Cardpocalypse Like Sugar

Sweet! Tim from Cardpocalypse held some weekly Cardpocalypse contests during the month of May and I won a very nice relic card from his last “Anything Goes” contest. Tim also sent a dozen way cool Topps inserts that went a long way towards satisfying my craving for Topps flagship inserts. I’ll show the insert cards first and save the dessert (relic card) for last. First up is a couple of nice 2018 Topps inserts.

2018 Topps Salute #TS-22, 2018 Topps 1983 Topps #83-82
2018 Topps Salute #TS-22, 2018 Topps 1983 Topps #83-82
2020 Topps Decades' Best #DB-3, #DB-8, #DB-34, #DB-40
2020 Topps Decades' Best #DB-3, #DB-8, #DB-34, #DB-40

Here are four cards from one of the best insert card designs Topps has put out in recent years. The photos are fairly fresh (to me at least) but maybe a little bit overprocessed. This design is really eye-catching and works well in the overall borderless design.

But as much as I like this Decades’ Best insert set, something still looks off to me. It’s not readily apparent on the Fergie Jenkins card but if you look closely at the other three cards, you can see a dark gray drop shadow imposed just to the left of the player’s body. That is a little bit disconcerting to me but not a dealbreaker. Perhaps some may think it enhances the photo’s impact but I think it’s unnecessary and takes away slightly from the essence of the decade being evoked. But like I said, it’s not a dealbreaker.

More 2020 Topps insert goodness! I’m really surprised Tim included some Home Run Challenge cards in the envelope. These cards have the potential to win you some nice additional cards from Topps that are fairly rare. As you may know, it’s easy to enter this Topps online contest. After registering with Topps and entering the card’s code, you predict a date that the player pictured will hit a home run. If your player comes through for you, then you win a special serial-numbered version of the card. Last year I had only two of these HRC cards but I did win a special serial-numbered Gary Sanchez card, so that was nice.

Needless to say, this year will be different. There will be much fewer (if any) MLB games in which to predict a home run. I wouldn’t be surprised then if special 2020 HRC cards are awarded, then they will be more highly sought after than those of other years.

2020 Topps Home Run Challenge #HRC-3, #HRC-26, #HRC-30, 2020 Topps Choice #TC-11
2020 Topps Home Run Challenge #HRC-3, #HRC-26, #HRC-30, 2020 Topps Choice #TC-11
2020 Topps Decades' Next #DN-14, #DN-2, 2019 Topps Update All-Star Stitches Relics #ASSR-WM

The Topps Decade’s Next insert set may be a bit bland to some, considering that the design’s main colors are black, white and gold foil. But in my opinion it is still pretty distinctive and doesn’t seem to copy any previous Topps flagship design. The use of gold foil and it’s texture are big plusses for this set. As I mentioned in my review of 2020 Topps, Pleasure and Pain (A Review of 2020 Topps Series 1), I think Topps should try using this gold foil on the Topps Gold cards (which are serial-numbered to 2020).

And last but not least is the 2019 Topps Update All-Start Stitches Whit Merrifield card I won from Tim’s contest. Topps usually does a really good job with the design of these All-Star Stitches sets. The 2004 and 2016 designs immediately come to mind. The 2020 All-Stitches design is definitely right up there with them.

Topps got a nice head start on this design with MLB’s 2019 All-Star logo which incorporates a guitar (given that the 2019 All-Star game was held in Cleveland–home of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame). Topps added a guitar neck and a stylized silhouette of the Cleveland skyline for the nameplate. It all adds up to a very pleasing look for this traditional relic set.

Rather surprisingly, Topps has announced in May that there will be a 2020 Topps Update product. Much like the 2020 MLB season, it remains to be seen if it will actually happen.

A rousing Stadium Fantasium standing ovation goes out to Tim and his Cardpocalypse blog for sending these great cards over to the Stadium Fantasium collection–thanks Tim!

Contest plug: As of this writing, thirteen players are still needed to sign up for the Big Fun Game at Johnny’s Trading Spot. Check it out if you haven’t played before.

Question of the Day:

Seeing as the 2020 MLB All-Star game at Dodger Stadium has been cancelled, do you think Topps will still somehow manage to put an All-Star Stitches relic set in 2020 Topps Update?

Stay tuned…

The Tide is High(ly Subjective and Completely Arbritrary)

Note from Highly Subjective and Completely and Complete Arbitrary

One part of the fantastic current wave of hobby blog giveaways are the great cards offered by Brian at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary (or HSACA for short). Brian did his version of Free Stuff Friday for 20 weeks(!), starting in February of this year and did his last one on June 19th. I picked up the two Topps cards pictured on the right from Brian’s Free Card Friday #1.

2017 Topps Salute #S-37
2017 Topps Salute #S-37
2019 Topps Gold #615
2019 Topps Gold #615
2018 Topps 1983 #83-18
2018 Topps 1983 #83-18

While surfing through Brians’s want lists, I saw that he had listed a few 1969 Topps baseball needs. I don’t really have much that other people need but I did happen to have a near mint duplicate of a ’69 Topps Rico Carty (Braves). You can see the card on Brian’s “Free Trade Agreements” post. I think Brian was pretty happy to get this card because he sent me four extra cards from my want list. Included were these two 2018 Topps inserts (Nolan Ryan and José Altuve).

2018 Topps Salute #TS-7
2018 Topps Salute #TS-7
2018 Topps Heritage #422 (short print)
2018 Topps Heritage #422 (short print)
2018 Topps Heritage #479 (short print)
2018 Topps Heritage #479 (short print)

Also included were these two 2018 Topps Heritage short prints. I’m happy to report that these two Heritage cards helped me complete the White Sox and Reds portions of my 2018 Heritage base set. After updating my want list, I see that I’m getting really close to completing this set–not an easy task considering that this set (including Heritage High Numbers) has 125 short print cards.

The terrific-looking cards pictured on the right were chosen from Brian’s Free Stuff Friday #15 back in the middle of May. As recently as 2018, I did not care much for parallels. I really don’t have the time to collect endless sets of parallels. (I’m only making an exception for the 1992 Topps Gold Winners and 1993 Topps Gold sets.)

Like many Topps flagship baseball card collectors, I have a number of various gold, black, emerald, cognac, and diamond parallels from past flagship sets. I never really knew what to do with these but I didn’t want to trade them either.

So now that I’m slowly getting my cards inventoried and putting them in binders, I finally figured out how to fit parallels into my collection. I’ve always organized my cards in boxes by teams–not numerical order. The cards in my binders will be organized by teams also. The thing I don’t like is that the last card of one team may end up right next to the first card of the next team. I prefer that the next team start on the next page. So I use the parallels to fill in the spaces. Thus, the Jesus Montero Emerald Foil card will go next to his regular base card.

To me, the great thing about adding various parallels to the binders is that in most cases they have the same number as the base card and add variety to a nine-pocket page. So now parallels have a purpose in my set binders and I don’t need to collect an entire parallel set. So any given binder of mine can show golds, camo, Independence Day and other parallels right next to its corresponding base card. I could even end up with a rainbow of a player in some set binders.

2012 Topps Golden Moments #GM-6, 2013 Topps Emerald Foil #459, 2019 Topps Rainbow Foil #307
2012 Topps Golden Moments #GM-6, 2013 Topps Emerald Foil #459, 2019 Topps Rainbow Foil #307

So Brian’s Free Stuff Friday #16 post appeared on May 22nd and I chose the cards pictured on the right. The cards arrived the following Thursday. The next day, Brian posted Free Stuff Friday #17 and mentioned that his local post office “is out of commission, and may or may not have had fire damage in the wake of demonstrations…”. Well that’s certainly something to be concerned about.

1982 Fleer #631
1982 Fleer #631
2015 Topps Rainbow Foil #260
2015 Topps Rainbow Foil #260

Then the next day I saw a picture on Facebook of a burned out brick building. It was Brian’s post office. The building’s signage even had the same zip code as Brian’s return address on the PWE Brian had sent. That was a bit jarring.

But that didn’t stop Brian from posting his weekly Free Stuff Friday posts. Brian kept sailing ahead and in Free Stuff Friday #20, I picked up these three cards. All three are very nice cards but the Bob Gibson card is the one that really caught my attention. That’s because a couple of months ago, I picked up 11 other assorted Mound Dominance cards along with a few hundred other cards from baseballcardstore.ca. Mound Dominance is a 15-card insert set and I think it may now be near-complete. However, it will probably be some time before I can dig up the one I already have to know which ones I still need.

And so we honor Brian with a hearty Stadium Fantasium standing ovation for his generosity.

1996 Topps #205, 2012 Topps Mound Marvels #MD-6, 2018 Topps Salute Series 2 #S-77
1996 Topps #205, 2012 Topps Mound Marvels #MD-6, 2018 Topps Salute Series 2 #S-77

So do you aggressively pursue short printed and or parallel cards?

Stay tuned…

House of Fun (Fridays)

In case you hadn’t heard, John over at Johnny’s Trading Spot has been running a nifty contest each Friday for quite a while now and it is quite fun, too. I just recently started participating and won some nice cards which I’ll share here:

Allen & Ginter mini cards
2012 Allen & Ginter #86 & 2013 Allen & Ginter #321
2013 Allen & Ginter mini NNO #'d /25, front and back
2013 Allen & Ginter mini NNO #'d /25, front and back

Yes, I won a nice pile of assorted Allen & Ginter mini cards and some Gypsy Queen mini cards. There was even a tough-to-pull Artie Lange (non-numbered) with the Baseball back #’d to 25.

More Allen & Ginter cards
More Allen & Ginter minis: 2015 #189, #106, MM-2, 2014 #ITU-09, 2016 FF-8
Gypsy Queen minis: 2015 #10 and #179, 2016 #295 and #280
Gypsy Queen minis: 2015 #10 and #179, 2016 #295 and #280

So those were the mini cards I won the first time I entered John’s Fun Fridays contest. But John wasn’t done yet. Included in the envelope with the mini cards was this surprise:

Surprise 1967 Topps #72 Tommy John (front and back)
Surprise 1967 Topps #72 Tommy John (front and back)

Tommy John became one of my favorite players when he joined the Dodgers in the early 70’s so this was a very nice surprise–which now has the conspiracy theorist in me wondering. Is it just coincidence that John sent a card of a player with a last name that’s the same as John’s first name? Hmmm…

So then at the beginning of March, John held signups for more Fun Friday contests and I signed up. I had to wait until the third Friday in March to play but I got first choice. So Friday morning arrives and I check Johnny’s blog to see if he’s started the game–nope, not yet. Checking previous contests, I see that John usually started the contests in the evening, so I made a mental note to check John’s blog later.

Doh! With virtually most everything closing down and other coronavirus developments (and dinner) getting all of my attention, my mental note got pushed down to the bottom of my mental desk and I forgot about checking in with John’s blog. By the time I remembered, my turn had been skipped. But the good news is that John still sent a consolation prize:

Six cards from the 30-card 1994 Post cereal set
Six cards from the 30-card 1994 Post cereal set

And with that, we give John a hearty Stadium Fantasium standing “O” for his generosity in having these contests. You rock John! Remember to check out John’s Johnny’s Trading Spot blog, wash your hands, stay home and stay tuned…

Padrographs and Memories

Padrographs and Memories

Whew! My work schedule finally slowed down enough to let me get back to posting here again–thank goodness! I’m so behind on posting a ton of cards I’ve received in the last few months and expressing my gratitude. Now it’s time to begin catching up…

Back in late May, Rod of the great Padrographs blog offered up large stacks of cards sorted by team. Since the Dodgers cards were already spoken for, I requested Angels cards (my 2nd favorite team since they’re also in SoCal). Not only that, Rod also ran a contest with multiple winners and I won a prize. First, a rather large sampling of the 78 Angels cards that Rod sent…

2019 cards
Some 2019 Topps Series 1, Heritage, Opening Day and Donruss
Some 2019 Angels cards
More 2019 cards (Gypsy Queen, Big League, Total and Bowman)
2018 Angels cards from Topps flagship, Heritage and Big League
More 2018 Angels cards (Topps Archives, Gypsy Queen, Bowman Chrome and Topps Gallery)
Other assorted Angels cards from 2017 Topps Series 1, 2007 UD Future Stars, 2009 UD Series 1, 1993 Bowman, 1992 Topps and 1990 Topps

Rod was also kind enough to include a 2018 Topps Archives insert card of former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza. And the 2009 Upper Deck Game Jersey card of Alex Gordon was my prize from the aforementioned Padrographs contest.

2018 Topps Archives Rookie History 24T
2018 Topps Archives Rookie History 24T
2009 Upper Deck -Game Jersey GJ-GO
2009 Upper Deck -Game Jersey GJ-GO

And with that, we give a hearty Stadium Fantasium standing ovation to Padrograph’s Rod. Thank you Rod!

And speaking of contests, look for Stadium Fantasium’s 2nd Annual Rose Bowl Contest coming soon. Stay tuned…

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Stadium Fantasium “Wins” Cards From Cards On Cards

Some of you may remember that one of our most popular fellow bloggers, Kerry of Cards on Cards, had a College Bowl Pick’em Contest #10 back in December/January. A total of 28 people entered the contest. The first place winner won a 2019 Topps Series 1 blaster. The second prize winner would get a Priority Mail padded envelope full of cards from their favorite team/player(s)/etc. The entrant who ended up in last place would be the winner of the “Rhubarb Runner Trophy” and receive whatever Kerry felt like sending. As Kerry said on his contest post, “Be very afraid to finish last. I don’t advise it.” So guess who ended up in 28th (last) place in his contest?

2019 ESPN Bowl Pick 'em, Cards on Cards Group
2019 ESPN Bowl Pick ’em, Cards on Cards Group

Yes, I admit it was me. In no way did I try to finish last. I really wanted to win the Topps blaster because those are the cards I collect. I even did a half-hour’s worth of research (don’t laugh) on college football to help me with my picks. Alas, it was all for naught (except for the last place prize cards that Kerry sent as shown below).

Contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
Contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 2019 Topps Heritage #34 Cody Bellinger
  2. 2019 Topps Heritage #366 Matt Kemp AS
  3. 2019 Topps Heritage #5 Alex Wood
  4. 2019 Topps Heritage #197 NLCS Game 5
  1. 2017 Topps #685 Enrique Hernandez
  2. 2011 Topps Insert #HOT-7
  3. 2017 Topps Insert #MLBN-7 Sean Casey
  4. 2019 Topps Opening Day #48 Matt Kemp
  1. 1987 Topps #596 Steve Sax
  2. 1988 Topps #249 Mike Marshall
  3. 1990 Topps #426 Jeff Hamilton
  1. 1991 Topps #279 José Gonzalez
  2. 1991 Topps #367 Dave Walsh
  3. 1990 Topps #789 Tom Lasorda MGR
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 1983 Donruss Hall of Fame Heroes #2 Walter Johnson
  2. 1988 Donruss #475 Dave Anderson
  3. 2019 Donruss #245 Caleb Ferguson
  1. 2019 Donruss #37 Dennis Santana
  2. 2019 Donruss #53 Cody Bellinger
  3. 2019 Donruss #95 Justin Turner
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #120 Cody Bellinger
  2. 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #88 Kenta Maeda
  3. 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #68 Yasiel Puig
  1. 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #153 Sloane Stephens
  2. 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #179 Tyronn Lue
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 1990 Leaf #16 Hubie Brooks
  2. 1990 Leaf #49 Mike Scioscia
  3. 1990 Leaf #68 Fernando Valenzuela
  4. 1990 Leaf #95 Alfredo Griffin
  5. 1990 Leaf #173 Kirk Gibson
  1. 1990 Leaf #181 Eddie Murray
  2. 1990 Leaf #226 Juan Samuel
  3. 1990 Leaf #313 Kal Daniels
  4. 1990 Leaf #411 Chris Gwynn
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 1990 Pacific Legends #99 Lou Piniella
  2. 1991 Stadium Club #65 Lenny Harris
  3. 1992 Fleer Ultra #215 José Offerman
  1. 1992 Score #195 Eddie Murray
  2. 2013 Panini Pinnacle #22 Clayton Kershaw
  3. 2013 Panini Pinnacle #64 Carl Crawford
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 1990 Upper Deck #44 Jose Vizcaino
  2. 1990 Upper Deck #46 Jose Offerman
  3. 1990 Upper Deck #377 John Wetteland
  1. 1990 Upper Deck #423 Lenny Harris
  2. 2009 Upper Deck – USA 18U National Team insert #18U-DT Donovan Tate
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 2011 Bowman Sterling – USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Relic Refractor #USAR-BR Brady Rodgers
  2. 2010 Bowman Chrome – USA Team #USA-BC13 insert Brad Miller
  1. 2003 Topps Chrome #7 Odalis Perez
  2. 2003 Topps Chrome #30 Darren Dreifort
  3. 1995 Topps Finest #94 Tom Candiotti
More contest prize cards from Cards on Cards
  1. 2018 Topps Archives insert #SL-WP Wendy Peppercorn
  2. 1988 Conlon World Wide Sports Series 5 #1 Nick Altrock
  3. 1991 Pro Set PGA Tour #75 Curtis Strange
  4. 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter – Menagerie of the Mind insert #MM-13 Cyclops
  5. 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter – Great Scott! insert #GS-6 Deoxyribonucleic Acid
  1. 1994 Star Trek Customizable Card Game: 1st Edition Premiere – White Bordered Expansion Set #NUSP Null Space
  2. 1992-93 Panini Stickers #18 1992 NBA Finals (Action scene/lower left) Chicago Bulls / Portland Trail Blazers
  3. 2010-11 Panini Stickers #6 Eastern Conference Logo
Waxpacks! 1988 Donruss and 1990 Donruss
Waxpacks! 1988 Donruss and 1990 Donruss

I must say, this is a rather overwhelming prize for last place. Kerry sent a ton of Dodgers cards and some non-Dodgers cards. The two Donruss waxpacks were a nice touch, too. Although a couple of these cards are actually hard for me to look at, I do appreciate the time and thought that went into selecting these cards from numerous brands and years. Some cards will end up on the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block but some are actually needed for my sets–thanks Kerry!

As we stand and give Cards On Cards a rousing Stadium Fantasium standing ovation, we look forward to entering Kerry’s College Bowl Pick’em Contest #11. I’d really like to see if I can go from worst to first and win next year’s Topps Series 1 prize. I might have to do more than 30 minutes of research though. I don’t know if I have that kind of time…hmmm.

Stay tuned…

Lucky Man

Recently, Matt from the great hobby blog Parts of my Past (the blog formerly known as Sports Card Collectors) had a Twitter giveaway. Matt was giving away a number of 2019 Topps Heritage inserts and variations from a box he broke and reviewed here. I’ve been on Twitter a little over a year and this is the first time I’ve ever won anything on Twitter (not that I participate in a ton of Twitter contests).

Assorted 2019 Topps Heritage inserts and variations
Assorted 2019 Topps Heritage inserts and variations

The six cards I won are:

  • #457 Eric Hosmer – French Text parallel
  • #3 Khris Davis – 1970 Topps Scratch Offs
  • #468 Nolan Arenado – Action Variation
  • #NAP-7 Francisco Lindor – New Age Performers
  • #NAP-14 Shohei Ohtani – New Age Performers
  • #NAP-22 Nolan Arenado – New Age Performers
Assorted 2019 Topps Heritage inserts and variations (backs)
Assorted 2019 Topps Heritage inserts and variations (backs)

As we give Matt a rousing Stadium Fantasium standing ovation, I gotta say I’m so happy I won these. Normally I don’t enter any card contests unless the prize includes cards that fit into my collection.

Did you like the image at the top of this post? The inspiration to frame Matt’s tweet with the 1970 Topps design came from these fellow bloggers’ helpful posts:

UPDATE: Matt is having another Twitter giveaway featuring some 2019 Gypsy Queen cards from a box that he broke and reviewed here.

Matt's Twitter giveaway!
Matt's Twitter giveaway!

So in my next post we’ll see if my luck continues in a group break–stay tuned…

Good Thing

Congratulatory letter from sportscardinfo.com

Back on February 16th, sportscardinfo.com ran a contest that offered a 2019 Topps 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of former Red Sox 1B/DH David Ortiz. Now I usually don’t enter contests unless the prize is something I can really use, especially if I need it for my set collections. Since I mostly focus on Topps flagship and recent Topps Heritage baseball, this contest definitely fit the bill. This was one contest prize I really wanted.

All contestants had to do to enter was comment on the contest post (limited to one comment/entry per day). The contest deadline was February 22nd and a total of 79 comments/entries were submitted and randomized. And to my surprise, I was the winner of this card!

2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz
2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz
Back of 2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz
Back of 2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz

In case you hadn’t noticed, sportscardinfo.com generously runs quite a few contests. As we give sportscardinfo.com a big Stadium Fantasium thank you and standing ovation, make sure you take a look at the right sidebar’s “Blog Contests Lineup”. There you’ll find some of the current contests being held by fellow hobby bloggers.

So are you a frequent participant in hobby contests in the blogosphere and/or on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below. Until then, stay tuned…

Caribbean Blue (Donruss 1992)

1992 Donruss card element
Screenshot from a 1992 Donruss commercial
Screenshot from a 1992 Donruss commercial

Wow. I can’t believe I actually won a contest prize over at Adam’s ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession. It really wasn’t due to due to a correct guess/prediction in one of his minicontests. None of the contestants in a particular mini-contest got the correct answer so the contestants user names were randomized and mine luckily came out on top.

The prize was a complete set of cards, as described in Adam’s original contest post, “The list will certainly include 1986-91 Topps, 1988 & 90-92 Donruss, 1989-91 Score and 1990 Fleer baseball sets and 1990 Score Football”. So as you may have figured by now from the title of this post, I opted for the 1992 Donruss baseball set.

Of all the baseball sets listed on Adam’s prize list, I had the least amount of cards from this set and this was definitely a set I wanted to complete. Although this set may have a bad reputation with some collectors, I’ve always found the design rather attractive, especially for a low-end product. The rather thin bars of light blue with their gradient effect at the top and bottom of most cards and the silver block-lettered names just strike me as pleasingly pleasant. See for yourself:

A sample of 1992 Donruss baseball cards

Adam even included the eight bonus cards, BC-1 through BC-8. The Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies logo cards above are BC-7 and BC-8. The Marlins and Rockies would begin their inaugural season in 1993.

But that was not all Adam sent. He also sent a complete 33-card set of 1987 Topps K-Mart and a complete 33-card set of 1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team. Both of these are sets I did not own. Check ’em out:

1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box front and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box front and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box back and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box back and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box front and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box front and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box back and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box back and assorted cards

And so we give Adam (ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession) a well-deserved Stadium Fantasium standing ovation for the contest and the prize! Thanks Adam!

Next for this newly acquired set:

  • Enter these cards in my collection on TCDB (Trading Card Database)
  • Inventory the associated insert cards I have for the 1992 set
  • Create a wantlist of insert cards
  • Put all of the cards Adam sent into a binder

Until then, stay tuned…