Monday, July 26, 2010

My Brother Is a Great Artist: Exhibit A

I pulled some "You Sketch" cards from a couple of packs of Topps Series II and gave them to my much more talented brother to play around with. He sketched a Mantle and Strasburg which sold fairly well on eBay, and then he truly blew me away with this Edgar Martinez portait he painted with acrylics. Check it out!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 22-24 (A Fine Finish)

The last three packs of the box turned out to be the most action packed (okay, well it was really only one pack, but bear with me) and it was a nice way to end what was otherwise a rather bland break. Here's the last of my entry:

Pack 22 (+20):
Wandy Rodriguez
Brandon Webb
Andy Pettite (-1)
Garrett Jones
Clayton Kershaw Black Border Mini (+5--headed to Night Owl)
Chris Coghlan Framed Auto (+15--great looking card)
Jay Bruce TDIH (+1)

Pack 23 (+7):
Robert Scott (+2--Negro Leagues)
Francisco Rodriguez
Jimmy Rollins
Ryan Zimmerman
Josh Beckett
Troy Glaus SP (+2)
Adam LaRoche Mini A & G Back (+2)
Aaron Hill TDIH (+1)

Pack 24 (+6):
Tyler Bradt (Kayaker)
Cameron Maybin
Brian Roberts
Justin Verlander
Carlos Zambrano (-1)
Jose Lopez (+1)
Monsters of the Mesozoic Dilophosaurus (+3--they should all be destroyed!)
Ryan Braun TDIH (+3--favorite player list)

Packs 22-24: (33) If only every pack averaged 11 points I might have a shot at the title, but alas this was not the case. I was happy to pull an auto from my box and Coghlan is a decent player with a nice signature, so no complaints there. I grew up wanting to be an archaeologist so I loved the dinosaur inserts, but the other minis this year leave a little something to be desired. Overall it was a decent break and I don't think I'll finish in last place (unlike my beloved Mariners) which is good enough for me. I plan on coming back next year with a vengeance, or at least without Aramis Ramirez relics...

Grand Total: 188 points (relic card scoring changes)

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 19-21 (Free Falling)

The next three packs are very boring. Please don't read on...
Pack 19 (+6):
Ron Teasley (+2--Negro Leagues)
Josh Willingham
Randy Wolf
Justin Upton
Milton Bradley (+1-1=0)
Asdrubal Cabrera SP (+2)
National Animals Mini Tiger (+2--I was hoping for a LOLcat)
Curtis Granderson TDIH (+1-1=0)

Pack 20 (+5):
Kosuke Fukudome
Nolan Reimold SP (+2)
Gordon Beckham
Kevin Youkilis (+2--favorite player list)
B.J. Upton
Brian McCann Regular Mini
Adam Dunn TDIH (+1)

Pack 21 (+7):
Isaac Newton
Jason Heyward RC (+2--favorite player list)
Paul Konerko
Felix Hernandez (+1)
Matt Cain
Carlos Pena SP (+2)
Adam Jones Regular Mini
Felix Hernandez TDIH (+2)

Packs 19-21: (18) Those were three very boring packs and it showed up in the score. No offense O's fans, but when Nolan Reimold is the best card in a pack you know something just isn't right. Hopefully my last hit will salvage this box...

Total: 151 points

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 16-18

Just like the Mariners, these packs don't deserve an introductory paragraph:

Pack 16 (+10):
Captain Nemo (I'm a fan of Jules Verne's works)
David Wright (+2--favorite player)
Joe Mauer (+2--favorite player)
Jair Jurrjens
Tommy Hanson
Chone Figgins SP (+3--favorite team, not player though)
National Animal Mini Gallic Rooster (+2)
Lance Berkman TDIH (+1)
Pack 17 (+5):
Geovany Soto
Alan Francis (horseshoe dude)
Rick Ankiel
Scott Baker
Jose Reyes
Scott Sizemore RC SP (+2--DOUBLE SCOTT HOT PACK!)
National Animals Mini English Bulldog (+2)
Chipper Jones TDIH (+1)

Pack 18 (+5):
Ben Zobrist (no points for third favorite player?)
Jules Verne
Mark Doucheface (-1--Yankee)
Ian Kinsler
Josh Hamilton
Alex Rios SP (+2)
Randy Winn SP Mini (+3-1=2)
Magglio Ordonez TDIH (+1)

Packs 16-18: (20) This box has been way more dud than stud, and with only six packs to go, things are looking pretty grim. There's one more hit to be unearthed but unless it's a Griffey printing plate, it's just not meant to be for me in my first round of Gint-a-Cuffs. Stayed tuned for the (exciting?) conclusion...

Total: 133 points

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 13-15 (Second Hit)

Halfway through and a lot of work left to do. Will the next 12 packs trump the first 12 and put me in position to not finish in last? Read on and find out:

Pack 13 (+11):
Koji Uehara
Jay Bruce
Elvis Andrus
Edwin Jackson (strangest no-hitter ever?)
Colby Rasmus Framed Bat Relic (+8--I like Rasmus, so not bad)
Howie Kendrick Base Mini
Roy Hallady TDIH (+3--favorite player list)

Pack 14 (+6):
Hoard and Rory (Frisbee Dog)
Miguel Cabrera
Carl Crawford (+2)
Rick Porcello
Kendry Morales (+2)
Jered Weaver SP (+2)
Josh Beckett Regular Mini
Mark Teixeria TDIH (1-1=0)

Pack 15 (+4):
Matt Carson RC
Regis Philbin (I'm tellin you--this guy's bonkos!)
Michael Cuddyer
Mariano Rivera (-1--Yankee)
AJ Pierzynski (-1--douche)
Daric Barton SP (+2)
Tommy Hanson Black Border Mini (+3)
Brian McCann TDIH (+1)

Packs 13-15: (20) Not a bad showing for three packs although those darn Yankees are sure holding me down. I'm happy to crack 100 points and with one framed card left I might yet make some nice. The Rasmus is a nice card and bat slices are always welcome, although there seems to be quite a few more than in years past. Hopefully the last framed card and minis will be enough to help me finish out of the cellar.

Total: 113

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 10-12 (Hitting the Doldrums)

Pack 10 (+9):
Nick Jacoby (Code Breaker +1)
Rich Harden
Daniel Murphy
Ken Griffey Jr. (+4--favorite player!)
Victor Martinez
Dan Runzler RC
Lords of Olympus Eros (+3--God of Love and Fertility)
Pablo Sandoval TDIH (+1)

Pack 11 (+6):
Franklin Gutierrez (+1--favorite team)
Sig Hansen (Deadliest Catch)
Billy Butler
Daniel McCutchen RC
Mark Buehrle
Ryan Howard (+2--favorite player list)
Lords of Olympus Helios (+3--God of Sun)
Alex Rodriguez TDIH (+1-1=0)

Pack 12 (+4):
Travis Snider
Gary Stewart (looks like the lead singer of Men at Work)
Ubaldo Jimenez (not as good as Josh Johnson--just saying)
Miguel Montero
Andre Ethier
Kyle Blanks
Monsters of the Mesozoic Diplodicus (+3--100 year lifespan!)
Zack Grienke TDIH (+1)

Packs 10-12: (19) Unfortunately for those of us not named Beardy, scoring a box of Allen & Ginter can become a bit of chore when the hits and desirable minis are few and far between. Such is life for me, when the best card out of a series of three packs is a Ken Griffey Jr. base card. Halfway through my box I sit at a measly 91 points, though there are still two hits waiting to be unearthed. Stay tuned--or not.

Total: 93 points

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 7-9 (Short Print Madness)

No hits to be found in these three packs, but they sure were loaded with shortprints. Will it be enough to launch me back into contention. No. But read on anyway:

Pack 7 (+5):
Tom Knapp (shotgun champ)
Ervin Santana
Manny Ramirez
Robinson Cano (-1)
Chipper Jones (who doesn't love Chippa?!)
Carlos Gomez SP (+2)
Jonathan Broxton SP Mini (+3)
Justin Upton TDIH (+1)

Pack 8 (+12):
Area 51 (+1)
Kevin Millwood (take that Beardy!)
Jason Bay
Yadier Molina
Everth Cabrera (why's he in the set?)
Brad Penny SP (+2)
Adrian Beltre Black Border Mini SP (+8)
Carlos Gonzalez TDIH (+1)

Pack 9 (+4):
Luis Durango RC
Alex Gordon
Clay Buchholz
Barry Zito
Cliff Lee (+1--too painful to look at)
Brett Myer-- SP (+2)
John Lackey Mini (what a waste)
Torii Hunter TDIH (+1)

Packs 7-9: (21) Again not a bad showing for a trio of packs without a hit, but I'll need some magic in the last 2/3rds of the box to finish with a respectable total.

Total: 74 points

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Wild and Wacky Trade with Cards on Cards

I'm finally starting to get caught back up in the trade winds and one of my best trade partners of all-time, Cards on Cards, came through with another solid assortment of Griffey's and other goodies. Here's a gander at what Kerry sent my way:
1995 Leaf Limited Ken Griffey Jr: Did anyone else see that Ken Griffey Jr. Nike ad during the HR Derby? Nearly brought me to tears--and I only wish I was joking. Solid looking mid-90's card of the Kid in his prime. Goodbye baseball. Hello Cooperstown.

2007 UD First Edition Kevin Durant RC: With all the prima donnas in today's NBA (here's looking at you LeBron) it's refreshing to see a player like Kevin Durant who works hard and find's the spotlight for the right reasons. I was lucky to enough to see the Durantula play in the NCAA Tournament in Spokane and knew he would be a star--but never expected him to be so good so soon. Feel free to send any cards you pull of him my way.

2009 UD First Edition Ken Griffey Jr. Starquest: Yes it seems sacrilegious to see Griffey in a White Sox uniform, but I needed this card to fill out a page of the Kid playing for the North Siders. I still need one more, so a take a look on my Zistle page when I update it.

2007 Topps Finest Saer Sene RC Refractor Auto: I'm not quite sure what to make of this card. I was always a Sonics fan, and still feel drawn towards the Zombie Sonics, but Saer Sene isn't exactly a household name; in fact, he isn't even in the NBA anymore (shocker--a center drafted by Seattle that didn't pan out). Hopefully Kerry wasn't take a dig at me because his Trail Blazers are doing so good. Whatever the case, it's quite the unique collectible.

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Packs 4-6 (Meh.....)

Can I turn things around after a slow start? Let's have a look see:

Pack 4 (+6):
Alexei Ramirez (part alien?)
Preston Pittman (turkey caller)
Erick Aybar
Eric Young Jr.
Adam Lind
Jonathan Sanchez Highlight Sketch (+3)
Chris Pettit A & G Back Rookie (+2)
Hideki Matsui TDIH (+1)

Pack 5 (+7):
Hubertus Wawra (flamer)
Brandon Allen RC
Chris Tillman
Carlos Beltran
Albert Pujols (no one picked Pujols as a favorite player?)
Hideki Matsui Highlight Sketch (+3-1=2...damn Yankees)
Homer World's Greatest Wordsmiths (+4...D'oh! I'm more of a Jules Verne kinda guy)
Miguel Cabrera TDIH (+1)

Pack 6 (+10):
Johannes Gutenberg (+1)
Adam LaRoche
Martin Prado
Kurt Suzuki
Jenrry Mejia RC
Michael Young (+2)
Hernando de Cortes Sailors of the Seven Seas (+4)
Jason Heyward TDIH (+3)

Packs 4-6: (23) Not a bad showing considering there weren't any hits involved, but I did already use up my two 1 per box minis (sailors and wordsmiths). Though the winner has long since been decided (thanks Beardy) maybe I won't have to finish in last place. Stay tuned!

Total: 53

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gint-a-Cuffs II: Box Topper + Packs 1-3 (First Hit)

Although it's hardly worth scoring my break after Beardy's momentus pulls, to maintain the integrity of this contest, I must press on. This is my first crack at Gint-a-Cuffs so please excuse any scoring mistakes--it's not like they will really effect anything though. Well, let's get started with the box topper and first three packs:

Box Topper: Great Engineering Achievements "Hoover Dam" (+8)

I only hope this isn't a sign that the box will suck...

Pack 1 (+11):
Avery Jenkins
Rickie Weeks
David DeJesus
Jim Thome
Jake Peavy Mini A & G Back (+2)
Aramis Ramirez Framed Bat Relic (+8)
Kosuke Fukudome This Day in History (+1)

Pack 2 (+4):
Anthony Gatto
Ian Desmond RC
Andrew McCutchen
Jorge Cantu
Nick Swisher (-1)
Akinori Iwamura
Tyler Colvin Mini A & G Back RC (+2)
Adrian Gonzalez This Day in History (+3--favorite player list)

Pack 3 (+7):
Lucy (Skeleton)
Wade Davis RC
Delmon Young
Kanekoa Teixeiria RC (+1)
Tyson Ross RC
Ricky Romero
Javier Vasquez Mini (+1)
Ken Griffey Jr. This Day in History (+5--favorite player!)

Packs 1-3: (28) Not a great start to the break, although it was nice to see that Topps got around to including Ken Griffey Jr. in the set this year. My first hit was a bit of a dud--even for Cubs' fans with the way that Aramis is playing this year. Let's hope a slow start doesn't doom me to a last place finish. More to come soon!

Total: 30