Archive for category Purchases

Memorial Day Weekend Dollar Store Pack #2

If you read the Memorial Day Weekend Dollar Store Pack #1 post you know what is going on, if not scroll down a bit and check it out . . . I will wait.  You back?  Good!  So here is what I got in Pack #2.

Two Hall of Famers –

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Ozzie Smith – 1988 Topps #460

Ozzie Smith was drafted by the Padres and played 4 seasons (1978-’81) in San Diego before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals where he played from 1982-1996.  Smith was a defensive monster and was nicknamed “The Wizard” for his play at shortstop.  He won 13 straight Gold Glove Awards (1980-’92) during his 19-year career.  He was also a 15x All-Star (1981-’92, 1994-’96), Silver Slugger Award winner (1987), NLCS MVP (1985), won a World Series in 1982 and finished his career with a .262 batting average, 2,460 hits, 793 runs batted in and 580 stolen bases.  Smith entered the Hall of Fame as a first ballot inductee in 2002.

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Dave Winfield – 1991 Donruss #468

Dave Winfield was selected by the San Diego Padres in 1973 amatuer draft, 4th overall.  During his 22 year career he played with the Padres (1973-’80), New York Yankees (1981-’88, 1990), California Angels (1990-’91), Toronto Blue Jays (1992), Minnesota Twins (1993-’94) and Cleveland Indians (1995).  He is a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,110 hits.  He finished his career with a .283 batting average, 465 homeruns and 1,833 runs batted in.  Winfield is a 12x All-Star (1977-’88), 7x Gold Glove Award winner (1979-’80, 1982-’85, 1987), 6x Silver Slugger Award winner (1981-’85, 1987), AL Comeback Player of the Year (1990) and won a World Series in 1992 with the Blue Jays.  He entered the Hall of Fame as a first ballot inductee in 2001.

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Craig Biggio – 1989 Donruss RC #561

A ROOKIE CARD!!!  Craig Biggio was drafted by the Houston Astros, 22nd overall in the 1987 amatuer draft.  He played his entire 20 year career in Houston before retiring after the 2007 season.  He played catcher in the beginning of his career but was converted to a second baseman for the 1992 season.  Biggio is a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,060 hits and had a career batting average of .281, 291 home runs and 1,175 runs batted in.  He was a 7x All-Star (1991-’92, 1994-’98), 4x Gold Glove Award winner (1994-’97) and 5x Silver Slugger Award winner (1989, 1994-’95, 1997-’98).  Biggio was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013 but fell 39 votes shy with only 68.2% of the votes, 75% are needed.  He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and I think will get in soon!

Those were the big name players from the pack, not too bad for a dollar!

Here are the San Francisco Giants I pulled from the two packs –

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Kirt Manwaring – 1995 Collector’s Choice #257

Manwaring started his career in San Francisco and played 10 years (1987-’96) with the Giants.  He won a Gold Glove Award in 1993.

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Darren Lewis – 1992 Topps #743

Lewis played with the San Francisco Giants from 1991-’95 and won a Gold Glove Award in 1994.

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Todd Benzinger – 1994 Flair #238

Benzinger played the last three years (1993-’95) of his 9 year career in San Francisco.  Very nice looking card!

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Steve Kline – 2006 Topps #68

Kline finished his 11 year career with 2 years (2006-’07) in San Francisco.  This picture has him pictured in an Orioles jersey, which is who he played for in 2005.

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John Burkett – 1990 Classic Yellow #T6

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John Burkett – 1990 Score Rookie & Traded #73T

Burkett started his career with the Giants and played 6 years (1987, 1990-’94) in San Francisco.  His best season came in 1993 when he went 22-7 with a 3.65 earned run average and made the NL All-Star team.

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Memorial Day Weekend Dollar Store Pack #1

First off I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day Weekend!  As many are celebrating with family and friends, I will take a little time to remember all the men and women who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces including some that were very near and dear to me!

I felt the need to post something this morning about baseball cards but wasn’t sure what?  I was browsing a few other blogs and came across a repack article.  That’s it . . . let’s go to the dollar store.  I picked up 2 packs at $1.00 each, let’s see if I got anything worthwhile or interesting in the first pack.

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Danny Ainge – 1982 Topps #125

Danny Ainge was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1977 amateur draft and played with them from 1979-1981.  By the time this card was produced he was beginning his second sports career in the National Basketball Association.  Ainge was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1981 National Basketball Association Draft.  After a court battle the Celtics bought out Ainge’s contract with the Blue Jay. During his three-year baseball career Ainge played in 211 games, with a career batting average of .220, 2 homeruns and 37 runs batted in.

