Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Allen & Ginter - Pack 1

Firstly, I wish to re-iterate from the previous post.

These packs are not from my box entry into Gint-a-Cuffs. With only $25 to spare today I needed to find something for the official launch day of Allen & Ginter. I could not afford a whole box so six packs will have to suffice.

I already started off the season with my favorite NL team and after some awesome chicken legs for dinner I am ready to post the remains of LFB2B's inaugural pack of 2010 A&G.

Here are the rest as they showed themselves....

The first non-sport card.....

Card #103 - Niccolo Machiavelli

Next we have.......

Card #208 - Evan Longoria

....doing his best imitation of David Puddy

Following that we have Craig Gentry of the Texas Rangers and Chase Utley of some team that were once World F-ing Champions.

Lastly, rounding out the base cards in this pack is....

Card #339 - Ben Sheets

The first mini card of the season also happens to be a Ginter backed variation of Brad Hawpe of the Colorado Rockies.

This next card had me excited for a micro-second of a moment. I recall a similar design for the back of the card was used with the Rip-cards last year and I thought I had gotten lucky. However, it turns out it was only a Josh Johnson 'This Day in History' card. Which I have yet to figure out the significance of. He was born in 1984 and the event highlighted on the card happened in 1958. Twenty-six years is an irregular number for a set like this.

Stuff like that bugs me, sorry. Anyway, here is the card.

Finally we end off Pack #1 with an advertisement for Ginter Code 2010. These are the first ad/filler cards that I actually feel regretful tossing in the dumpster.

These are nice cards.........see?!?

I have five more loose packs of these to tear open and I am finding it hard to control myself. I have already opened another while composing this post. I am going to try and be strong and only open 1 more pack tonight. The rest I need to occupy me tomorrow as it IS a holiday here in the Great White North. Here is hoping I can be good.

Until then, as I did last year, I give you........



Cheers, EH!!?!!

Fresh Outta The Pack

..........and the very first Allen & Ginter card out of the very first pack of 2010 Allen & Ginter to appear on LFB2B is..................


Just had enough for 6 packs on "opening" day. My box for the famed Gint-a-Cuffs competition should be in hand in a couple of weeks.

The rest of the packs?

Hopefully later tonight.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

We All Needed Some Inspiration

All I have to say is, if THIS doesn't make you feel good about our hobby and being a collector then you should pack up your gear and move on.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Productive Saturday Leads To A Found eBay Purchase

To say that I have been letting things slack lately would be an understatement. Stacks of cards, packs and yellow envelopes have begun to pile up on my desk that used to be empty. With rain falling on and off today cutting the lawn was not an option. So, I decided to attack the backlog that is my "relaxing hobby".

Finding an RSS reader, subscribing to all your wonderful blog feeds and categorizing those blogs for ease of comprehension........DONE!

Compiling a master needs list of 2010 National Chicle and Series 2 baseball........DONE!

Catching up on emails with prospective trading partners.......IN PROGRESS.

All this while finally enjoying my subscription to MLB.TV.......Rays/D'backs just ended and Cubs/White Sox underway.

As I was sorting some singles and going through the clutter I found an envelope that had arrived almost a month ago and subsequently was lost in the shuffle. Like finding a $20 bill in a coat you had not worn since last fall, I was excited.

I quickly remembered that this purchase was inspired by a post over at 'Voice of the Collector'. I was nowhere close to collecting baseball cards in 2005 and thus missed out on a really cool product. 2005 Upper Deck Origins Baseball was a set that featured vintage looking tin signs. I decided to see if there was one available to add to my Jackie Robinson collection.

Thankfully, this was a part of the set.

Now, I am at a loss as to how to display this gem. I was considering visiting some of the antique collectors around here and getting suggestions as to the best way to have this sign framed.

Have any of you done something unique to display nostalgic tin signs or ads in general. If I can find an appealing way to display them I have other ads that I would like to put up as well.

A big "Thank-you" goes out to VOTC for the inspirational post that led me to search out this addition to my collection.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just a Reminder

Don't forget to claim your spot today. We are breaking a case of 2010 Allen & Ginter here and someone is walking away with a rip-card for sure.

Follow the link to the Sign-up post.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Box Break - 2010 Topps Series 2 Jumbo

This past Wednesday my second box of Series 2 Topps came in to my LCS. Sadly, this will probably be the last box I get from 'Allstar Cards and Comics' because he is shutting his doors in a couple weeks. This store is on its third owner. I began shopping at this store when it first opened and roughly the same time the first owner sold was the time I got out of the hobby. I never knew the second owner and by the time I returned to collecting the third owner had been running it for a few years. All that leaves in town is a guy who is so dishonest in his business that outside the small circle of "regulars" he deals with I know of no one who frequents his set-up.

