Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 Series 1 Box

I'll be honest: I'm not 100% in love with the flagship set Topps put out this year. But what else am I going to by in February? So, of course, I snagged another blaster of this product.

Guaranteed Patch: Hank Aaron. You can't get much better than that.

Pack 1-
248- Stephen Drew
44- Edwin Jackson. The man isn't even thirty, yet this year will be playing on his eighth MLB team. Matt Stairs, your record is in danger.
Paul O'Niell Golden Moments. Never a huge O'Neill fan, but he sure performed for my Yanks.
Nolan Ryan/Jered Weaver Timeless Talents. Okay, that comparison's pretty apt.
252- Dellin Betances rookie. This is my second copy of Dellin's rookie, and I still have no Jesus Montero rookie.
152- Chad Billingsley
270- Starlin Castro. If he wants to be a Chicago legend, he must stay out of trouble.
59- Rangers ALDS.

Pack 2-
2- Trevor Cahill
153- Mark Melancon
298- Jeff Keppinger. This guy's been everywhere
Cal Ripken Golden Greats. I think I have this one.
Tom Seaver Gold Standard
219- Jordan Pachecho
227- Mike Minor263- Steve Delabar

Pack 3-
261- Kyle Blanks
165- Michael Morse. He's a character.
CC Sabathia mini. I love these cards, but sadly I hate minis.
321- Jason Bourgeois
96- Grady Sizemore. I hope for his sake, and for the sake o my Cleveland fan friend, that he rebounds.
18- Colby Lewis
297- leaders
77- leaders

Pack 4-
265- Aroldis Chapman
257- Seth Smith
60- Hanley Ramirez GOLD SHINY
Gold Futures of Anthony Rizzo
41- Devin Mesoraco
328- John Lackey
148- Chris Getz
329- Allen Craig. His name sounds made up.

Pack 5-
276- Scott Baker
254- Phillip Humber
Classic Walkoffs of Jim Thome, hitting his 500th.
Golden Moments of Prince Fielder
79- Austin Romine rookie. Oh, crappy pack collation. You continue to taunt me so.
327- Mark Kotsay. For God's sakes, STOP PLAYING!
78- Erick Aybar
115- Tommy Hanson. I wish he'd stay healthy

Pack 6-
209- AJ Burnett. Well, this is a moot point.
146- Carlos Gomez
Nolan Ryan Golden Greats
CODE CARD! Let's see what I get:
Pittsburgh Pirates coin. Meh.
Wait! That means I get a free code card-
Oh, crap...a Yankees coin. I already have that one. Happy Trading.
202- Andrew Carnigan
139- Scott Sizemore
57- Yuniesky Betancourt
172- Reed Johnson and the seagulls

Pack 7-
208- Mark Reynolds. What a season last year.
286- Franklin Gutierrez
Dustin Pedroia mini
Felix and Pineda Timeless Talents
97- Thome cl

Pack 8-
288- Miguel Montero
320- Matt Holliday
135- Johnny Cueto GOLD SHINY
Al Kaline Gold Standard
275- Brad Peacock
35- Eric Hosmer
268- Miguel Cairo. JUST RETIRE ALREADY!
17- Alex Rios

Pack 9-
168- Blake Beavan
266- Carlos Corporan
Derek Jeter Golden Moments
Eric Hosmer Gold Futures
253- Tim Federowicz
151- Chris Davis
120- Hunter Pence.
103- Madison Baumgarner

Pack 10-
281- Mark Trumbo
64- Michael Martinez
Lou Gehrig Golden Greats. Damn right.
188- Bobby Abreu.317- Tyler chatwood
258- Jon Jay
233- Cardinals win NLCS. Don't remind me.
3- Jamie Garcia.

Pretty underwhelming packs. I wish Topps would stop screwing up the collation, because I'm getting a ton of doubles.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Get Ready...

Cause here they come.

Coming Soon...Customs return to Mint Condition.

Monday, February 20, 2012


It's great when a player from one of your two favorite teams joins the other. It'll be interesting to see how Raul plays for us this year. I sure hope he still has what he had during the 2009 season.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Burnett out of town (and take a bus)

Indifference. Pure, unfiltered, unedited indifference. That is my reaction to AJ Burnett leaving the Bronx for Pittsburgh. Why? Because after the 2009 season, he didn't pitch like AJ Burnett.

I thought he was awesome in the 2009 season, and I saw him pitch in the World Series. He knocked those Phils down in Game 2, and won a duel against the ferocious Pedro Martinez, who later proclaimed the Yankees were really his daddy. And I thought he'd be our #2 guy for a few years.

Then...he started being terrible. Then he started being the AJ Burnett we all know today.

The 2010 and 2011 seasons for AJ were injury plagued, and when he wasn't injured he could never get hot. And to be honest, it was pretty much time for him to leave. He didn't meet our expectations, and to be honest I don't think he'll ever reclaim what he had back in the early 2000's.

Still, I hope Pittsbugh enjoys him. It's a cute little team, and I hope AJ contributes his piece to it. And I Hope he isn't...too good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First Golden Giveaway Codes: Yes, I'm really doing this

The general consensus on the Topps Golden Giveaway promotion is that it's been done twice before, and that it's gotten old. So? It's still kinda stale, but I'm still gonna go through with it. I don't plan on winning anything...but I just plan on getting something. So here, for the entire uninterested blogosphere to see, are my first few codes.

Code #1- Ryan Braun:
What I got- Frank Robinson HOF coin. Not bad for the first code.

Code #2- Troy Tulowitski:
What I got: Milwaukee Brewers coin. Ehhh...they made the playoffs.

Code #3- Troy Tulowitski again:
What I got: Tim Lincecum coin. Pretty nice.

Code #4- Willie Mays:
What I got: Dodgers coin. Nice.

Code #5- Sandy Koufax:
What I got: Adrian Gonzalez coin. Okay.

I'll probably keep following this thing. It's not as good as the original giveaway, but it's still pretty nice.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Familiar Looking Cardboard: Paul Palmer

Since blogging is, itself, an extension of storytelling combined with journalism, I figured I'd begin a new blog series that's basically just storytelling. It is not a new idea to blog about baseball and football players you've met- matter of fact, Night Owl had this feature early on in his blogging days (Brush with Greatness). But since I've met quite a few former baseball and football players, all of whom have appeared on cardboard at least once, I figured I had to showcase them somehow.

Unless you're a diehard Chiefs fan, a diehard Temple fan, or a follower of football from the late 1980's, you may not have heard of the man above. He had an insignificant 3 year Pro Football career, playing for the Chiefs, as well as the Cowboys and Lions. However, for four years he was one of the best college football players in the country. And my dad happened to write numerous articles about him.

Paul Palmer was a Temple Football superstar in the late 1980's. My Dad, then an editor for the school newspaper, did a lot of his reporting on Palmer, and lived downstairs from him. Back then Palmer was larger than life, and one of the best backs in the nation. At the end of the 1986- 87 football season, in which Temple had played mediocre but Palmer had excelled, my father accompanied Palmer to the Heisman Trophy Ceremony.

Everyone was hoping Paul would win- hell, most people at Temple University knew it. However, Palmer finished second in the voting, to Vinny Testaverde. And the masses spoke in one solidified voice: Paul Palmer was robbed.

After this, Palmer was drafted 19th by the Chiefs in the 1987 draft, picked after players like Testaverde, Rod Woodson, Cornelius Bennett and Chris Miller. After a decent rookie season, his stats fell and spent his last season with the Cowboyd and Lions. However, his one saving grace during his last season is scoring the game winning touchdown during the only game the Cowboys actually won in 1989. After the 89 season, Palmer left the league.

However, the story doesn't end there. You see a few years ago my father joined a local softball team during the spring, just to start playing again. A few other guys he knew were on the team, and they were playing for the same reason. He also had one other teammate. Paul Palmer.

On more than one occasion, my dad asked me to keep score for their team, and would spend the game on the bench, sitting next to the players, as the game went on. During this experience I met Paul (who was a pretty good centerfielder), and watched as him and my dad exchanged conversation. After that season, my dad left the softball team. From what I've heard, Palmer is the football coach at a local high school. I hope he's enjoying his job.

So that's all for this first edition. Paul Palmer isn't a huge superstar, but he's a good friend of my dad's, and he was a great college player. As a matter of fact, there are only four numbers retired by Temple's Football Team. And Paul's number is one of them. That alone shows his impact on Temple, on my dad, and on me.

I don't know when I'll get around to doing another one of these, but when I do, it'll probably feature a former Raiders player who also has ties to my father (and me).

Friday, February 10, 2012


Saturday mornings taught us it was a magic number. It still is, in a way.

Some of the best things in life come in threes. Stooges. Outs. Amigos. Members of Green Day. Three is also a lucky number for many people, as one of the greatest baseball players of all time wore the number regularly.

In this case, Three represents this blog's longevity. For three years now, Mint Condition has been giving you custom cards, pack breaks and snappy banter, usually regarding gimmicks. And it's still going strong. Blogging is something I enjoy doing, and I really won't tire of it.

Yesterday, February 9th, was the 3rd anniversary of my first post on the blog. It was basically a welcome notice. The blogging aspect was new to me, and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it. That year was spent using many botched countdowns and projects until I finally settled on customs. They worked well, and I've been using them ever since.

In the 3 years I've had this blog I've attracted more than 60 subscribers. The number is a little low, but it's better than nothing. I really don't plan on stopping this blog because I love doing it. The customs will stay because I love making them. Until Topps goes bankrupt I'll still rip these packs. And until the entire world is obliterated by the incoming 2012 madness, I will continue to make Mint Condition a pretty decent cardblog.

So thanks for sticking with me for all three years. And trust me...three years is not anywhere close to the end for me.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More Topps Series 1

After yesterday's success, it appeared like I wasn't done with Topps this week. A friend of my dad's, after giving up on the set (like most collectors out there), gave his pack results to my dad to give to me. The generosity is appreciated, because while there were no BIG MOJO HITZ, there were some nice inserts and a surplus of Golden Giveaway codes.

Base Cards of notable players:
209- AJ Burnett. Sigh, I SAID NOTABLE!
208- Mark Reynolds. Okay, he had a good season last year, but notable he isn't.
207- JP Arencibia. Nope, still not notable.
200- Miguel Cabrera, That's more like it. Surprised they didn't change his position in time.
188- Bobby Abreu. A Philly legend. That's about the only place he'll ever recieve legendary status.
171- Koji Uehara. Saw him pitch for Baltimore. When he's well he's ferocious.
165- Michael Morse. His 2011 season was a thing of beauty.
138- Pedro Alvarez
133- Ivan Nova. Yep, that's the exact same photo as last year.
300- Josh Hamilton. If the rest of his career holds up, he's a hall of famer. If.
295- Jayson Werth. Please get better.
288- Miguel Montero.
285- Drew Storen. Decent closer
274- Alex Liddi. Mariners rookie, and they're basically booming with prospects.
265- Aroldis Chapman. Is it me or does every Chapman card look the same?
251- Jason Bay
250- Jered Weaver. Jered is enraged by the fact that Justin Verlander had a better season than him.
240- David Wright
225- Michael Pineda. One of the best prospects in baseball on his sophomore year. Woo.
242- Eric Young. And with every good prospect there is a failed one.
216- Jason Kipnis.
180- The Greatest Closer of All Time, Mariano Rivera
167- Starlin Castro cl. Could be great.
166- Brennan BOESCH
152- Chad Billingsley
328- John Lackey. His career's going downhill.
322- Ricky Nolasco. Still can't get used to that Miami logo
320- Matt Holliday
128- Lucas Duda. John Kruk 2.0.
126- Eduardo Nunez. Jeter's heir apparent?
117- Carlos Ruiz.
116- AJ Pierzynski
103- Madison Bumgarner. Saw him pitch. Deserves more credit than he gets.
98- Dominic Brown. Probably will not get much playing time.
96- Grady Sizemore. Used to be my friend Josh's favorite player. Then he kept getting injured.
89- Dontrelle Willis. What a comeback. Now a Phillie.
85- Jason Heyward. Needs a comeback.
80- David Price. Is wrong, bitch. Never gets old.
69- Dee Gordon.
58- Tim Hudson. Used to be awesome. Is getting old.
55- Michael Young.
315- Dustin Ackley. Looks to be a great help for Seattle
47- Luke Hochevar
23- Cory Luebke
19- Yonder Alonso
17- Alex Rios. Overused.
16- Desmond Jennings
10- Jon Lester
3- Jaime Garcia.

Gold cards:
Cole Hamels. Saving that one.
Brennan Boesch
Stephen Drew
Yunel Escobar
Chris Sale

Classic Walkoffs: 2 different David Oritz' from 2004. Damn championship season...
Timeless Teams: Sandburg/Uggla, Aparicio/Castro,
Gold Futures: Craig Kimbrel, Jason Kipnis, JP Arencibia
Golden Greats: Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols. Does the latter deserve that company?
Golden Moments: Dennis Eckersley, Asdrubal Cabrera, Joey Votto
Gold Standard: Paul Molitor, Willie McCovey, Tom Seaver, Jim Thome,
Red Cards: Yonder Alonso, Aaron Crow, Orlando Hudson

These were some nice finds, and were a good addition to the series one search. Now, to find that elusive Jesus Montero rookie...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

AT LAST!- 2012 Series One.

After a long day of school, I was surprised by a target bag on the kitchen table. My dad, coming home from work early, decided to do me a favor. Inside the bag were 3 packs of brand new Topps, and one cereal box. I jumped. Let's check out the first packs of the season:

Pack 1:
174- Yadier Molina. In the past, my 1st card of the year has been pretty good. From 2010's Omar Vizquel to 2011's Michael Cuddyer. This is possibly better.
187- Jose Altuve. Sophomore Slump.
Gold Futures of Mark Trumbo. Looks like a good player.
24- Ike Davis. I'd give a damn about this guy if he had a good sophomore season. He didn't.
164- Carl Pavano, the man allergic to pinstripes.
157- Anibal Sanchez. I don't know how I'll get used to that Miami logo.
260- Brian Wilson. One of the craziest closers in recent memory. He makes Sparky Lyle look like a saint. And there are no saints who sit on cakes.
101- David Hernandez. I witnessed an awful start by Hernandez back in 09. No wonder the Orioles traded him.
231- Dexter Fowler (not a serial killer)
170- Jacoby Ellisbury. Least it wasn't a Youkilis.

Pack 2-
305- Chipper Jones. If and when this guy retires, Cooperstown is 6 years away. There is no doubt.
46- Peter Bourjos.
102- Chase D'Arnaud. Saw him play. Decent player.
142- Travis Wood. Nearly no hit my Phillies. No respect.
Golden Greats- Willie Mays. Peak Performances Mach 3.
Gold Standard of the man I'm proud to share my surname with, Mike Schmidt. I like this insert set.
202- Andrew Carnigan
245- Adam Lind
43- Brett Wallace
99- Mike McKenry. Doumit's gone. Someone has to fill his shoes.
2 bullcrap leader cards

Pack 3-
37- Napoli. NAPOLI. NAPOLI!
63- Nate Schierholz. Geez, this guy's still playing? Surprised SF hasn't given up on him yet.
76- Ian Kennedy. Sadly, former Yankee.
293- Eric Thames. decent prospect.
Sandy Koufax Golden Greats.
A Classic Walk offs insert of Alfonso Soriano.I love the idea, but Soriano's homer, while awesome, wasn't really Classic. If you want a classic Yankee postseason home run, pick one of Reggie's three.
202- Andrew Caringan again
97- Jim Thome, commemorating his 600th home run, and impeding Hall of Fame induction.
179- Denard Span
206- David Robertson. Has been playing since 2008, yet everyone thinks last season was his rookie year. Sigh...
299- Mitch Moreland. I think Texas is kinda done with him.
effing leader card

21- Chris Ianetta
303- Danny Valencia. Minny's hoping for his comeback.
230- Justin Morneau. Ditto.
1- Ryan Braun. You know what...even after his outage as a steroid abuser, I still can respect the guy.
161- Dee Gordon. Future talent.
255- Scott Rolen. Great player.
213- Alex Avila. I think he had a great season.
244- Serigo Santos
199- Adam Dunn. Dunn tips his hat to his Chicago fans, who clearly want him taken out of the South Side on a bus.
221- Luke Gregerson
leader cards
62- Ben Revere
241- James McDonald. How does he still have a contract?
249- Trevor Plouffe
141- Brandon Belt. Might have a decent career.
195- Ben Zobrist
2 unnecessary doubles
57- Yuniesky Betancourt. Surprising season last year
8- Mike Adams
137- Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Apparently, Jason Varitek's heir apparent.
35- Eric Hosmer. Hoping he leads his team to better days.
268- Miguel Cairaauuugh
252- Dellin Betances rookie. I have is BowChro rookie from 5 years ago. This helps
219- Jordan Pancheso
41- Devin Mesoraco
79- Austin Romine rookie. Yes, what about the OTHER notable Yankees rookie. Please?
202- Andrew Carnigan again. Goddammit
323- Jason Isringhausen red
132- Will Venable red
93- Skip Schumaker. The real one.
197- Brendan Ryan
20- Craig Kimbrel
13- Vernon Wells. If he can still hit, Anaheim's lucky
155- Matt Cain.
301- Alexi Ogando. Interesting story
12- WIIIIILSSSOOOOON Ramos. Glad he's better
269- Jason Vargas. Nice throwback
56- Geovany Soto. Bleeeahhh. His career isn't what it used to be.
143- George Kottaras
104- Brett Anderson
222- Chris Coghlan
110- MARK TEIXIERA doing that cheek thing he always does
314- Matt LaPorta
264- Chris Carpenter Highlight
185- Pablo Sandoval. This time he is fighting no one.
182- Michael Brantley, the lord of the dance.
176- Nolan Reimold
162- Max Scherzer
2 leader cards
42- Drew Pomeranz Rookie GOLD
Golden Moments of Barry Larkin
Michael Bourn mini
Jackie Robinson Golden Greats
Chipper Jones Gold Standard
Jose Tabata Gold Futures
It's a Golden Moments jersey of Travis Wood. Any Reds fan want to take it out of my hands?
Dawson/ Upton Timeless Talents. Legendary Lineage Mach 3
Golden Giveaway card
7- Mickey Mantle. Double
84- Brian Matusz
111- Kevin Slowey
38- Felipe Paulino
151- Chris Davis
318- Erik Bedard
97- Jim Thome cl again

Well, those were some pretty good packs. I did get a game used, but it's for trade. Still, a great way to start the collecting year.