Monday, 22 June 2015

2015 Panini Donruss Value pack

One of the many joys of being a baseball card collector in the UK is that you are fairly unique. So when colleagues from school travel across the pond they now actively search for cards. 
My school had two lovely weeks off, while many others had a single week. I won't go into the details but will say we do extra 'nights' (yes nights) during the term and join all our training days together. 
This colleague, who also a parent, purchased the only cards she could find in Florida. She said this as a way of describing the desperate search she made looking for cards in various shops, including a recommended 'garden' shop. Eventually she bought the last two packs she could find in Walmart. 
I am glad really for any packs and the fact that she actively searched makes me even more appreciative. What my colleague found was a value pack of 2015 Panini Donruss and a 2015 Topps Heritage value pack Sandy Koufax exclusive.   
There are a number of Red Sox base cards and inserts that I still need:
Base
#62 Xander Bogaerts
#151 Pablo Sandoval
#190 Wade Boggs
Inaugural 1981 Edition

#213 Dustin Pedroia
#220 David Ortiz
Rated Rookies                                    
#31 Rusney Castillo
All-Time Diamond Kings
#18 Wade Boggs
#20 Carl Yastrzemski
The Rookies
#1 Rusney Castillo
#6 Anthony Ranaudo


There are 30 Pro baseball Trading cards in the Value Pack.
The pack:
#33 Dalton Pompey Toronto RR
#55 Chris Davis Baltimore
#59 David Ortiz Red Sox
#64 Junior Lake Chicago
#70 Adam Eaton Chicago
#73 Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati 
#77 Michael Brantley Cleveland
#80 Yan Gomes Cleveland
#85 Justin Morneau Colorado
#88 Victor Martinez Detroit
#97 Alex Gordon Kansas City
#106 Yasiel Puig Los Angeles
#114 Ryan Braun Milwaukee
#121 Phil Hughes Minnesota
#127 Brett Gardner New York
#154 Kyle Seager Seattle
#151 Pablo Sandoval Boston
#158 Matt Adams St.Louis
#163 Matt Holliday St.Louis
#168 Adrian Beltre Texas
#173 Jose Bautista Toronto
#178 Jordan Zimmermann Washington
#186 Frank Robinson Baltimore
#239 Bob Gibson St.Louis
#2 Jake Lemoine Collegiate National Team
#2 George Brett Kansas City Preferred
#5 Jorge Soler Chicago Studio
#10 Victor Martinez Detroit  Elite
#14 Jake Lamb Arizona The Rookies
#28 Bo Jackson Kansas City Diamond King

At first I didn't like these cards but they are slowly growing on. From the 30 cards there are 7 inserts, all different. Some lovely shiny cards too! 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

2015 Topps Heritage hanger pack

There is an expression that goes- 'Does exactly what it says on the tin.' Which means there shouldn't be any surprises. 
Heritage is that sort of product. There are some inserts, autographs and relics but Heritage is not chock full of surprises, it's all about the base cards. 
They have the look and feel of vintage cards. It is not for everyone, especially the 'hit hunters'. Although there is enough other 'stuff', minis, gum stains, punch cards, variations and intentional mistakes to keep the product interesting. Don't expect them in every pack, some of those inserts are very difficult to pull. 
Heritage hasn't changed much over the years as it makes it nostalgic way through the decade. This year we are still in the sixties, which means cards in the News Flashbacks set include Star Trek, Batman and Jimi Hendrix. What a combination! 
I have collected all the Red Sox base cards but I still need the following short prints and inserts;
Short prints
#427 Xander Bogaerts 
#480 David Ortiz 
#499 Dustin Pedroia 
1966 Bazooka
#66B-DO David Ortiz 
News Flashbacks 
#NF-1 Batman 
#NF-2 Lunar Orbiter 1 
#NF-3 Star Trek 
#NF-4 Metropolitan Opera House 
#NF-5 Jimi Hendrix Experience 
#NF-6 Ronald Reagan 
#NF-7 NFL/AFL Merger 
#NF-8 Indira Gandhi 
#NF-9 Marvin Miller 
#NF-10 Sheila Scott 

There are 20 cards in the rack/value pack, which contains exclusive Sandy Koufax cards. 
The Value Pack:
#12 Jean Segura Brewers
#52 Power Plus! Trout Angles/Cabrera Tigers
#87 Torii Hunter Twins
#90 Jonathan Schoop Orioles
#92 Yankees
#118 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies
#122 John Danks White Sox
#281 Mike Napoli Red Sox
#296 Joe Girardi Yankees
#340 Garrett Richards Angels
#355 David Robertson White Sox
#361 Zack Wheeler Mets
#372 Juan Lagares Mets
#383 Mike Moustakas Royals
#387 Shelby Miller Braves
#406 Tom Koehler Marlins
#416 Glen Perkins Twins
#424 Royals Rookies
#SK-15 Sandy Koufax Dodgers
#NAP2 Jose Abreu White Sox

There are meant to be Get Smart, Lost in Space and Batman buybacks but at odds of 1 in 22,000 packs (1 in 100,000 for Lost in Space) I don't like my chances of pulling one of these. A shame really since they are all readily available on ebay and COMC.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

2015 Topps Baseball Series One

The cards that I have featured over the last few days have all come from the same store and when opened have a very interesting appearance. The cards have all been shifted in a step configuration, which leads me to believe that the cards have been searched. Bastards...
Still I have eight unopened packs, so I will complain not further.
Taking part in a box break of Series One, pretty much cleared the Red Sox checklist. Although I do not need any base cards, there are a number of Red Sox inserts that I need:

Free Agent 40 
#6 David Ortiz
Gallery of Greats
#8 Roger Clemens
Highlight of the Year 
#6 Ted Williams 
#8 Ted Williams 
#26 Nomar Garciaparra 
Robbed
#15 Mookie Betts
The Babe Ruth Story 
#3 Red Sox Double Threat 
#4 Postseason Pitching Phenom
#5 From Hurler to Hitter 

Although I will take any Highlights of the Year inserts, as they remind me of another set I collect - 1994 Upper Deck All-time heroes

Pack 1:
#59 Jake Odorizzi Bay Rays
#85 NL win leaders
#104 Bud Norris Orioles
#128 Anthony Swarzak Twins
#171 Mike Foltynewicz Astros
#175 Adrian Beltre Rangers
#199 Eric Young Jr. Mets
#204 Eduardo Escobar Twins
#329 Logan Forsythe Bay Rays
#311 Jhonny Peralta Cardinals
#335 Matt Barnes Red Sox
#349 NL RBI leaders

Pack 2:
#9 2104 World Series -Game 4
#37 Arismendy Alcantara Cubs
#52 Fernando Rodney Mariners
#56 Matt Garza Brewers
#57 Lyle Overbay Brewers
#106 Pedro Alvarez Pirates
#169 Adam Jones Orioles
#207 Bryce Harper Nationals
#298 Rymer Liriano Padres
#308 Carl Crawford Dodgers
#I1 Manny Machado/Cal Ripken Jr. Orioles
#JR3 .387 with Kansas City
Pack 3:
#15 Joey Votto Reds
#35 Brandon Moss Athletics
#42 Todd Frazier Reds
#66 Vance Worley Pirates
#110 Tony Sipp Astros
#153 Josh Reddick Athletics
#184 B.J.Upton Braves
#260 David Peralta D-backs
#271 Pittsburgh Pirates 
#310 Jake Lamb D-backs
#8A '74 Gerald Ford
#F40-7 Andre Dawson Cubs
Pack 4:
#61 NL ERA leaders
#78 Yordano Ventura Royals
#86 Tim Hudson Giants refractor?
#94 Tommy Kahnle Rockies
#208 Wilin Rosario Rockies
#209 Daniel Corcino Reds
#232 Andrew Susac Giants
#253 Gregory Polanco Pirates
#276 Conor Gillaspie White Sox
#278 David Phelps Yankees
#342 San Diego Padres
#H12 Roger Maris Yankees
Pack 5:
#28 Alex Cobb Bay Rays
#73 Freddie Freeman Braves
#101 Scooter Gennett Brewers
#119 Anibal Sanchez Tigers
#146 Tony Watson Pirates
#147 Andrew Heaney Marlins
#223 Angels
#257 Jarrod Saltalamacchia Marlins
#330 Brain Duensing Twins
#334 Gerardo Parra Brewers
#FP06 Agnes McKee
#H30 Miguel Cabrera Tigers
Pack 6:
#2 AL batting average leaders
#22 Tyler Flowers White Sox
#30 Tanner Roark Nationals
#33 Oakland Athletics
#62 Nolan Arenado Rockies
#89 Michael Choice Rangers
#234 Brandon Belt Giants
#266 Brandon Phillips Reds
#274 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
#304 Shawn Kelley Yankees
#322 Phil Hughes Twins
#JR-4 Signs for the Dodgers
Pack 7:
#2 AL batting average leaders
#22 Tyler Flowers White Sox
#33 Oakland Athletics
#86 Tim Hudson Giants
#89 Michael Choice Rangers
#100 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
#156 Santiago Casilla Giants
#234 Brandon Belt Giants
#266 Brandon Phillips Reds
#274 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
#322 Phil Hughes Twins
#A3 Steve Carlton Phillies
Pack 8:
#8 Miguel Gonzalez Orioles
#26 Bryce Brentz Red Sox
#84 Jonathan Schoop Orioles
#87 Eric Sogard Athletics
#123 Ben Revere Phillies
#133 Daisuke Matsuzaka Mets
#135 Matt Dominguez Astros
#170 Tommy Medica Padres
#172 Didi Gregorius D-backs
#186 Rex Brothers Rockies
#261 Lance Lynn Cardinals
#I6 Joe Mauer/Rod Carew Twins
No major surprises from these packs, although the repetition within packs 6 and 7 is odd or poor quality control.
Come on Series 2!

Friday, 5 June 2015

2015 Topps Opening Day

Opening a few packs of Topps Opening Day well behind the official opening day. 
I have 4 value packs (more value compared to the single pack)that each contain 24 cards, although packs that contain inserts may contain 22 cards. 
Not that I would ever try myself to collect the whole base set of Opening Day, there is a fellow collector here in the UK who is doing just that. He gave himself a mountain though, as he wants a master set with all the inserts and parallels. These packs are to help him out before he leaps onto COMC...

Value pack (rack pack/jumbo?) 1:
#15 Gregory Polanco Pirates
#17 David Ortiz Red Sox
#38 Johnny Cueto Reds
#40 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
#58 Starlin Castro Cubs
#59 Paul Goldschmidt D-backs
#63 Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers
#78 Garrett Richards Angels blue border
#90 Daniel Murphy Mets
#98 Adam Wainwright Cardinals
#117 Hector Santiago Angels
#128 Chase Headley Yankees
#136 Drew Smyly Bay Rays
#138 Gragor Blanco Giants
#139 Marcell Ozuna Marlins
#142 Zack Wheeler Mets
#151 Rusney Castillo Red Sox
#152 Ian Desmond Nationals
#160 Kevin Kiermaier Bay Rays
#174 Michael Brantley Indians
#177 Billy Hamilton Reds
#184 Guiler Rodriguez Rangers
#SC08 Bryce Harper  Nationals
#M01 Baxter the Bobcat
Value Pack 2:
#7 Matt Garza Brewers
#11 Anthony Rizzo Cubs
#22 Gerrit Cole Pirates
#34 Michael Pineda Yankees
#49 Jonny Gomes Athletics
#54 Jeff Samardzija White Sox
#64 Anibal Sanchez Tigers
#65 Michael Wacha Cardinals
#67 Josh Harrison Pirates
#78 Garrett Richards Angels
#82 Joey Votto Reds
#84 Troy Tulowitzki Rockies
#101 Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays
#108 R.A.Dickey Blue Jays
#110 Dalton Pompey Blue Jays
#110 Dalton Pompey Blue Jays blue border 
#122 Justin Verlander Tigers
#149 Jason Castro Astros 
#156 Daniel Corcino Reds
#167 Mike Minor Braves
#195 Carlos Gomez Brewers
#196 Brandon Phillips Reds
#HTD15 Dustin Pedroia Red Sox
#STA-DD Nationals Park

