Tuesday, February 14, 2017

More Maildays!

Here's the last part of the last couple of weeks of Maildays I've received.

2016 Donruss Optic Braxton Miller Autograph RC (#8/150)

One of my redemptions I pulled during my 4 box break of Optic. Just the regular regular card version

2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Autograph Holo RC (#84/99)

The 2nd of the two redemptions I was waiting for, this time the Holo version numbered to 99. Honestly, the auto looks beyond terrible on this card.

2016 Donruss Optic Ezekiel Elliott Pink Holo RC

You know me and Prizm Parallels. These were inserted into retail only configurations of Optic. Hope to pick up more colors in the future!

97 Fleer Ultra Hitting Machines Ken Griffey Jr

Die Cut Late 90's insert of my favorite baseball player of all time? Yup..sign me up! Great looking card!

2016 Topps WWE Undisputed Autographs Sting (#94/99)

I've said in the past I'm a HUGE wrestling fan, dating back about 28 years now so every once in a blue moon, I like to add a wrestling card to my collection here and there. This is my first autograph of "The Icon" Sting, who was the face of WCW for so many years. Love that it's on card as well.

and now the better cards of the maildays!

2016 Crown Royale Silhouettes Dak Prescott Auto Jersey (#152/199)

Here's what I like about this card, it's got a nice on card autograph and it didn't break the bank. I paid a little over $100 for it and I really love the design. It's my first and only autograph Dak in my collection right now.

2016 Donruss Optic Ezekiel Elliott Blue Holo Autograph RC (#43/75)

I NEEDED this card when I saw it because I love how the blue parallel fits with the Cowboys colors. I actually bought the redemption a few weeks ago and it came in last Monday. Big Bold On Card Auto, just a great looking card. I don't have a lot of Zekes...but this is by far my favorite one.

14-15 Select Russell Westbrook Emerald Prizm (#4/5)

I tend to focus on Gold Prizm, but  I saw this Emerald Prizm numbered to 5 of Russ and had to grab it. Looks very awesome in person!

06-07 UD Reflections Mirror Images Michael Jordan/LeBron James Dual Patch (#4/50)

Oh man...this card is BEAUTIFUL. The scan doesn't do it enough justice. The MJ patch is from the 96 All Star Game in San Antonio which were one of my FAVORITE All Star jerseys of all time (I still have a Penny replica one in storage somewhere). That alone makes the card worth it. The LeBron patch is plain and boring but the overall look of the card and MJ Patch definitely more than makes up for it. I'd probably say this is a top 3 card in my collection now just behind the Tom Brady Autograph and Kobe Finest Gold Refractor Rookie.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Recent Pickups!

So thanks to the sale of my Kevin Durant Thunder Gamer I had a little bit of money to play with and was able to pick up a ton of nice stuff to beef up my card collection. I showed off my Brady on Monday but for the rest of the goods I'm splitting this up into two posts as not everything has come in yet, but here's what I got so far!

97-98 Skybox Premium Golden Touch Anfernee Hardaway

I love 90's inserts more and more by the day and this card is simply AWESOME. Love the design and of course the player.

1997 SPX Kobe Bryant

Nothing fancy here, but I love SPX and the 97 design is awesome. It's not technically a rookie card because of the way it was issued as a single year product, but it's still a great looking Kobe card!

98-99 UD Black Diamond Double Diamond RC Dirk Nowitzki (955/2500) PSA 9

To me Dirk Nowitzki is one of the most underappreciated players in NBA History. He gets overlooked by many, but he's definitely one of the best players and the best European player to ever play the game. Black Diamond has some slick looking rookie cards and this is not exception. It's serial numbered to 2500 copies (which was a LOW number at the time lol) and is also graded PSA 9 to boot. Definitely had to add this to my collection as the price was too good to pass up.

13-14 Elite Status Die Cut Gold Russell Westbrook (#22/24)

When I bought 5 boxes of this back in November, the Gold Status Die Cuts really stood out to me. I pulled Melo and Paul George. When I saw the Russ, there was no way I was going to let it slip past me.

