Stadium Fantasium

…Where Life's a Pitch

Wild Wild West

#crackingwaxmailday featuring 2019 Topps Heritage

Back in April, my favorite boxbreaker, Crackin’ Wax, offered up a divisional box break of 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball. I’d never participated in a divisional break before and wanted to see what that was like, especially for a product set I’m trying to complete. Of the six divisions in major league baseball, I was hoping to get the National League West (mainly because my favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are in the National League West). And guess what? I was lucky enough to be randomly selected to win all the National League West cards! I ended up with a total of 37 cards which includes two short prints, one insert and even a relic card! Crackin’ Wax was even kind enough to include a cool “Crackin’ Wax” refrigerator magnet.

Assorted 2019 Topps Heritage Dodgers base cards
Assorted 2019 Topps Heritage Dodgers base cards
The Kenta Maeda card is a shortprint and I'm lovin' that Corey Seager relic card!
The Kenta Maeda card is a shortprint and I'm lovin' that Corey Seager relic card!
A sampling of cards from the other teams in the NL West--the Trevor Story card is also a shortprint.
A sampling of cards from the other teams in the NL West--the Trevor Story card is also a shortprint.

Whenever I break a box, I almost never get a Dodger relic or auto. I’m almost convinced that Topps has it rigged so that a local collector cannot get a relic/auto of his local team out of a locally purchased box. And with my usual luck, this box would’ve had a relic/auto from some other team. But I got lucky again in getting that Corey Seager jersey relic. How wild is that?

So needless to say, I’m pretty happy with the cards I got. As we give Chris and LQ of Crackin’ Wax a big Stadium Fantasium ‘Thank You’, we’ll be looking forward to seeing what we get in Crackin’ Wax’s 2019 Topps Series 2 case break later this month. Until then, stay tuned…

Gypsy (Queen)

#CrackinWaxMailDay

Thanks to a group break with our go-to casebreaker friends, Christopher and LQ from Crackin’ Wax, I am a first-time owner of some Topps Gypsy Queen cards. I actually purchased a Topps Bundle group break spot with Crackin’ Wax and since the Dodgers spot was already taken, I purchased the Cubs spot. The Topps Bundle also includes breaks of Topps Series 2, Chrome and Update. You can see the Cubs cards I got from the Series 1 group break here.

Each case of Gypsy Queen contains 10 boxes, each including two autograph cards. Each box also contains a 3-card pack of Chrome Gypsy Queen cards. Now I’m not a devoted fan or expert of the Gypsy Queen line of Topps products, but as luck would have it, my share of the GQ group break leans to the lackluster side (no auto for me out of the 20 autos pulled):

2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Cubs base cards and a missing nameplate variation
2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Cubs base cards and a missing nameplate variation
More 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Cubs base cards
More 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Cubs base cards
Two 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Chrome Cubs
Two 2019 Topps Gypsy Queen Chrome Cubs
2019 Topps Gypsy Queen: Cubs Fortune Teller inserts with an Indigo parallel
2019 Topps Gypsy Queen: Cubs Fortune Teller inserts with an Indigo parallel

For the most part, these cards are pretty attractive, especially the Chrome cards. The front design and backs are fairly eye-catching. But these cards do not fit into the scope of what I collect. So into the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block they go.

In total, I got:

Base Cards

  • #4 Kyle Schwarber (6 each)
  • #32 Anthony Rizzo (6 each)
  • #68 Ian Happ (6 each)
  • #79 Willson Contreras (6 each)
  • #83 Kyle Hendricks (6 each)
  • #91 Albert Almora Jr. (6 each)
  • #100 Kris Bryant (6 each)
  • #117 Francisco Arcia (6 each)
  • #155 Javier Baez (6 each)
  • #182 Yu Darvish (6 each)
  • #272 Jason Heyward (6 each)

Inserts, parallels, variations

  • #83 Kyle Hendricks, Missing Nameplate (1)
  • #FTM-JB Javier Baez, Fortune Teller Mini (2)
  • #FTM-KB Kris Bryant, Fortune Teller Mini (2)
  • #FTM-JB Javier Baez, Fortune Teller Mini, Indigo parallel, serial #’d 152/250 (1)
  • #4 Kyle Schwarber, Chrome (1)
  • #155 Javier Baez, Chrome (1)

So my spot got no autos but ten (or more) spots also got no autos. But that’s okay. This is part of the risk of participating in group breaks. Perhaps there are some Cubs team set collectors or Cubs player collectors that would want to swing a deal for these cards–but I’m definitely keeping the cool Crackin’ Wax button!

Stay tuned…

Mailday: Unexpected Goodness from Crackin’ Wax

There are quite a few good people on the Internet who host case breaks but the one who really takes it to the next level is Christopher (and his lovely wife LQ) at Crackin’ Wax. What sets these great case breakers apart is that some of the case break proceeds go to charity (over $11,000 to date) and they also manage to host free box breaks for those who have bought spots in the previous month’s case breaks (see how it works).

So after buying spots in CW’s 2018 Topps Series 1 case break and in the 2018 Topps Heritage case break (my blog post here), I had two entries in CW’s March Free Box Break. Six winning entries would be randomly awarded a divisional spot. Winners and the product would be revealed the day of the box break on YouTube. As luck would have it, one of my entries was chosen and I was assigned the American League Central Division. And the product was a box on 2017 Topps High Tek Baseball. Each box contains 40 cards and includes two on-card autographs in addition to variations and parallels. Here are the cards I was lucky enough to receive:

2017toppshightekx3
2017toppshightekx2

Being a low-budget set collector, I had not paid any attention to this high-end product. Now that I have these in hand, I can see that they are not your traditional baseball cards. Featuring current and retired stars, these cards are actually see-through plastic (acetate) and are much more attractive than the scans indicate. I was also lucky enough to get one of the two on-card autos in the box–woohoo! And in case you hadn’t noticed, one of the cards shown above is former Angels outfielder Jim Edmonds. It looks like I was sent this card by mistake since the Angels don’t play in the Central division of the American League. I’ll be getting in touch with Christopher to see what to do about that.

In any case, I gotta give a big thanks and a tip of the Stadium Fantasium cap to Crackin’ Wax for these unexpected goodies. If you haven’t already, head over to Crackin’ Wax and take part in one of his case breaks. You’ll be helping out a charity organization and acquire cards for your collection at the same time. You could also get free bonus cards via a free box break.

To my genuine surprise, there always seems to be a pretty good abundance of good things happening here at Stadium Fantasium. Stay tuned…

Case Break Loot: 2018 Topps Heritage from Crackin’ Wax

Gotta give major props to major case breaker Crackin’ Wax (Home of the Charity Case Break) for recently hosting a case break of 2018 Topps Heritage baseball. This particular group break raised money for the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation, Inc. and the YouTube video can be seen on the Crackin Wax YouTube Channel. I wasn’t one of the lucky first ones to choose the Dodgers spot in this break so I went ahead and got the Cubs spot. As it turns out, I didn’t get a relic or autograph card but I’m more than happy with the cards I did get. Here are the highlights:

Many Duplicate Cubs Base Cards for Trade

Overall I have at least five duplicates of every regular Cubs base card available. Email me at bbcardz(at)stadiumfantasium(dot)com.

 

Short Prints and an Action Variation!

 

Heritage Inserts

 

Two Chrome, a Chrome Refractor and Three Purple (Hot Box) Refractors

 

1969 Topps Bazooka Ad Panel Box Topper

Although I’ve had spots in previous Crackin’ Wax group case breaks of Topps flagship baseball, this case break was the first that I got to see live on YouTube. I love that some of the proceeds go to charity. The case break hosts, Topher and his wife (LQ), are very entertaining and keep us viewers amused during these breaks. They are my go-to case breakers. Be sure to check out the Crackin’ Wax website and Crackin Wax YouTube channel. Stay tuned…

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!

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…

About Me

bbcardz logo

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).

Follow bbcardz on Twitter

Copyright © 2019 Stadium Fantasium
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