Friday, May 29, 2015

A random awesome set - 2002 Bowman's Best Bat Pieces

One more random post before I finish off Dennis' stuff.  I was browsing that same portion of COMC as I did the other day, and came across a few cards from some 2002 Bowman set.  I've never seen them before, but I think they look pretty cool.  Here's one of Freddy Sanchez:
It's definitely busy, with the crazy lines in the back and that dark red outline.  But I dig how they personalized the bat piece in this card to the guy on the card - I've seen symbols stamped into bat pieces before, but never really words/stats like at this level.  So I think it's neat.

There also appear to be variations as I saw these two both on COMC as well:
The one on the right has the traditional symbol, but then the left has a stat.  Looking at Beckett makes me think that there might be 2-3 parallels of each guy (a red one, a blue one, an autograph parallel with a bigger bat piece for some guys) with different print runs for each parallel.  Regardless, it's a pretty cool set, and it would be an interesting set to chase. Though a pricey one too - David Wright and Jose Bautista both have early cards in this set, which has to be one of their first (if not the first) relic to each of their names.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nostalgia led to Nightmare (aka the most terrifying card of all time) - A James Baldwin story

(I'll get to the third part of Dennis' post eventually...have some randomness to share in the meantime).

I was scanning COMC the other day, and I came across a fairly rare James Baldwin card.  This made me realize that I really want a card of his for my collection - I remember him fondly as the White Sox ace back in the late 90's, and though he wasn't actually all that great (career ERA of 5.01 with one all star appearance) I still think he always seemed pretty awesome.  So I looked around for a good card to buy up for my collection.

This one is the one I may eventually grab:

This one is the one that's absolutely terrifying:
I mean...what's happening here?  Does he have gum in his mouth?  A baseball in his mouth?  Did Action Packed paint his mouth white for some creepy effect?

More importantly, can he breathe?  This looks less like a guy on a baseball card and more like a choking victim who needs some CPR.  Truly bizarre.

Anyways, you're welcome for the nightmares!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dennis sends awesomeness my way - Part 2 of 3 featuring DeMeco Ryans!

My brothers get mentioned from time to time on here (one is 3 years younger than me, the other is 6.5 years younger and just graduated college), and it's the youngest one that really spurs some of my weirder card collecting sprees.  We all loved sports in my family, but that youngest brother was the most into Madden/football/cards like me, and so we definitely shared that bond.  A big piece of that was the Houston Texans franchise upon its return to the NFL - we both loved Expansion teams and the Texans were very much that.  Tony Boselli, Jamie Sharper, David Carr, Dominick Davis and others quickly became frequent topics of conversation for us, even though the Texans were never very good.  

One guy that quickly became my brother's favorite player though, at least for a while, was DeMeco Ryans.  He was a 2nd round pick in 2006, and over the next six years he won Defensive Rookie of the Year, made two Pro Bowls, and was a first team All Pro.  He then was let go by the Texans, and signed on with Phily, where he has played the last couple of years.  He reminds me a bit of former Patriots safety Lawyer Milloy in that he doesn't show up a ton on the turnover side of the statsheet, instead just being a tackling machine who makes players think twice about going over the middle.  So he's well worth being a favorite player, and given the good memories he brings up, I figured he was worth collecting too, so that's why I collect DeMeco Ryans.

But you clicked this post for the cards.  Here they are - a two card lot that Dennis won for me on Ebay.  First is a nice little sticker auto:
I kinda dig this "INTENSE" Score with the splattered paint effect...reminds me of the WWE.
The backs are simple, but nice.  I just wish there was a little more write up than just the certification...but I'm not gonna complain much about a card numbered /249!

The nicer card of the two is definitely this rookie from Bowman Sterling: fancy (even if they could have centered the auto a little better!)
And that's more what I'm talking about in terms of backs...lots of information, good write up, solid stats - all around good.  I dig the whole framed portrait thing too - really a very classy card from a pretty high end set.  Happily Dennis was able to grab it for much cheaper than it probably cost back in 2006!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dennis sends awesomeness my way - Part 1 of 3 featuring sweet patches, Aaron Hernandez, and multiple 1/1's!

