Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Today's Mailday: Golden Duncan

I love the look of refractors/prizms. This came in the mail today via Ebay.
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I just HAD to have it when I saw it. The grade is nice, but it's all about the card itself. Can't go wrong with the recently retired Timmy!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Favorite Cards/Memorabilia of Ken Griffey Jr

 
Emmitt Smith, Anfernee Hardaway, and Ken Griffey Jr. Those were the 3 guys I considered my "heroes" growing up. I was very fortunate to see Emmitt get inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2010 (along with Jerry Rice) and it was one of the best sports experiences of my life. Today, Griffey gets inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame (man I feel so damn old) and it's an honor well deserved. I'm so glad that he's never been linked to PED's like his modern counterparts and despite a few injury plagued season he STILL managed to put up amazing numbers. I've seen many tributes, but here's my personal tribute of "The Kid" as I highlight a few of my favorite cards/collectibles of Ken Griffey Jr.

1997 Ken Griffey Jr Starting Lineup

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I have 12 different Griffey SLU's but this is by far my favorite. I absolutely LOVE the "robbing the HR" Pose, plus the fact that I actually found it at our local Wal Mart makes it extra sweet.

2009 McFarlane Sports Picks Ken Griffey Jr Mariners Clark Toys Exclusive
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It's the only non Cowboys McFarlane figure I kept in my collection. Classic Griffey

2010 Ken Griffey Jr. "The Kid" Bobblehead
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This was one of the Bobblehead giveaways during the 2010 season. They were given away April 16th, 2010. Unfortunately the bat broke off and I lost it, but it's not like I intend to sell it anyway. It's the only Bobblehead I own in my collection.

So now the card portion of the tribute. I picked out a few Griffey's that have extra special meaning to me because of the story or impact they have on my collection.

2001 SPX Update Winning Materials Trios Griffey/Sosa/Arod 

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When I saw this card was made...I HAD TO HAVE IT. Remember the time frame, game used jersey cards (even ones with boring one color swatches) were still relatively hard to find. Also, this was before any the steriod stuff came out and destroyed ARod and Sosa's popularity. At the time, it was a card that featured game used jersey swatches of 3 future hall of famers all on the same card! It was a dream card for me! I remember buying it off Ebay for $75.00 (2nd most I had ever spent on a single card at the time, behind the Grant Hill Jersey Card I had bought earlier that year) from a seller from Canada that only had 10 feedback. I was a little worried (didn't have paypal back then) and waited for sooo long for the card to come in. Lo and behold though it did and it was STUNNING. I couldn't believe I owned this card. Nowadays, this card is barely worth anything, but will always have special meaning in my collection.

1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr Rookie Card
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I couldn't afford the UD Griffey as a kid, so I had to settle for this one for the longest time. I paid 2 bucks for it a card show when I was a kid and I still have it. My first ever Griffey Rookie.

2003 Upper Deck Signed Game Jerseys Ken Griffey Jr
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Not only does it show off Griffey's sweet sig (one of the greatest signatures ever) but the story behind it makes it a favorite. This was originally a redemption card, and I pulled it from two packs of 2003 Upper Deck. What makes it even more special, was I pulled it on my birthday as there was a card show that day. It was hard to wait, but when I got it in, it was well worth the wait. Best Redemption card I've ever pulled.

1989 Ken Griffey Jr Upper Deck Rookie Card
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I mean...every collection has to have one right? There's really not a lot to say about this card. It speaks for itself. I bought this as a card show in Corpus and though I overpaid, it didn't matter...I owned one of the most iconic baseball cards of our time.

1997 Metal Universe Titanium Ken Griffey Jr
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Oh man..the 90's had some AWESOME looking inserts and this was tops on my list. My friend actually pulled it from a Metal Universe pack, but he traded it to me (god knows for what, lol). I don't care what it's worth, it's such a cool unique designs. I wish cards like THIS would comeback today.

98 Circa Quick Strike Ken Griffey Jr
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I bought this at a card show when I was a kid and it's one of my favorite Griffey inserts ever. The die cut, the bright colors, it's such a cool looking card. Again, the 90's were so awesome when it came to innovation.

1994 Pacific Prisms Ken Griffey Jr
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So this has a funny story with a happy ending. During Christmas season, Wal Mart had these Candy Canes stuffed with cards and packs of cards. Each Candy Canes had one of these Prism inserts. One of my friends at the time was a giant asshole who really didn't collect but found out I wanted them so he bought the Griffey and a couple that had Frank Thomas(lol, we were 10). Even though he had doubles of the Thomas, he was notorious for not trading. It was such a jerk move. Luckily, they weren't THAT hard to find, and I don't remember if it was at our Wal Mart or another one, my parents found them both and I got them for Christmas. I'll never forget the look on his face when I told him I got them for Christmas, priceless. 

