Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010-11 NBA Panini Threads

Panini's newest NBA release is 2010-11 Threads. Here is the wrapper. It's got Derrick Rose on the front. Inside you'll find 10 cards. Let's see what they look like.

Not bad. We've got full bleed photos at the top with a band of gray crisscrossing bars at the bottom. The bars include the Threads logo and player name and while they are the neutral colors we've come to expect from Panini, it looks just fine to me since it's a pretty small portion of the card anyway. However, if they had used team colors here like on the wrapper, I think it would look even better. No biggie though. The first 6 cards included some pretty nice players including Kevin Love who is having a great season so far this year. I'm just glad he's proving that there are still some American white guys who can play in this league.

The next 4 cards include a nice insert of Bill Russell along with the crazy mop top of Robin Lopez. All in all I really like this set, though again there are not enough players represented from each team. Panini has got to put out a "flagship" set with at least 10 players from each squad. I do have one other complaint though, and that is the backs.

The design of the backs is fine, my problem is with the photos used there. The majority of them are better than the fronts! Look at these 6 for example. On each I think the back photo would make a more interesting card if it were on the front. Panini tends to use some pretty bland photos at times and I even wonder if they have decent photos to use. Then I see something like this and just wonder what is wrong with them. The same thing happened last year. They used a lot of blah photos in most of their sets but then Studio shows up with some really nice shots. Problem there was they were all used for the second smaller black & white photo in the background and appeared to be an afterthought. Come on Panini! If you've got great shots, put them on display proudly.

Like I said, I like the set but Panini still has some design issues they need to work out. I really feel like they are holding back and just being lazy a lot of the time, but they're getting better. Sorta. In some ways. Later.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Original Favorite.

The Dallas Mavericks have always been my favorite team. Not only are they my favorite basketball team, they are number 1 in my heart in all of sports. I didn't even really like basketball when the Mavericks came around in 1980, but then a couple of things happened. I finally gave in to all my friends and went out for basketball in the 5th grade. I've always been way taller than everyone else, but I didn't like hoops until I tried it and guess what, I've loved it ever since. The other factor was this guy...

Mr. Mark Anthony Aguirre. Once I started playing, I began watching and growing up in Illinois at the time I watched a lot of DePaul Blue Demon basketball and Mark was the best. When he was drafted by the Mavs they instantly became my favorite team and have been ever since. I followed them the best I could from afar. My dad would travel to Dallas on business and bring me back Maverick gear and I even subscribed to the Dallas Mavericks Press newspaper. After my senior year, my dad was transferred to Dallas and I couldn't believe it! I could finally see my Mavs in person and watch all the games on TV. Sadly though, shortly after my move, this happened...

Mark was traded to the friggin' Pistons for Adrian Dantley. I was crushed. While I still loved the Mavs, the front office was not on my friend list for quite a while after this. The next couple years after Mark left the Mavs, they began their downward spiral into being the worst franchise on earth for a period of about 10 years. That sucked big time.

For Mark though the trade worked out perfectly as he helped lead the Pistons to back to back championships. Lucky for me the Pistons were good, so at least Mark was on TV a lot for me to see. After several years in Detroit, Mark finally wound up his career as a Los Angeles Clipper. Dirk has surpassed Mark as my all time most favorite player, but I'm glad that Panini is still making a few cards at least of my original favorite. What about you? Who is your original favorite? Later.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quick Review: 2010-11 Panini Rookies & Stars

Panini's second release of the year (at least I think that's right) is Rookies & Stars. I'd been itching for something besides Prestige, so I've picked up a few packs. Here's a quick review of one of them. The wrapper features rookie of the year candidate John Wall of the Wizards and some guy named Kobe from the Lakers. This pack should be full of Rookies and Stars I'm assuming.

This is what the base cards look like. I actually like them. Again Panini has used a pretty bland, monochromatic background with a cropped player, but for some reason they work a lot better than last year to me. My kids think I'm nuts, but something about the players on these cards looks "different". I'd almost swear they have some sort of slight sharpening filter or something added to them that give them a very slight painted look or something. I noticed it with their football set too. Or maybe I am nuts and am just seeing things. Anyway, I like the look, though the team logos could be a little larger and I'd prefer one of the logos at the top be moved to the bottom so they don't bookend the players heads.

This is what the backs look like. Here Panini gives us a splash of team colors and instead makes the player black & white. We also get the standard one line of stats and blurb of info. By the way, this pack wasn't FULL of rookies & stars. We got 1 rookie (Fields), 3 or 4 stars (Duncan, Howard, Deron Williams & Bogut, I guess) and several other guys I'll call good players.

