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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Affordable Group Break Loot from Cardboard Collections

I may be a few weeks late on posting this, but that seems to be a trend for me lately. Anyway, last month, I participated in my first group break in quite a long time, when Colbey at Cardboard Collections hosted one of his famous Affordable Group Breaks. Now, with most of these that he does, you can expect a lot of base and inserts, with a few hits, as that is the only way to really keep the cost down.

This one would prove to be an exception, as he was able to find a hit-only product as one of the boxes. 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection was a 10-pack-per-box product, where each pack contained two cards that were either an autograph or memorabilia card, which by itself would provide 20 hits! Alongside that was 2002 Topps Gallery. Of course, Gallery wouldn't give us the hit count, but it is advertised as an "All-Painted" set, and the cards look amazing, so I was in.

I got in early, so I was able to claim the Chicago Cubs. We were also given a random team, which for me, was the Oakland Athletics. I wasn't really interested in the A's and tried to shop them around. I ended up holding on to them, and it's a good thing, two, as the A's had THREE memorabilia cards pulled from Clubhouse Collection, including two Hall-of-Famers.

Dennis Eckersley and Rickey Henderson were the big two, as both have been enshrined in Cooperstown, and Tim Hudson was a pretty good pull as well. While I wasn't too excited about the A's initially, they ended up being a great team to have, as the Cubs had a big goose egg in the hit department for this break.

The Cubs did, however, come through big with the base cards in the Gallery box. I got nine of them, including some of my all-time favorites, like Ryne Sandberg and Kerry Wood. The A's didn't give me anything too special here, other than another Tim Hudson card, so I suppose there was some level of balance between the two products.

The big hit of the break ended up being a Lou Gehrig bat card from Clubhouse Collection. I may have missed out on that one, but any time you can come away from a break at this price point with three hits, you know you've had a good one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2017 WWE Heritage Box Break

So, this post is a few months overdue, but better late than never, I guess. I bought this box of 2017 WWE Heritage last fall, as I was looking forward to a nearby house show in Grand Forks, ND. Now, I have been a wrestling fan for about 25 years, and was right in the middle of the "Attitude Era," but this would actually be my very first live event to attend in person!

Feeling the WWE fever, I decided to pick up some WWE-related cardboard. I went with Heritage, mostly because I love the 1987 Topps design. Based on the last three years of this product, each release is based on the design from 30 years prior, which means I'll be underwhelmed by 2018, but will LOVE 2019 Heritage.

What I really liked is how they incorporated so much from the 1987 baseball design, including the all-rookie team trophy for newcomers to the main roster, "Future Stars" for their NXT wrestlers, and the All-Star design for the Legends.

There are quite a few parallels, including bronze, which just features a darker finish to the wood grain of the wood design.

I also got one parallel of one of my favorite wrestlers, singers, and podcast hosts, Chris Jericho, which is serial-numbered 14/25

I pulled four John Cena Tribute cards. These aren't taken from a previous design, though. They are just modern-looking cards looking at Cena's various career achievements/

These Summerslam All Stars cards pay tribute to wrestlers who have made an impact at the annual event. I believe these are taken from a WWE card design from the '80s, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

Summerslam was a big theme with Heritage, as they also included a number of Thirty Years of Summerslam inserts. While the All Star cards focus on the individuals, this set focuses on the moments themselves.

Lastly, the Bizarre Summerslam Matches cards focus on, well, just that, like these here about a Dog Food Match and a Jail House match. Yes, believe it or not, pro wrestling can be a bit silly at times.

Now, to the hits! My first is a manufactured patch of NXT wrestler Eric Young, numbered 142/299. Young is te leader of the Sanity faction, which is one of my favorites. Hopefully we'll see them making the jump to the main roster real soon.

Lastly is my big hit of the box, an autographed card of Ember Moon, numbered 68/99. At the time I pulled this, I though that she was in line to take over the NXT women's division with Asuka being called up to the main roster, and I was right. She won the NXT Women's Championship in November, and is now the focal point of the division.

Well, that's it for this one. Glad I finally got these posted.

Like I said, this was purchased in part, because of the WWE Live Event I attended last fall, and here's a few pictures I took while I was there.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Two More Zach Parise Cards

The great thing about being a Zach Parise collector, is that his cards are very affordable. I picked these up a while back, and I can't remember exactly how much I paid, but I was very happy with my purchase.

The first card is from 2015-16 Ultimate. I think what they did a lot of with this set for the hits was take the base cards, and throw an autograph here, and a memorabilia piece there, and there ya go. With this one, we have a really low serial number (15/15) combined with an on-card autograph, and a memorabilia swatch, which I'm pretty sure is a piece of a skate. Any time I can get a piece that is something besides a jersey, I definitely grab it up.

The next one isn't quite as spectacular, but one I'm still happy to add to the collection. From 2016-17 SPX's Impressions insert, this one is numbered 20/99, and features a sticker autograph of Parise. Sure, it isn't as flashy as the other one, but for just a couple bucks, I'll take it!

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll be picking up plenty more in the near future, adn will certainly show them off when I do. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tom Kuhnhackl Autographed Rookie from 2016-17 Ultimate

I was able to pick up a great card of one of the Pittsburgh Penguins' brightest young stars, with this autographed rookie card of Tom Kuhnhackl from 2016-17 Ultimate, numbered 14/299.

Kuhnhackl was drafted by the Penguins 110th overall in the 2010 Entry Draft. It took him a few years to make it to the NHL, but in his rookie season of 2015-16 he scored 5 goals and 10 assists in 42 games, on the way to the Stanley Cup. In 2016, he became only the third German-born player to win the Stanley Cup, following Uwe Krupp and Dennis Seidenberg. The following year, Kuhnhackl won his second Stanley Cup, and became the first German-born player to win it twice with the same team.

Monday, August 21, 2017

2016-17 Ultimate Collection Box Break #2

Well, after a too-good-to-be-true opening of my first box of 2016-17 Ultimate, I had to try another. Of course, I wasn't expecting anything near as epic as that autographed Auston Matthews cards, but I was still curious as to what a "normal" box of this product would bring.

Like I said in the last post, each box of Ultimate contains one four-card pack. Of those four cards, there will be one base or insert, one memorabilia card, one autograph or premium relic card, and one rookie autograph.

Let's get to it!

Matthew Benning Ultimate Introductions
Benning might not be the most well-known young player on the Oilers team, but he has definitely made his mark. After spending two games in the AHL to start the season, he was called up to the NHL, and played 62 games for the Oilers, scoring three goals and 12 assists. He also had three assists in Edmonton's 12 playoff games. Like I said, not the biggest name, but at least he's an NHL regular.

Mark McNeill Ultimate Rookies Jersey 181/249
McNeill is featured on this card as a Blackhawk, but has played just one game for the team, in the 2015-16 season. He was traded to the Dallas Stars as part of the deal that brought Johnny Oduya back to Chicago, and played just one game for Dallas this past season, spending most of the year in the AHL.

Sonny Milano Ultimate Rookies Autograph 148/299
Well, second box of Ultimate, and second card of Milano. At least it's a different one, as the other was an Ultimate Introductions insert card.

Gerry Cheevers Keystone Fabrics 1/49
Cheevers had an amazing career, won two Stanley Cups, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985, but is mostly remembered for his mask. What started as a plain white mask became iconic, when he began adding a row of stitches each time the puck hit him in the mask, representing all the times it saved him from having to put stitches on his actual face. In 2008, The Hockey News ranked his mask No. 1 overall by a wide margin, earning 221 of 300 possible points, far surpassing second-place Gilles Gratton's 66 points.

Like I said, I knew I wasn't going to get anything near as great as the last one, but I still did pretty well. An on-card autographed jersey card of a hockey Hall-of-Famer is pretty great.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

2016-17 Ultimate Collection Box Break (MAJOR Auston Matthews Hit!!!)

It's been a while since I picked up a box of cards from my LCS, and even longer since I got some hockey cards, but I stopped in yesterday, and got a box of 2016-17 Upper Deck Ultimate. I haven't gotten too much of this in the past, but I was feeling good about it today, so I decided to give it a try.

Each box of Ultimate contains just one four-card pack. Of those four cards, there will be one base or insert, one memorabilia card, one autograph or premium relic card, and one on-card rookie autograph. The price point is a bit high for the amount of cards you get, but there are some big rewards to be had if you hit big on a top rookie or hall-of-famer.

Here's what I got:

Sonny Milano Ultimate Introductions
This card doesn't scan well at all, but it actually looks really cool in person. It seems to have a clear overlay on top of the card's surface, and has foil printing on the Ultimate logo and the Ultimate Introductions title, which don't show up on the scan. He's a player who has only played in seven NHL games in the last two seasons, but it's still a cool card to have.

Anthony Beauvillier Ultimate Rookies Jersey 212/249
You'll see something very similar with the next three cards, mainly that they have the exact same design. between the autograph and jersey cards, they are pretty much identical, apart from the jersey swatch or autograph. Anyway, this one is of New York Islanders left winger Anthony Beauvillier, and features a blue jersey swatch from the Islanders' home sweaters.

Tyler Motte Ultimate Rookies Autograph 82/299
As you can see, these are pretty much identical to the jersey cards. The only two differences, really, are the shading in the background, and of course, an autograph instead of a piece of fabric. Anyway, this one is of Tyler Motte, who split time between the NHL and AHL last season. He'll get a new chance with a new team in 2017-18, as he went to Columus along with Artemi Panarin as part of the deal that brought Brandon Saad back to Chicago.

Auston Matthews Ultimate Rookies Autograph 33/99
OK, so I kind of freaked out a little bit when I pulled this card. I opened up the box, and I could tell that it seemed a little bit on the thin side, as if there definitely wasn't going to be any kind of insane patch card. Knowing that, I was hoping for at least a decent autograph, and boy, did I find it. Matthews was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and burst into the league in a big way, scoring four goals in his NHL debut! He went on to finish the season with 40 goals and 29 assists in 82 games, on the way to winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year.

I may be a little swayed in my opinion of this product because if the big card that I pulled, but I think it's probably hit or miss. If it had been anyone else, I might have a different opinion, but then again, who knows what other great cards I would have found. If you have a little extra to spend, it's worth the chance, but this is definitely a high risk/high reward product.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Let's Make A Deal!

So, I haven't really much more than a couple trades in quite a while, so I'm hoping to drum up some activity here. Take a look at what I have in my various trade bait folders and see if anything grabs you.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Willson Contreras Quad Relic Card with Mystery Relic Pieces

A couple months ago, I really fell in love with 2017 Diamond Kings after picking up a couple boxes at my LCS. I thought the designs were great, the inserts look phenomenal, and the hits really gave me a good bang for my buck.

I also began looking on Ebay for some affordable hits that I could add to my collection. I found some great cards at some great prices, but what really sparked my curiosity was this quad-relic card of Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. It's from the Diamond Deco insert set and is numbered 30/49.

I can easily identify the wooden bat piece, and the solid white fabric as part of his uniform, but what really drew me to this was the two swatches of black and white fabric, that are a little tougher for me to identify and origin. I can't tell exactly what kind of fabric the white part of it is, but the black part has a little bit of a rubbery feel, as is whatever it is, it is used for a grip, or to hold the item in place better. Maybe a batting glove, or the waistband of his pants? Jock strap?

If anyone has any theories, feel free to let me know.

Monday, June 19, 2017

End of an Era

I'm a Pittsburgh Penguins fan first and foremost, but in traveling to Arizona the last few years, I have also become a fan of the Coyotes. I was very surprised to hear that the team decided they would be moving on from their long-time captain, Shane Doan, and did not offer him a contract for next season. He has always been loyal to the franchise, and decided to stick with the struggling team, despite many times when he could have (and probably should have) left to play for a Stanley Cup contender. He was also one of the greatest ambassadors that the game has seen, especially in the state of Arizona, as he was always making appearances for the team and promoting the game in the area. I got the chance to meet him a couple of times after games, as he always stopped to sign autographs for the fans after Coyotes games, win or lose, and always with the biggest smile on his face. He may still have another year or two left in him, so hopefully another team is willing to give him a shot at his first Stanley Cup.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 - A card you bought in person and the story behind it.

For this one, it is not a Cub, but someone who I still loved as a young baseball fan:

From 2005 Upper Deck Classics, this is a Classic Materials jersey card of Kent Hrbek. I just had to have this card, because at the time, I didn't really have any hits of the former Minnesota Twins slugger. I may be a lifelong Cubs fan, but I grew up in a Minnesota Twins househoold, and in fact, one of my very first baseball memories was them winning the 1987 World Series. Hrbek was a big part of both of those teams, and I have always been a fan of his. What I really like about this card is that not only does it feature a little bit of the jersey's pinstripe, but there is also some threading from the hem, which gives it that extra something special.