I previously dragged out the first box break for 10-days so there is no desire to revisit any of the base cards. So, without further ado and lamentation here is a quick rundown of the inserts and "hits" from this box.

Before that though, these a little matter.

Soundtrack - The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing

Okay, first the 'Turkey Red' inserts......

TR52 - Adam Dunn
TR55 - Aaron Hill
TR58 - Joey Votto
TR63 - Nate McLouth

TR67 - Grady Sizemore
TR70 - Jackie Robinson
TR74 - Tom Seaver
TR79 - Raul Ibanez

TR94 - Kurt Suzuki
TR100 - Derek Jeter

I needed 7 out of the 10 and am almost halfway to completion of the set. 26 to go.

'2020 3D Allstars'

T1 - Ryan Braun
T6 - Hunter Pence
T9 - Madson Bumgarner
T11 - Joe Mauer
T12 - Chris Coghlan
T13 - Andrew McCutchen
T14 - Ubaldo Jimenez
T15 - Pablo Sandoval
T19 - Zack Greinke
T20 - Matt Kemp

Not so lucky with these ones. I guess hoping for perfect collation with the first box is too much to I needed only 3 of these 10 and I am 6 away from the set.

'Vintage Legends'

VLC3 - Reggie Jackson
VLC4 - Tris Speaker
VLC6 - Willie McCovey
VLC10 - Babe Ruth
VLC17 - Mike Schmidt
VLC18 - Johnny Bench
VLC20 - Ty Cobb
VLC22 - Roy Campanella
VLC23 - Cy Young
VLC24 - Pee Wee Reese

This lot absolutely sucked, I only needed 2 of the 10. As for the set I am 9 away from completion.

The last insert set I am chasing came as a bit of an afterthought and made sense seeing as I gathered the first two history related insert sets from Series 1.....

'History of the World Series'

HWS1 - Christy Mathewson
HWS3 - Babe Ruth
HWS4 - Rogers Hornsby
HWS5 - Babe Ruth

HWS13 - Yogi Berra
HWS16 - Brooks Robinson
HWS17 - Dennis Eckersley
HWS19 - Jason Varitek
HWS24 - Chase Utley
HWS25 - Nick Swisher

This collection went the best of them needing 8 of 10. I have 18 of the set so only 7 left to find.

The rest of these, minus the Cubs and Jays needed, are all up for grabs as I have no interest in putting the sets together.

'The Cards Your Mom Threw Out'

CMT60 - Mickey Mantle
CMT72 - Carl Yastrzemski
CMT78 - Frank Robinson
CMT82 - George Brett
CMT84 - Tom Seaver
CMT87 - Joe Morgan
CMT94 - Don Mattingly
CMT97 - Frank Thomas
CMT102 - Babe Ruth
CMT109 - Joe Mauer

'Legendary Lineage'

LL31 - Johnny Bench/Joe Mauer
LL34 - Eddie Mathews/Chipper Jones
LL37 - Jackie Robinson/Ichiro
LL38 - Cal Ripken Jr./Hanley Ramirez
LL46 - Luis Aparicio/Alexei Ramirez
LL52 - Dale Murphy/Matt Kemp
LL53 - Nolan Ryan/Justin Verlander
LL54 - Ozzie Smith/Elvis Andrus
LL57 - Yogi Berra/Jorge Posada
LL60 - Ryne Sandberg/Chase Utley

'Peak Performance'

PP52 - Lance Berkman
PP55 - George Kell
PP67 - Derrek Lee
PP70 - Joe Morgan
PP74 - Dan Uggla
PP79 - Matt Kemp
PP82 - Yogi Berra
PP94 - Nick Markakis
PP97 - Thurman Munson
PP100 - Zack Greinke

Gold Parallel

335 - Jordan Norberto
341 - Texas Rangers 'Franchise History'
403 - Jimmy Rollins
408 - Detroit Tigers 'Franchise History'
445 - Miguel Olivo
497 - Edgar Renteria
516 - Marlon Byrd
561 - Ryan Zimmerman
563 - Bronson Arroyo
595 - Mike Lowell

The final inserts out of this box are the "original back" parallel from 'The Cards Your Mother Threw Out' set. I pulled a 1988 Darryl Strawberry........

.....the black border parallel numbered 14/59 was Kanekoa Texeira of the Seattle Mariners....

....and the 'Red Hot Rookie' redemption card would have netted me a nice 40-50 dollars a few days ago, but now not so much.