This is the only insert card in the pack, a Dwight Howard Stardom card. Not a terrible design and this is actually a numbered variation for some reason, but I can't remember what it's numbered to. This design doesn't have too much empty space expecting a swatch or auto, at least it's better than most. I keep waiting to see rack packs of these, you know, 40 cards for $5 like Panini did with Prestige. If I see them I'll probably pick up a few more, otherwise I'll go the singles route and just pick and choose. That's all I've got for now. Later.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Big D Custom Basketball

Here are my latest. Let me know what you think of them.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Check Out Some More of My Cards from COMC.

By now, I think most everyone know about the greatness that is It's probably my favorite place to buy cards online because of it's simplicity and I really like that every card is scanned front and back. This leads to no questions about what you are getting, although it does add to the "handling" fees adding up, which is COMC's only real downside in my opinion. I usually just do $20 sprees at a time. Here's what I got from a COMC spree a while back.

2 young/youngish stars of the American League Champion Texas Rangers. Elvis is a big part of the future of this franchise and one of the youngest Rangers as well. He is also Nobie's favorite Ranger. David Murphy isn't quite as young age wise, but he's still pretty young from a games played perspective. Murphy is a solid 4th outfielder and got a lot of playing time this year due to injuries to Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton. He is also Baby Peas' favorite Ranger.

I picked up 3 new cards for the Kurt collection including a USA jersey swatch, a Turkey Red and a base card from the blacked out Walmart set.

When I was a kid I loved the Kellogg's 3D cards. Actually, I still do, so I picked up a couple of my Cardinal faves. I never managed to build a whole set of these, just gathered some here and there, none of which I can seem to find now. I do have a whole set of 82s (I think that's the right year), but I ordered those as a whole set. I really wish MLB would scrap the exclusive Topps deal and get these things back in cereal boxes.

While rummaging through COMC is stumbled upon what I thought was a Kellogg's football card of Charlie Joiner. Turns out its actually from Stop-n-Go. It's pretty much the exact same thing as the Kellogg's cards though. I also grabbed this Kellen Winslow to help quench the nostalgia I was having for the Air Coryell days.

My current favorite player is Jason Witten of the Cowboys so I picked up a couple of his Finest. The blue refractor is especially nice looking. The other one makes it look like Jason is a member of the Red Lantern Corp or something.

Of course, if I'm gonna pick up some football, I can't do it without adding a few Elways to the collection. Nothing overly exciting, but all cards I didn't have including a nice Sportflix.

My original favorite Maverick is Mark Aguirre and I'm quickly running out of cards of his to collect. This is one I didn't have and I'm not sure where it comes from exactly. I'm not sure if it was part of a set or maybe came as a tag on a shoe or what. Except for the pricey Star cards from the early to mid eighties, I've pretty much got all of Mark's cards, although if I checked some Beckett list or something, I'd probably find that I'm not as close as I think.

Last, but not least, I grabbed a handful of the greatest Maverick ever, Dirk. The Topps Echelon or whatever its called in the upper left hand corner is kind cool. It reminds my of on old TV screen. The card next to it is an Upper Deck 3D stars Sportflix type card that Dirk shares with Jason Kidd. They're kind morphed together in that picture. The diecut Unstoppable is also cool, though it would be neater if it wasn't a smooshed stop sign shape. Anyway, there's what $20 can getcha on COMC. Later.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Awesomest Hockey Card I Own!

We don't keep up with hockey much in our household. When the Stars first came to town I was into them a lot more and during their Stanley Cup season I saw the majority of their games, but I just don't have that much free time these days, so hockey is a little ways down the list. When Goose was very small (like 4 or 5) he wanted to play hockey very badly, but we didn't let him because it was too expensive. We put him into soccer instead and now we pay just as much for him to play big time soccer as we would have to for hockey! Oh well. During his early years of hockey love, we collected hockey cards for a little while. That's when we picked up this beauty!

Ooohh, look how shiny and swirly it is! Awesome, right? This card features the greatest Star ever of course, Mike Modano. I still can't get used to seeing him in a Red Wings sweater. It would have been nice if he could have retired as a Dallas Star.
Pacific sure made some cool cards back in the day. These Revolution ones are some of the neatest in my opinion. I've also got an Elway one that is very similar that is one of my favorites. Maybe Panini will bring back this set like they did with Crown Royale and do it up right. (Though I won't be holding my breath. Panini and do it up right, don't always go hand in hand.) Later.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Will It Take To Re-sign Lee? Lyrics, Dude!

Nolan and the Rangers are currently in a battle with the rest of MLB (but mostly the Yankees) to sign Cliff Lee. Who knows what the final cost will be, but I know something that will help... a song with thoughtful lyrics!

Check it out, it helped Bill & Ted land the princesses...

and it helped the Mavericks resign Dirk!

So, there you have it Rangers. If you want to keep Cliff, you'd better get workin' on a song quick! Later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Panini Season Update - Mavs Edition

I picked up this team set of Mavericks on ebay a few weeks ago. I guess the 2009-10 Season Update set must be hobby only, because I haven't seen any packs of these at Wal-mart or Target.