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Tommy John – 1988 Leaf/Donruss Diamond King #17

I was always a fan of the Donruss Damond Kings.  Dick Perez created these paintings for the Donruss Diamond Kings series starting in 1982 in partnership with Frank and Peggy Steele (Perez-Steele Galleries).  I thought this was a normal Diamond Kings card until I turned it over and noticed along with the English paragraph about Tommy John there was also a French translation.  This Diamond Kings was produced for the Leaf/Donruss set.  The Leaf brand was used from 1985-1988 on specially made cards distributed in Canada.

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It might be a little hard to see but the back is in English and French.  I am guessing Lanceur is French for Pitcher?

John’s career spanned 26 years (1963-’74, 1976-’89) and won 288 games, only 12 games shy of the magical 300 mark.  He was a 4x All-Star (1968, 1978-’80) and NL Comeback Player of the Year (1976).  He did not play in 1975 while he was recovering from surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm.  The injury should have ended his career but a revolutionary surgery that replaced the ligament in the elbow of his pitching arem with a tendon from his right forearm saved his career.  The surgery is now known as “Tommy John surgery”.

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Andres Galarraga – 1987 Leaf/Donruss #221

Speaking of Leaf/Donruss here is one of Montreal Expos first baseman Andres Galarraga.  Galarraga was one of the players I collected as a youngster.  He finished his 19-year career (1985-’98, 2000-’04) with a .288 batting average, 2,333 hits, 399 home runs, and 1,425 runs batted in.  Galarraga was a 5x All-Star (1988, 1993, 1997-’98, 2000), 2x Gold Glove Award winner (1989-’90), 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (1988, 1996), 2x NL Comeback Player of the Year (1993, 2000), NL Batting champion (1993), and NL Home Run champion (1996).  He was voted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Robin Yount – 1986 Sportflics #42b

These were some of my favorite cards as a kid.  I can remember buying packs of them at the Thrifty’s around the corner from my house in Rialto, California.  This is the corrected version of the card.  There is an error version that shows a New York Yankees logo and script on the back.  Yount is a Hall of Famer, inducted in 1999.  He is also a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,142.  He played 20 seasons (1974-’93) all for the Milwaukee Brewers where he had a career .285 batting average, 3.142 hits, 251 homeruns and 1,406 runs batted in.  Yount was a 3x All-Star (1980, 1982-’83), Gold Glove Award winner (1982), 3x Silver Slugger Award winner (1980, 1982, 1989), 2x AL Most Valuable Player (1982, 1989).  His #19 is retired by the Brewers and he is their all-time leader in hits and homeruns.

Stay tuned for Pack #2 and a few San Francisco Giants I pulled from the packs.

If you want/need any of these cards comment here or send me an email at jlculley@gmail.com.

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Dime Box Delivery

I came home from work the other day to find a few packages in the mailbox.  One package contained a 2013 Topps Manufactured Commemorative Patch (#CP19) Will Clark I had won on eBay.  I bought three boxes of Topps Series 1 hoping to pull this card, ended up pulling a Mike Trout Commemorative Patch and (2) Yu Darvish Commemorative Rookie Patch so it was off to eBay to get it.  I paid $1.75 for the card plus $2.50 for shipping which I think is worth it!

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The second one was from Nick at Dime Boxes — The Low-End Baseball Collector’s Journey.  Here are some of the cards he sent for my 2013 Topps Series 1 base set.

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#85 Sean Doolittle

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#136 Tyler Clippard

There were a few more he sent but from the time I had give him my missing cards list to receiving them in the mail I had acquired a few.  Hopefully I can pass on the doubles to another collector who needs them!  As of this writing I am just 5 cards short of the base set.

Now onto the other cards, a mixture of San Francisco Giants!  Of course I was hoping to find some Will Clarks, and Nick didn’t disappoint.

The Will Clark Project

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1987 Sportsflics #95

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1988 Donruss DK #21

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1990 Topps All-Star #397

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2012 Topps Archives #209

Although all the cards are great and much appreciated I want to highlight a few here.

Bobby Thomson – Golden Moments

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2001 Topps Golden Moments #379

Baseball’s most celebrated comeback was capped by what may be the game’s most famous home run.  The Giants were 13 1/2 games behind the Dodgers on August 12, 1951, before going 39-8 down the stretch to finish in a tie.  Forced into a three-game playoff, the teams split the first two.  The Dodgers were up 4-1 in the ninth inning of Game 3 when the Giants rallied.  New York cut the lead by a run and had two men on when Thomson hit a home run to left field for the “shot heard ’round the world.”  (Information from back of card.)

