Monday, December 31, 2018

The Original Rip Card

Imagine pulling a card out of a pack that has another card imbedded inside of it.  You're instantly faced with a dilemmaKeep it intact and never know what's inside or rip it and hope the card inside is better than the card you're tearing.  That's the premise of Allen and Ginter's "rip" cards, which has been inserted into packs since 2006.  But that's old news, right?

What's even older news is that eight years earlier, Pinnacle created something very similar with their 1998 Zenith Dare to Tear product.  Each box contained eighteen packs, each pack had three 5x7 cards, and each 5x7 card contained one standard sized card.

If I ever make a Top 10 Wantlist for Unopened Products, this will probably make the list.  I opened up a ton of the 1997/98 Zenith Dare to Tear Hockey, but only a handful of baseball packs.

Recently, I received a very generous care package from Rod over at Padrographs and he included two "intact" 5x7 cards:

Pinnacle created two different parallels for the 5x7'sSilver Impulse and Gold Impulse (#'d to 100).  The Gwynn is an example of the Silver Impulse parallel, which I didn't have.  What does that mean?  It means that I won't be tearing into it.

The Gwynn remains intact:

Here's a scan of the back.  You'll notice that the card is numbered Z22.  All of the 5x7 cards feature a Z in front of the card number.  The standard sized cards do not.

I thought about keeping the Caminiti intact too, but the curiosity got the best of me.  However, I refuse to actually tear the card.  Instead I cut a slit about 2" from the bottom of the card and carefully pulled the embedded card out:

Here's what I got:

Pinnacle also created two standard sized parallelsZ-Silver and Z-Gold (#'d to 100).  I hit the jackpot and pulled a Z-Silver Tino.  Okay... so this card isn't going to pay this month's mortgage, but it's a nice 90's parallel of a New York Yankees fan favorite who is enshrined in the Hall of Very Good.  Better yet is I have no regrets about slicing the Caminiti.

Well that's it for today.  I still have a bunch of cool stuff to share from Rod's holiday care package, but this post is already dragging out.  I'll get around to posting the rest next weekend.  Right now I'm off to eBay to see if I can track down any unopened boxes of this product.

By the way... I totally understand that this product isn't for everyoneChris Harris over at Stale Gum does a great job of breaking down the negative aspects of this product while ripping into a box a few years ago:

The idea of tearing a baseball card to reveal another baseball card could be considered cardfoolery.  But I just think of the 5x7 card as wrapping paper waiting to reveal the present inside.

What do you think?

Sports card blasphemy or hidden treasures?

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve with their friends, family members, and/or baseball cards!  See ya next year.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Another One Bites The Dust

Remember the five minute post challenge In an effort to push out a blog post before my nieces get back from the grocery store, here's my fourth or fifth attempt.

Ryan over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko sent me a nice holiday care package that helped me finish my 2018 Topps Stranger Things base set.

He also hooked me up with two of the characters stickers I needed for my set:

I'm currently trying to build the three insert sets to go along with the base set, but I'm really tempted to go online and just buy them since it's way cheaper.  Plus I'd have a bunch of cards leftover to giveaway to students.

We'll see what happens in 2019.  Until then...

Thank you Ryan for helping me complete the base set and getting me two steps closer with the character sticker set.

It looks like once again... I've failed the 5 minute blog post challenge... but keeping it under 10 minutes is pretty cool.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Season of Giving (to myself)

Spending quality time with my family and catching up with friends here and there has made the past week or much more hectic (in a good way) than my regular work schedule.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep up with everyone's blog posts.  In fact, I've barely had the opportunity to play around with my own blog or card collection for that matter.  Things should settle down by next week when my "real" vacation begins.

In the meantime, I'll do my best to read your posts and comment whenever I have some free time.  I also apologize to SumoMenkoMan and Padrographs.  Both of these guys sent holiday care packages that have been opened, but thank you posts have yet to be written.  Hopefully I'll find a few minutes to publish something over the weekend.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick story from my Christmas morning.  While everyone in my family sat around opening up presents, my nephew handed his father another present.  Only this present wasn't from his wife, son, daughter, or any other family member.  It wasn't from a co-worker or friend.  It was a gift for himself.

Great minds think alike.  Or maybe it's just a sibling thing.  Whatever the case... last week in the midst of some last minute Christmas shopping, I decided buy myself something:

1999 Topps Autograph #T33

Some of you may remember that I'm currently working on a project involving autographs of every left-handed Cy Young Award winnerSabathia represents the 22nd addition to that collection, leaving only three guys leftFrank Viola (1988 AL), Mark Davis (1989 NL), and Johan Santana (2004/2006 AL).

