Sunday, February 25, 2018
There wasn't really any doubt as to who was gonna get 'first custom of the year' privileges. Besides, I wasn't gonna waste my Stanton that early.
Shohei Ohtani was one of the biggest baseball stories during the offseason, so of COURSE I'm gonna hop on that bandwagon early and make a solid custom of the guy. It's too soon to tell whether or not he'll be successful during the 2018 season, but these guys seem to be convinced, so I'm not gonna stop them.
As usual during Spring Training, customs might be sporadic on account of photographers being paid less to shoot games, and getting less photos from games online, so this may be a stop-start process, but I have a few made. What I might do this year is allow the Spring Training customs to be standalone, and just make new customs of these guys during the regular season, depending on whether or not the potential lives up to the reality.
But yeah...enjoy the fact that Mint Condition Customs are back for the season. I certainly am.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Forgive the bawdy Robin Hood pun, but...of all teams to sign a multi-year deal with a franchise-building first baseman...I wasn't expecting the team who has literally nothing BUT a franchise-building first baseman.
Yes, Wil Myers is expected to move back to the outfield to accommodate everything, but...the San Diego Padres, who were building but not extensively, are a wild-card pick to nab Eric Hosmer, who has an ASG nod, a World Series ring, and some big-time major league credentials under his belt. Putting Hosmer in the lineup gives them a power core of Hosmer, Myers, Manuel Margot and Chase Headley, which isn't great, but it's definitely a start for a team that wants to chase the remaining four teams for a playoff berth.
Only thing is I don't think the contract's supposed to benefit the Padres in 2018. Having Hosmer there is supposed to cement things, so that this team can BUILD to a playoff squad. Sad to say, but the Padres are dead last on the totem pole this year, and will only grow as the Rockies fall apart, the Dodgers' core ages, the Giants finally decide to give up Buster Posey, and the Diamondbacks win a few more playoff matches. Signing Hosmer is gonna give them some nice stuff this year, but nothing that will move mountains, which will upset some Padres fans.
Still, it's a pretty damn big move, and it makes sure that everybody in the NL West has a stake in what's surely gonna be a bloodthirsty battle for relevancy in 2018.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
The more generic, been-there Topps products I see, the more I want to go back to the days when Upper Deck wasn't afraid to take risks. And here we are, back in 2003, sifting through colorful, inspired, well-designed cards, back when card products actually mattered.
Today, the last 12 packs of this retail box of 2003 UD. I teased a major hit in this part of the box, and i aim to deliver.
Steroid Abusers: 3/8
Borderline Hall of Famers: 1/8
Future Hall of Famers: 1/8
Former Managers: 1/8
2000s Star Infielders: 2/8
Also, Omar Vizquel holding court in Cleveland, rocking one of the early-phase hat insignias that marked the Indians' first attempt at getting away from Chief Wahoo. It didn't work.
Hall of Famers: 1/8
Also, Livan Hernandez, in his post-WS-win era of play.
Hall of Famers: 1/8
Future Hall of Famers: 1/8
Also, another Vladdie card, which I can never say no to.
Guys I adore collecting: 2/8
Guys Who Played for one of my teams for exactly one year: 2/8
And a really cool dugout shot of a very cold Bobby Abreu.
There was one more card in that pack, by the way...
...but it's a white patch of TOM GLAVINE. In all his Braves glory. I don't care what color it is, I'm taking it, and I'm not complaining. It's not often to pull a relic of a Hall of Famer, especially one like Tom Glavine.
Probably one of the better pulls of these Nostalgic Box Breaks. I'm very impressed with this one.
2012 Postseason Heroes: 2/8
And, of course, a card of Raul Ibanez during his brief time in Kansas City.
Hall of Famers: 2/8
Current Managers: 1/8
The Pedro card is great because of the shadows, and the intensity of this particular throw. And the Hudson is great because of how we've zoomed just far back enough.
Legendary Fringe Players: 2/8
World Series Heroes: 1/8
Meanwhile, Mike Lieberthal would be a steady backstop for a few more years in Philly, before the arrival of one Carlos Ruiz.
As does 2003 UD. Despite one or two issues, this was a well-collated box that had a lot of star cards and great photos, and two hits (one of them being fantastic). Glad I ripped this one.
I think I do have one more Nostalgic Box Break in the pipeline, and it's one that goes back to my roots as a box-breaker on this blog.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
A few years ago, I broke a box of 2002 Upper Deck, with a smiling, pinstriped Jason Giambi on the cover, and showed you the highlights of a product still skirting on cool photography and a slightly bulky design. They were Upper Deck still in their prime, still manufacturing cool when Topps had a monopoly on basic.
2003 Upper Deck is honestly very similar to the 2002 release, just with a more 'cool for the times' design. Still the same emphasis on collectability, and the same genuine nature of their inserts. The kind of release I could use about now.
This box had 24 packs, 8 cards per, so we'll do 12 today, and 12 another day. That simple.
Future Hall of Famers: 2/8
Old Mariners: 2/8
Guys Named Corky: 1/8
I do think it's pretty cool that I landed two of the greatest DHs of all time in the same pack. Plus, what's more, a rare Twin Papi.
Guys I collected for some reason: 2/8
Disappointing Hits: 1/8
This is an All Star swatches game-used jersey card of Aaron Sele, and that is definitely an ANGELS swatch of the big man. However, and this is a big however, not only did Aaron Sele not make the All Star Game in 2002, he never even made one with the Angels. This is a warm-up jacket from the 2000 ASG, where he pitched for the Mariners.
Now that is all well and good, and it works as a Mariners release for Sele...but it would have worked better a year after the 2000 ASG, rather than...three. Play with what's current, UD, and do an Angels picture AND swatch- don't go for the classics. It's like if Topps came out with a card now of Jeff Samarzija's ASG uniform with the A's. It doesn't make sense.
And on top of ALL THAT...I don't particularly like the fact that I pulled a game-used card of Aaron Sele. I bet you thought I'd START with that, right.
Steroid Abusers: 2/8
Eventual 2-time WS heroes: 1/8
Team Heroes: 4/8
Borderline HOFers: 3/8
Future HOFers: 1/8
Weird Stuff on Cards: 2/8
Also, Aaron Boone has a lot of bats. Just like in 2018. Awww yeah.
Multi-fingers pitchers: 1/8
Very 2003 Stars: 2/8
Marco Scutaro rookie, before he'd help the Giants win it all.
2003 WS winners: 1/8
Borderline HOFers: 2/8
Guys Named After Informational Websites: 1/8
Astros heroes: 2/8
2000s Big Bats: 4/8
Oswalt was throwing heat, but you knew that.
Steroid Abusers: 1/8
Guys I Love Collecting: 1/8
A fun rip so far, which continues in the next 12 packs, where (GASP) an actual GOOD HIT is found???