Willie McCovey – 500 Home Runs

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2012 Topps Gold Standard GS-9

Four years after Hank Aaron broke the career home run record at the same venue, McCovey arrived at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1978 on teh brink of his own longball milestone.  He got it on the final day of June, in the opener of a four-game series.  Willie led off the second inning with the blast, becoming the 12th man to reach 500 rountrippers.  (Information from back of card.)

Since Willie McCovey became the 12th player to hit 500 home runs there have been 13 more players to join him – Reggie Jackson (September 17, 1984), Mike Schmidt (April 18, 1987), Eddie Murray (September 6, 1996), Mark McGwire (August 5, 1999), Barry Bonds (April 17, 2001), Sammy Sosa (April 4, 2003), Rafael Palmeiro (May 11, 2003), Ken Griffey Jr. (June 20, 2004), Frank Thomas (June 28, 2007), Alex Rodriguez (August 4, 2007), Jim Thome (September 16, 2007), Manny Ramirez (May 31, 2008), and Gary Sheffield (April 7, 2009).

There are a few players that will have a shot at 500 homeruns in the next few years if they can remain healthy and play – Albert Pujols (477/Age: 33), Jason Giambi (431/Age: 42), Paul Konerko (425/Age: 37), Adam Dunn (409/Age: 33), and David Ortiz (401/Age: 37).

Barry Zito Comes To San Francisco

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2007 Topps Trading Places – TP10

After coming to the Giants in 2008 it seemed Barry Zito was never going to his performance levels his Oakland Athletics days, including a season where he went 23-5.  Up until 2012 he had not won more then 11 games in a Giant uniform and never finished with more wins then losses.  In 2012, Zito returned to form going 15-8 for the World Series Champions.  This season he has started strong once again, going 3-1 in 4 starts with a 3.42 ERA.

So there are a few highlights of the cards sent by Nick with some information and history to go along with them.  Thanks Nick!

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Dollar Store Finds!

After reading a few stories out there about the occasional nice pull from a dollar store repack I thought I would try it for my self.  I happened to be driving by a Dollar Tree here in Cheyenne and popped in.  There were four repacks with 30 cards each sitting near the registers.  I was only gonna grab one and see what happens but I thought might as well grab all four.  Each front card (you could see through pack) was a Pacific Nolan Ryan.  The four were –

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1993_pacific_texas_express__226_nolan_ryan   1993_pacific_texas_express_248_nolan_ryan

Didn’t get anything real spectacular in terms of cards but there were some cool finds in the four packs.

The oldest card in the bunch was a 1978 Topps #299 Whitey Herzog manager card.

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As a player, Herzog played for the Washington Senators (1956-58), Kansas City Athletics (1958-60), Baltimore Orioles (1961-62), and Detroit Tiger (1963) . . . he had a career .257 batting average, 25 home runs and 172 runs batted in.  After his playing days were over he became a succesfull manager with the Texas Rangers (1973), California Angels (1974), Kansas City Royals (1975-79), and St. Louis Cardinals (1980-1990).  He enjoyed much of his managerial success with the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals.  He led the Royals to three straight American League Western division titles (1976, 1977, and 1978) and led the Cardinals to three National League Championships (1982, 1985, and 1987) and won the 1982 World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Herzog was named Manager of the Year in 1985, had his #24 is retired by the Cardinals and was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Continuing with the Hall of Fame theme, I came across a 1984 Topps #400 All-Star Cal Ripken Jr.

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Ripken was selected as an All-Star for the first time in 1983, which started a streak of 19 straight (1983-2001) All-Star selections.  Although that is not his most impressive streak!  On September 6, 1995, he broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consectuive games played when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game.  The record had stood for 56 years and many baseball historians believed the record was unbreakable.  He extended the consective games streak record to 2,632 games, dare I say this record is UNBREAKABLE now?  His list of awards and accolades are extensive,  American League Rookie of the Year (1982), American League Most Valuable Player (1983 and 1991), Silver Slugger Award (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994), Gold Glove Award (1991 and 1992), Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVP (1991 and 2001), and Major League Baseball All-Century Team  just to name a few.  He had his #8 retired by the Baltimore Orioles and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007.  In his 21 year career he compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs and 1,695 runs batted in.

Next couple of cards are from players who could have been Hall of Famers had it not been for actual or accused use of steroids – 1987 Topps #634 Rafael Palmeiro, 1993 Score Select #79 of 90 Roger Clemens, and 1993 Fleer #709 Juan Gonzalez Round Trippers.

