Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day for Opening Day

Opening Day is here! Real, live, meaningful baseball is once again in the air. To commemorate the day I’ve got a pack of 2011 Topps Opening Day for you. This is actually the first pack of Opening Day I bought a few weeks ago. Turns out it’s the perfect pack for the first day of the season due to the 2 inserts I got. The Swinging Friar and the Padres… Versus Prince Albert and the Cardinals.
Not only is today’s matchup a perfect pairing of baseball card inserts, it’s also significant in my own personal baseball upbringing. As many of you know, I am a Texas Rangers fan first and foremost. I’ve now lived in the DFW area for 23 of my 41 years, so the conversion is complete. For all practical purposes, I’m a Texan. I’ve been to many games at the Ballpark in Arlington and even Arlington Stadium before that. But guess where I saw my first MLB game ever. You guessed it (or maybe you didn’t.), Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. I was born in San Diego and lived there until I was 6 when we moved to Illinois. We lived there until I started high school and guess where we went when we had that craving for a little MLB action. That’s right, Busch Stadium in St. Louis. So I’ve definitely got a soft spot for both the Padres and Cardinals, but the Rangers is where my true loyalties lie. Let’s hope this season is as good or even better than the last one.

Oh, and here’s the rest of the pack in case you were wondering. Though you probably weren’t. Later.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Now With More Molecules!

Any other Adrenalyn fans out there? Something about the name of Panini's trading card game reminds me of the movie Idiocracy. I guess it's the funky spelling with an XL on the end. Kinda like the Big Ass Taco from Carl's Jr. in the movie, needlessly over the top.

Anyway, we are well on our way to filling up our Adrenalyn XL album. We’ve got quite a few doubles for trade if anyone else out there needs any. Here are 5 more recent packs we’ve opened.

Pack 1. Everyone’s favorite Irishman, Shaquille O’Neal and the greatest Australian since Chris Anstey, Andrew Bogut. (Chris Anstey is an inside Mavericks joke, I may be the only one laughing.)

Pack 2. Kobe has probably my favorite pose in the set, while Najera is the exact opposite. I can’t believe the Mavs traded Kris Humphries away for Najera last year. Dumb.

Pack 3. I’m not too familiar with any of these guys besides Rudy and Caron. Pops has a funny name though, so that counts for something.

Pack 4. Nash and Aldridge are the best players here. The Blazers scare me a little if we have to play them in the playoffs. A little.

Pack 5. Williams & Wade would make an awesome backcourt or maybe a law firm. It sounds good either way.

There you go, 5 fresh packs of Adrenalyn XL to get your juices flowing. Later.

Friday, March 25, 2011

In Your Face! Sportlots "Pack" 3

Here's another intense installment of Sportlots custom "packs". It just so happened that this particular seller had several cards of interest with a little more action than usual. They are mostly inserts from recent sets.

I picked out these 2 Jam Masters cards for Nobie's player collection. I didn't actually know what they looked like (due to no photos on Sportlots) before I ordered them, but I must say I was pretty pleased. These are actually really cool and unlike most of Panini's inserts they are designed without auto & relic parallels in mind. See, they can do it!

This Rejected! set comes from Upper Deck First Edition last year. Being a big man myself, I love a good swat as much as anyone. While Damp and Birdman both are capable of their fair share of blocks, they are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the flair in which they do it. I don't think Dampier and flair have ever been used in the same sentence before.

Pau is a great all around player. He could be featured in both of the above sets. See, I've got proof. He can dunk and block shots. It seems Panini and Upper Deck had the same idea for their inserts, here they are just reversed with the Slam Dunk set from UD First Edition and the Block Party set from Panini.

These next 2 cards feature JET about to shoot a 3 in your eye also from UD First Edition and AK47 swattin' the shot of some poor Warrior fool. I could probably do some research and find out who that is, but why bother. It's the Warriors. (I think it might actually be Cliff Robinson, but again, who cares?)

The last 2 cards are the most action packed of all! Okay, so not really, but they came from the same seller and order, so I included them. David Lee lookin' like he's about to jump over some sort of steeplechase obstacle and Aaron Brooks posing for his junior high bball team photo. Something about his jersey looks oversized to me just like they all seem to be in jr high. So, there you have it, another fresh "pack" from Sportlots. Later.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

He Could Have Been A Dodgeball God!

With the lockout in full effect for who knows how long, NFL players may be forced to find work elsewhere. Apparently, John Elway had that same concern back in the day. Check out this card I got in a package from Adam of Thoughts and Sox.