98-99 E-X Century Dunk'N Go-Nuts Shaquille O'Neal

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS INSERT SET. I know it's hokey but I don't care, it's one of my favorite insert sets of all time. I used to own the Penny (and I miss it very much) and I'll get that back one day, but for now, I'll settle for the Shaq. Such a cool looking card. The 90's ruled so much

15-16 Flawless Patches Vince Carter (#8/10)

I was just drawn to this card. Vince is a favorite of mine and I typically don't buy memorabilia cards of guys I have game used jerseys of (I have a Vince Game Used Raptors jersey) but I just really liked the patch on this card and since it represents his current team, the Grizzlies, I decided to win it. Numbered to only 10 copies to boot!

13-14 Flawless Patches James Harden (#4/15)

Harden's having a hell of a season and is neck and neck with Russell Westbrook for MVP Honors. Another cool looking Flawless Patch that I had to have.

15-16 Select Gold Prizms Russell Westbrook (#10/10)

Don't really care about the Raw Grade, I bought it because it's A GOLD PRIZM OF RUSSELL WESTBROOK. Anytime I see Gold Prizm of Russ, I'm making at a run at it. It goes nice with my 15-16 Gold Prizm I have of too.

15-16 Immaculate Collection Jersey Numbers Patch LeBron James (#8/24)

Do I even need a reason why I wanted this card so bad? Giant friggin Patch!!

97-98 Skybox Premium Competitive Advantage Michael Jordan BGS 9.5

So yeah, I decided to splurge on a couple of 90's MJ's and yes they cost a pretty penny but they are TOTALLY worth it. Look at this beauty....such a great great card. Graded BGS 9.5 to boot. If I ever have extra money, I do my best to look for some Jordan's to enhance my collection.

93-94 Fleer Ultra Scoring Kings Michael Jordan BGS 8.5

This card has been alluding me for YEARS. I've ALWAYS wanted it and NEVER owned one..until now. I think I overpaid a tad, but hey sometimes you gotta do that with a card you want. Another one of my all time favorite cards made. The design is so great especially for a card made in the early 90's. How can't you not love this card???

So yeah..I think I did pretty good! I've got a few more pickups to show off but I'll save them for later this week!

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Very Brady Mailday!

Last night's Super Bowl was without a shadow of the doubt the most amazing performance in any sport that I've ever seen in my lifetime. Just the whole context of it...the player...the team...the game...even today, almost 24 hours removed I still can't put into words what Tom Brady was able to accomplish. You can hate the guy and the team all you want but you gotta respect him and in my opinion it solidified him as the greatest QB of all time (I know people are sick of hearing it, but to me it's 100% true). Anyways, a Tom Brady auto has eluded me since my first go around in collecting. Even before this, Brady autos have always been SUPER expensive. I sold off my Kevin Durant Thunder Game Used Jersey a couple of weeks ago (because I can't stand the guy anymore, but that's a story for another day) so after paying off some bills, I had some extra cash leftover to build up my card collection. One thing I knew I wasn't going to do was blow it on modern day boxes. Those days will be few and far between from now on. Nope, I was going to go strictly the Ebay route and get some nice singles and one thing I zeroed in on was a Tom Brady Autograph. Not just any Brady auto...an on card auto and he must be shown as a Patriot so no sticker autos nor no college autos. It didn't take me too long to find one I absolutely had to have. The auction ended Thursday and I actually won it for $100 less than my max bid as I didn't want to take any chances with it. In what was super perfect timing it came in today. Without further ado...here's my newest addition to my collection

What a BEAUTIFUL card. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Honestly the scan in the auction didn't do this card justice at alllll because it's MUCH nicer in hand. A clean crisp on card auto, a nice slick design, and numbered to 25 copies this was EXACTLY what I was looking for. No doubt about it, this card has just become my #1 card in my collection. Seeing what Brady did last night made that much more excited to get it in. Such a stunner. I've got a ton more goodies that I'll be sharing later in the week, but I had to start with this big gun first!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Old School Box Breaks: 98-99 Topps Finest Series 1 Basketball Jumbo