Dennis of the Too Many blogs and I have a good thing going.  I find him Michigan stuff on COMC, he finds me goodies at shows and on other card sites.  Sometimes we then swap those piles.  It's basically the most beautiful relationship that has ever existed between someone from Michigan and someone from Ohio.

This package was even more awesome than usual, if that's even possible.  I was able to handpick some of the items for it that Dennis grabbed at nice prices, but other stuff was a complete/amazing surprise, so that was great too.  But let's just get right into it!
First the obligatory Aaron Hernandez mention on Dennis' Index card.  Of course...and reassuring to know that my blog is finally safe!

Related to that, somewhat, is this sweet patch card of Deion Branch.  Related, you see, because Branch is one of the best Patriots of all time:
He was a Seahawk here, but man that is one helluva patch.
Nice numbering too!  This is one of those Christmas card type cards as Baseball Card Breakdown always puts them - 12/25.  Sadly you probably won't be getting this one sir, but you are free to gaze upon its awesomeness!

Next is a whole bunch of cards - a trio of Thaddeus Lewis Sage Hit cards, and then stickers of Billy Hamilton and Chris Ogbonnaya:
I collect Billy Hamilton, but this sticker will go on my binder rather than in my collection.  As for Ogbonnaya, I have fond memories of him briefly breaking out in Cleveland a few years back, so I will definitely add his sticker to my binder too!  And as for the Thads, I swear that Dennis has 4,000 copies of every card in that 2010 Sage Hit collection, and somehow I always end up needing them.  Someday he may as well just send the whole shebang to me since it'll inevitably end up here anyways piece by piece!

That wasn't the only card of "The Champ" featured.  The package also included this EPIC O's auto, /25:
I already grabbed another auto /25 on the cheap, so to have 2 /25 autos this soon is amazing!  The proof is in the serial numbered pudding:
5/25 - hey that day's coming up soon!

Moving on - this card is just an awesome relic.  I have a cool patch/relic collection, and Dennis found this for cheap at a show.  I think it's well worth inclusion:
I count 6 stars on the football, plus like a third of a seventh.  Easily the most stars I've ever seen in a single football relic card.  In other's awesome!

Getting near the end of this first post, Dennis was able to snatch up another scrambly QB card, this B.J. Daniels auto:
I LOVE how crisp this looks.  And it's /49, which is pretty darn neat.
The back is really fancy too - I love all the gold highlights to make this somewhat of a classy set.

You know what kind of gold I love even more?  GOLDEN Deduno!
Five more added to the set, which puts me at eight now.  Man I love this card.  It literally never gets old for me.

But I saved the best for last.

When Dennis and I were first discussing this package, there were three printing plates of one of my new guys on Ebay.  I told Dennis that if he could grab any of them, that'd be awesome.  He was able to get 2 of the 3 (the third one went for like $20, which is way too much!).

Here are the two Brayan Peña plates, marking my first two 1/1's for his collection!
The card on the left is technically the mini version - it's just blown up here.  But in general it's very cool - one version represents 2014 Topps, and the other represents 2014 Topps update.  Here are the backs:
Told ya the cyan one was a mini!  As usual I love the backs of printing plates.  I also think it's kind of neat that the cyan one has some pink on the back too.  Makes it sort of a magenta-plateish type thing.  Can't ever hate on that.

So that does 'er for the first post - the next two will introduce two guys whose collections I'm just getting started.  So stick around for all sorts of other goodies in the next few days!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

More adventures in weird Ebay Auctions

This one isn't as weird as the Brown auction from a few days ago, but still worthy of a double take.  I saw this card posted, and wasn't sure if it was the autograph version (which I figured), the /145 parallel the title said it was, or a combo of both!  It was crazy cheap so I took the risk, since I needed both of the first two and the third option would be amazing.  

So what was it?  Well just the first one...the title wasn't correct.  But I don't care since it was crazy cheap/awesome!  Here's the front:
It's kind of a crazy little subset - it looks very ttm in style given its base parallel with on-card signed autograph on the left side.  I personally love it - nice little auto on a nice little card design.

Here's the back:

As I said, not numbered - but still cool!  Love that little die cut shape.  Weird that I like die cuts now as I HATED them when I was a youngster.  Back then die cuts just meant easy to damage!