Value pack 3:
#16 Jake Lamb D-backs
#23 Greg Holland Royals
#26 Buster Posey Giants
#29 John Lackey Cardinals
#33 Eric Hosmer Royals
#39 Albert Pujols Angels
#47 Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees!
#61 Yovani Gallardo Brewers
#81 Aroldis Chapman Reds 
#86 Giancarlo Stanton Marlins
#88 Christian Yelich Marlins
#92 Mark Teixeira Yankees
#95 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies
#115 Jason Kipnis Indians
#116 David Freese Angels
#119 Craig Kimbrel Braves
#123 Victor Martinez Tigers
#124 Henderson Alvarez Marlins
#141 Julio Teheran Braves
#155 Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
#157 Cory Spangenberg Padres
#159 Jusitn Morneau Rockies
#HTD-05 Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees (that is just depressing two Ellsbury's in one pack-in the wrong uniform!)
#STA-DA Citi Field
Value pack 4:
#14 Michael Taylor Nationals
#18 Pablo Sandoval Red Sox
#24 Tim Lincecum Giants
#30 Danny Santana Twins
#37 Chris Archer Bay Rays
#45 Bryce Harper Nationals
#50 Rougned Odor Rangers
#62 Jose Bautista Blue Jays
#68 Joe Mauer Twins
#73 Kyle Seager Mariners
#75 Jimmy Rollins Dodgers
#99 Evan Longoria Bay Rays
#103 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
#104 Anthony Ranaudo Red Sox
#127 Francisco Cervelli Pirates
#129 Angel Pagan Giants
#133 Jose Molina Bay Rays blue border
#143 Freddie Freeman Braves
#148 Freda Howard Phillies
#169 Matt Adams Cardinals
#185 Maikel Franco Phillies
#188 Javier Baez Cubs
#HTD-14 Denard Span Nationals
#M17 Mr Met
Hopefully this will help Matt before heading onto COMC. 
A great selection of Red Sox spread across the packs and one awful pack containing two Jacobt Ellsbury's. Why didn't this happen when he was with the Red Sox? 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

2015 Gypsy Queen baseball trading cards

I have ummed and ahhed (an usual expression to show reluctance)about Gypsy Queen for a number of years. It is without doubt a lovely design with the vintage 'feel' featuring an interesting border and picture, although there is some repetition from previous years both in design and photography used. But I have always opted to collect something else, often a set where packs are easier to obtain or just concentrating on a particular insert.
There are 350 base cards including 50 short prints available in a number of different parallels.  There is also a 100 card mini variation set and 50 variations of the base cards featuring pointing, clapping, cheering and hugging- I kid you not.
Freddie sharing the love.
For me the Queen's Throwbacks insert is another beauty like the N174 of 2014. 
These packs, which were obtained out of a loose box from a Walmart in North Carolina,I suspect have been thoroughly searched and I will be surprised if there are any hits.
I have eight packs and each pack contains 6 cards.