John appears to be warming up his throwing arm with a dodgeball (or maybe it’s actually a basketball?). Scary, isn’t it? Can you imagine the extreme pain you would feel as John pegs you in the thigh just below you tiny gym shorts or maybe upside your head? I think you’d literally be seeing stars and little birdies spinning around your noggin. I think John would have made a perfect dodgeball player with his cannon of an arm and his incredible scrambling abilities. He would have been awesome!

Along with this card, Adam sent several more Elways including these…

And these. Many of these are new to the collection and greatly appreciated.

Not only that, but he sent my first Elway poker chip. I think it's worth $200, at least that's what it's marked. Nice, huh?

Besides the Elways, I also got a couple of Dan Fouts cards to add to the collection. I think Dan could have been pretty good at dodgeball too and his beard makes him a little more menacing as well. Thanks for the great cards Adam. Later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NBA Sticker Explosion!

Panini catches a lot of flak for some of their card designs, but if there is one thing they seem to know how to do right it’s sticker albums. Panini recently released their NBA sticker album, so Nobie snatched one up as soon as he could. The stickers come 8 to a pack for $1. Here are 5 packs for your viewing pleasure.

Pack 1 starts off with a shiny Amar’e. Each team features one player on a foil sticker. The next 4 stickers are the base player stickers, Martin, Stuckey, Westbrook and our first Mav Roddy B. The Gallinari is an example of the one per team “international” player sticker. I put “international” in quotes because some teams feature a guy from the U.S., Lebron for example. I’m not sure he counts as an “international” player. The last 2 are rookie stickers. These go in the back of the book in the draft picks section.

Pack 2 gave us base stickers of McDyess, Ridnour, Billups, Anthony and Stuckey again. Avery Bradley is the rookie and Andres Nocioni the “international” player. The Rockets sticker is interesting. These are actually fabric stickers split into 3 parts. The large logo goes on the team page and the jerseys go in the front of the book for a division breakdown. The smaller logo, according to the instruction in the album, is for you to stick on binders, lunch boxes, dressers or wherever else you may want.

Pack 3 includes base stickers for Arthur, Maggette, Brewer, Hill, Bell & Billups again. We also got another Demarcus Cousins and a Darko “international”.

Pack 4 had base of West, Butler, Griffin, Bayless and Belinelli. The Aaron Brooks is a Team/League Leaders sticker. There is usually one of these per team page as well. The NBA Europe Live sticker commemorates the NBA’s trip to Europe this year, there is a page for these in the back. We also got another Nocioni.

The last pack was the best because we got FOIL DIRK! There were also base Bosh, Krstic & Hill and 2 Leaders stickers of Williams and Duncan. The Kobe sticker goes into a 2 page spread featuring Kobe’s many finals appearances and we wrap it all up with an “international” Varejao.

I plan on putting up a want/trade list for this album soon, so if any of you out there are also collecting these things (Madding??), let me know and maybe we can swap a few. I’ll also always welcome any Mavs or other players we collect, if you’ve got doubles to spare. I highly recommend picking one of these up if you like hoops at all. Like I said earlier, Panini knows what they’re doing with these things. Later.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sportlots "Pack" #2

I don't go to my local card store all that often and even when I do, they don't tend to have much new in the way of basketball packs. I've never even seen a pack of Absolute Memorabilia or Crown Royale in person, but thanks to the greatness of Sportlots I recently picked up a "pack" of each.

The Absolute pack contained a Birdman, KLove, Aaron Brooks and the remaining Mavs from the set besides Dirk, which I already had. I also got a Monta Ellis Stargazing insert. I really like this insert set, though I wish the player was larger and filled more of the space. But then where would you put the swatch on the relic parallel, right?
Crown Royale was one of my favorite sets from last year. I really like the gaudiness of the design with the foil crown and the checkered background. The use of team color also makes the cards look great even if it goes against Panini's usual design trend. The only one I had though was Dirk, so I went for the rest of the Mavs and a few other favorites. I hope Panini brings this set back again this year, though I wish it was priced better. If it was, I might actually grab a pack, if not, there's always Sportlots. Later.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Panini Slam Dunk!

Since Panini became the exclusive holder of the NBA trading card license, things have been pretty hit or miss. If there's one thing Panini has managed to get right though, it's this...

Stickers! We finally found them at the local Walmart and grabbed 10 packs of stickers and an album. Nobie stuck all the stickers inside right away, so I didn't get to scan any, but we'll get more and I'll post some soon. In the meantime, run on out and getcha one for yourself. Later.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Like the Quarter Box.

