Saturday, February 28, 2015

2 Hanger Boxes of 2015 Topps Series 1

Yeah, I know I've barely posted anything this year, and I am trying to change that, but let's at least start with some new cards I nabbed today at Target. Because 2015 Topps is still fresh in the minds of the blogosphere, and me, I decided to get 2 hanger boxes of the stuff.

Box #1-
135- Matt Dominguez. One of the many misfits that make up the starting nine in Houston.
170- Tommy Medica. Will likely see less playing time thanks to the Carnival of Contracts debuting in San Diego.
26- Bryce Brentz
199- Eric Young Jr. Looks like Junior will be similar to his father, in that they're both journeyman outfielders with a nice amount of speed.
175- Adrian Beltre, whose job will be to carry the entire Rangers team, like usual, this year.
104- Bud Norris, who finally had some nice games in Baltimore last year.
330- Brian Duensing. Y'know, normally this would be the last card in the set. Topps decided they wanted to throw 20 extra BS cards in this year.
28- Alex Cobb.
73- Freddie Freeman, who, as promised, is easing into the Chipper Jones Obligatory Leader position.
188- MadBum PS Highlight
256- Adam Eaton
247- Aaron Hill. Which Aaron Hill will show up this year? The one from 2009 and 2012, or any of the other ones?
127- League Leaders
81- Chris Young, coming off a pretty nice season.
18- Cody Allen
35- Brandon Moss, now on the Indians.
232- Andrew Susac, backup catcher in San Francisco.
94- Tommy Kahnle
141- Cory Spangenberg RC (Shiny Version)
Archetype of Jackie Robinson. Have this one.
Highlight of the Year of Mike Schmidt. I will never not be excited to pull a Mike Schmidt card.
Jackie Robinson story insert of his years of military service.
ROBBED insert of Michael Morse, who is now in Miami, after finally getting a World Series ring.
First Pitch insert of 50 CENT. Would have loved someone I actually care about, but Fiddy is a decent one.
Free Agent 40 insert of REGGIE JACKSON...ON THE YANKEES! Very nice.
72- Jordan Lyles
233- CHOOCH!
55- Trevor May RC
216- Greg Holland. The guy's 29 and has 113 saves. If he has seasons like his last two, we could be looking at another Trevor Hoffman.
99- Yonder Alonso
174- Jesus Guzman
345- Brandon Cumpton
103- Guilder Rodriguez. Never thought I'd ever encounter a card of someone named after the rival village from the Princess Bride.
137- Alcides Escobar, one of the best infielders in the game right now.
3- Rene Rivera
312- Kyle Lobstein
102- Gordon Beckham. Beckham is back with the White Sox, but it was nice of Topps to give us a card of him on the Angels.
17- Brian McCann, who I'm actually really thankful to have on my team.
109- Doug Fister, one of the strongest pitchers in the game to not be the first starter.
125- Troy Tulowitzki. As much as the gossipers want him in pinstripes, I'm not certain that he'd be too great here. I could be disastrously wrong, though.
212- Cliff Lee. I'm hoping for another great season from this guy. He's great to watch.
192- Joc Pederson RC
347- Dexter Fowler
229- Bryan Morris
139- Gary Brown RC
323- Eric Hosmer. I have all of these.
76- Ian Kennedy
144- Rusney Castillo RC
93- Andre Ethier. Finally one I don't have.
24- Mets tc
210- Salvador Perez checklist.
313- leader
221- Jason Kipnis
234- Brandon Belt. Back into the cards I need.
30- Tanner Roark, who's now the 5th starter, proving how ridiculously packed the Nationals rotation is.
203- Paul Goldschmidt, who has made a lot of progress in a few years.
105- Jeff Baker
208- Wilin Rosario, who has become one of the best hitting catchers in the NL.
187- Marlon Byrd. Well, it only took ten years and seven changes of teams, but Marlon Byrd finally put up some good numbers for the Phillies...only for them to trade him to Cincinnati.
191- Yimi Garcia
226- Dioner Navarro. Hey, remember when people cared about this guy?
264- Tony Cingrani, who the Reds need this year.
46- Wilson Ramos, who was traded for Matt Capps. Nice acquisition for the Nats.
68- Lonnie Chisenhall, who FINALLY had a nice season last year.
118- Domonic Brown. Where was the stuff he had in 2013?
108- Jorge Soler rookie. Very, very nice.
54- Joe Nathan, one of the best closers in the game right now.
193- Buck Farmer
Yasiel Puig 1st Home Run
Jose Abreu 1st Home Run

