Friday, November 17, 2017

Inbound and Down #30: A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts

You may remember quite a few months ago I ran a little "contest" on the blog, daring people to write posts of 100 words or less.   I offered to knock 5 cards off of their want lists for doing so, and 20 victims dared to take up the challenge.  I told people that I wanted nothing in return, save for the challenge of writing a brief post.

Jon at the A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts blog took up the challenge, and wrote an excellent post featuring his cards and using haikus to describe them.  That post was written on March 4th.

Jon has a very long memory indeed, because he sent me a 6 card PWE this week as a thank you for what I sent back then!  Like I said, totally not necessary, but it is greatly appreciated!!

Let's start with the best Jay to wear the #30, Todd Stottlemyre

I always liked the Score Gold Rush cards, and have been stupid enough to entertain the thought of trying to put the parallel set together.   Needless to say, cooler heads prevailed....

Still hurts that EE is gone, but it appears that he's found a good home in Cleveland.  He had a typical EE offensive season (.258/38/107) and drew over 100 walks for the first time in his career.  He'll hit the 350 home run mark for his career early in 2018 (he needs 2) and is about 3 years away from 2000 hits (needs 418). 

Hadn't seen this card before last weekends card show.   I bought it for a quarter, then just a couple days later, it arrives in my mailbox!!  Rock solid foundation indeed, as '97 (the year this card is from) started a run of 10 straight 30+ HR seasons for Delgado.

A pair of red beauties finishes off the envelope.  I thought I had the Clemens card on the left, but a quick look at the Jays want list and sure enough, I was able to remove it from the list.  The stars on the card was the giveaway, as I didn't remember them at all on any of the Pinnacle Certified cards that I have.  Red Panini Prizm's are a favorite of mine as well, and Melky Cabrera (who the Jays can certainly use in their outfield now) was a welcome sight.

Jon, thank you very much for the envelope, it certainly was appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Try A Pack #10: 2017-18 Artifacts Hockey

I got lucky this season.  My annual bid to try and get a parallel or two out of Artifacts only cost me $6.  I was able to find two loose packs this year; every other season I've always had to buy a blaster which contained 8 packs of no parallels.

This year my two packs contained, you guessed it, no parallels.  I'll always keep trying though.

Retail packs of 5 cards cost $2.99, a bit expensive but the cards do look nice (as they always have).

The Hurricanes are closer to having a great team than people think.  They've got a good coach, a great young defense and some shooters up front.  Victor Rask is only 24 and in his 4th season.  He's been a solid contributor each of his first 3 seasons, and should see the benefits of his hard work very soon in the tobacco belt.

Stanley Cup this year?  That's what the Lightning have to be thinking.  Kucherov is the early favorite to win the Rocket Richard trophy, as he and Steven Stamkos are making mince meat out of goalies so far this season. 

Frederik Andersen is the lone Leaf I pulled out of the two packs.  I'd love to see the Leafs find a backup goalie that they fully trust, because I believe that Freddie just isn't a 70 start goaltender.  50-60 is more like it.

Ryan Spooner is part of the turnover in Boston, and he's put up decent numbers over the last two seasons.  He's been hurt a good portion of this season, not having played in the past month.

Part of the west coast beard movement, Jake Muzzin is the defenseman you don't hear about when discussion about the Kings happens.  Hard to believe he's already in his 8th NHL season; it seems like I just started hearing his name in the past couple of years. 

As always, the Artifacts design is for the lack of a better word, elegant.  The Artifacts name is always at the top of the card, and little changes happen at the bottom as far as design goes.  It's as reliable as it gets for card products, you know what you're going to get and how much you're going to pay for it.

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Inbound and Down #29: Diamond Jesters

I only recently found the Diamond Jesters blog, and that was largely due to a trade I made with its writer, Matt.  Check it out when you have a moment, Matt is a Red Sox fan and writes haikus!

Shamefully, I was brutally slow on returning my end of the deal, but Matt was gracious about it and I actually have sent him a 2nd envelope today with a couple of more cards that I hope he can use.

Matt proposed a 1 for 1 trade, but in the end he sent me 4 cards, all worthy additions in their own way.

I'm sure I have a few copies of the '89T Lloyd Moseby card, but none with the rediscover Topps gold foil emblazoned on them!!   Still a good conversation piece and starter to the envelope.

2 things I would love to see from Troy Tulowitzki in 2018. 

  1. Stay healthy.  66 games in 2017 was a killer to the team, even though Jays fans may have seen the beginning of the shortstop of the future for the club, Richard Urena.
  2. Get that hitting stroke back.  Troy is hitting combined .250 during his tenure in Toronto, and if we can see him get back close to the .300 hitter he was in Colorado, that would certainly help.

A little gold never hurts!  I believe that this is the first gold card from 2017 for my Jays collection.  Devon Travis is another player that the Jays need to stay healthy in order for the offense to get rolling again.

Finally, this is the card that was originally offered, the Josh Donaldson 2017 Optic base card.  Topps Chrome without the logos, right?  Still it's a good card of the Jays best player right now, so I love having it in the collection.

Matt, thank you for the trade, the cards are appreciated!  My apologies again for the slowness of sending you my end, hopefully the envelope I mailed today helps a little with that.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 13, 2017


After this past Saturday's card show, I decided to head to the local Target to pick up a few packs of cards to finish off the day's purchases.

The card aisle there was a bit in disarray, but what popped right out at me was the new NHL sticker album for the 17-18 season.  I briefly flipped through the album and upon seeing that the set was just over 500 stickers strong, I put it back down.

I then thought to myself that I had bought and started the '17 baseball sticker album, and began to hunt around the shelves for any packs of stickers.  No sense starting the album like I did a couple of months ago and not at least try a little to fill it.

What's cool about the stickers is the size, at least for scanning.  This is 2 full packs, 16 in total.  I bought 4 packs and only pulled 2 doubles (better than the card packs I usually buy). 

Here's one of the pages that I'm close to completing, and as you can see coloring inside the lines was never one of my strong suits. 

The set is relatively small, just 301 stickers total.  I have about 1/3 of them so far, and putting the 30 stickers I had tonight into the album was kind of therapeutic.  It'll be interesting for me to see how long it takes to finish the album.

Maybe it'll take some sticktoitiveness on my part to get it done...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Inbound and Down #28: The Chronicles of Fuji

The Chronicles of Fuji.  Need I say more?  OK I will.  Mark is one of the best and longest lasting writers on the card collecting blogosphere, and I have had the good fortune of trading with Mark on a few occasions. 

I'm so far behind on my blog reading that I didn't notice until today that Mark had announced on his blog that he was sending packages (27 of them!) out to folks in the world, and I was one of them.

To be honest, I really don't remember sending him anything (it could have been a while ago, my mind is shot...), but I won't sneeze at the cards he sent me.

Why is it I don't remember Joe Carter as part of the Crash the Game set?  Right, the mind is gone...

OK, maybe the mind isn't that far gone, because I instantly recognized the Tony Fernandez on the right as being from one of the many 80's Fire Safety sets that the Jays released.  Love the old photo of Exhibition Stadium in the background.

A trio of Bowman Platinum gold.  Sadly, none of these 3 are currently with the club.

More Bowman Platinum, and a Topps Super insert from last year's Archives featuring Josh Donaldson.  Nice!

The Brett Lawrie card will go into his PC, the Jose Bautista card is sharp and I must be careful, and I have to admit, that Blue Jays logo in the center is the ugliest of them all. 

Didn't have my reading glasses on when I pulled this out of the envelope, and I said out loud "who the hell is this?"  I did not recognize Pat Borders at all with the mustache.  Cool jersey card though from the 2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition set.  I had no idea that Borders was ever affiliated with the USA Baseball program, which makes this even more cool for me.

Mark, thank you for the great envelope, it is very much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert