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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.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yet Another Topps Value Pack - I Just Can't Help Myself

Just when I thought I was free from its grasp, I found another Topps Value Box at my local Wal-Mart. I've been a big fan of these ever since I pulled an AMAZING Frank Robinson/Mike Stanton dual auto relic from the Heritage portion of a box, and I can't seem to resist them still.

Of course, the pull of a lifetime is enough to give even the most fickle collector a soft spot in their heart for a product, but me getting that pull is the exact reason I SHOULD NOT be buying those any longer. Seriously, that's like me winning the lottery from a ticket I bought at a local convenience store, and then continuing playing the lottery by buying tickets at that same store. It's rare enough for it to happen even once under those circumstances, but for it to happen again, is nearly impossible.

So, why do I continue to buy them? Quite simply, they're just plain fun. I would say I get more enjoyment out of going through these value packs than any other product out there.

Here's what it is. When I buy a box of a certain product, I do so with a goal in mind. If I get a box of 2011 Topps baseball, I'm trying to build a set. If I get a box of Upper Deck Hockey, I'm looking for Young Guns cards. With these value packs, though, there's really nothing I'm after. I have the complete series 1 set, and I may actually have a second one with all of my extras, and I am about 90% done with Heritage, so the chances of me chipping away at a card I need are slim.

I am able to take a look at these cards with no expectations, no prejudices, and I am able to look at them with the joy of a collector who just loves his hobby. With a fair amount of hardened collectors out there just looking for hits and discarding all else, it's nice to have something that really just gives you the pure joy of a collector.

Anyway, here's what 15 bucks got me:

I grabbed a few cards of today's younger stars (plus a Clayton Richard SP). The Darwin Barney is probably the fourth one I have gotten so far. I'm a big fan of his, but this was a card that was difficult for me to pull early on. Finally, I gave up, purchased it on ebay for a couple bucks, and then literally pulled one from a pack the next day. I have gotten two more from packs since then.


Topps gave me a few inserts. I didn't need any base, but I did need the Topps 60 A-Rod. The thing I love about pulling Yankees is that means I won't have to buy them in singles.I think I have about 5 of those Eddie Murray reprints now.


I also got pretty lucky with a hit, and a good one at that, with a Josh Hamilton relic card. It's always good to pull a relic, no matter who the player is, but when it's one of your top collected players, that's even better.


Even without the Hamilton, I love busting open these boxes, and I'm sure I will continue to do so. I just hope they continue this with series 2 (maybe replacing Heritage with Gypsy Queen), so that I can build on two sets. Either way, I'm never disappointed with these.

I guess, for everyone else out there, do you have a product like this? By that I mean, something you consistently enjoy busting open, regardless of whether you need the cards for a set, just for the pure enjoyment of it. I'm curious to see what else is out there.

2009-2010 Upper Deck Hockey Blaster

With hockey season over, Wal-Mart has now decided to finally stock some discounted blaster boxes. I was at the retail giant the other day and picked one up, hoping to hit it big. The main card for this set is the Young Guns rookie card of Islanders center John Tavares. I actually pulled the card from a blaster a year ago, so I was hoping my luck would hold up. I didn't get Tavares, but I did pull rookies of Matt Duchene and Michael Del Zotto, which is a pretty decent pair. For those not into hockey, that would be like not pulling a Bryce Harper, but still getting a Freddie Freeman and Kyle Drabek. Still, I was very happy with these two.


There were also a few inserts, including a favorite of mine, Draft Day Gems, which focuses on players who were late draft picks that eventually had some pretty stellar careers. It's weird to think that pretty much every team had the chance at Mark Messier before he was taken by Edmonton.


Ever since they began doing these discounted blasters, I've been picking up what I can. You never know what you'll find at a really good price.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 Topps Series 2 Box

I recently came in possession of a hobby box of 2011 Topps Series 2. I really wanted to get this set knocked out before Allen & Ginter hits, and this was a great way to cause some serious damage to my Want List.

I'm not going to go into all of the inserts or base set percentages, because, let's face it, you're just here for the hits. I will say that I did not get a single duplicate in the box, so good job with that, Topps. I know that with some shorter base sets, it can be unavoidable, but with 330 cards, it can be avoided, so I certainly appreciate the effort.

Anyway, each box is guaranteed to contain one autograph or relic, and I pulled a Chase Utley bat relic. While I don't always like bat relic cards, the Topps 60 cards have a decent-sized swatch to it, and having that bigger bat piece looks really cool. While I'm not a Chase Utley collector, I could have done MUCH worse with my one hit.


I also pulled a diamond sparkle variation of Giants pitcher Matt Cain. I'm completely indifferent to him as a player, but it was cool to at least pull one of these variations, and I also pulled a sparkly version of the Andre Dawson SP. He may be in his Expos uni, but he'll always be a Cub to me.

With those pulls, I was very happy with what I found, and I got even happier when I redeemed my Diamond Giveaway cards, and got TWO die-cuts: Carl Yastrzemski and Torii Hunter.




I've already gotten quite a few offers for these, but I might hold on to them to see if they add any more Cubs in their final 3. If you haven't gone already, by the way, head over to the Topps Diamond Cut Vote-In Facebook Page and keep Ryne Sandberg in the running.It looks like he's beating Ozzie Smith in the semis and will face Reggie Jackson in the finals.

That's all for now. I've updated my needs list. There's only a few base cards I need, but I still have a whole lot of inserts to go.

Contest Winnings and Group Break From Sports Card Radio

As a pretty active podcast listener, I have found a couple hobby-related shows that I have really enjoyed, including Sports Card Radio. A couple of weeks ago, they ran a contest related to a box of 2010-2011 Playoff Contenders Hockey. All you had to do was answer a question related to your hockey collecting interests, and since everyone was a winner, your prize was based on your answer. I must have been the only Penguin fan, because my prize was every Penguin pulled from the box.


In addition to a cool-looking base set, there were some fantastic looking inserts. Two of them were from The Great Outdoors, which spotlights the Winter Classic. I was lucky enough to get both Crosby and Malkin, as well as a Lottery Winners card of Jordan Staal.


I also participated in a really cheap group break but on by the SCR guys. Two boxes of Topps Series 2 and one box of Bowman were opened, and teams were just $2 each. I took the Cubs in both of the Topps boxes and got just what I wanted, with a Darwin Barney from each box and a total of three Starlin Castros. I also got one of the randomed Diamond Giveaway cards, which netted me a 1995 Kevin Brown.


In Bowman, I took the Cubs (of course) as well as the Rangers and Marlins. I have a few Marlins that I collect, and I was hoping to pull a Josh Hamilton parallel or insert. The results were a bit lackluster for me, but I did get a few chrome prospects from the Cubs, so I guess it wasn't a total loss.


If anyone hasn't been by the SCR site, go ahead and check them out. The podcast is also available on Itunes.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Few Recent Pickups

Here's a few items I picked up on ebay recently. With the exception of the first two cards, the rest are up for trade if anyone is interested. I picked them all up from the same seller, and with the exception of the Kazmir, they were each .99. All seven of these cards ended up totaling less than 11 bucks shipped, which goes to prove that if you find the right seller and take advantage of combined shipping rates, you can get some steals. Like I said the First two (Fukudome and Kazmir) are keepers, but the rest are up for trade, so let me know if you are interested.

2007 Upper Deck Artifacts Autofacts Scott Kazmir


2010 Upper Deck Game Jersey Kosuke Fukudome


2002 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classics Bob Boone


2002 Topps 206 Jersey Tino Martinez


2011 Topps 60 Autograph Wade LeBlanc


2005-2006 Upper Deck Young Guns Kevin Bieksa


2008 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Rookie Premier Materials John David Booty


Not bad for 11 bucks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Money in the Banks - Ernie Completes My Topps Diamond Die Cut Cubs Set

I was hoping to get all six in only six days, but I suppose seven will do. After getting a bit creative with trade proposals, I finally was able to land that elusive Ernie Banks Diamond Die Cut Card.

After completing the trades that bagged me the other five Cubs, Banks was proving to be quite the challenge. After starting things off with 104 cards I was willing to trade, I had just a little over 50 cards left, and came to the realization that a card I REALLY wanted to keep, a 1974 Billy Williams, might have to be sacrificed in my epic conquest.

