Thursday, January 10, 2019
Little more high-end than you'd expect from me, eh?
I went into a D&A run knowing I needed to get Chronicles, but I had a little extra paycheck to cover this. So I saw that Gold Label was on sale, realized that I kinda enjoyed the older Gold Label sets Topps put out in the 2000s, and...went with it. Like, what's the worst that could happen? I get some base cards and a shit hit?
That was...inevitably what happened, but...I still don't think I did badly here.
7 packs per box, 5 cards per pack. Three types of base cards, and one guaranteed framed autograph per box. Here we go:
Wil Myers' card is a black parallel, which aren't numbered, but are seeded 1:2 packs. The black stripe isn't shiny or anything, but it's subtle enough to not undermine the card.
We reach the hit early...and....
Look, if Luis Castillo had some better numbers (other than strikeouts) I'd feel a little bit better about this. But...he's a third-starter for a team that's had notorious rotation issues. He's had a lot of potential, but has yet to have a winning season. His best year, 2018, was a 10-12 season with a 4.30 ERA and 165 strikeouts. He's...a very meh hit. And thankfully I do have a trusted place to send this to.
New York heroes in Class 1s. Sevvy does look cool in a set like this. And I dig the Conforto alt-uni.
Verlander's, which does at least have an alt-uni, is a black parallel. Which...in Class 3 is apparently pretty rare. Not bad.
I don't really see why Mark McGwire needs to be in modern Topps sets, but fine. The Stanton makes up for him.
Again, I prefer Verlander's C3 one, but it's nice to get three of the best pitchers in baseball in the same pack.
Buxton has the best main photo of the three, yet has the least amount of reason to be in this set. Still, solid enough base.
This is an odd set. Not a complete hit for me, especially considering how it blandifies the original versions. But there are good moments, they're just...fleeting. Topps could have done a bit better here, though the rip could have been a ton worse.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
It's been a while since we've had a box break on here, so how about some Panini tomfoolery?
2018 Panini Chronicles was a pleasant surprise, giving me some frankenset flashbacks to 2008 UD Timeline, and making itself known as an interesting, if fundamentally flawed, set. So, when Dave an Adams had themselves a sale on THREE blasters of the 2017 version of the product, for a very low price, I jumped at it. I know, it's Panini...poor, logoless Panini, but they can put out good stuff if given the right ideas.
So...we have three 4-pack blasters...or, essentially, a 12-pack mega-blaster. Woo.
Let's get to the packs:
So right away, you can see the difference between the 2017 and 2018 versions of Chronicles. In 2017, there was a definite, tangible base set. It looks like this. It's inspired, but slightly wordy. Like Flair meets Fleer Emotion, multiplied by a calculus textbook. Not that the paragraphs are out of place, just...I don't see why they couldn't have gone on the backs. Design-wise, the base set is cool enough, though.
Also, even if this is a one-year-old product, nobody in this pack is still on their listed team.
All Red teams. Or just...3 Reds and a Phillie. Good to see Pete Rose in this set. Topps doesn't like him.
Miguel Sano, who had a FANTASTIC 2017 season...or at least a really good first half, is the subject of this jersey relic, which fortunately does have a navy pinstripe in it. This is definitely a cool enough relic, and it's #'d to 99, which is pretty cool as well.
...Surprisingly it'll get better than that in this break.
Generally standard base stuff here. Freeman's the only one still with that team. Reynolds' looks pretty cool, tbh. It's one of those that'd be better as a full vertical card.
Standard base here, though it was nice to see the poster boy, Anthony Rizzo, as well as fringe player Ben Gamel and legend Ryne Sandberg.
Rose and El Torito are dupes. Solarte and Harper aren't. Nice to see Harper, pre-inevitable contract.
I just happened upon a bat card of Mike Piazza, one of the best hitting catchers of all time. A BAT CARD. Numbered to 99.
Like...I don't have the kind of luck to pull something like this, even if it is out of a blaster from Dave and Adam's. This is just nice.
So...those were a bunch of 2017 Chronicles blasters. I still prefer the 2018 version, for its frankenset-ness, but...this version had some cool inserts, that AWESOME Absolute Memorabilia design, and two really nice hits. So I'd say that break was a net-win.
I did manage to get another box from D&A's...and it'll go up within the week. I did...sort of well on that one as well.
Monday, January 7, 2019
I did a bunch of these Anyone Can Pitch posts throughout the year, as this year ended up becoming, unofficially, the year of the pitching hitter. Since 2018 is over, I'll just unload the rest of them here. Besides, I've got another original custom series on the horizon, and I wanna get to those as soon as I can. I like posting consistently in January, and I'd love to keep it going.
Anyway, one of the more high-profile hitters to try the mound this year was Mark Reynolds, the journeyman home-run basher who mainly succeeded off the bench this year. Reynolds had a simple enough job- close out a loss against the Marlins. He faced one batter, and got him out. Not bad for his sole pitching appearance.
I'll probably bring this one back next year. I do, however, need to revamp the design of this AND Stars are Out. They're both a bit too 2015.