I actually like the design of this set and don't really have any "I can do better" points to make. I'm just glad they put out another set that actually includes the background of the photos. My only complaint is that there aren't enough Mavs in the set.

This fault seems to have carried over into the 2010-11 sets as well. So far, Prestige and Rookies & Stars are only featuring 5 or 6 guys per team including some retired guys. Since it doesn't look like Panini is going to put out a "flagship" set this year, I'm not sure where I'm going to get my JJ Barea and Rodrique Beaubois cards among others this year. I really think they should put out at least one set where you know your going to get at least 10 if not more of the guys on your favorite team. I mean, you gotta give the bench guys a little love, right? Later.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1 Pic Pack Rip

I stole this idea from someone, but I can't remember who. Sorry. Anyway I picked up a pack of Prestige a couple weeks ago and what do you know. A Wally World hit!

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'll be able to repeat my luck with the Rookies & Stars packs at the same Wal-mart. Some tool has already opened all the thick packs and left them behind. What an a-hole. By the way, Mr. Pierce is for trade if ya got a Dirk or some other Mav relic you can send my way. Later.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maverick Power!

This is bad ass! (At least it is to me.)The Mavs are off to a great start so far. Let's keep it going!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I haven't been buying tons of packs recently because frankly, I don't give a damn about half the players I pull. If they aren't Mavs or a handful of other favorites, then it kind of seems like a waste. So I've decided to focus more on singles instead. For my most recent Checkoutmycards purchase, I decided to focus only on my all time favorite basketball player, Dirk Nowitzki. Why, you might ask, is Dirk my favorite player? Here are some reasons.

As you well know, Dirk is German, so he adds some international flair. He's also 7 feet tall, but is not a big, white stiff. He's got game and is very versatile.

He can play high or low post...

he's a pretty good passer for a big guy...

he can drain shots from behind the arc...

or put it on the floor and head to the hoop. Where he will more than likely...

get fouled and nail the free throw...

or make it all the way to the rim for a layup...

or finish with a thunderous dunk. Anyway you look at him, he's pretty much the greatest Euro player ever and one of the best from anywhere to ever play in the NBA. If you are a MFFL then you know for sure that...

Dirk is Money! Later.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gifts From Cardboard Heaven!

A couple weeks ago I was checking out Cameron's blog Cardboard Heaven and noticed he had pulled this beauty.

I sent him a note asking if it was available, which it was, so a few days later it arrived in the mail. It came so fast, in fact, it seemed like he must have already been sending it to me even before I asked. Maybe he has ESP. That wasn't all he sent though.

There were a couple of Cliff Lee's in the mix. Cliff had a great season for the Rangers and I'd like to see him resign here, but I doubt it will happen. If it does, I just hope the Rangers are smart about it and don't ruin other potential resignings in the near future.

Cameron also sent this nice gold Pudge. Too bad his in his damn pin stripped pajamas!

Here are some more current and recently former Rangers he also sent. Mitch Moreland was a very nice surprise, so I really appreciate the rookie chrome.

Besides Rangers we got some glory days Cowboys...

and some of the current guys, who definitely are not experiencing their glory days right now. Dez has been a great acquisition and they seem to have turned it around the last 2 weeks since Garrett has taken over, so hopefully the crapfest this season is behind them.

Thanks again for the cards, Cameron. I'll be sending you a batch of stuff soon. I'll see what kind of Ravens and whatnot I've got for you. I'll also send you this custom...
I think you'll like it. Later.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cards From the Hall of Fame

A while back we got a package from Tim at The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame. We've traded with Tim several times so I can't remember if he owed me or now I owe him, but anyway, here's what he sent us this time.

A bunch of Cubs for Nobie. Can you spot the Fred McGriff? Tim always throws one in. I'm not sure if he's trying to convert us all to McGriff collectors or just has way to many on his hands.

Tim also sent a bunch of Cowboys including what has to be one of the worst photos for a player's card ever. I'm not even sure Darrin Smith's mom could figure out who is the featured player on this card, especially since the team name/logo is not present.

Here are the rest of the Cowboys we got, including a Daryl Johnston bipping!

Next up is a bunch of old school Rangers including what appears to be a school photo of Benji Gil.

Besides Rangers we got a sampling of some of our other baseball favorites. Eddie Murray appears to be questioning his magic mirror. Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Rounding out this package was a stack of basketball cards including some Mavs, Reggie, the Dream and the Mailman. Most of these come from the dark days of Maverick basketball, but that's okay, it really makes me appreciate the team we have now.

Thanks, for all the cards Tim. I'm not sure I have much to send in return, I don't think I have any more of what you collect, so I may have to repay you with a custom. How about this?