1995 Fleer Ultra Diamond Producers Ken Griffey Jr.
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It's not that rare but man...it's such a standout card. I pulled this myself. Love the look of it. So simple and yet so powerful. Amazing card


1997 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Clearly Dominant Ken Griffey Jr
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How can a low level Collector's Choice card be considered a favorite? Why the story behind it of course. I'll never forget pulling this card in the back of our car during a trip to San Antonio to look for Starting Lineup figures. I bought a pack at Wal Mart and as we driving to the next Wal Mart/Target/Toys R US etc...I ripped it open and pulled this. Even though it's low level, it wasn't an easy pull. 1:144 packs. It always brings me back to the good ol of days of ripping packs and hunting for SLU's.

So those are beyond cool, but I'm lucky to own a couple of items that the cornerstone of my little Griffey collection. It's beyond awesome to own these pieces of memorabilia. Here are my two favorite Griffey items in my entire collection

1994 Ken Griffey Jr Autograph Game Used Cap
 
It's one thing to own swatches of Game Used Griffey Memorabilia, but to own entire pieces? This is a cap Griffey wore in the 1994 season that he also autographed. It comes with a COA from his marketing and memorabilia company Unique Sports. This is one cap that will never touch my head!

1999 Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners Autographed Game Used Bat
 
My favorite bat of my entire collection (even better than my Hank Aaron and Jeter in my opinion) This is an actual bat that Ken Griffey Jr. Used in the 1999 season. It's also autographed and is authenticated by both PSA/DNA (8 for game use) and Unique Sports, Griffey's memorabilia company that he used at the time. Such an amazing piece of history. It has Griffey's classic criss cross tape pattern, it's also got a crack in it. It's beyond awesome to own a couple of items used by one of your heroes. These items will stay in my collection forever.

Today is such a special day and if anyone deserves all the respect and accolades they are getting today it's Ken Griffey Jr. He's taking his rightful place among the greats.



 



 

 
 

 




Friday, July 15, 2016

My First Trade

I haven't made a trade in YEARS..mainly due to the fact that I've been out of the game so long and also because I stopped breaking boxes even longer..only buying singles off Ebay and usually if I bought off Ebay..I intended to keep it. My buddy Leland, who's in my fantasy football league, is a huge Braves fan and when I broke Stadium Club earlier last week he asked if I could set aside any Braves for him. I happily obliged and in return he sent my some Dallas Cowboys. I must say though, he went above and beyond his side of the deal! Here's what I got!

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I've been so focused on basketball (and to an extent, baseball)that I haven't had a chance to build a football collection, so this was a pleasant surprise. My first two Zeke Elliott rookies! Being a huge Cowboys fan, i haven't been this excited for a player well since Dez actually lol. I'm hoping from huge things from the offense this year!!

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A couple of Prime Signature proof cards # to 149 of Darren McFadden and Jason Witten. Witten is probably my favorite Cowboy of the current crop as he just reminds of the Cowboys I used to love in the 90's. He would fit right in. McFadden had a surprisingly healthy and efficient season for us last year, and here's hoping him and Zeke can form a formidable one-two punch in the backfield.

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Couple of nice Michael Irvin Parallels numbered to 25! Always great to get cards of The Playmaker!

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A Dez Base and even an auto of Cowboys Rookie Antwan Goodley!

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And a sweet looking Ring Bearers insert card of the guy that helped lead us to 3 Super Bowl wins in the 90's Troy Aikman! Numbered to 100!

All in all a great package and it's much appreciated. I'll definitely keep those Braves aside for you when I bust some more baseball again! Thanks Leland!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Box Breaks; 3 Boxes of 15/16 Limited Basketball

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I decided to test my luck with these. Limited is like Gold Standard in that you get 1 pack per box. Each box comes with 3 autographs/memorabilia cards a box. Design is a big deal to me and I loved the way the cards look. Did my luck finally run out?? Let's see shall we?

Box 1
Markieff Morris (#57/80)
Karl Anthony Towns Silver Spotlight!! (#23/49)
Draymond Green Glass Cleaners Jersey (#041/149)
Cameron Payne Unlimited Potential Jersey (#135/149)
Signatures Ben McLemore Auto (#43/99)

Box 2
Elfrid Payton (#43/80)
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Silver Spotlight (#48/49)
Karl Malone Trophy Case Jersey (#63/149)
Myles Turner Unlimited Potential Jersey (#85/149)
Spencer Haywood Gold Spotlight Signatures (#5/10)

Box 3
Mario Hezonja RC (#09/80)
Kelly Oubre Jr Silver Spotlight (#16/49)
Isiah Thomas Decade Dominance Jersey (#118/149)
Signatures Darrun Hilliard #92/99

and the best hit for last.....