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We're going backwards a year with Finest, this time getting the 98-99 Series 1 version of the product. 98-99 was a weird year for basketball as a lockout  ended up wiping out 32 games of the season. Due to the lockout, rookies were not included in most Series 1 releases and if they were it was only in redemption form. Nevertheless, Finest still remained one of the top products of the season and even with the absence of rookies, collectors still chased refractors and the hard to find inserts in the set. This is actually the Jumbo Box that I'm breaking so instead of the usual 24 packs, 6 cards per pack format, it's 12 packs with 13 cards per pack and more generous odds at the inserts.

What To Look For: Well, as stated above, no rookie hunting in Series 1, as that was saved for the Series 2 release. Despite that though, you have MJ's last Bulls Finest Base Card here (along with the Refractor and No Protector Refractor version) along with the Hardwood Honors insert set (which includes MJ) and the super tough Centurions (and refractor versions). The double sided Mystery Finest and refractor parallels are here as well.

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Basic Set Info
98-99 Topps Finest Series 1 Basketball (Jumbo)
125 Base Cards
12 Packs Per Box
13 Cards Per Pack

No Protector (1:2)
Refractor (1:5)
No Protector Refractor (1:10)
Double Sided Mystery Finest (1:14)
Double Sided Mystery Finest Refractor (1:59)
Centurions (1:42)
Centurions Refractor (1:281)
Hardwood Honors (1:14)

Let's get to rippin!

Box Topper Refractor
Shareef Abdur Rahim

Pulled a Jordan Base so happy about that!

No Protector (1:2)
David Robinson
Sherman Douglas
Armon Gilliam
Christian Laettner
Charlie Ward

Refractor (1:5)

Blue Edwards
Allan Houston

Non Protector Refractor (1:10)

Travis Knight

Double Sided Mystery Finest (1:14)
Scottie Pippen/Keith Van Horn (First thing I saw was the Bulls Logo and thought pleeease be MJ lol)

Hardwood Honors (1:14)
Rik Smits

Centurions (1:42)

Zydrunas Ilgauskas (#286/500)

Overall Thoughts: I pulled the tough to find Centurions insert, but it was one of the weaker players on the checklist. I'm a little disappointed in the inserts, even 20 years ago, insert cards of Big Z and Rik Smits don't exactly scream excitement but I'll tell you what made this break for me. Michael Jordan. I'd say it's basically been 20 years since I've opened packs of cards with the chance to pull MJ cards when he was an active Chicago Bulls players and back then, just pulling a base card was considered a win. That's the exact feeling I got here when I not only pulled the MJ base, but the MJ No Protector Parallel card. Just a great feeling and though the rest of the "hits" weren't great (the Van Horn/Pippen is still cool, and though the players aren't good, I LOVE the Hardwood Honors and Centurions inserts) it was still a fun box to open thanks to MJ! Here's pics of the hits!


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)
#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker  
#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Old School Box Breaks: 99-00 Topps Finest Basketball Series 1

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Time for Round 3 of Old School Box Breaks and it's time to bust open an old box of Basketball this time. Topps Finest has always been a favorite in mine, with the refractors and inserts and rookies. Although by 1999, Topps Finest had certainly lost a little bit of its luster with more and more super premium brands coming out, it's still in my opinion one of the better products out there for the 99-00 season.