Pack 1:
#66 Joe Mauer Twins
#91 Javier Baez Cubs mini
#139 Jason Kipnis Indians
#239 Victor Martinez Tigers
#267 Trevor Bauer Indians
#GS5 Mike Aviles Indians

Pack 2:
#53 Prince Fielder Rangers
#78 Charlie Blackmon Rockies
#131 Zack Wheeler Mets
#163 Willie McCovey mini
#248 Jose Quintana White Sox
#GWO7 David Freese Cardinals

Pack 3:
#9 Hank Aaron Braves
#138 Greg Maddux Braves mini
#194 Alex Gordon Royals
#199 Mike Zunino Mariners
#279 Jered Weaver Angels
#76 Gio Gonzalez Nationals Bronze paper frame 383/499

Pack 4:
#93 Max Scherzer Nationals
#167 Ian Kinsler Tigers
#158 Rymer Liriano Padres
#196 Travis D'Arnaud Mets
#261 Hunter Pence Giants
#BBMR8 Infield Shift mini

Pack 5:
#40 Jorge Soler Cubs
#111 Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers
#174 Chase Utley Phillies
#191 Pablo Sandoval Red Sox
#268 Elvis Andrus Rangers mini
#336 Mariano Rivera Yankees

Pack 6:
#51 Anthony Rendon Nationals
#52 Nelson Cruz Mariners
#148 Anibal Sanchez Tigers mini
#200 Mike Napoli Red Sox
#233 Bartolo Colon Mets
#QT10 Rougned Odor Rangers

Pack 7:
#35 Nolan Ryan Rangers mini
#65 Devin Mesoraco Reds
#221 Jean Segura Brewers
#238 Carlos Beltran Yankees
#271 Lance Lynn Cardinals
#PC-DO David Ortiz Red Sox

Pack 8:
#90 Carlos Santana Indians
#100 Willie Mays Giants
#103 Taijuan Walker Mariners
#203 Nick Castellanos Tigers mini
#204 Jake Odorizzi Bay Rays
#214 Daniel Murphy Mets

 Well a pretty good selection. Three Red Sox, a few inserts, a mini in every pack, a short print and a numbered insert. Some of the inserts- Bronze frame and Pillars are listed has having a ratio of 1 in 27 packs! So I am fairly content, nice looking cards too.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

2013 Topps Update baseball

Here is the second part of the Holiday Mega box- 5 packs of 2013 Topps Update. 
The 2013 Topps Update set honestly contains a card, that was a variation of a Prince Fielder card, of Prince George of England (Cambridge). Produced shortly after his birth and features the Rookie logo. 

This is one of the many variations that are available in Update, but unlikely that we, as ordinary collectors, will pull from a pack. It has been suggested that some of the shorter printed variations fall 1 in every 2 cases. Those a long odds. 
So what can we expect from Update? A 330 base set plus more cards to 'chase'. Eight different parallels, plus a 'BOSTON STRONG'  parallel. Silk cards, mini cards, mini relic cards, Chasing History, All-Star stitches, All-star relic...and so on. 
Further to a recent post, my 2013 collection folder is a rather bare. I still need the following Red Sox to complete the Update set:
#US63 Clay Buchholz
#US84 Stephen Drew
#US108 Ryan Kalish
#US144 Drake Britton RC
#US149 Daniel Bard
#US177 David Ortiz
#US207 Matt Thornton
#US285 David Ortiz
#US314 Junichi Tazawa
#US326 Jake Peavy

I have 5 packs of 2013 Update, each pack contains 8 cards.

Pack 1:
#11 Joakim Soria Rangers
#25 Wade Davis Royals
#81 Casey Kotchman Marlins
#153 Jeff Francoeur Giants
#210 Matt Albers Indians
#252 Preston Claiborne Yankees RC
#323 Robinson Cano Yankees
#MM49 Kyle Gibson Twins

Pack 2:
#20 Carlos Gomez Brewers
#36 Daisuke Matsuzaka Indians
#79 Yu Darvish Rangers
#105 Corey Kluber Indians
#112 Luke Gregerson Padres
#143 checklist Tim Lincecum Giants 
#149 Daniel Bard Red Sox
#TM18 Justin Verlander mini

Pack 3:
#5 Chris Sale White Sox
#23 Mike Olt Cubs RC
#43 Luke Putkonen Tigers
#93 Adam Wainwright Cardinals
#171 Nick Punto Dodgers
#193 Max Scherzer Tigers Emerald foil
#223 Jose Velverde Tigers
#271 Francisco Liriano Pirates 

Pack 4:
#1 Matt Harvey Mets
#144 Drake Britton Red Sox RC
#167 Randall Delgardo D-backs
#220 Zack Wheeler Mets RC
#226 Michael Cuddyer Rockies
#279 Marcell Ozuna Marlins RC
#315 Bruce Rondon Tigers RC
#CH144 Yasiel Puig Dodgers

Pack 5:
#65 Ryan Roberts Bay Rays
#125 J.J.Hardy Orioles
#126 Mike Zunino Mariners RC
#228 Matt Moore Bay Rays gold border 0753/2013
#240 Paul Goldschmidt D-backs
#254 Brian Wilson Dodgers
#328 Eric Sogard Athletics
#FF10 Fernandez/Stanton Marlins

Two great Red Sox to cross off the vacancy list and apart from the various Rookie cards-that was it. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

2013 Topps Series 1 baseball

2013 was a quiet year in my collecting calendar. My house was being torn apart and slowly put back together, so all my cards were safely packed and locked away in the shed.
It is only just in the last few months that I started to properly clear my shed. I have unearthed some hidden gems and not just baseball wise. 
I also have this chance to update the vacancy lists.  
It is not often that I need so many cards from Topps flagship set however there are quite a few still needed in 2013. I completely missed Topps Archives this year as well, which is really annoying as I have enjoyed Archives in the past few years.
I still need these Red Sox from Series 1 and 2:
#15 Dustin Pedroia 
#32 Craig Breslow 
#64 Will Middlebrooks 
#66 Daniel Nava 
#91 Alfredo Aceves 
#118 Daisuke Matsuzaka 
#279 Vicente Padilla 
#291 Ryan Sweeney 
#301 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 
#348 Jonny Gomes 
#555 Joel Hanrahan 
#618 Koji Uehara 
#659 Mike Napol

Three packs to get the ball rolling. Each pack contains 12 cards and the front suggests I look for exclusive red bordered cards which means these cards were purchased in Target.

Pack 1:
#9 Ryan Braun Brewers
#39 Scott Feldman Rangers
#42 Detroit Tigers
#43 R.A.Dickey Mets Emerald Foil
#93 Austin Kearns Marlins 
#142 Tony Cingrani Reds
#169 Brad Ziegler D-backs
#175 A.J.Ramos Marlins
#210 Vernon Wells Angels
#214 Curtis Granderson Yankees
#240 J.J. Putz D-backs
#322 Alex Gonzalez Brewers

Pack 2:
#44 Anthony Rizzo Cubs
#95 AL league Leaders
#108 Kendrys Morales Angels
#130 Jason Motte Cardinals
#166 Logan Ondrusek Reds
#205 Ryan Theriot Giants
#256 Madison Bumgarner Giants
#271 Jeurys Familia Mets
#275 Johnny Cueto Reds
#278 Christian Garcia Nationals
#280 Rafael Dolis Cubs
#CD-17 Addison Reed White Sox

Pack 3:
#14 Paul Konerko White Sox Red border
#121 Delmon Young Tigers
#162 Kyle Seager Mariners
#190 Daniel Descalso Cardinals
#191 Chris Capuano Dodgers
#200 Scott Downs Angles
#201 Jonny Venters Braves
#266 Albert Pujols Angels Checklist
#292 Matt Thornton White Sox
#302 Aaron Hill D-backs
#304 Kyle Drabek Bue Jays
#CD-7 Jesus Montero Mariners

So I am no closer to completing the 2013 Red Sox.