The local card shop I frequent has 25 cent boxes for baseball, football and basketball. If you buy enough cards, the price drops down to 18 cents per card. I like discounts.

Reggie likes trash talk.

Big Gasol likes rings.

Little Gasol likes beards.

K Love likes double doubles.

These guys like retirement.

David likes free agency.

AK47 likes hair extensions.

Superman likes self promotion.

Monta likes tatoos.

Did I mention I like the quarter box? Later.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heaven Sent.

Wow, another week since the last post. Where does all the time go? Since the wife is asleep early tonight and not using her laptop for teacher duties, I figured I'd steal it so that I can post and watch the Mavs at the same time. If my desktop was where I could post and watch tv at the same time, I might be more likely to post a little more regularly. Maybe I can get a few future posts done tonight, while I have this rare chance to multitask. This week's post features another package from Cameron at Cardboard Heaven.

First up is the Playmaker! This is a pretty cool card. I like the finish of these cards, not really shiny, but not dull either. It reminds me of stainless steel. I also think it's cool because of Mike's eyes. He's about to make the catch, but his eyes appear to be mapping his path to the endzone already. Or maybe he drops it after all, since he took his eyes off the ball. We'll probably never know.

Here we've got some Ranger prospects that I'm not too familiar with. The only one I've really seen play is Mitch Moreland who did a good job at first in the last portion of the regular season and in the playoffs. We'll see what he can do with a chance for a full season this year.

Cam also sent a few shiny Cowboys including my favorite current Cowboy Jason Witten. I really hope the Cowboys can turn it around this year, assuming there is going to be a this year!

These 3 guys are former Rangers. Well, for now anyway, Michael is still a Ranger, but we'll see. Personally I hope he stays.

Another Witten and a couple of Romos. I really like the Magic cards this year, though I bought only 1 pack. For some reason I just wasn't really into football cards this season. Maybe it was because the Cowboys sucked.

The last 5 cards are all 2011 Topps featuring the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers. Man, that still sounds kinda weird! Hopefully they'll be able to put together another great season and make it back to the World Series again. We can only hope, right? Thanks for the newest batch of cards Cameron. I owe ya. Later.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sportlots "Pack" #1

Most of you, I'm sure, have heard of Sportlots by now. It's a great place to buy singles or what I like to call Sportlots Packs. Whenever a new set comes out, I'll usually buy a few packs to get a feel for the set. After that though, I start to get tired of pulling a bunch of cards of guys I don't care about. Some are good for trades, but I still end up stuck with a lot of extras. That's why I like Sportlots. I can get on there and pick out a "pack" of cards where every card is one I want. What I do is find a seller that has 10 -15 or so cards priced around .18 cents a piece, put them in my cart and once shipping is added the total cost is usually between $3 - $5. A few days later I get my custom "pack" in the mail for roughly the same cost as any pack I could buy at a card shop. Sure I don't really get any "hits" for that price, but I don't care. When I have pulled a "hit" from anything in the past, it's rarely been of a player that I collect anyway. So what did I get this time? Let's take a look.

All the cards I got were from 2010-11 Panini Prestige. First up is an Old School Rolando Blackman from this season's Prestige. I only bought a few packs of these as I'm not a huge fan of the base card design. I really wanted this Blackman though as soon as I saw one, so I could either keep buying packs hoping get one, or go to Sportlots. Which I did. It sure would be a much nicer card though if Panini would have made the Mavs logo larger and filled up the white space instead of leaving it blank for the inevitable jersey swatch parallel.

The next card is of injured Mav Caron Butler. Panini did a much better job with the empty space on these Stars of the NBA cards. I hope Caron can make it back in time for the playoffs.

Jason Kidd appears on two cards. A Playmakers and a Stat Stars, which you would think by the large blank portion at the bottom would have a sticker auto parallel. It does not. Go figure.

Another insert that seems designed for an auto, but to the best of my knowledge does not have any are the Inside the Numbers cards. I haven't seen any auto versions on ebay, so that leads me to believe there are none. Another poor design choice by Panini, but hey, it's a Dirk card! I also grabbed the Franchise Favorites and Stat Stars Dirks as well.

The last group of cards in this pack are not Mavs. They are other players I collect and they are all Hardcourt Heroes. This is my favorite insert from Prestige this year, I really like the photography on this set. I "pulled" a Pau, Howard and Nash. So there you have it. A custom Sportlots "pack". Unlike the usual pack rip post, none of these are for trade. Well, everything is tradeable for the right price, but you know what I mean. Later.