Stadium Fantasium

…Where Life's a Pitch

Case Break Loot: 2018 Topps Heritage from Nachos Grande

Gotta give a big Stadium Fantasium shoutout to blogger extraordinaire Nachos Grande for hosting a nice three-box group break of 2018 Topps Heritage, which can be seen here on Nachos Grande’s fanofreds YouTube channel. Chris also busted and distributed a few bonus older packs of Topps, Donruss, Fleer Ultra and Upper Deck baseball cards. For this group break, one spot got you a team of your choice plus a random team. I bought two spots and chose the Cubs and Mets (even though I chose 3rd, the Dodgers and Angels spots had already been snapped up–doh!). The random teams I got was the Rangers and Blue Jays. Here are the highlights of what I got:

Regular Heritage Base Cards I Needed

Short Print Base Cards I Needed

Insert Cards

Heritage Action Variation!

 

According to the odds printed on the back of Topps Heritage packs, these Action Variation cards are about 10 times tougher to pull than the short prints.

A Sampling of Bonus Extra Cards

All in all, I’m pretty happy with my share of Nacho Grande‘s group break. These cards get me considerably closer to completing the Heritage set. Even the bonus cards may help me complete some of my sets (whenever I get around to inventorying those sets). If you haven’t already, check out the Nachos Grande blog and YouTube channel. Thanks Chris!

Mailday: First Trade on Trading Cards DB and Vintage Goodness

Trading Card Database Trade

The Trading Card Database (aka TCDB) has been one of my go-to resources for helping me properly identify various cards in my collection. I’ve been using that wonderful site for years and have been so impressed with its growth and usability. So I recently decided to register as a TCDB member and contribute some card images of my cards that weren’t already on the site. I also input my 2018 Topps cards onto their “Collection” feature and created a trade list and wantlist of 2018 Topps cards. In case you didn’t know, what’s also cool about TCDB is that reports are generated of member trade lists and wantlists so that other members can initiate trades. This resulted in a very nice TCDB member named SteelPerogie offering to make a small trade with me. He asked for a couple of ’83 inserts of the Cubs and offered a couple of ’83 inserts that I needed (pictured above). SteelPerogie even included a couple of Topps coupons, which I immediately used to buy more 2018 Topps Heritage cards. Of course I’m especially happy to get the Bellinger card. Now I’m only 77 cards away from completing the 2018 Series 1 (100 cards) portion of the 1983 insert set. I’m not in an urgent rush so I’ll be pretty happy if I can just get to 50% of this insert set before the end of the year. Thanks Steelperogie!

Vintage Goodness

The day I received the ’83 Topps inserts, I also received a 1969 Topps card that I purchased from an eBay seller. The acquisition of this near-mint #375 card of HOFer Harmon Killebrew means I only need five more cards to complete the set, not including the variations and deckle edge inserts. I know NM condition cards of the elusive five will cost an extremely pretty penny but I’m in it for the long haul. The 1969 cards are the first I ever bought as a youngster, so these are pretty special to me. I also input my 1969 Topps cards and deckle edge cards into the Trading Card Database. Perhaps TCDB will also have a hand in helping me complete the ’69s.

Stay tuned…

Box Break: 2018 Topps Heritage, Hobby Box 2 of 2

Two Hobby Boxes of2018 Topps Heritage Baseball

So I busted the second box of 2018 Topps Heritage and it was also quite a decent box but nothing earth-shattering. The main thing for me is that I hope it will get me within 75% of completing the first 400 cards of the set. Here we go with the box highlights:

Some Base Cards

 

Short Prints

 

Inserts

 

Rookie Variation, Black Border Variation and Chrome Refractor Parallel (#’d to 569)

 

The Hit

I would have been a wee bit happier getting a Dodgers game-used card rather than one of the Astros but I recognize that an Altuve GU is still a big hit. After all Altuve is the 2017 AL MVP, a three-time batting champion and five-time All-Star. At this point, none of these are for trade unless there are duplicates (which can be found in the Stadium Trading Block). Oh there’s something I forgot to mention in these Heritage box breaks…

The Box Toppers

As of this post, I still have not opened these two toppers (or is it box loaders?). If I can find some suitable binder pages for the ad panel cards, then I will attempt to collect the 15-panel set. I would much prefer to store the ad panels in a binder page along with the rest of the Heritage set. As for the “original” 1969 card, I will probably trade it away unopened. It turns out that Topps did indeed insert original 1969 cards but then foil-stamped them with a 50th anniversary logo. This effectively alters the card and diminishes the collectibility/desirability of the card in my opinion. As a set collector, I don’t see a foil-stamped 1969 card belonging to any real set. Besides, I’m 99% of the way to actually completing the ’69 set and I’m extremely sure none of the box loader ’69s will be a card I need to complete my set (the cards I need are high $ cards).

So how far will I get in collecting the first 400 cards of the set? Stay tuned…

Box Break: 2018 Topps Heritage, Hobby Box 1 of 2

Two Hobby Boxes of2018 Topps Heritage Baseball

I took the plunge. Yes, for the first time since sometime last century, I made a major purchase of a Topps product that was not flagship baseball. Being a low-budget set collector, I’d always ignored all other Topps products. But 1969 is the first year I collected Topps baseball cards and I just could not resist the idea of making a run at collecting at least the first 400 cards of 2018 Topps Heritage, which features today’s players in the 1969 Topps baseball card design. The last few years I’ve made a lot of progress towards completing the ’69 set and my appreciation for the design has only increased. Now I’m only  5 cards away from completing the set. I’m also about halfway to collecting all of the white letter variations and other variations. My ’69 wantlist can be found in the Stadium Trading Block.

So I bought two hobby boxes of Heritage at my local card shop (Hall of Fame Baseball Cards). The plan here is to share each Heritage box in separate posts and then post a separate review afterwards.

Some Base Cards

A sample of some 2018 Topps Heritage baseball cards

A sampling of 2018 Topps Heritage base cards

 

Short Prints (Base Cards #’d 401-500)

2018 Topps Heritage inserts from box 1

 

Inserts

2018 Topps inserts from box 1

 

Base Variation and Chrome Parallels

2018 Topps Heritage Base Variation and Chrome Parallels

 

The Hit

2018 Topps Heritage Relic Card from Box 1

 

Box 1 of this product was a pretty decent box. The Trout variation and Polanco jersey card are especially nice cards. There’s more to follow so stay tuned…

 

Group Case Break Loot: 2018 Topps Baseball Series 1

2018, Major League Materials back of #MLB-KB Kris Bryant

Have you ever participated in a group/case break? In case you didn’t know, it’s where a trusted host or case breaker purchases a case (or cases) of a card product and sells a team spot/slot to card collectors. Each spot gets you all of the base/inserts/hits of that particular team. Some case breakers let you pick your team (PYT) while others randomly assign a team. This year I went a little crazy and bought four spots in three different 2018 Topps Series 1 case breaks. Shortly after Series 1 was released, my local card shop, Hall of Fame Baseball Cards, ran a random team break of a case of Series 1 hobby boxes and a random team break of Series 1 jumbo boxes. I also bought a spot in a PYT case break of Series 1 hobby boxes held by Crackin’ Wax. Each case breaker also included cards from the Topps Silver Pack promotion. Here are the teams I ended up with:

HOFBC Hobby Box Break: Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays

HOFBC Jumbo Box Break: Baltimore Orioles

CW: Chicago Cubs (I would have picked the Dodgers but they were already chosen by someone else)

Of course when you participate in these case breaks, you end up with quite a few base card duplicates. Here are the notable cards.

Parallel Cards

Inserts

The Lone Hit

So out of these four case break spots, I got only one hit but its a pretty good one…

Whatever duplicate I got in my jumbo box will be listed in (hopefully soon) in the site’s Trading Block. My ultimate goal is to see how far I can get in building a 2018 Topps master set.

WordPress Notes

As a baseball card/computer geek, I love this pursuit of building a decent baseball card blog. To that end, I am experimenting with displaying card images in galleries such as those above. If you haven’t already, hover your mouse over any card image above. Then click it. To get back to this post, I suggest clicking the ‘Back’ arrow next to your browser’s address bar.

Because of the sheer number of images I wanted to post, it took a lot more time than I wanted to add a second post to the blog. But I do like the result of posting the card images in galleries. The WordPress plug-in used above is called FooGallery. I’m not 100% sure I will continue to use a gallery plug-in to display images in posts. It’s definitely different from the way most hobby bloggers post their images. But I’m wondering if it’s overkill and worth the trouble. However, I am definitely leaning towards using this gallery plug-in to display cards in the Trading Block. This would allow those checking out my trade lists to see a large image of a card they are interested in obtaining. I think this feature would especially be useful to show the condition of vintage cards I want to trade. fwiw, my duplicate vintage cards go back only to around 1966 and I don’t have a whole bunch of ’60’s vintage..

Dodger Notes

Spring training games have begun and I’m happy about that. But it is still disturbing to me that there are plenty of really good free agent players still not signed to a Major League roster. I won’t be surprised if this situation results in some kind of litigation. Anyways its nice to hear my Dodgers back in action on the radio (can’t see ’em on TV since the Dodger network isn’t available on my cable provider in SoCal).

Things to Do List

  • Inventory my sets
  • Create and maintain wantlists
  • Create and continually update trade lists for the Trading Block
  • Add new features to Stadium Fantasium such as some kind of card wish list
  • Increase participation in the card collecting community (tweeting, posting my Stadium Fantasium Facebook page, reading and commenting on other blogs, etc.)
  • Discover other hobby blogs and add them to the ‘Blogs To Root For’ list in the right sidebar.
  • Join some fantasy baseball leagues
  • Keep a list of ideas for new blog content

Stay tuned…

Box Break: 2018 Topps Series 1 Jumbo w/ 2 Silver Packs

Ok, here we go…

Hi there and welcome to Stadium Fantasium! Here from time to time I will be sharing my passion for MLB Baseball (mostly the Los Angeles Dodgers), baseball cards (mostly Topps), fantasy sports (mostly baseball) and the local (Southern California) sports teams (again, mostly the Dodgers). On today’s menu is my jumbo box break of 2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards along with two Topps Silver Packs that I got when I purchased my jumbo box from Hall of Fame Baseball Cards in Arcadia, CA. Yeah, I know this post is kind of late to the Topps box breaking party but who has never been late to a party? So, let’s keep the party going and show off some of the cards I got…

Some Base Cards (and a Short Print!)…

So the first 2018 Topps cards I pulled was the Pirates’ John Jaso. I do like the design of the base cards although the waterslide element does remind me of the artwork from one of Topps other card products, Wacky Packages. And just in case you didn’t know, the bottom right card is the short print version of Adrian Beltre card #254.

Some Parallel Cards (Topps Gold)

I also pulled a number of rainbow foil inserts but won’t show them here since the foil effect doesn’t scan well. Suffice to say that my most notable rainbow foil card is a Manny Machado #25.

Some Insert Cards (Some #’d Even)

Of the tougher inserts to pull, I ended up with a Superstar Sensations Blue Jose Bautista SSS-7, 1983 Topps Black Victor Robles 83-85 #’d to 299 and a MLB Awards Black Austin Hays #’d to 299.

 The Hits!

The Posey Major League Materials card that I pulled features a piece of bat. I saw the same card pulled on a video box break but that one featured a white jersey swatch. The Aaron Nola MLB Spring Training Logo Patch is the blue version and serial #’d 63/99. I’d have to say these are some pretty decent hits out of my jumbo box.

Silver Packs (Would You Believe I Actually Pulled an Auto?)

The Victor Robles auto is #’d 29/99.

What next?

Overall, I’m pretty happy and satisfied with this box and the silver pack cards. I’ve glanced at a few other online box breaks and some of those were a bit meh. None of the inserts/hits are for trade/sale. I’m not much of a trader and I have never sold any of my cards (but I will post a tradelist of dupes I’d like to trade). I still need to inventory the base cards on an Excel spreadsheet to see how close I am to completing the set and then create a wantlist along with a few other things to grow the blog. The long-term project is to gradually inventory the rest of the sets I’ve collected over the years (including some vintage baseball and vintage football) and post wantlists for those sets.

And of course I’ve got to figure out what fantasy baseball leagues I want to join (or maybe even create a league). I’m considering trying a variety of head-to-head money leagues (categories overall win, categories multiple wins and points). Normally I try to do my fantasy baseball drafting during the last week or so before the MLB season starts.

Stay tuned…

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About Me

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Long time set collector with a particular passion for Topps flagship baseball cards along with some cards from other sets/sports (almost no Upper Deck, Panini, high-end or hockey to see here).

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