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…

Something (from A Cracked Bat)

Mail day from A Cracked Bat
Mail Day from A Cracked Bat
Mail Day from A Cracked Bat

Happy Valentine’s Day! Last month, hobby blogger extraordinaire Julie of A Cracked Bat posted a boatload of images of baseball cards that she was offering up free for the asking (limited to nine cards per person). So I went ahead and took her up on her offer. Julie also surprised me with a couple of cards from my 2018 Topps Heritage want list.

2019 Topps Rainbow Foil #15 and #614, 2019 Topps Heritage Now And Then NT-6 (Trevor Bauer)
2019 Topps Rainbow Foil #15 and #614, 2019 Topps Heritage Now And Then NT-6 (Trevor Bauer)
2017 Topps Update Untouchables #U-11, 2003 Topps Own the Game #JOG-3 and 2018 Topps Archives #268
2017 Topps Update Untouchables #U-11, 2003 Topps Own the Game #JOG-3 and 2018 Topps Archives #268
2000 Topps Hank Aaron Reprints #1 and 1997 Topps Willie Mays Reprints #13
2000 Topps Hank Aaron Reprints #1 and 1997 Topps Willie Mays Reprints #13

I love collecting the Hank Aaron and Willie Mays reprint cards. I think I have about half of each set. I really need to inventory them and put them in binders along with the main 1997 and 2000 Topps sets.

2018 Topps Heritage #427 & #488 & NAP-1
2018 Topps Heritage #427 & #488 & NAP-1

The two left-most 2018 Topps Heritage cards above (V-Mart and Jake Marisnick) were the two want list cards that Julie sent—so thoughtful! Those two cards are short prints and I now need less than 50 short prints to complete that portion of the set.

That reminds me, I still need to get together a trade list and want list for my 2018 Topps High Number cards. And then I gotta make room for 2020 Topps Heritage while still working on completing 2019 Topps Heritage. It’s always something

Night Owl (Cards)

Continuing the Backlog of Cards Sent to Me From Generous People series of blog posts, last month none other than Night Owl sent over a big stack of Dodgers awesomeness. It was quite a surprise to say the least–cards from all over the baseball card spectrum. Relics, patches, autos (IP even!), inserts, shiny, die-cut, vintage, oddball, serial-numbered, parallels, rookie cards, wrapper redemptions, online exclusives–they’re all here. Even a Ron Cey card is here. Here’s a sampling of what was sent:

2015 Stadium Club Legends Die-Cuts #LDC-03 and 2012 Topps Gold Rush #55
2015 Stadium Club Legends Die-Cuts #LDC-03 and 2012 Topps Gold Rush (Wrapper Redemption) #55
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game Dodger Greats Memorabilia #LAD-MW
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game - Dodger Greats Memorabilia #LAD-MW
2013 Topps - Chasing History Relics #CHR-HR
2013 Topps - Chasing History Relics #CHR-HR
2003 Topps 205 - Relics #TR-KI
2003 Topps 205 - Relics #TR-KI
2003 UD Sweet Spot - Patches #HN1
2003 UD Sweet Spot - Patches #HN1
2017 Topps Chrome - Rookie Autographs #RA-RS, 2017 Donruss Optic #14, 2018 Donruss Optic Purple #172
2017 Topps Chrome - Rookie Autographs #RA-RS, 2017 Donruss Optic #14, 2018 Donruss Optic Purple #172
2019 Topps NBCD #14, 2019 Panini Diamond Kings -2004 DK Retro Set #DK04-CK, 2014 Stadium Club - Field Access #FA-18, 2018 Topps - MLB Awards #MLBA-4, 2016 Topps Update - Fire #F-1, 2018 Topps - Legends in the Making Black #LTM-YD
2019 Topps NBCD #14, 2019 Panini Diamond Kings -2004 DK Retro Set #DK04-CK, 2014 Stadium Club - Field Access #FA-18, 2018 Topps - MLB Awards #MLBA-4, 2016 Topps Update - Fire #F-1, 2018 Topps - Legends in the Making Black #LTM-YD
2018 NBCD (SGA) #LAD-5, 2018 Topps - Target Cody Bellinger Highlights #CB-18, 2019 Donruss #133, 2019 Topps Total #133, 2016 Topps Archives - 1969 Topps Super #TS-JP, 2011 Bowman - Green #82 (serial #'d 217/450)
2002 Leaf - Press Proofs Red #28, 2007 Topps - Red Back #271, 2005 Donruss - Production Line OPS #PL-3 (serial #'d 983/1017, 1995 Leaf #267, 1995 Topps Traded & Rookies #40T, 1993 SP #98
2002 Leaf - Press Proofs Red #28, 2007 Topps - Red Back #271, 2005 Donruss - Production Line OPS #PL-3 (serial #'d 983/1017, 1995 Leaf #267, 1995 Topps Traded & Rookies #40T, 1993 SP #98
1987 Fleer #460 (IP autographed!), 1988 Topps #550, 1988 Leaf #122
1987 Fleer #460, 1988 Topps #550, 1988 Leaf #122
1978 Topps #630, 1978 Topps #168, 1979 O-Pee-Chee #178, 1971 Topps #188, 1971 Topps #145
1978 Topps #630, 1978 Topps #168, 1979 O-Pee-Chee #178, 1971 Topps #188, 1971 Topps #145

I’m pretty sure these cards were sent in response to the complete run of 2018 Topps Dodgers 60th Anniversary stadium giveaway cards I sent to Night Owl. I’m flattered that he kept me in mind all this time. So from one diehard Dodger fan to another, we give a rousing Stadium Fantasium standing ovation to Night Owl. Huzzah! Thanks so much! Stay tuned…

Happy (“Season of Giving” – Nachos Grande)

Note from Nachos Grande

Last month I was happy to receive a package of cards in the mail from esteemed fellow blogger Chris of Nachos Grande. Chris was kind enough to take some time to look through the few want lists I have on this blog and gifted me these great-looking cards (the 1969 Topps design is my 2nd favorite Topps design of all time):

Cards from Nachos Grande

Most of these cards are from 2018 Topps Heritage–Topps did a really great job of recreating the 1969 Topps baseball design (although it would have been even more faithful to the ’69 set if the team name of the Astros cards was actually “HOUSTON”). Chris also included an insert card from the 2018 Topps flagship set. I thought it was so cool that it was a 35th Anniversary 1983 Topps Barry Larkin, seeing that Chris has a huge Barry Larkin PC. Obviously, this was a duplicate and I’m grateful for it and all the others.

This was not the first time I received cards from Chris, as noted here in a previous Stadium Fantasium post. A big Stadium Fantasium standing ovation goes out to Chris! btw, I’m also happy that I’ve finally added my 2019 Topps Heritage trade list to the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block, so take a look. Stay tuned…

Do You Remember (the Astrodome)

Mailday from Marc (Remember the Astrodome)

Back in December, I made a rather sizeable trade on Trading Card Database with Bru of the Marc Brubaker blog (formerly Remember the Astrodome). I sent Marc some ’90’s oddball cards (1990 Jumbo California Sunflower Seeds, 1993 Upper Deck Denny’s Holograms, 1996 Denny’s Holograms, a 2019 Topps Heritage Max Scherzer Candy Lid, a 2019 Topps Heritage Khris Davis Scratch-Off and a nice original 1969 Topps #458 Curt Blefary of the Astros). Marc sent me a big stack of cards I needed to move closer to completing various sets. Check ’em out:

Mail day from Bru (Remember the Astrodome)
Mail day from Bru (Remember the Astrodome)--love the packaging and the note!
A nice assortment of cards from Bru
A nice assortment of cards from Bru

Most of the cards I received are 2019 Topps Heritage (including a couple of short-prints) but I also received a 2018 Topps card and a 1996 Denny’s Hologram card of Tony Gwynn. I really love the 2019 Topps Heritage set and I’m happy that Marc put a huge dent in my want list. This set is about 87% complete. But tracking down those remaining short-print cards and those pesky Action Variation cards will take considerable time (and probably money). Still, at least I now have most of the inserts.

Scan of some the highlights of the trade

A warm Stadium Fantasium standing ovation goes out to Marc for this awesome trade. I look forward to more trades with Marc. Stay tuned…