Box #2-
77- Edwin Escobar
246- Chris Carter. According to his back bio, he's seen the movie Gone in 60 Seconds at least 20 times. That's a lot of Cage.
287- Everth Cabrera, who was just cut last week.
241- Dilson Herrera
182- Devin Mesoraco, who had a hell of a year last year.
183- Craig Gentry
65- Alexei Ramirez, still a great presence in the White Sox lineup.
44- Gio Gonzalez, who is the unofficial sixth member of the Nationals rotation.
5- Josh Donaldson, now on the Blue Jays
120- Yoenis Cespedes, now (thankfully) on the Tigers.
25- Jose Bautista. I don't think he took steroids anymore. I like him slightly more now. Still plays in my division, but he's okay to me.
9- Hunter Pence WS Game 4. MORE PENCE CARDS! YES!
219- Kennys Vargas
168- Rockies
140- Alex Avila
303- Ike Davis, now on the A's
97- Dalton Pompey, who is being touted for a huge rookie season.
243- Al Albuquerque.
298- Rymer Liriano RC
59- Jake Odorizzi GOLD #D TO 2015
Giancarlo Stanton Archetypes insert
Highlight of the Year of Enos Slaughter. Not every day you see him on a current card.
Jackie Robinson story I already have
A card of Sandra Day O'Connor.
Inspired Play of Cabrera and Kaline
237- Lucas Duda. One of the best hitters on the Mets.
84- Jonathan Schoop
128- Anthony Swarzak
329- Logan Forsythe
101- Scooter Gennett, the guy who booted Rickie Weeks out of Milwaukee
268- Aroldis Chapman. Best closer in baseball? Best closer in baseball.
168- John Jaso
194- David Murphy, whose Topps card is way too boring this year.
143- Jonathan Papelbon, who Ken Giles is chasing after this year in Philly.
238- Hyun-Jin Ryu, the strong third-starter in LA
34- Charlie Blackmon
141- A regular version of the Cory Spangenberg rookie card
282- Alex Presley
296- Charlie Morton
134- Brett Lawrie, now on the Athletics
344- Manny Parra
279- Coco Crisp
1- DEREK...JETER!!!!
122- Corey Kluber, the AL Cy Young winner
51- Ryan Howard, who has definitely slowed down
315- Javier Baez RC
40- Joakim Soria. Very happy about this guy's comeback.
79- Starling Marte
317- Clayton Kershaw cl
43- Starlin Castro
314- Jackie Bradley Jr
341- Leaders
88- MadBum WS Game 7
270- Steven Moya
155- Jesse Chavez
228- Jake Peavy. Sometimes I forget how long he's been pitching for.
75- Dustin Pedroia
293- Zach Duke
11- Jon Jay
130- Mike Napoli, who needs to go away.
27- Kendrys Morales, now in Kansas City
198- Alexi Ogando
47- Anthony Rizzo
Victor Martinez 1st Home Run
Adam Jones 1st Home Run

Those were pretty nice. I got a nice selection out of those.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Uncustomed Heroes of 2014: Twins

Yup. Still never finished posting these damn things. Three more left. Might as well burn 'em off like they're episodes of Celebrity Apprentice.

Phil Hughes had a pretty nice season, considering he hasn't pitched this well since the early part of the decade. He'll probably be relied upon to make a significant effort next year, because Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco probably won't be the top starter.

Speaking of people named Santana, this one had a pretty nice rookie season, having nice play in both the outfield and shortstop, and making sure my fantasy team still had a utility guy.

Another Twins rookie, this guy had significant playing time in the Outfield, and looks to be a surefire starter for next season.

Kennys Vargas was a midseason call up that worked into being the regular DH by the end of the season, and having a number of nice clutch home runs. The David Ortiz comparisons are out in full force, and hopefully Vargas will outlive them.

Nothing happier than the sight of a longtime middle-reliever finally getting his chance to close out an All Star game, in his hometown city no less. Glen Perkins had one of the better baseball stories this year. Here's hoping it continues.

Coming Tomorrow (?)- A bunch of White Sox stars.

The Padres: Are They For Real?

We've seen this before. A team that has spent a few seasons at the wrong end of the standings spends their entire offseason gobbling up huge players and contracts in an effort to finally contend. The 2012 Marlins got Mark Buehrle, Carlos Zambrano, Jose Reyes and Heath Bell, and in return, they ended up in last place. The 2013 Blue Jays got Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and Melky Cabrera, and that resulted in two straight third place finishes.

I've written about this topic a few times before- a team that thinks stockpiling their roster with big stars and contracts is the way to get to first place will usually get them to last place. And yet here comes another one. And the funny thing is that this one actually looks promising.

The reason the other two teams did not benefit from absorbing all of this talent is because the foundation they had before the deals was minimal. The Marlins had one or two great players, like Josh Johnson and Giancarlo Stanton, and also Hanley Ramirez (though he'd be gone by the end of the end of the season). The Blue Jays had Encarnacion, Bautista, and whatever was left of Ricky Romero. They didn't have a lot to add to the new additions, so much so that the transition didn't work.

The Padres already have a nice, albeit underdeveloped, foundation of a team already. Their infield, off Amarista, Gyorko, Alonso and what was going to be Cory Spangenberg, was solid, youthful, and nice. They had three strong outfielders, one of which (Seth Smith) has already been traded away). They have two really nice pitchers in Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner, and a potentially good one in Odrisamer Despaigne.

It helps that they already have a relatively decent team that the new additions can add to. Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton will be a well-formed outfield. The only thing is that Kemp and Myers are questionable, which means hanging onto Cameron Maybin and Will Venable are good ideas. And James Shields will only bolster the already-good rotation.

The only thing working against the roster is unreliability. Middlebrooks, Kemp and Myers are all coming off of down seasons, and Kemp especially is a large risk. Plus, like the Blue Jays and Marlins, there is the possibility that all of this potential might not amount to anything.

Again, we'll find out how much of a reality this can be once the season starts, but the addition of James Shields does bring a lot more legitimacy to this team.

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Topps Series 1: The First Taste

One of the great things about going to college, specifically my college, is that civilization isn't too far away. I can hop on a bus and wind up in White Plains, where there's a movie theater, a Chiptole, and, best of all, a Target. Which means once I found out that 2015 Topps was out, and once I configured my schedule so that i had an off day to spend in White Plains, I made it a point to go in and get some Topps.

I was, thankfully, victorious, and got two fat rack packs and one blaster, which I'll post a little later. For now, I'll give my two rack packs, my first actual taste of the product.

Pack One:
and my first Topps card of 2015 is.....
333- BILLY HAMILTON! As first cards go, this is a pretty damn nice one. This guy, if he has seasons like he did in 2014 (and 2012 in the minors), will be excellent.
Also, I freaking love the design this year, because it barely even looks like a Topps card. It's that cool looking, and I doubt I'll tire of it anytime soon. The backs are just as good as the fronts, rectifying all the problems people had with the 2014 backs.
302- Martin Prado. Gee, Topps. Thanks for reminding me that we traded this guy to Miami. Real nice.
178- Speaking of Miami, here's Christian Yelich. He's turned into a nice everyday outfielder for the Marlins, which is nice.
52- Fernando Rodney, in his Archer's Pose. The photos in this set are score-esque in their crisp-ness.
37- Arismendy Alcantara. For all Topps has gotten wrong with the Future Stars subset, Alcantara is technically a Future Star, as he spent half of last season with the Cubs, and is still not a household name.
169- Adam Jones, who, thanks to the departure of Nick Markakis, has become the anchor of the Baltimore offense. Which awesome, because everybody loves Adam Jones.
197- Glen Perkins. Six seasons as a set-up man. Three as one of the best closers in the AL. I'm happy this guy's got such a nice following in Minneapolis.
289- Matt Joyce, who is...playing somewhere else this year. I forget where, it's just not Tampa.
255- James Russell, the first guy in the pack who I have absolutely no idea about.
227- A really freaking awesome shot of Madison Bumgarner, in Game 5 of the World Series.
277- Reds team card. Not too happy with the resurrection of Managers and Team cards in favor of, you know, more players that don't usually get Topps cards.
325- Felix Hernandez, the best pitcher in the American League, hands down.
60- Michael Wacha, who is still making his way up in the Cardinals rotation.
271- Pirates team card.
154- Brandon Finnegan RC
326- CJ Wilson, who has become the modest 2nd starter in LA
351- Tom Koehler
234- Brandon Belt, hopefully more intent to stay healthy in 2015.
Highlight of the Year insert of Mark McGwire in 1998. While that was indeed the highlight of the year, I really wish it was somebody I collected.
First Home Run insert of Freddie Freeman, which is nice.
A '76 insert of Reggie Jackson...AS AN ORIOLE!!! Don't see that one every day. That's awesome.
Dummy sweepstakes card. I think everyone's over these.
Free Agent 40 insert of Greg Maddux. I like this insert idea, and I love Maddux.
216- Greg Holland, who is shaping up to be one of the best closers in the league.
99- Yonder Alonso, a member of the Suddenly Amazing San Diego Padres
335- Matt Barnes RC
231- Andrew Cashner, who has made himself a nice career in San Diego
56- Matt Garza. 2015 will be Garza's tenth season in the bigs. Since 2006, he's played for five teams. I always thought he was younger than that.
311- Jhonny Peralta, who's basically just turned into Fernando Vina.
334- Gerardo Parra.
257- Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I'm surprised by how he's made it in the majors. I thought he'd be a one-season wonder.
147- Andrew Heaney, pictured as a Marlin, which is three teams ago for him.
295- Erick Aybar.
267- Zack Greinke, who's become one of the best pitchers in  baseball, and part of one of the best rotations in baseball.
67- HUNTER PENCE, one of my favorite players. And he looks so goofy on this card.
121- Garrett Jones, half of our end of the Martin Prado deal. He's a nice home run hitter, but we didn't especially need another DH.

Pack 2-
82- Nick Tepesch.
201- Tommy La Stella
200- MIGUEL CABRERA! I swear, we're looking at a Future Hall of Famer right here. He just needs some more amazing seasons.
36- Julio Teheran, who's probably the best pitcher in Atlanta.
151- CJ Cron
116- Vidal Nuno, former Yankee.
340- Carlos Gomez, who's revitalizing the Brewers.
286- Trevor Rosenthal, a nice closer.
219- Kennys Vargas. We're looking at a nice DH prospect for the Twins.
168- Rockies team card.
332- Kyle Seager, who's made his mark in Seattle.
19- Orioles team card.
258- Royals team card. Depicted, likely, is the possible murder and cannibalization of Norichika Aoki.
196- Cubs team card.
117- Sean Doolittle, who's shaping up to be the next Brian Wilson.
261- Lance Lynn, one of the few Cardinals pitchers that stuck around.
186- Rex Brothers
171- Mike Foltynewicz RC
119- Anibal Sanchez, who, with the departures of Scherzer and Porcello, is now the FOURTH starter in Detroit, rather than the fifth.
54- Joe Nathan. This is one of those newfangled Rainbow Parallels. Not numbered, either, which sucks.
Archetypes insert of Mark McGwire. McGwire's Archetype, according to the card, is POWER. I wish it wasn't artificial power.
1st Home Run insert of Joe Mauer. These are fun.
Inspired Play insert of Stan Musial and Mark McGwire. One of these people is dead, the other is just dead to Bud Selig. (Sidenote- how many McGwire inserts are in this damn set??)
176- Jose Abreu. On the back, somebody screwed up the stats, making it look like he hit 93 home runs over 79 at bats in 2011.
348- Carlos Santana.
155- Jesse Chavez
249- Jose Reyes, who is still a great player, albeit not to his Mets standards.
157- Ubaldo Jimenez, who still cannot replicate his one good season.
41- Chris Colabello
324- Chris Archer, who has some serious shoes to fill in Tampa.
202- Mike Minor.
185- Ricky Nolasco
230- Jean Segura
161- Howie Kendrick, now on the Dodgers.
213- And we end on Jered Weaver.

I already love this set, and can't wait to open more.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mr. Cub

This one hit me pretty hard. One of the greatest baseball players of all time, and the greatest Chicago Cub of all time. He'll definitely be missed, especially on the North Side of Chicago.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nostalgic Box Break: 1994 Stadium Club Series 3 (Part 2)

Yesterday, we began our rip into a box of 1994 Stadium Club Series 3. It was a bit of a spoiler that today I posted that Julio Franco was one of the last three cards I needed to complete the series. So yes, I did will enough in this box to almost complete the set. Spoiler alert.

Then again, it's a third series, and I usually come within inches of completion of a usual Series 3 of Stadium Club, so it's not really a spoiler.

Ah, who cares. On with the rip.

Pack 13:
Cards I needed: 7/13
Doubles: 5/13
Inserts: 1/13
Hall of Famers: 1/13

Three cool sideways shots. Jeff Treadway's is the best, because there's a could of dust in the distance.

Our Fantastic Finisher on the pack is the Big Hurt himself, Frank Thomas. I'm happy he made it into the Hall of Fame. He is a classic hitter.
Our 'Finest' insert is of the 1993 ROY, Tim Salmon. Back in 1994, he was evidently a big deal.

I didn't do a group shot for Pack 14, so we'll dip right into it, with a card of Darrin Jackson, and a rookie card of one of the Alex Gonzalez' that played in the MLB. Don't make me figure out which one.

Willie McGee, in one of his few seasons on the Giants, hits a homer, alongside two guys that I don't really know too well.

Our rookie Rocker this pack was of Bob Hamelin, the eventual '94 AL ROY. What we're learning is that the AL did not have a great sense of career in picking their Rookies of the Year.
Meanwhile, David Justice is the umpteenth Finest insert.

Carlos Delgado's rookie card actually showed up in the 1993 Stadium Club set, appropriately enough in Series 3. I like this card a lot though. Look at that smile.
Javy Lopez in catcher's gear, like basically everybody else in this set.

Pack 15-
Doubles: 3/13
Cards I need: 10/13
Hall of Famers: 1/13
Guys named after hotel chains: 1/13
Three stars of the 90's. Al Leiter was a great pitcher for the Blue Jays and Mets. Felix Fermin was a nice infielder. Marquis Grissom was an excellent power hitter.

Howard Johnson was an All-Star with the Mets. Here he is wasting his career away in Denver.
Dan Wilson, in yet another catcher's shot.\

John Smoltz was signing at the White Plains show I went to a few months ago. I didn't get his signature, because I didn't know how much it was.
Steve Trachsel is best known for being the guy that gave up Mark McGwire's 62nd home run of the 1998 season.

Pack 16:
Doubles: 12/13
Cards I needed: 1/13
Vince Coleman saved this pack from being a complete waste of time. Then again, any Vince Coleman after the 80's ended is a waste of time.

Pack 17-
Doubles: 6/13
Cards I needed: 7/13
Hall of Famers: 1/13

I posted this combo for the Rick Sutcliffe. This was sadly Sutcliffe's last season, which makes this card with the Cardinals one of his last. It's a pretty awesome shot, too.

Jose Rijo had one more season before embarking on a half-decade-long stint on the DL. Poor guy.
Eddie Murray, in a wonderful shot, was still doing awesome things on the Indians, and had a few more years left in his career before his retirement in 1997.

Pack 18:
Doubles: 4/13
Cards I need: 9/13
Subset cards of future stars: 2/13
Hard to believe that Mitch Williams was still playing after the '93 series. I've heard he's a nice guy, and he's local, but...sad.
Delino Deshields was one of the guys that lured Pedro Martinez out of LA. Sorry for reminding you, Night Owl.

These are pretty cool, because Carlos Delgado and Manny Ramirez would become huge stars after these cards came out. To get them in the same pack is pretty nice too.

Pack 19-
Doubles: 5/13
Cards I need: 8/13
Botched super-prospects: 1/13
Guys that should be in the Hall of Fame: 1/13

Bobby Jones, the guy who gave the Mets a reason to play Counting Crows over the loudspeaker during warmups.
Todd Van Poppel, whose sheer existence makes Stephen Strasburg bless his throwing arm daily.

Lonnie and Bream are great players...but that teal is distracting me.

Jack Morris, one of the best pitchers of the 80's, played his final season as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Yes, he did indeed show up to spring training with the Reds, but he didn't actually play a game in Cincinnati. Therefore, this Stadium Club issue of Morris in an Indians jacket is one of his last cards. At least it's a nice one.

Pack 20-
Doubles: 11/13
Cards I need: 2/13
Steroid Abusers: 1/13

Juan Gonzalez and Darren Holmes were the only salvageable parts of this pack.
Pack 21-
Doubles: 4/13
Cards I need: 9/14
Hall of Famers: 1/13
Blogosphere Legends: 1/13


Hector Carrasco is a pretty terrible career pitcher.
Greg Maddux, on the other hand, is pretty awesome. He did indeed have a Fantastic Finish.

Pack 22:
Doubles: 6/13
Cards I need: 7/13
Not a whole lot going on here. Steve Karsay was an okay pitcher, Melido Perez' double play shot is cool, and Fernandez has a nice lunge going, but it's a pretty boring affair.

Pack 23:
Doubles: 11/13
Cards I need: 2/13
Awesome players on cards I need: 2/13

Yup, it's Crime Dog and the Big Unit, which definitely sounds like a cop show. Both cards are pretty awesome, and both guys are great players. Plus, the Johnson is a Dugout Dirt insert, so...

I mean, how cool is that? That is so 90's and so awesome.

Pack 24-
Doubles: 4/13
Cards I need: 9/13

Not much going on, but the Alan Mills card is pretty nice.

So, there's the box. In a few days, when you all have had a chance to breathe, I'll post the next box I got from Amazon. And...truth be told, it's not too different from this one. Just a few Series' earlier.

Friday, January 9, 2015


It was bloggerdom's worst kept secret.

As a set completist, it came as odd that someone had came up with the idea of JustCommons so late in the game. I mean, if all you need to finish a set is a few commons, and JustCommons sells them cheap, completing sets isn't that hard anymore. So I figured I'd give it a whirl.

The card you see above is one of the three cards I needed to complete the 1994 Stadium Club Series 3 set. Now, they didn't have the other two, but they had Julio Franco, so I snapped it up immediately.

And then I thought, well what other sets could I try to complete while I'm here?

A week and fifteen dollars later, my cards arrived, as if coming from a card show I'd never asked for, and I broke into what I bought.

2008 Topps Trading Card History:
Not everyone remembers this, but back in 2008 Topps put out an insert set commemorating years of classic card designs (even pre-Topps), and placed current players in them. Since then, I'd been battling to complete that set, and Just Commons had a bunch of them, including Jim Thome, a Mint Condition favorite.

The set featured all players who were relevant in 2008, which means there are a lot of people like Andruw Jones and Carlos Zambrano, who were great players, but haven't held up over time.

However, they also included players like Alfonso Soriano and Pedro Martinez, who were coming off great seasons and great careers. Soriano will spend a couple years on the Hall of Fame ballot. Pedro spent just one.

And on the flipside, they included four guys that are still pretty relevant today. As a bonus, only one of these guys is still on their pictured team.

For whatever reason, Robbie Cano's card was without a nameplate, maybe to recreate an error card from back in the day. Or maybe Topps assumed that the baseball card community would already know his name, which we did. And thanks to his season in Seattle, we definitely do.

Archives (and yes, there's a ton):
The site also had a ton of Topps Archives commons, which I needed as a set collector. As a sidenote, only chooch is still on his pictured team here. And this is from three years ago.

71's and 80's. Man, this is back when Ted Lilly was still a relevant pitcher. Also, I'm glad Tim Hudson traded in his soul patch for a World Series ring.

'84s. Andrew Bailey was coming off a couple of nice seasons as the closer in Oakland, and Dan Uggla was still a trusted 2nd baseman. Good times.

I didn't need as much from 2013 Archives, but I still needed these close-cropped beauties.

Again, in terms of likeness, the Archives sets mostly got it right. These are extremely close to the original design. I just wish the photos would be a bit grainier.

Hell, I even got some from the 2014 release. Here are two Hall of Fame closers and a really good Dodgers pitcher.

A bunch of '80 needs. I like how they got seldom-used photos for people like Eddie Mathews. Also, I love the Butler and the Swisher.

As a bonus, last year's Archives came equipped with a card of a 2015 Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio, looking pretty young.

But set needs are just one way I can use Just Commons. I can also just use it for collections.

Fun Stuff:

One of the ways I collect is I take players in my binder and try to get a lot of different cards that look cool for them. Diamond Kings are cards I love getting for my binder, because I love the way they feel. All 6 of these are of players I collect, and they'll be going in the binders soon.

I was indeed collecting when 2010 Topps Update came out, but for whatever reason I never pulled a card of Vladimir Guerrero as a Texas Ranger, which sucks, because I love getting cards of players in new uniforms. Took me 4 years to get this card, which is a shame, because he looks like he's having so much fun.

One of the first sets I openly collected when I got into the hobby was 2005 Topps. I remember coming over my old friend Mason's house and trading him 2007 cards for 2005 cards, and then walking off with a great deal of star cards for a couple of 2007 inserts. I never finished nabbing all of the stars from that set, so whenever I see someone I collect from 2005 tops, I grab them. I love the Coco Crisp one, and I love the Nomo because it's his last Topps base card.

In between a lot of the standard shots in 2005, there are some pretty nice shots mixed in, like this 'to the wall' shot of Carl Crawford.

Heck, I even got a card from 2005 Topps Update, of Adrian Beltre in his first year on the Mariners.

Above all the other fun stuff, I wanted to improve my collection of base cards from the 1990's, especially of guys from my binder. Trevor Hoffman is one of those guys, and I got a bunch of his stuff from JustCommons, including his 1995 issue.

A bunch of stars from 1994 Topps, only one of which is currently in the hall of fame, and another one of which will be by this time next year. McGriff, Raines, Hershiser and Martinez deserve it too, but that's besides the point.

And a bunch of 93 Topps' as well, including a goofing-off Jack Morris, and a rare shot of Andres Galarraga as a Cardinal.

In addition to those, I picked up a '93 base card of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio turning two...
and a 'Topps Rookie card' of Trevor Hoffman, the 2nd Greatest Closer of All Time, grimacing for the camera. I've wanted this card ever since I knew it existed, and now I have it, thanks to JustCommons.

So, for a site I'd yet to venture onto before this, I'd say I did a pretty good job at JustCommons. I may be heading back there eventually, for some more set needs.