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Palmeiro played 19 seasons for the Chicago Cubs (1986-88), Texas Rangers (1989-93, 1999-03), Baltimore Orioles (1994-98, 2004-05), and Texas Rangers (1999-03).  He finished his career with a .288 batting average, 3,020 hits, 569 home runs and 1,835 runs batted in.  He was a 4x All-Star selection (1988, 1991, 1998, and 1999), 3x Gold Glove Winner (1997-99) and 2x Silver Slugger (1998-99).  As a member of the 500-homer and 3,000 hit-club he should have been a sure-fire first ballot inductee into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, but  a 2005 suspension for a positive steroid test pretty much ruined any chances of that.

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Clemens played 24 seasons for the Boston Red Sox (1984-96), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-98), New York Yankees (1999-03, 2007), and Houston Astros (2004-06).  He finished his career with a 354-184 win-loss record, 3.12 earned run average and 4,672 strikeouts.  His 354 wins rank 9th all-time and his 4,672 strikeouts are 3rd behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875).  Clemens won the Cy Young Award seven times (1986, 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2004), was an 11x All-Star (1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005), was the American League MVP in 1986 and was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.  All of these accolades would have meant entry into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame but he has been accused of steroid use by Jose Canseco in his book titled, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big as well as being named numerous times in the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball.  He testified before before a Congressional committee and swore under oath that he never took steroids.  He was later tried for lying to Congress and was fouund not guilty on all six charges he faced.
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Gonzalez played 17 seasons for the Texas Rangers (1989-99, 2002-03), Detroit Tigers (2000), Cleveland Indians (2001, 2005), and Kansas City Royals (2004).  He finished his career with a .295 batting average, 434 home runs and 1,404 runs batted in.  He was a 2x American League Most Valuable Player (1996 and 1998), 3x All-Star (1993, 1998 and 2001), 6x Sliver Slugger (1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2001).  Gonzalez was named in Canseco’s book as well as the Mitchell Report for an incident in 2001 in which a piece of team luggage belonging to either him or his personal trainer was found to contain then legal (now illegal) drugs.  Wether it contained steroids was never proven.

Now onto a future Hall of Famer and one of the most dominating pitchers of the 1990s and 2000s, 193 Topps #460 Randy Johnson.

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Johnson played 22 seasons for the Montreal Expos (1988-89), Seattle Mariners (1989-1998), Houston Astros (1998 – REALLY?), Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-04, 2007-08), New York Yankees (2005-06), and San Francisco Giants (2009).  He finished his career with a 303-166 win-loss record, 3.29 earned run average and 4,875 strikouts.  The only pitcher to have more strikouts then Johnson in the history of Major League Baseball is Nolan Ryan.  Johnson has a no-hitter (June 2, 1990) and a perfect game (May 18, 2004) on his resume as well as five Cy Young Awards (1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002), 10x All-Star selection (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004) and the Pitching Triple Crown (wins, strikouts, and earned run average) in 2002.

Now a few others that interested me for one reason or another.

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Eric Davis (1993 Leaf #267) was one of the players I collected as a teenager.  He played for 17 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (1984-91, 1996), Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-93), Detroit Tigers (1993-94), Baltimore Orioles (1997-98), St. Louis Cardinals (1999-00), and San Francisco Giants (2001).  When Davis debuted in the mid-1980’s he was what baseball scouts called a 5-tool player; somebody who hits for average, hits for power, has baserunning skills, throwing ability and fielding ability.  He was exciting to watch but also was injury prone and never played more then 135 games in any season.  He finished his career with a .269 batting average, 282 home runs and 934 runs batted in.  He was selected to two All-Star teams (1987 and 1989), a 3x Gold Glove Award winner (1987, 1988, and 1989) and a 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (1987 and 1989).  His best season was in 1987 when he hit .293, had 37 home runs, 100 runs batted in and stole 50 bases.  Although this card features him in a Dodger uniform and he played for a few teams Eric Davis will always be a Red!

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Growing up in Southern California in the 1970s-1980s Steve Sax (1989 Upper Deck #748) was one of my favorite players.  I have to admit I was a little bit of a Dodger fan when I was really young mainly because my grandparents were and I played Little League Baseball on the Dodgers.  Once I could think on my own I became a SF Giants fan, mainly thanks to Will Clark but that is a story for another day.  I liked to watch Steve Sax because he played second base and that was my primary position in Little League.  Sax was not a Superstar but he was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1982, a 5x All-Star (1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, and 1990) and won two World Series Championships with the Dodgers.  He played with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1982-88), New York Yankees (1989-91), Chicago White Sox (1992-93), and Oakland Athletics (1994) and finished his 14 year career with a 281 batting average, 1,941 hits, 54 home runs, 550 runs batted in and 444 stolen bases.

