly dreadful. When a city struggles to rise from the ashes of the Rust Belt, one thing usually emerges: food. This has happened throughout Syracuse, but there has been zero carry-over to the stadium. Local favorites? There's just one: Hoffmann hot dogs, which I will defend until the day I die. The stadium offers salt potatoes only on promotion days, and other than that...burgers, more dogs, chicken fingers. And they're all awful. Better food will bring more people into the seats.
Seems simple enough, right? Probably not. We still have the whole Mets affiliation...thing. 

In yesterday's interviews, Jeff Wilpon said something in regards to committing to the city and keeping baseball in CNY. Forgive me for not taking a Wilpon quote as gospel.

There's plenty of variables that might move the team out of the area, and none seem too far-fetched. The first is that CNY is NOT Mets territory. Aside from Queens, though, what is? The city and surrounding areas probably profile as such, in regards to fandom:

  1. Yankees (70%)
  2. Red Sox (20%)
  3. Mets/Blue Jays/Nationals/Braves (5%)
  4. Other (5%)
This will never, ever be a Mets town. They're front-runners. Just look at SU Football attendance. The Mets aren't winners. When their teams aren't competitive, the fans disappear and cry into their shitty Syracuse Pale Ale*. The Mets affiliation itself will not affect much, aside from subjecting this eyesore of a city to even more orange.

Will attendance drop? Probably not. But there's no way they're filling the stadium up on weeknights, regardless of any of my suggestions or the Mets' efforts to do so. The best we can hope for is sustain, be a short taxi service from AAA-MLB, and give the city something to do on summer nights. 

Will sustenance be enough for the Wilpons? Since they've already paid out millions in fines for their PONZI schemes, probably not. There aren't many other markets worth pursuing in New York State, though, especially upstate.

The city's main competition will be Long Island. Currently Long Island features the Ducks, but would those stadium owners outbid our locals after the stadium lease ends in 2025? Absolutely. Why have unaffiliated ball when you can have Triple-A? It makes too much sense, even if it would still be a 45 minute drive rather than a 45 minute plane ride between both options. 

I do believe baseball can succeed in Syracuse, but it will take something we just don't have here: community effort. In a city without an identity, its extremely difficult to support a Triple-A team playing in between a swamp and a swarm of overpasses located away from the populated area. The next eight years will be do-or-die for this franchise as a Triple-A affiliate. Baseball isn't getting any more popular here, and a best-case scenario might actually be Double-A in the somewhat distant future. 

Oh, and this is acard blog or something, so here's a Chiefs card:

*Okay, it's not that bad. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

14 years.

We were fourteen years old at the time. Maybe 13 depending on birthdays. The year was 2000. We were alive, young, stupid, and somehow found some change kicking around in our relatively poor, rural hideaway in Central New York.

We loved baseball, but cards were getting boring. Running $3 or so per pack, the industry had to show us something different to get our hard-earned birthday and Christmas monies (we were fourteen, of course we didn't have jobs.)

Then something new came along. Shiny. With pre-prima donna Alex Rodriguez is still-hot Seattle Mariners gear on the foil package. Sleeveless jerseys, the color teal. All of the rage, packaged into one ten-card pack. It was the golden age of shitty, over produced baseball cards, and the 2000 release of Skybox Metal led the way like a flamboyant Richard Simmons. 

We chased the stuff like some illicit drug approve by our parents. 

"The Nice-n-Easy by my house is out of it." James would say. "But the one on the way to Rome has a few left." 

"Man, Fastrac by the high school has it. Have you checked there? But they're $3.50 each. We'll never get the whole set with all of these doubles."

We didn't know it then, but we were the kids in all of those 50's movies chasing Roger Maris cards for our bike spokes. Of course, you'd have to replace Roger Maris with Vladdy Guerrero and bike spokes with hard sleeves in our baseball bags (I still carry an Eric Gagne card to this day in mine...)

Of course, we thought we were different. Metal made us feel different. We didn't bother showing our dads the blasphemous cards inside - they'd never understand.

"Those aren't baseball cards! Why are they so shiny? What's that swirling pattern? Why isn't it flat?" They'd lose themselves in memories of clean-cut Mickey Mantle gazing into the distance of a Spring Training like the idol he was. Flimsy stock, rounded corners, creases everywhere but the face. The rubber band indents. "..and they only cost $.15."

The cards have changed, but the chase remained. Three hundred cards in the base set and three friends chasing them through the whole county. Every Monday before study hall, we'd compare. 

"Bunch of base cards...Emerald Brad Penny." "Do you have Penny?" "No, I'll give you my Eric Munson PROSPECTS for it, though." *sigh.* "Okay."

"Is that a Nomar Platinum Portraits?" "Yeah. You can have it."*

Who was chasing what, no one remembers. Except the ultimate goal. The World Series of our age 27 collecting season. 

1:288 packs they fell. The stores would hold about 20 retail packs at a time. We never bothered calculating the odds of pulling one in - mostly because Doug was the only one good at math - but as optimistic as we were, we were realists. Poor teenagers with a bit too much time between baseball practice. 

Metal stuck around the shelves of retail stores for about a year. There was no 2001 Skybox Metal - likely because us idiots couldn't sustain the truly awful set contributing $3 a week to a rapidly-ebbing industry. We didn't know any better. We also didn't have ebay accounts, debit card or bank statements - our only chances at completing the set and chasing the Ultimate Goal were ripping foil and begging for someone to drive us to card shows for a preposterous mark-up. The latter never happened, so we were stuck.

That summer, James and I were lucky enough to make the trek to Cooperstown for the induction of Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield. My mom brought us down, along with a family friend (who was a big Kirby Puckett fan) and we camped out at a KOA well out of town, avoiding the fees of the Cooperstown hotels. The weekend was hot as hell and mostly uneventful, aside from a brief glimpse of the legendary Yogi Berra outside of Mickey's Place and James getting leveled by a souvenir seeker in the stands down the left field line of Doubleday Field - back when the Hall of Fame Game was still a thing. 

Of course, that was until our last day, when sifting through the sleeves at Pioneer Cards, James tapped me on the shoulder and said "There's one here."

For the sake of poetic justice I knew just what he meant. Back to the front of the store we went, and there, in the bottom corner of a display case,it shined:

Erubiel Durazo, failed prospect. But we had found our Holy Grail. Cut deep into that thick holoboard insert, in someone's theoretical 288th pack, was a Base Shredder. At this point in the weekend, I was broke, but James wasn't. Forty American Dollars, less than the cost of a hobby box of Metal but a fraction of what it would take to find one, was dropped on the counter, and we were in awe.

We had won.
Starting around 2010, I would guess, I started chasing the Base Shredders again. I was an adult with an eBay account, a vastly overpaid substitute science teacher job, and time. Their prices had dropped dramatically, with what is likely every pack of 2000 Metal being ripped, countless base cards curling in countless shoe boxes. Slowly I picked away at the 18 that constituted the set, knocking off the duds. 

Ben Grieve. Eric Munson. Ben Davis. Michael Barrett**. Tony Clark. Miguel Tejada. Rafael Palmeiro. 

And then the middle range, or underappreciated players in the set.

Mo Vaughn. Manny Ramirez. Matt Williams. Troy Glaus. Larry Walker. Todd Helton.

And eventually the Heavy Hitters, all Hall-of-Famers, or damn close to it:

Robby Alomar, Pudge and Vladdy Guerrero. All players I've chased at one point or another.

But there was always a whale, that one I could never obtain, until all came full circle in the summer of 2014. That summer, I made my return to Cooperstown's Hall of Fame Induction with a Braves faithful friend to watch the inductions of Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine and, Bobby Cox. 

Just before leaving for the long weekend, the eBay alert came. A new posting.

Tony Gwynn 2000 Metal Baseshredders 1:288 packs RARE

Frustratingly dipping in and out of cell phone reception at Glimmerglass State Park and throughout the Village of Cooperstown and down the roads at Council Rock and Ommegang Breweries, I obsessively watch that auction, and probably foolishly considering the bid that I had in place. I forget to length of the posting or the cost of the final sale, but the final stone was laid on the path to a complete insert set of that holy grail we chased as mere teenagers in the summer of 2000. When on a hot, sunny July afternoon, returning to camp from the induction ceremony, I was finally the owner of this:

Tony had died just six weeks earlier. Baseball was still morning one of the greatest hitters of all time, but others of us were celebrating his life in whatever was we could. For me, it was this 1:288 pack gem, this little slice of meaningless rubber painted up in holoboard, thicker than any card I had ever seen. 

Lately I've been extremely critical of the hobby. I assume that this cynicism will stay and I'll continue to bitch and moan about exclusivity, gimmicks, parallels, the amount of Yankees in a high-end set, and the general crummyness of the local card show. So for that, I apologize in advance. 

But if just one kid and a group of friends like myself and those around me in the summer of 2000 feel the thrill of the chase like we did, I'll be more than happy to sit back with my cold beer, listen to Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler babble on about how great the other team is, and flip through thousands and thousands of baseball cards. Just because. And maybe even rip a few packs of Topps. 

*I was lucky enough at the time to be trading in Yankee Country. Red Sox were treated like toilet paper - Yankees like ginseng in the arthritis apocalypse. 

**Michael Barrett received plenty of criticism for his play, but mostly for being a hothead. This card always reminds me of one of my favorite baseball moments, which you can click to in that link.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Resurrection (2017-)

It's been a while. The last post published here was executed in 2014. I finished graduate school in May of that year, and moved "home" against my better judgement. I'm still there.

The cards have come in, but new cards in the house are a rarity. This isn't due to a lack of interest, but the time had come to lurk in the background, occasionally hijacking Night Owl and Junk Wax Twins' twitter threads, usually complaining about the Topps exclusivity. This isn't going away, and though I am now resigned to this development, my criticisms will remain.

Right now, I have no direction for this blog, but there will be a resurrection. Do not expect posts every day, or massive mail day posts or big contests. If that's not your style, cool. For those of you who joined post-December 2014, feel free to introduce yourself. From what I can see, there's been plenty of expansion in the community since I left, which is great. It is a great community, and I'm ready to come back.

Stay hard.