As always, showing last are the three "hits" per box. Just like the last box I pulled 1 'Peak Performance' auto and 1 'Peak Performance' relic with the manufactured hat patch making for "hit" number three. The manufactured patches are fairly decent looking but I find it depends on the logo you pull. I pulled a Detroit Tigers logo featuring Max Scherzer, pretty nice looking.

I was happy to get an autograph of a player I have actually heard of this time, although the scrawl leaves something to be desired. I guess its a signature only Andre Ethier fans can get excited over.

The relic had me looking over the wrapper to see exactly what it was. Turns out I pulled a fairly limited parallel of the regular 'Peak Performance' insert. The blue parallels numbered to 99 are seeded 1:95 packs in the jumbos so I guess this makes it a case hit technically? If it is, then a plain white swatch on a case hit is VERY boring Topps. I pulled Grady Sizemore #'d 91/99.

Now, the one thing I want to address here is the MAJOR disappointment in the quality of the cards that Topps has released this series. I have opened two jumbo boxes and have a significant stack of mis-cut and off centre cards. What is even worse is that all of the off centre cards are the same ones. In two boxes I have not been able to pull a decently centred card of either Ryan Sweeney OR Miguel Montero. 4 cards of each player are ready to be packaged up and sent back to Topps along with over two dozen more.

The thing is, this is not a simple cutting error, it is a printing error. The front of the card seems relatively centred but the back is off. I understand that these things can happen, but when they do Topps should make sure these kinds of sub-standard garbage never make it into the hands of the consumers. Whether Topps wants to believe it or not, collectors judge a company on how they treat their customers and this is inexcusable. Just because there is no alternative to turn to when it comes to product does not mean collectors do not have an alternative. We do. Its called quitting the hobby.

Never forget that Topps.

Thanks for stinking with me through this box break and now, to play us out, here are The Ting Tings. Also, if you really want to get a feel for how good this duo is, look up their performance from this past season of SNL. It is what hooked me.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mail Day (aka Patches, Jerseys & Swatches....oh my!!)

Everyone is familiar, or at least you should be, with a great blog called The Hamiltonian. It is actually the fourth blog I stumbled upon when I first started reading blogs and checking out the collecting landscape upon returning to the hobby. Its architect is a collector of anything and everything Josh Hamilton.

What you may be less familiar with is that Tricia runs another blog dedicated to her love of everything hockey. You can check it out here.

I was fortunate enough to have my entry in the 'Caption This Picture' contest chosen as the wittiest entry. On top of that it actually garnered me a prize as well. I won this SWEEEEEEET 3 colour Game-used patch, which is actually cut from the player's jersey number, of Scott Stajcer of the Owen Sound Attack in the OHL.

As far as I understand there were only six of these cards made by In The Game for each player in the set.

Now, for coming up with a simple smart-assed caption for a photo you would think this was a gracious enough prize. Yeah, me too. Apparently though, Tricia did not think so and included another 3-colour patch card that also had a jersey swatch. From Upper Deck 'Artifacts' I got this Alex Kovalev 'Treasured Swatches' numbered out of 25.

I pulled a lame black patch and black jersey swatch from the box I busted but this blows it away.

So, thanks to Tricia from The Hamiltonian AND Cards on Ice for the uber-nice cards and hopefully I can return the favor by supplying her something nice from the upcoming 2010 Allen & Ginter Group Case Break being hosted here on LFB2B that she has joined. I would love to repay her generosity by pulling a Josh Hamilton Rip-Card.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Calling All Team Set Collectors

Over the last 10 days I have been unfaithful to promoting and drumming up support for the first ever Group Break on LFB2B. I am currently working to fill teams for a case break of 2010 Allen & Ginter Baseball.

There is a link on the right hand side of my page to the sign-up post as well as a quick reference guide of the teams already claimed.

There are plenty of teams still available and by opening a case we are going to be providing everyone with the best chance at some really great hits at a really good price.

Leave your team selection in the comments to the original sign-up post and the payments can be sent to


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Box Break - 2010 Topps Series 2 Jumbo - Recap

Here are the final numbers for the HTA Jumbo Box I opened.

Base Set - 316/330 (95.75%)
Doubles - 55

Damaged/mis-cut - 22

I would have ended up with the expected complete set from the box had there been no mis-cut or damaged cards.

'The Cards Your Mother Threw Out' - 10

CMT63 - Ernie Banks
CMT70 - Harmon Killebrew
CMT71 - Eddie Matthews
CMT75 - Rod Carew
CMT77 - Johnny Bench
CMT89 - Steve Carlton
CMT90 - Tony Gwynn
CMT98 - Ken Griffey Jr.
CMT100 - Ozzie Smith
CMT103 - Manny Ramirez

'The Cards Your Mother Threw Out' (Original Back) - 1

Robin Yount - 1985 Topps

'Legendary Lineage'

LL33 - Carlton Fisk/Victor Martinez
LL36 - Andre Dawson/Alfonso Soriano
LL37 - Jackie Robinson/Ichiro
LL41 - Jimmie Foxx/Prince Fielder
LL44 - Bo Jackson/Justin Upton
LL45 - Babe Ruth/Ryan Howard
LL46 - Luis Aparicio/Alexei Ramirez
LL52 - Dale Murphy/Matt Kemp
LL55 - Rickey Henderson/B.J. Upton
LL56 - Brooks Robinson/Ryan Zimmerman

'History of the World Series'

HWS6 - Mickey Mantle
HWS8 - Enos Slaughter
HWS9 - Bob Feller
HWS10 - Whitey Ford
HWS11 - Johnny Podres
HWS14 - Jim Palmer
HWS15 - Bob Gibson
HWS17 - Dennis Eckersley
HWS18 - Paul Molitor
HWS22 - Alex Gonzalez

'Peak Performance'

PP54 - Ian Kinsler
PP57 - Max Scherzer
PP60 - Mike Schmidt
PP62 - Jason Bay
PP66 - Aaron Hill
PP71 - Carlos Lee
PP72 - Chad Billingsley
PP80 - Ozzie Smith
PP83 - Bobby Abreu
PP96 - Dan Haren

'2020 3D Allstars'

T1 - Ryan Braun
T2 - Gordon Beckham
T4 - David Price
T6 - Hunter Pence
T7 - Ryan Howard
T9 - Madison Bumgarner
T13 - Andrew McCutchen
T14 - Ubaldo Jimenez
T15 - Pablo Sandoval
T19 - Zack Greinke

'Turkey Red'

TR51 - Torii Hunter
TR52 - Adam Dunn
TR64 - Justin Morneau
TR70 - Jackie Robinson
TR72 - Roy Oswalt
TR76 - Chris Coghlan
TR79 - Raul Ibanez
TR83 - Yogi Berra
TR86 - Billy Butler
TR89 - Ubaldo Jimenez

'Vintage Legends'

VLC4 - Tris Speaker
VLC6 - Willie McCovey
VLC12 - Jackie Robinson
VLC13 - Eddie Murray
VLC15 - Jimmie Foxx
VLC18 - Johnny Bench
VLC22 - Roy Campanella
VLC23 - Cy Young
VLC24 - Pee Wee Reese
VLC25 - Honus Wagner

Finally, the "hits" from the box were a game used relic, a manufactured hat patch logo and an autograph.

Hat Patch Logo - MHR264 - Carlos Quentin
'Peak Performance' Jersey Relic - PPRRD - Ryan Dempster
'Peak Performance' Autograph - PPALM - Lou Marson

The 'Red Hot Rookie' Redemption card was for Rookie #7, whoever that might be.

Other than the disappointment of an uncompleted set due to poor quality control this was exactly what you would expect from a Topps flagship release. I usually try and build two complete base sets so a couple more Hobby boxes or another HTA Jumbo box might be in my future.

If anyone wants to trade for anything I have pulled let me know, I would be glad to help you with your collection. I will be seeking out some help fulfilling mine, as always.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Box Break - 2010 Topps Series 2 Jumbo - Pack #10

Well, here we are....finally. 10 days ago I brought home a brand new full box of Topps Series 2 Baseball Jumbo Packs. Everything was shiny and new and expectations were high for what we might see throughout this box break. When this break started Stephen Strasburg and the 661 fiasco was only a marketing idea, it had yet to be employed. All that is left now is to see what the Bambino has to offer. We started with Babe and we are ending with Babe........


....before we do, there is a bit of business to take care of. Along the way I have been counting down my 'Top 10 Favorite Television Show Theme Songs'. With this last mack we also reach what will be my #1 choice. My favorite, if you will. Let us recap, shall we?

#10 - It's Gary Shandling's Show
#9 - Taxi
#8 - The A-Team
#7 - The Muppet Show
#6 - S.W.A.T.
#5 - Doctor Who (Tom Baker years)
#4 - The Mod Squad
#3 - Sanford & Son
#2 - M.A.S.H.


There is not a single thing about this song, this show, this opening sequence or the actors in it that does not epitomise COOL!!

#1 - Hawaii Five-O

Simply Awesome!!!

Seeing as this is pack #10 of the jumbo box I am not expecting too much. We have the three "hits" guaranteed on the packaging and I already have a completed base set. All I am hoping for now is a collation error and a pack full of Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays.

Unfortunately the QC was working diligently this time at Topps. I did at least get one of each. Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs and