Friday, February 22, 2019

It's Been a Busy Week For Baseball Cards

I don't think I can recall a busier week for Baseball cards in a very long time, and that's both a blessing and a curse at the exact same time.

After Monday's trip to the Mansfield show, I've embarked on a new project with my spare time; counting every last one of my Baseball cards to create a definite total. 

I'm currently hovering around the 40,000 card mark with a little under half of my collection left to go. I originally guessed that I had around 75,000 cards, so I'm intrigued to see how close the actual total is to my prediction.

I've also dedicated time towards putting new Baseball cards, like the 1976 Topps cards from the show, away in binders or boxes. At the same time, I have to keep track of what cards I've counted and which ones I haven't so that I don't end up with an inaccurate total.

Oh, and I took a quick trip to my LCS on Wednesday for supplies and grabbed a few cards for $1 or $2 each that I'll be showing today. Not to mention, a box that I purchased with the profits from my eBay sales is set to arrive in the mail tomorrow.

Needless to say, I've been extraordinarily busy this week when it comes to cards, but I definitely view the work that I've done as positive for my collection, even if it does become tedious. For example, the counting of all my Baseball cards led me to find a few new minis for my A&G mini frankenset.

The Kawakami is all set to take the previously unoccupied spot #284 while, on the other hand, Aaron Hill's 2011 Topps A&G back mini may or may not end up in my frankenset, depending on which card I currently have in spot #203.

I've only tracked down 3 minis thus far, but I'm bound to find a few more as I continue making progress. My favorite of the 3 that I've found as of now is this Michael Pineda mini from 2016, featuring a rare instance of a full-bleed background in an Allen & Ginter set.

However, when I went to find the card number on the back, something instantly caught my eye. 

The card has no number on the back. Oddly enough, this makes it a no number variation, a card I believe to be limited to just 50 copies. While I find the whole premise of a card not having a number rather ridiculous, the actual Michael Pineda card in this set is card #20, and I'm looking for a mini to fill that hole.

Therefore, even though this card technically has no number, hence why it's a mini no number variation, at the same time, it's also card #20 in the set. Because of that, unless I can sell this card on eBay or trade it on the blog, it'll end up in my A&G mini frankenset.

I previously stated that I picked up a few inexpensive cards at my LCS when I went in there for supplies the other day, one of them being a Topps Archives peach parallel of Big Papi from 2017.

Besides the fact that the frame awkwardly cuts off Ortiz's teammate Hanley Ramirez, the photo is very well captured, and the parallel color is definitely unique. Because this set that also featured light blue and soft red parallels, I appreciate the untraditional color choices for this product's numbered parallel cards.

Topps Inception is another one of those expensive, 1-pack hobby products that don't really do anything for me. There's a reasonable chance that I'll never open a pack or box or whatever you want to call it of Topps Inception in my life, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the design.

I picked up a couple base cards from the product at a previous trip to the Baseball card show, but this was my first ever in-person look as to what the parallels look like, and I must say, I'm really digging this pink Xander Bogaerts card, numbered out of 99.

Next step; find 2018 Topps Inception cards for cheap. Those have black backgrounds instead of white and are pretty beautiful to look at.

2 parallels from 2017 Tops Museum, a Roberto Clemente numbered to 150 and a Greg Maddux to 50, cost me the exact same price each. Because I avidly collect both players and am a stickler for serial numbered cards, I said "why not?" and picked up both colored parallels. 

Seeing them side by side, they do look pretty incredible, and they certainly embody the high-end product that is Topps Museum. The black borders are perfect for the respective blue and red parallel colors, and in the case of Roberto Clemente's card, the photo shown is not one that Topps has really used before.

Then, in the mail today, I spotted an envelope from Topps Now which confused me, considering the fact that I haven't bought a Topps Now card since the Red Sox won the World Series last October. 

Yet, through the paper, I could make out the outline of a Baseball card, so I carefully tore into the envelope.

Although it's definitely used as more of a promotion, it was a pleasant surprise to receive a free Topps Now card of Mike Trout in the mail. Although, I can't say I was thrilled that it arrived without a sleeve or anything around it. The card simply came in the envelope with 1 cardboard insert, and frankly, it's a miracle that the card ended up in the condition that it did.

The card gives me my first look at the 2019 Topps Now set, and while the design remains quite minimal, I like it a bit more than the 2018 design. From the 1 card that I've seen so far, the design itself is very clean, and the simplicity, once again, allows the images to stand out more.

The back includes some information about a 2019 Spring Training set or something that Topps wants me to buy and even features a promo code for a discount on a team set. For now, I think I'll pass, though I definitely appreciate the free Mike Trout card.

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