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So how does Glenn Braggs (1991 Upper Deck #631) make it into the same article as Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Juan Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Eric Davis and even Steve Sax?  There is something special about him that no other player above can claim . . . his brother was my counselor when I was in Junior High School!!!  Braggs played seven seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers (1986-90) and Cincinnati Reds (1990-92) and finished his career a .257 batting average, 601 hits and 70 home runs.  He was teammates of Eric Davis in Cincinnati when the Reds won the 1990 World Series.

In the end I got 120 cards for $4.00 (.03 cents a card!!!) and although I got no relics, autographs or valuablue inserts it was fun to open the repacks from the dollar store and take a walk down memory lane.  Will definately be doing it again real soon!

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Finally Home!

Finally made it home after being stuck at work for an extra four days because of snow. A little bit about what I do . . . I am in the United States Air Force and am stationed at FE Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My job is in the Security Forces career field and every couple days we leave to stay out in the Missile Field to perform our duties. It doesn’t happen too often but every once in a while our 4 day tour in the field becomes longer because of weather like it did this week. It was even tougher when my wife called and said you have some packages waiting for you!

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The large box has to be the 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen my friends and I went in on together for a group break . . . . and it was!

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I have read some good and not so good reviews of the set but but will have to decide for ourselves if it was worth it.  It was a small investment per person so I am not complaining (YET!)

The smaller goodies are a variety of Will Clarks I purchased via eBay to build back up my collection of my favorite player.  A little side note on that, I received a text from my mom a few days ago saying she found a binder of baseball cards in her closet full of a player named Will Clark and asked if I wanted them still?  Of course I do!  It just so happens most of the Clarks I just purchased are in that binder.  There is also an envelope from Jeff Wilks (www.2x3heroes.com) with some of my missing 2013 Topps Series 1 cards and it feels like a little extra is in there?  As much as I want to rip these open tonight I am thinking I am gonna call it a night and have some fun tomorrow, it has been a long day!  So see you then!

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2013 Topps Heritage – First Box

2013_topps_heritage_blaster_boxPicked up my first blaster box of Topps Heritage yesterday.  The 2013 Topps Heritage, a 500-card set, was released to retail outlets on Wednesday, February 27th and to the hobby on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 (I am about a month behind of everybody else!) and is modeled after the 1964 Topps set.  My original plan was to complete the 2013 Topps Series 1 base set before buying any other series but I couldn’t help myself!  I was so excited I didn’t even wait until I got home and opened the first pack in the car.  The first card was #421 Welington Castillo (Chicago Cubs – Catcher).  So here is what my first pack looked like –

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Welington Castillo #421

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Ted Lilly #373

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Jeff Samardzija #96

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Domonic Brown #135

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Alex Rodriguez #69

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Mark Trumbo #110

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R.A. Dickey #464

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Todd Frazier #85

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Daniel Murphy #142

I will probably end of buying a few more boxes and if I get anything cool I will be sure to post about it.

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2013 Topps Series 1 – The Beginning

2013_baseball_blaster_boxSo I started collecting baseball cards again and I am starting with 2013 Topps Series 1.  So far I have bought 3 of the Blaster Boxes (pictured on the left), 8 Jumbo Packs and 2 regular packs.  I am currently 39 cards short of completing the base set with the two most expensive cards being #294 (Mike Trout/Andrian Beltre/Miguel Cabrera) and #305 (Shelby Miller RC).  To see a list of the current cards I need from the base set as well as from some of the insert sets – CLICK HERE.  I was able to pull out two Manufactured Commemorative Rookie Patches (both #RCP25 Yu Darvish) and one Manufactured Commemorative Patch (#CP3 Mike Trout).  Unfortunately one of the Yu Darvish’s has what appears a small cut across the back of the card. I also pulled a Chasing History Autograph (#CHA-GS Gary Sheffield) and a Chasing History Relic (#CHR-HP Hunter Pence).

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Yu Darvish #RCP-25
(Sold on eBay)

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Mike Trout #CP-3
(Currently on eBay)

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Gary Sheffield #CHA-GS
(Going on eBay Soon)

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Hunter Pence #CHR-HP
(Not Sure If It Is Going On eBay?)

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Yu Darvish #RCP-25 (Back)

Damaged Yu Darvish Manufactured Rookie Card Patch 😦  (See white line in black section on the right side of card?)

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Prince Fielder #28 (Base Set)

Overall, I am very excited about collecting again and it appears that I have gotten back into the hobby at a good time.  Most of the reviews of the current Topps set are very positive after many years of not so positive results.  I will be highlighting some of my favorite cards over the next couple of days from this set.

I love to read comments so if you have any please share them!

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