Background: So a little background on why I'm busting 99-00 Finest. Back in 1999, my aunt and two cousins moved from San Angelo, Texas down here to Corpus Christi and ended up living with us for a few months until they got settled in. One of my cousins, was 3 years younger than me, and I basically got him collecting cards and Starting Lineup Figures because honestly, I spent every Saturday hunting for SLU's and going to our local cardshop in town, The Dugout. With my cousin's new found hobby my Aunt went bonkers and would only by him the "best" boxes i.e. more expensive. So for Christmas of 99, I'll never forget his mom getting him a box of 99-00 Skybox Premium AND a JUMBO BOX of 99-00 Finest Series 1. I was insanely jealous, because the box of Finest was just a pipe dream for me. Not because my parents couldn't afford it, there was just nooooo way they'd drop $150+ on a box of basketball cards. I was "stuck" with retail boxes, which was cool, but man was envious of someone who had barely started collecting, getting to bust a super expensive box. I remember him pulling a Lamar Odom rookie (which honestly was the BEST rookie you could pull at that timeframe as Odom was a pretty hot rookie out of the gate) and a Sweet looking Kobe Bryant Dunk Masters insert. So fast forward all the years later and since I've gone on this nostalgia kick, 99-00 Finest was a box I had targets. I didn't get a jumbo box, but I got a regular 24 pack box for $66 shipped. It took me 17 years, but I'll FINALLY get the thrill of opening a box of Topps Finest Basketball, lol.

What To Look For: So let's put our 1999 glasses for this. Obviously the big hits at the time are the rookies, refractors, and gold refractors. Despite a promising start, the 99-00 class actually isn't that great of a class. You've got solid guys like Elton Brand, Ron Artest, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Baron Davis and guys that had super hot starts but fizzled out like Steve Francis or had a ton of personal problems that destroyed his career like Lamar Odom. At the time though, Brand, Odom, Marion, Francis, and Baron Davis were pretty hot sellers. To my knowledge, Steve Francis rookies were held over to series 2, so you can't pull them in this series. To me, the best insert in this set (and one of the best insert sets of this era) is the Dunk Masters insert. They also have a refractor counterpart. I'm definitely hoping one of these pops up in my break. 

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Basic Set Info
99-00 Topps Finest Series 1 Basketball
100 Base Cards 
33 Bonus Base Cards (1 Per Pack)
24 Packs Per Box
6 Cards Per Pack

Refractors (1:12)
Die Cut Gold Refractors (1:62)
Double Feature Non Refractor/Refractor (1:26)
Double Feature Refractor/Refractor (1/78)
Dunk Masters (1:73)
Dunk Masters Refractor (1:364)
New Millenium (1:55)
New Millenium Refractor (1:273)
Future's Finest (1:73) 
Future's Finest Refractor (1:364)
Finest Producers (1:22)
Finest Producers Refractor (1:109)
Leading Indicators (1:30)
Finest Salute (1:108)
Finest Salute Refractor (1:5,054)
Finest Salute Gold Refractor (1:16,992)
Team Finest Blue (1:55)
Team Finest Blue Refractor (1:546)

Alright time to rip!

Notable Rookies
Elton Brand
Shawn Marion
Wally Szczerbiak
Baron Davis

Refractors (1:12)

Rex Chapman
Gary Payton

Double Feature Non Refractor/Refractor (1:26)

Tim Hardaway/Alonzo Mourning

Double Feature Refractor/Non Refractor (1:26)
Karl Malone/John Stockton

Double Feature Refractor/Refractor (1:78)

Mitch Richmond/Juwan Howard

Leading Indicators (1:30)
Jason Williams

New Millennium (1:55)

Paul Pierce (#882/1500)

Finest Producers (1:22)
Grant Hill

Future's Finest (1:73)
Cal Bowdler (#213/750)

Finest Producers Refractors (1:109)
Shareef Abdur Rahim 
Overall Thoughts: Basketball breaks have always been my favorite out of all sports and this was no different. Again, just like the two other Old School Breaks I've done...SO MUCH FUN!! Grading this on the 1999 curve, I really think this was a solid box. Finest Rookies were still popular and when this product came out, Elton Brand and Shawn Marion were definitely two of the best rookies (along with Odom and Steve Francis) in this class. Baron Davis was also solid too and I think people forget about Wally Szczerbiak and his potential on that T'Wolves team (where he did make 1 all star team). Insert wise, beat the odds big time with the Shareef Producers refractor. The Pierce New Millennium is my favorite card out of the break, and the White Chocolate insert is pretty cool considering J-Will was coming off a hot rookie season and his cards were still in pretty high demand. Grant Hill was also a heavy hobby hitter at the time, so it's nice pulling a 1:30 insert of him. Overall I LOVE the Finest Inserts and designs, just so cool looking (even the Future Finest Bowdler). Another slam dunk break from back in the day! Here's the hits!