The Williams was put up for offer, one-for-one, for Banks, but nothing. All remaining cards, including the Cubs hall-of-famer, were put up for the Banks, but still, nothing. It was time to take more of a roundabout approach. If they weren't willing to give up Banks for Williams and 50 cards from the '80s and '90s. maybe I can turn those cards into something a bit more enticing.

First, I tried to flip the Williams for a die cut of a number of different stars and legends, but again, nothing. I came to the realization, that while I have a great appreciation for him, non-Cubs collectors might not, so I offered up the card for any of the six Cubs in the die-cut collection. The logic was one, someone interested in Williams would be a Cubs fan who just might have a die-cut Cub in his collection, and two, if I am trying to get Banks, it might help having a Cub in the offer. A day later, a trade was accepted for 2010 All Star Maron Byrd.

The rest of the cards were grouped by decade and offered up for every die cut card out there. I began my collection of 26 cards from the '90 with the Washington Nationals and worked my way down, and my collection of 26 cards from the '80s with the Arizona Diamondbacks and worked my way up. Before long, I had die-cut cards of Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow and White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin. Before going to bed last night, I took my three tradeable die cuts and put an offer out for Banks.

This morning, I went to try and upgrade those cards to bigger names, but they were nowhere to be found. Upon looking at my collection, I soon discovered that I am now the proud owner of the entire six-team set.


Al least, that's the set for now. There will be a few others added in at a later date. On their Facebook page, Topps is running a bracketed tournament to determine one legend, one veteran, and one rookie to add in to the die cut set, and currently, Ryne Sandberg is in the Legends bracket and beating Ozzie Smith. I'm not sure who will be in the other two tournaments, but my quest might not be over quite yet. We'll just have to see.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Group Break from Cardboard Collections

I recently participated in another group break at Cardboard Collections. Each month, Colbey runs an Affordable Group Break, which includes 3-4 boxes of cards for right around $10 per team. His most recent break was an all-chrome break, with 1997 Topps Chrome, 1998 Topps Chrome Series 1, and 2000 Stadium Club Chrome. I had the Cubs and unfortunately for me, I got a total of four cards out of the three boxes.


I wasn't worried, though. One thing I know from participating in his breaks before, is that he makes sure each person is well taken care of and is satisfied with the money he or she spent. Along with those four chrome cards came a sizable stack of Cubs from various years.


Thanks for a great break! I look forward to the next one. If anyone hasn't checked out Cardboard Collections, head over there and keep him in mind the next time he puts together another group break.

A Few Recent Pickups

While trolling around ebay last week, I came across some really good deals on a few great looking auto relics and just got them in the mail.

The first, and my favorite, is an Andre Dawson autographed bat relic from this year's Topps Tribute. Not only is he a hall-of-famer, but he has a great-looking signature and I love how the wood of the bat contrasts with the shiny surface of the card. H The card was mine for roughly $12.50 shipped, which was an absolute STEAL.


I also managed to acquire a fantastic-looking autographed triple relic on Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez from 2009 Triple Threads. A bit of an odd signature, as it looks like he wrote only 5 or 6 out of 13 letters in his name, but what drew me to the card was the fact that there are three distinct swatches, including a patch in the middle swatch that appears to be from the bear logo on the shoulder of the home uniform or the front of their blue uniform.


Lastly, I got another Triple Threads card, this one from 2006, of Huston Street with an autograph and two jersey swatches. I know he isn't making any kind of waves in the hobby, but I remember when he was tearing it up for the University of Texas, and for 5 bucks shipped, I figured, why not?


Have a few more ebay purchases coming in this week, and while none of them have the massive hardware of these three, I still got a pretty good deal on them.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Die Cut #5 - Tyler Colvin

It took a bit of maneuvering, but I finally got my grubby little hands on my FIFTH Cubs card from Topps Diamond Die Cut with outfielder Tyler Colvin.


I was hoping to trade my last pre-1970s card, a 1961 John Romano straight up for it, but there were no takers for it, so I had to get a little creative. I went a little crazy with the trade proposals, offering Romano for a die cut of any player with a decent name. Someone took the bait and sent me a Jimmy Rollins. I then tried to see if I could turn that around for Colvin, and within minutes, it was accepted. Now, all I have left is Ernie Banks.

Actually, on Topps' Facebook page, they are running a tournament to decide three additional die-cut subjects, one retired, one veteran, and one rookie. Ryne Sandberg is in the running for retired players, leading in the second round. It looks like he'll be meeting Reggie Jackson in the finals, who already HAS a die cut card. I'm not sure who is in the running for the veteran and rookie tournaments, but I'm sure Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney will make an appearance in their respective brackets.

Five Cubs Die Cuts in five days. Looking good so far, but I think I'm going to have to get creative for that Banks.

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another? - Diamond Die Cut #4

Well, father's day was a good one for me in the Diamond Card Giveaway, as I completed TWO deals for Chicago Cubs die cuts. The first one, Aramis Ramirez, came to me at one in the morning, and the second, Marlon Byrd, was waiting for me when I got home from the in laws.


I was up late last night with a cranky six-week-old. With one free hand, I was able to put close to 50 proposals together. My strategy now is to simply get any die cuts I can. With proposals for the cards I want going nowhere, maybe they'd be enticed by other die cut cards. However, of all the proposals, for all the players, the one single one that went through was for a player from the very team I am going for. Lucky me. Al I had to give up was a 1958 Bennie Daniels. That, however, was my last card from the '50s. As far as anything before 1979, all I have left is a 1974 Billy Williams and a 1961 John Romano. I figured that Williams should be enough to entice some Cubs fan to give up one of their die cuts, but we'll just have to see.

All I have left now is Ernie Banks and Tyler Colvin. 

(Contest) Pimpin' Ain't Easy - Number 5 Type Collection

Matthew over at Number 5 Type Collection is holding a father's day related contest. All you have to do is give him your favorite team, as well as that of your father, and your entered to win cards for both teams. Go check him out, follow his blog, and get yourself entered.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Case Break from The Daily Dimwit

Earlier this month, I participated in a group case break hosted by Sam at The Daily Dimwit of 2006 Upper Deck Ovation. With a great looking base set and a good chance for some relics and autos, I snatched up the Cubs at the first chance I got. With 15 participants, and 30 MLB teams, he randomed off the second teams. I was given the Diamondbacks, which I traded for the Brewers.

The set is similar to the Action Packed NFL cards from the '90s, in that there is a texturing to the card which conforms to the players' bodies. The background is also textured to feel similar to the feel of a baseball. Very cool. The base set has just 84 cards, so teams just had 2-3 players each. The Cubs had Aramis Ramirez, Mark Prior and Derrek Lee and the Brewers had J.J. Hardy and Richie Weeks.

2006 Ovation was a big product for any Mark Prior fan, as he seemed to be all over the place. Out of the four different insert cards I got for the Cubs, 3 were of the former phenom, with one duplicate. The Superstar Theatre cards show different standout stars seem to show players who have really stood out for their teams, Curtain Calls spotlights a specific stand-out performance by a player, and Center Stage seems to be just an excuse to show a player in front of a cool background.


Brewers inserts were all of pitcher Tomo Okha.


There were also Gold cards numbered to 499 and rookies numbered to 999. I got a Derrek Lee 183/499 and an Aramis Ramirez 314/499. The Rookie is of Freddie Bynum and is numbered 36/999.


I did very well for myself on the hits, with two from each team. My two Cubs hits were autographed cards of pitcher Michael Wuertz, and the Brewers gave me a Tomo Okha autograph and a Prince Fielder jersey. The Topps Fukudome is a card I had been trying to get from Sam for a while, but I just can't seem to pull any Astros to trade him. I guess he just got tired of looking at it.


Thanks for a really cool break, Sam! If anyone isn't following his blog, go ahead and get over there. Also, the break was sponsored by Atlanta Sports Cards. Apparently, they regularly give some pretty good discounts for people hosting breaks, so if anyone is trying to put one together, go check them out and see what kind of deal they work out with you.

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cuts - Halfway there to Cubs Team Set

Deal #3 went through today. For 22 Topps cards from the '70s, the only notable name being a 1977 Bucky Dent, I got halfway to a Cubs Diamond Die Cut set, with an Aramis Ramirez.


Apparently, the easiest way to get these things is offer up a crapload of commons and see if anyone bites. That now puts me at Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Marmol, and Starlin Castro, with Ernie Banks, Tyler Colvin, and Marlon Byrd left to go. I'm hoping that I can swing some easy deals for the Byrd and Colvin, but the Banks is going to be a tough one.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

If You Can't Pull 'Em, Trade For 'Em - 2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cut #2

Just one day after trading for a Starlin Castro Diamond Die-Cut, I traded for my second, Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol. Despite NUMEROUS redemptions, I have yet to redeem for one of these, so I have been forced to trade for any of these cards I would want. For this one card, all I had to do is give up 24 cards from the years 200-2009. None of them were cards I would ever pay shipping for, so I had no problem pulling the trigger on this one. A few of the better cards I gave up were:

2001 Carlos Delgado
2002 Barry Larkin
2002 Shawn Green
2007 Hank Blalock
2007 Barry Zito
2008 Matt Garza
2009 Manny Ramirez
...and 17 commons

In return, here's the new card I will soon be a proud owner of:


I think I'm going to actually go for the team set of these. I still need Aramis Ramirez, Ernie Banks, Marlon Byrd, and Tyler Colvin. I have made offers for each of them, but I may have to pull a few die-cuts myself to help close the deals.

So far, though, off to a good start.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trade with Behind These Hazel Eyes

I got quite a surprise in my mailbox today when I found a considerably large envelope from Lonestarr at Behind These Hazel Eyes. We had been working on the trade for quite a while and just recently, we finally pulled the trigger on the deal. Here's a few highlights.

I found plenty of Cubs cards to add to my team collection, and a few cards for the PC that I didn't already have. The Sandberg Cover Glory card is a new one for me and I really like and the Kerry Wood Donruss card is pretty cool. It's from 2002's Donruss Originals set, which I'm not familiar with, but I assume it's a set that puts present day players in past designs.


I also got a few Scott Kazmirs and Josh Hamilton's for the PC as well. The first Kazmir is a jersey swatch, the secons is serial numbered 97/999, and the Stadium Club is a First Day Issue parallel.


Finally, he also included a bunch of cards for my set needs. The bulk of them were from 2011 Topps Heritage and 2009 Allen & Ginter, but there were also a few cards for 2077 Allen & Ginter, 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces, 20011 Gypsy Queen, 2009 A Piece of History, and 2009 Goodwin Champions.


Thanks for a great trade!

Also, I have trade packages for Lonestarr, BA Benny, Puck Junk, and Cards From the Quarry. Sorry for the delay, fells. I'm running by the post office tomorrow and getting them out to you.

Blog Post #100 - Finally Got Me a Die-Cut

This is my 100th blog post, which isn't a big deal to anyone but people like me who like big round numbers. Although I'll give credit to Topps' Million Card Giveaway in 2010 with bringing me back into the hobby, the blog community is what not only kept me going after the MCG novelty wore off, but gave me the most satisfaction I have ever had with the hobby. Anyway, on with the goodies.

While some people don't like, or don't care for, the Topps MCG or this year's Diamond Giveaway, I absolutely love it. I don't really care about the shipping charges, which are insane, by the way. I love the idea that you can pull a card out of the back and turn it in for a card from 1956, which is what I did with this one.


a 1956 Card of Bob Miller that I care nothing about. I love vintage cards, but there are no connections between myself and a Phillie I've never heard of. After several failed attempts to trade it for a Cub, I jumped at the chance when someone offered me this card for it.


Again, someone I'm not familiar with, but I'll definitely swap a 1956 for a 1954, no problem. This morning, the McGhee, which would have been the oldest card I've gotten from Topps (I got a 1955 Edwin Tappe last year), was out of my possession, and I am now a proud owner of this beauty.


Not only a die-cut, but the one die-cut card I really wanted. I want others, but the Castro is number one.

It's been a good day.

A Couple of Finals-Themed Blasters

Seeing as though we are in NHL and NBA Finals mode, I decided to pick up a couple of discounted blasters. For hockey, I went with 09-10 Upper Deck Artifacts and for basketball, I picked up 09-10 Panini Threads hoping to work some retail magic. Here's what I got.