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS/JERIAN GRANT DUAL GOLD SPOTLIGHT AUTO #8/10!!

Overall Thoughts: Welp...no big deal just managed to pull my 2ND PORZINGIS AUTO IN LESS THAN A MONTH! This one is also numbered to 10 copies! Sure Jerian Grant isn't an ideal partner, but hey a Porzingis rookie auto is a Porzingis rookie auto in my book! The Karl Anthony Towns wasn't a shabby hit either. A rookie parallel of the reigning ROY # to 49. The cards are slick and really like the design of the Trophy Case Jersey of Karl Malone. I wish the Malone and Thomas weren't one color swatches though! The Spencer Haywood Gold Auto was a nice surprise. It too, is numbered to 10. The Turner and Payne have a pretty nice swatch of used jersey. I'm happy with the jerseys I pulled. The autos...well lets just say thankfully I pulled the Porzingis as Darrun Hilliard probably won't be in the league very long and at this point, Ben McLemore is just a guy. Overall fun break though, with 5 cards per box and 3 of them being hits and another being a parallel, makes each card feel like there's a chance and a good hit. Very happy that the luck hasn't run out yet! Here are pics of the break!

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Top 5 Pulls of 2016
#1-15-16 Limited Gold Spotlight Dual Signatures Kristaps Porzingis/Jerian Grant (#8/10)
#2-15-16 Gold Standard Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson Golden Pairs Dual Patch (#12/25)
#3-15-16 Excalibur Karl Anthony Towns Rookie Rampage Autograph Jersey
#4- 15-16 Gold Standard Kristaps Porzingis Gold Strike Auto/Jersey Rookie Card (#56/99)
#5-15-16 Gold Standard Myles Turner On Card Patch/Auto Rookie Card (#11/25)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My EBay Pickups since I've Been Back

Now of course I couldn't comeback to card collecting without buying a FEW singles to help rebuild my collection! Here's what I've gotten so far since I've been back


12-13 Panini Innovation Kobe Bryant Stat Line Game Worn Jersey

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So I started out very low key. Just a typical game used jersey card of the Black Mamba. I know jersey cards are for the most part commonplace, but the reason I bought this was because the jersey piece is actually tied to a specific game, something I've been advocating FOREVER in this hobby. I wish all memorabilia sets were this transparent, but at least I know this is a swatch of a Kobe game used jersey used in a specific game. Just thought it was very cool and it was under 10 bucks.

15-16 National Treasures Colossal Gold Game Used Patch Kyrie Irving #9/10
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Yeah...it didnt take long for me to go a little more high end. Love the huge swatch, numbered to 10 copies, and of a great young player who already has a title under his belt.

15-16 Absolute Tools Of The Trade Triple Patch/Ball Karl Anthony Towns #23/25 

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I'm really taking a liking to Minnesota. They have the talent to eventually be a power house in this league and Towns will be the franchise player. Love the design and patches on this card. Couldn't pass it up.

2015 Topps Strata Auto/Patch Mike Trout #10/25

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I admit, I was on Blowout Cards message boards and I saw someone's mailday had this card and I became jealous and wanted one back. Not only is it autographed by arguably the best baseball player in the game today but the patch can actually be traced back to the jersey worn by Trout (All Star BP Jersey) thanks to the MLB Authentication sticker. Again, love that Topps was able to get these MLB Authenticated. Great looking card

96-97 Topps Finest Gold Refractor Kobe Bryant PSA 9 Mint
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Immediately shot up to the top as my favorite card in my new collection and it'll be very tough to beat any time soon. Originally, I just wanted the regular version of this card as I really love the look of it, but then I got greedy and said...screw it...go for the gold standard of this card, which is the refractor parallel. It's such a beautiful card. In my opinion, the best looking Kobe rookie out there (better than the Chrome Refractor).


13-14 Flawless Ruby Patches Kareem Abdul Jabbar #12/15
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 I had some EBay Bucks to use up and there was no way I was letting this card slide by me. A gigantic patch of the NBA's All Time Leading Scorer. Already a top 3 card in my collection.

So I'd say it's been a nice start in rebuilding my collection!



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Box Breaks: 3 Boxes of 2016 Topps Stadium Club Baseball

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2016 Stadium Club Baseball was the exact reason I got back into collecting. I remember seeing the Previews and thinking...WOW...the photography is amazing. It drew me in. Also the price point wasn't bad at all. I decided to pre-order 3 boxes and I anxiously waiting for nearly 3 weeks before they finally went live and came in. Did it live up to the hype? Here are the results

Box 1

Gold Parallel
Mike Trout
Raul Mondesi
Brad Ziegler
Raisel Iglesias
Daniel Murphy


Black Foil Parallel

James Shields
Prince Fielder

Iso Metrics Gold
Manny Machado (1 Per Case!)

Iso Metrics
Dallas Keuchel
Nolan Arenado


Contact Sheet

Nolan Arenado
Michael Conforto


Triumvirate Luminous

Miguel Sano

Beam Team
David Wright

Stadium Club Buyback
1999 Stadium Club Darin Erstad


SP Photo Variation

Masahiro Tanaka (Batting Pose)


Autos

Chris Heston
DJ LeMahieu Gold (#5/25)

Box 2 (Verrrry Pleased with this box!!)

Gold Parallel
Cal Ripken Jr
Rick Porcello
Miguel Almonte
Felix Hernandez
Mark Melancon

Contact Sheet
Nolan Arenado (Again)
Michael Conforto (Yup...again too lol)
Kris Bryant


Isometrics

Carlos Correa
Chris Sale


Black Foil Parallel

Lou Gehrig
Devin Mesoraco

Die Cut Legends
Robin Yount


Triumvirate Luminous

Carlos Correa

Trimumvirate Illuminator (1:256 packs!!)
Carlos Correa

Autographs

Trevor May
Brian Johnson

Instavision Highlights (1:256 Packs!!)
Kris Bryant!

That was definitely a fun box, 3 Correa inserts and 2 Bryants!

Box 3

Gold Parallel

Nomar Mazara
Harold Baines
Ozzie Smith
Michael Conforto
Colby Lewis
Shin-Soo Choo


Isometrics

Carlos Correa (Again)
Chris Sale (Again)

Black Foil Parallel
T.J. House


Die Cut Legends

Brooks Robinson

Contact Sheet
Albert Pujols
Bryce Harper


Beam Team

Madison Bumgarner


Triumvirate Luminous

Andrew Miller

Triumvirate Illuminator (Another one! 1:256 Packs!)
Aroldis Chapman

1st Day Issue (1:210 Packs)
Fernando Valenzuela

Autographs
DJ LeMahieu 
Raul Mondesi

Overall Thoughts: Now THIS was fun! I'm not asking for high end cards worth hundreds or thousands to make a break enjoyable. Topps Stadium Club delivered EXACTLY what I wanted. First of the base set....absolutely STUNNING..photography is top notch. I had a blast going from card to card and just admiring the photography (while also looking for Parallels and Photo Variations). The inserts remind me of the mid to late 90's. You had your easier to find inserts like Isometrics and Contact Sheet, your mid tier inserts like Legends Die Cuts, Beam Team, and Luminous and then your harder to find inserts which include parallels of those insert sets, plus a 1 per case insert set called Instavision. That doesn't even include the two autographs per box. Admittedly, the auto's for the most part are nothing to write home about (there are star players, but apparently they are pretty short printed and the majority of the Auto checklist isn't great) but honestly, I knew that going in and unless you hit the big autos, they aren't typically intended to be the "big hit" of your box breaks. I pulled a gold # to 25 but of DJ LeMahieu, and honestly I'm not familiar with any of the other autos I pulled, but it didn't kill the break in the least. To me they are just "bonus hits". The inserts and parallels are where's its at. One gripe I did have was the Stadium Club buyback program. They are semi-tough pulls but there is absolutely nothing that distinguishes it from being a buyback. It's like you found an old stadium club card from your commons bins. I pulled a 99 Darin Erstad, and that's all it literally is, a 1999 Darin Erstad Stadium Club base card, it's literally a 2 cent card. Kinda defeats the purpose to me of buyback cards. That's the only gripe I have though. The fun thing is you get a parallel or insert in every pack so you know there's something lurking in those packs. I even got some good parallels (Ripken, Mazara, Trout Golds, Gehrig Black) and I killed the odds as far case hits. I only bought 3 boxes and I hit 4 cards considered Case Hits, another one (1st Day Issue) basically a case hit, and a photo variation (Tanaka Batting) that hit 2 per case. I'm a sucker for die cuts and love the Luminous (and parallels) and Legends design. I got great players too as case hits (Bryant, Correa, and Machado aren't too shabby!). In my short time back in collecting, this break was definitely the most fun I've had of them all! I highly recommend at the very least picking up a blaster box or 2 of this! You definitely won't regret it! Here are some pics of the cards I hit

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Bryce base card..amazing photography

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Showing off some base cards 

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Top 5 Pulls of 2016
#1-15-16 Gold Standard Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson Golden Pairs Dual Patch
#2-15-16 Excalibur Karl Anthony Towns Rookie Rampage Autograph Jersey
#3-15-16 Gold Standard Kristaps Porzingis Gold Strike Auto/Jersey Rookie Card
#4-15-16 Gold StandardMyles Turner On Card Patch/Auto Rookie Card
#5-(Tie)2016 Topps Stadium Club Triumvirate Illuminator Carlos Correa
#5-(Tie) 2016 Topps Stadium Club Instavision Kris Bryant