I honestly thought that Viola was going to be the next guy I'd cross off my list since there are tons of autographs of his floating around and they're very affordable.  But then two Sundays ago, Peter over at Baseball Every Night informed me that I had won his Ugly Baseball Card ContestThe prize?  $35.

I had a few auctions on my watchlist that were ending later in the evening, and one of them was this SabathiaThis card has eluded me for quite some time, because they always seem to close for way more than I'm willing to spend.  However Peter's contest winnings allowed me to increase my max bid and secure a Christmas present for myself that I really, really wanted.

Thank you Peter for hosting this very creative contest.  It was truly awesome reading everyone's contest responses.  I hope you enjoyed a very merry Christmas with your family.

Happy holidays and sayonara!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Secret Santa Haiku

Merry Christmas!  I hope all of you are enjoying quality time with your families, baseball cards, or better yet... both.

I don't envision myself spending any time with my collection today, since I'll be hanging out with my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.  But yesterday, I was able to sneak away and open up the package my Secret Santa sent me.

Inside of the Christmas card, my Secret Santa revealed himself with this haiku.  There's only one card blogger who creatively utilizes the 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable poem on a regular basis... and that's Matt over at Diamond Jesters.

Along with his haiku, he also included this Eric Chavez bat card:

2004 Studio Masterstrokes Bats #MS-18 (#'d 010/200)

This bat card marks the 36th Eric Chavez relic card in my collection.  I haven't actually checked, but I gotta imagine he's in the running with Rickey Henderson and Kurt Suzuki for largest player collection among my Oakland Athletics.

Eric Chavez is one of the greatest Oakland Athletics to never make an all-star team.  From 2001 to 2006, he won six straight Gold Glove Awards, had four 100+ RBI seasons, and hit at least 22 home runs each season.  Unfortunately the second half of his career was marred by injuries and it didn't help that he ended up signing with the New York Yankees.

However... now that he's retired... I don't hold that against him.

Okay moving on to the rest of my Secret Santa gift...

2007 Heritage Felt Logo Box Topper

This oversized piece of felt is truly beautiful and has already found a home in my office.

Matt also sent a team bag filled with cards:

Half are for for my Athletics PC, while the other half are San Francisco Giants for my students.  In addition to these cards, Matt also sent my students four sheets of stickers:

And rounding out the awesome Secret Santa care package is this 2018 Donruss Optic value pack:

Here's a 9-pocket page highlighting the pack:

Thank you Matt!  I hope you and your family are having a very merry Christmas... like I am with my nieces and nephews:

Merry Christmas and sayonara!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Remember the Good Old Days

My brother and his wife host an amazing Christmas party at their beautiful home every year.  I'm not the kind of guy who looks forward to these large social gatherings, but this is usually the one event each year that I RSVP.  The food is delicious... and my sister-in-law's cookies are second to none.  Seriously... they're amazing.

But the highlight is getting to see and catch up with family and friends... a lot of whom I won't see again until next year's party.  In fact... today I saw one of my sister's friends that I hadn't seen in over thirty years.  We had a lot of fun reminiscing and talking about the good old days.

This might sound crazy, but baseball cards sometimes have the same affect on me.  Yesterday, I opened up a care package that Dennis (over at Too Many Verlanders) had sent me last week.  Inside was this autograph:

2016 Topps Scouting Report Autograph #SRA-KSU

Kurt Suzuki is one of my favorite baseball players and has been for more than a decade.  However it's been over five years since he last suited up for the Oakland Athletics.  And even though I'll still look him up from time to time, the days of keeping tabs on him on a daily basis are way in the past.

However seeing this card immediately brought back wonderful memories... just like seeing my sister's friend earlier today at the party.

Thanks Dennis for this awesome autograph!  It's only the third autograph of Suzuki in my collection where he's featured with the Minnesota Twins.

He also sent me this really nice insert of Ichiro:

2003 Donruss Production Line #PL-19

Back in 2003 when this card was originally released, I was out of the hobby.  But one look at the back of this card immediately took me back to the early 2000's when Barry Bonds was dominating National League pitchers.

He also included this nice stack of Japanese baseball players:

Some Greg Maddux cards for my binder:

A pair of Athletics:

And some 49ers and Raiders for my students:

Thank you Dennis for this very generous care package!  It felt good to think back about Kurt and his time here in the Bay Area as well as Bonds in the early 2000's.  Hopefully I can dig up some Tigers for your collections that will motivate you to take a trip down memory lane.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!