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1

#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)

#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)

#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker

#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Old School Box Break: 1998 Topps Finest Series 1 Baseball

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So, here is box #2 in my trip down memory lane. 1998 Topps Finest Baseball Series 1. Again the price was right to me ($35) and it'll be fun busting what was a premium product back around the height of baseball's popularity. 

What To Look For: What I love about these kind of breaks, is there are no memorabilia hits or autographs to chase. The cards you are looking for are insert cards. Obviously hitting a key player's refractor would be nice, and even better in the no protector version. Mystery Finest cards are always fun and there's the refractor counterparts of those too. Power Zone inserts are tough to find but the sequentially numbered Centurion inserts seem to be the hardest to pull. Even harder to pull are the Centurion refractors. Hitting one of those would definitely be super sweet.

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Basic Set Info
1998 Topps Finest Series 1
150 Base Cards
24 Packs Per Box
6 Cards Per Pack

Box Topper (1 per 3 boxes)
No Protector (1:2)
No Protector Refractor (1:24)
Refractor (1:12)
Mystery Finest (1:36)
Mystery Finest Refractor (1:144)
Centurion (1:153)
Centurion Refractor (1:1,020)
Power Zone (1:72)

Here we go!

Box Topper (1 Out of 3 Boxes)
Nomar Garciaparra

No Protector (1:2)
Brad Radke
Ken Griffey Jr
Willie Greene
Scott Erickson
Charles Nagy
Jeremi Gonzalez
Jeff Kent
Lance Johnson
Cal Ripken Jr.
Wally Joyner
Todd Jones

Refractor (1:12)
Livan Hernandez
Butch Huskey

No Protector Refractor (1:24)
Ugueth Urbina

Power Zone (1:72)
Jose Cruz Jr. (Would've been a really nice pull back in 98 lol)

Mystery Finest Refractor (1:144)
Tony Gwynn!!

Overall Thoughts: What a fun box to open!! The refractors weren't great, but the Gwynn hit more than makes up for it to me! Also that Cruz hit would've been a pretty solid hit back in the day, and the box topper surprised me as well, one of 3 boxes!! Also love pulling the non protectors of Cal Ripken and Griffey too! I like looking this from the 1998 perspective and to me this was a super solid box. It might not look like it from today's standpoint but regardless it brought back the fun of opening packs, ESPECIALLY the Mystery Finest insert, one of my favorite ideas. Peel the film to see who you got and I got a pretty good one! Overall, just like the SPX Football box, nostalgic alone made it worth opening this box, and to add to that fun, I love beating the odds on the inserts!! Here's pics of the cards!

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Just a look at some of the base cards of the Superstars of the time

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The Nomar Box Topper, larger than a standard card. You got one of these out of 3 boxes

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More Superstar Base Cards

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More Base Superstar Cards 

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Front of the Griffey No Protector Parallel

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Back Of The Griffey No Protector Parallel. The back of the No Protector Parallels have  a chrome finish

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 The refractors I pulled

One of the tougher inserts to pull. Power Zone's are pulled at a rate of 1:72 packs, or 1 in 3 boxes. At the time, Cruz was emerging superstar and his stuff sold pretty well. This would've probably been considered a pretty nice hit at the time.

Front of the Mystery Finest Refractor of Tony Gwynn. Each Mystery Finest card is double sided and either features two players on each side, or one on both side. The refractor parallels are hard to pull at 1:144 packs. The card is first covered with a black film on both sides of the card as to hide who's on the card thus the "mystery" aspect of the set.

Back of the Gwynn Mystery Finest Refractor

Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1

#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)

#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)

#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker

#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins