Friday, March 3, 2017

2015 Topps Finest Paul Goldschmidt Short Print

This card has eluded me since...well...forever. In fact, I never even knew it existed until it popped up on eBay just recently. And I considered myself on the verge of becoming a Goldy super collector...I'll have to rethink that. The reason I had never seen it among my countless searches for Paul Goldschmidt cards is because it is a short print (SP) from 2015 Finest. It is apparently the first year Topps included SPs in the Finest checklist. Cool.

I couldn't find the print run on the SPs from this set, but I can probably guess they're somewhere in the ballpark of 100 copies or less since the refractors are numbered only to 25.

I researched the card after finding it on the Bay and concluded that it may be my only chance for a very long time to nab one for my collection. I won it for more than I am admittedly comfortable with (I've won a few of his autograph cards for less).

Either way, it's now in my Goldy PC and looks good. I really like the look of 2015 Finest - I think it's the atomic-ish refractor-ish background that makes them cool to me. The font, placement, and orientation for the name could have been a little bit better, but hey, Topps employees have deadlines too, and as we've all seen their quality control isn't the greatest, so just slap the players name somewhere and call it good.

Side Note - Topps used the same photo in the 2014 Topps High Tek set.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Trader's Log: Addiction As Therapy (Part 2)

Adam from Addiction As Therapy hit me up out of the blue, awaking me from my card blogging slumber. He had some cards to send my way, so we worked out a cordial trade.

Let's check it out:

Many great cards I needed for my Dbacks Topps Gold project and Goldschmidt PC. The card in the upper left is a 2016 Topps base black parallel of Socrates "Burrito" Brito numbered to 65.

2004 Heritage for my Dbacks Heritage collection. Adam and I are both Topps Heritage enthusiasts.

Adam finished the package off with some really nice minis. I finally have enough Dbacks minis to fill one of my 15 pocket pages.

Thanks for the cards, Adam.

Monday, February 27, 2017

2000 Upper Deck Ultimate Victory Diamond Dignitaries

Upper Deck Ultimate Victory (UV) only lasted for two years (1999-2000) but has become one of my favorite "modern" sets of all time.  I considered it a higher end card when it first came out - you can now find 24 pack boxes for about $30. If you don't know much about it, this card may jog your memory:

1999 Ultimate Victory #145
 Rick Ankiel RC

This card was highly sought after and sold for a pretty penny back when Ankiel was a top prospect. I recall as a kid browsing through a Beckett magazine and seeing this card at the top of the hot list. I'm pretty sure people were dropping a couple Benjamins for it before Ankiel lost his ability to pitch. You can now find it for around $5.

What impresses me about Ultimate Victory is the quality card stock and foil, but what really brings me back to the set are the inserts. The one time I ripped a pack of 2000 UV I pulled the box "hit", a Diamond Dignitaries insert of Nomar Garciaparra. 

I loved holding it, admiring every little detail and the refraction of light as I angled the card in my hand. That card remained in my collection over the years, and was buried within it for so long I forgot I had it until I pulled a card binder from my shelf and began thumbing through the pages. When I hit the Nomar section, this card stood out among the other 8 cards. It stood out so much in fact that I removed it from its pocket and held it in my hand like I did when I pulled it from a pack years earlier. That's when I decided I was going to collect the whole set.

Diamond Dignitaries has an insertion ratio of 1:23 and consists of 10 cards:

D1 - Ken Griffey Jr.
D2 - Nomar Garciaparra
D3 - Chipper Jones
D4 - Ivan Rodriguez
D5 - Mark McGwire
D6 - Cal Ripken Jr.
D7 - Vladimir Guerrero
D8 - Alex Rodriguez
D9 - Sammy Sosa
D10 - Derek Jeter

I could have completed the set in one COMC purchase, but decided it would be more fun to acquire cards through other means (trades, card shows). I'm in no rush to finish.

What I love about Diamond Dignitaries is how well the gold backdrop compliments the red diamond centered behind the cropped poses of each player. The red, often a color representative of rank or royalty, pairs perfectly with the name of the set. The horizontal design and capturing the players left of center turned the set from a good one to a great one.

- Affordability/Availability - cards range from $0.75 to $3.00 and are easy to come by
- Checklist - This set contains elite players, many of which are now HOFers or future HOFers - there were no duds inserted into the set

- Size - 10 cards means one card will sit all by itself in a 9 pocket page behind the rest; not ideal since I like to store my insert sets in binders

Nostalgia gets me every time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Another Upset from Topps Now

Today Topps Now released cards # 361-365, highlighting some memorable moments on 16 August 2016 to include an amazing catch by Anthony Rizzo.

What they FAILED to do was a make card of Mitch Haniger setting a franchise record for the Arizona Diamondbacks during his Major League Debut by knocking in 3 runs while going 2 for 4. Oh, and those two hits were a double and a triple.

My only card of Mitch Haniger
2015 Topps Heritage Minors Orange 14/25

In the meantime, they make a Topps Now card of Noah Syndergaard tying (not actually BREAKING) the Met's single season record for HRs by a pitcher, which by the way is a measly 3. I get that HRs are hard to come by for a pitcher, but wouldn't it make more sense to release a card of him if he actually broke a record, like what Mitch did yesterday??

As I have mentioned before, the Dbacks only have 1 card from the Topps Now set, and it's of a decent pitching performance by Zack Greinke (whoop-dee-do).This continues to solidify my disdain for Topps and their new line of Topps Now. I have yet to compile the statistics, but from my observations, they focus strictly on the teams doing well this season, or simply the teams with a larger fan base who are willing to fork out $10 for a card. While I get their whole marketing strategy with this set (and are making a killing thus far), how is it fair to collectors of less popular teams??

This leads in to another issue I have with Topps and their set checklists from the year. Take for example the set checklists for the upcoming set 2016 Bowman Platinum (including the insert sets). As a Dbacks fan, why would I even want to look at a pack? But I'll leave that for another post.

Let me know what your thoughts and opinions are about this! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

National Baseball Card Day 2016

Today I participated in the Topps National Baseball Card Day. I found out about it just a few days ago via The set contains 50 cards with a chance to pull autographs. Card #50 is of Kris Bryant and is not found in the packs but can be obtained if you make a qualifying purchase of Topps products ($10 minimum).

I conveniently planned my wife's list of weekends errands around the two LCSs in town. She patiently obliged my proposal (bless her heart) to make the stops along the way and even went inside so I could get an extra pack! I had no idea what the turnout was going to be, so I arrived shortly after the shops opened. It seemed as though I was the only one who knew about the promotion. I entered the store and almost every customer was on the non-sports side. My wife and I asked about the free packs and the store owners walked over to a box loaded with packs. I then purchased a jumbo pack of 2016 Topps Chrome.

The next shop seemed to care even less about the promotion. I asked about it when I walked in and the store owner said he'll give me packs based on how much I buy (which I'm pretty sure he made up on the spot.) So I went over to his $1 bin and bought some vintage cards along with a jumbo pack of 2016 Topps Chrome. He handed me 4 packs of cards and I left.

Here's what I got!

Some vintage cards to add to my new vintage collection.

2016 Topps Chrome. I managed to pull an auto! The Youth Impact and Future Stars inserts are really colorful.

Some of the cards from the National Baseball Card Day set. Out of 6 packs I managed to NOT get Paul Goldschmidt. Yay...

And to top it off I got 2 Kris Bryant cards! Supposedly short printed? Not sure.

I hope you all had a chance to get to a participating LCS today for some free cards. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Catching up with Cards

Hello everyone! It's been a few months since my last post and a lot has happened in between.

The reason I was unable to blog was because I was preparing for a major job transition. I made it through the rigorous application and interview process, was accepted, and am now in the process of relocating the the east coast! However, none of that kept me from following my fellow bloggers and vloggers, follow the new card releases, trends, and news, and even making some purchases for my PCs along the way.

I have a few topics I have been wanting to write about to include the fact that Topps has only one Diamondback player represented in the ENTIRE Topps NOW set. I can easily name a few instances where players from the Dbacks deserved a card over players getting traded at the deadline or a player hitting their inevitable 1st HR (which now seems to be the standard for Topps. Way to be original.) Anyways, I'll save that for later.

In the meantime, here are just a few cards I have acquired over the past 3-4 months. Enjoy and thanks for reading!!

Paul Goldschmidt

Archie Bradley

A.J. Pollock

Yasmany Tomas

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Error Or No Error?

I hit up the recent card show for the month of April and picked my way through a new nickel box. The seller is always at the show but this was the first time since the new year he showed up with his arsenal of baseball cards. This is obviously due to the fact the baseball season is under way. He is the one consistent seller at the show that keeps his table current with the seasons. All the other guys show up with the same stuff each month that everyone has already sifted through. They could use a lesson or two from this guy.

Now, on to the reason I'm writing this. I dug out a handful of 2012 Topps Heritage from this guy's box in a futile effort to build my set. When I returned home and began adding my new cards to my Zistle account, I noticed one card didn't quite fit in with the rest of them. Naturally, I began researching the variations and intentional errors Topps loves to include in Heritage. Nothing showed up for this particular card. 

Readers, please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I have stumbled across a legitimate error from Topps, meaning this was not intentional. 

The card in question is shown below next to the errorless card. 

Notice anything? Of course not. It's because the error is on the back...

The card on the right is numbered 7 as it should be. The card on the left is numbered HP94 as though it were a chrome or chrome refractor, but it is not. 

Does anyone know why this is, or has anyone seen an error like this in their Heritage sets?

Let me know and thanks for reading!