Artifacts gave me three Penguins. No Crosby, but I did get my favorite three after him with Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleiry and Jordan Staal.


That was about it. No inserts. No serial numbers. No artifacts. I did, however, also get these two:


Baketball gave me these cards of our new NBA champions. The foil card is from their orange parallel. It was the only one I pulled from the box, but a good one to pull at this time.


That's about it. I would write more, but there wasn't much to write about these two blasters. I'm just glad I didn't pay the MSRP for them.

Good night everyone.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gearing Up for Game 7

If anyone needs a reason to get into the spirit for game 7 tonight, go check out this great article on the Waxaholic blog.


Oh yeah, and GO BRUINS!!!

Group Break Goodies from Indians Baseball Cards

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a group break hosted by Dave at Indians Baseball Cards and today I received the goodies. He busted a box of 1990 Heads Up, 1988 Sportflics, a blaster of 2009 Allen & Ginter and two blasters of 2011 Bowman. I took the Cubs, of course, and picked up the Marlins to see if I could add some Bowman cards to my player collections. Here's how I made out.

I did very well with the Cubs. A few Allen & Ginter base cards, plus a Rich Harden insert (not pictured). Bowman got me a couple of gold parallels (Dempster and Fukudome) as well as a few base cards I needed. Sportflics didn't give me much of anything, exept for a Shawon Dunston and a few commons.


Florida gave me exactly what I wanted. From Bowman, I already had a Mike Stanton for my PC, so I just needed a Hanley Ramirez and a Josh Johnson, plus a chrome rookie.


The Heads Up set is interesting. I'd estimate each head measures about 4" by 6" and has a suction cup to attach it to a window, a locker, or whatever. I got a Ryno, which was great, plus a Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith. They were big deals at the time, I promise.


Dave also threw in a few BIG surprises. I didn't scan it, but he sent along a ToppsTown card of Starlin Castro, along with a temporary tatto sheet of Cub Keith Moreland and Mariner Alvin Davis. A really cool collectible. The big bonus, though, was a 1969 Topps card of Cubs outfielder Jim Hickman. You can complain about Topps' photoshopping all you want, but it's still better than this airbrushing of a Dodgers uniform.


Thanks for a great break!

Shameless Contest Plug

There's a pretty cool contest going on over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk. All you have to do is head to his site, comment on the contest post, and tell him I referred you to the site. Extra entries are earned for referrals, so spread the word.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father/Daughter Pack Wars - Round 3: 2011 Bowman Baseball vs. 2010-2011 Classics Basketball

Father/Daughter Pack Wars pits my retail selection skills up against that of my two and a half-year-old daughter. We each select the same number of packs, and based on whoever has the best top five, a winner will be chosen. My daughter, once again picked out 2011 Bowman. I, after the Mavericks won the championship, decided to go with 2010-2011 Panini Classics. Here's what we got.

Bowman
5.Troy Tulowitzki Finest Futures


4. Joe Mauer Gold


3. Josh Hamilton


2.  Aroldis Chapman Gold


1. Ichiro Bowman's Best


The names were definitely there, with a base of 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton and gold parallels of Joe Mauer and Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman. The Tulowitzki insert was nice, too, but the big card of the pack was definitely the Ichiro. I love the Bowman's Best cards this year. The chrome works really well with the design and it reminds me of some of the inserts we saw int he late '90s, without going overboard.

Classics
5. Pau Gasol


4. Kevin Love


3. Derrick Rose


2. Oscar Robertson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Classic Combos


1. David Lee Timeless Tributes (2/25)


The cards were good. A few stars, including the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player. The big two were a beautiful-looking insert of Oscar and Kareem and, of course, the David Lee Timeless Tributes with an incredible low serial number. Being a casual fan, I'm not too familiar with Lee, but judging from how much the Warriors had to give up to acquire him a year ago, the guy must be pretty good.

This one was REALLY close. The Bowman had more inserts and parallels, as well as a great-looking Ichiro, but in the end, a card serial-numbered to 25 take it. It took me three tries, but I finally won a round.



The Score:      Matt: 1    The Girl: 2