Monday, March 11, 2013

Super Pretzel Mike Trout Custom

In yesterday's paper, I ran across a coupon for 50 cents off any Superpretzel product and featured Mike Trout endorsing the product. That got me wondering if they will be doing a card in conjunction with Topps or Panini. A visit to their website didn't give any information, but did feature the Trout promo.

Using the wonder that is Photoshop, I've created my own Trout Super Pretzel card.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Trade with Potch

 Potch of Potch Wheeler and the Cardboard Heroes recently contacted me about three inserts from 2013 Topps Series I that I had posted on the blog and offered some Braves in exchange for them. The package I received from him included an oldie-but-goody:

1992 Post Cereal #29 David Justice

...two new inserts from 2013 Series I:

....a true mini:

and one which I had to do a double take when looking at the card number:

Upper Deck  #1016 Phil Stockman

Thanks again, Potch, for the trade!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

That First Cardboard Buzz of the Season, II

I haven't been a big fan of inserts since probably the mid 90's. I have picked up various Braves inserts since then, but there hasn't been many that I've really desired to chase after- the one exception being the 2010 Topps Vintage Legends. Even that set, though, is incomplete and has been collecting dust for a couple of years now.

Having sworn off collecting the base sets, I still opened a couple of Jumbo packs recently- just to get that itch out of the way, you see. Sure enough, a couple of this year's insert sets have caught my attention; the Cut to the Chase set, as well as the Chasing History, are some of the best ones I've seen in years. Hopefully, I'm disciplined enough to withhold any impulsive purchases. While they are great looking cards, I just don't need something else to chase after. I'm perfectly content with searching out those Braves cards that I need.

If anyone's interested in any of the following cards, drop me a line and let's try to make a deal!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2013 Topps I Buzz

I opened my first two jumbo packs (or any other kind, for that matter) of 2013 Topps I today. And while they weren't enough to get me drunk, I certainly caught a buzz. 

First thoughts: Base design is okay, but it reminiscent of something you would find in a Bowman set (think of the rookies subset in 2008, 2010, 2011 Bowman). I do like that it allows the photograph to be the primary focus, but would like to see the players position to be included on the front. Overall grade for the card fronts:  B+

Obviously, this year's theme is "The Chase"- and I don't understand why Topps seems to think they have to base their flagship brand on some unifying theme. But it is what it is, and most of the inserts have that common theme. Even the base cards include the theme, as the card backs include a Career Chase fact along with the players personal info. If the company is going to include some motif in its set, they might as well tie in the base set as well.

First 2013 Card from pack: Mat Latos- Cincinnati Reds
  Kind of a boring photo. I would like my first card of the new year to be something mind blowing. Perhaps I should have opened the other pack first, which had Buster Posey as the card on top. That would have been a far better way to start.

First 2013 Rookie Card from pack: Adam Greenberg- Miami Marlins
  Sure, that Miami signed Greenberg to a contract last year was a feel-good story, but does he really need to be included in the set? 

First 2013 Insert, er Chase Card from pack: Albert Pujols- Calling Card
  From what I saw in the previews of 2013 Topps, I wasn't overly impressed with this set; my mind has changed, however. The pictures and design of these remind me of some of the high end stuff Topps puts out. Glad these were included.

First Brave Card: Tim Hudson
  Teach me how to Huddy!

Favorite Card (base) Photo: Ben Zobrist- Tampa Bay Rays
  Is he safe, or is he out? The umpires give us no indication, and judging by Zobrist's facial expressions (and body language), it could go either way. There's a few fans who are captured raising their hands, but that doesn't mean he was safe. Perhaps they thought he was safe, only to be disappointed.
On a side note: this card also seems to capture the typical Rays home game: very few fans in the stands. Not hatin'-they did finish last in home attendance.

On To the Chase- to be continued....

The Scariest of Cards

There was a time when I read just about everything that came out by the King of Horror, Stephen King. I don't think it was so much the macabre that compelled me to read his novels as it was that King's just a good storyteller- and I love a good story.

Those who are familiar with King know he's a baseball fan. He's even wrote a few books that deal with the sport.

One of my favorite King novels was The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, a story in which the main character, a 9 year old girl named Trisha McFarland, wanders off of a trail while hiking with her mother and brother. As the hours become days, Trisha's sole solstice is found in the walkman she's carrying- which allows her to listen to her beloved Red Sox games.

A more recent release, the eBook A Face in the Crowd, was a collaboration with Stewart O'Nan (whom King worked with on the non-fiction Faithful...-which chronicled the Boston Red Sox' 2004 season), and is centered around an elderly widower whose reason for living is watching the local Tampa Bay Rays. Strange things-or shall I say, familiar faces- soon begin to enter the picture.

One baseball-related novella by King which I haven't read, but is now on my wantlist, is 2010's Blockade Billy. The probable reason as to why I have never picked it up: judging a book by its cover. Yes, I have to admit that my first (and subsequent) impression is that the book looks like it belongs in the juvenile section of the library. That's not to say that there's no good literature to be found in children's books; it just didn't appeal to me for some reason. My second admission: I didn't even read a synopsis of the novella.

So, what does this have to do with baseball cards, you ask? Well, this morning I came across this article from April of 2012, and I don't recall seeing this card anywhere else.

Apparently, the publisher of King's Blockade Billy decided to release a couple of different limited-editions with a unique twist: a signed copy of a special edition baseball card. The link I referenced above goes into more detail, and I suggest that you read about it there. One thing they failed to note, however, is the design of the card reflects the year in which the story takes place. Yep-you guessed it: 1957.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Topps Baseball Release Countdown #2

1954 Topps #2 Gus Zernial
Zernial wasn't just one of the best ball players no one remembers, he also was supposedly the guy who introduced Joe DiMaggio to Marilyn Monroe, although there are conflicting reports about that story. Here's a brief bio of Gus, entitled A Tale of Two Cities, from the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society website.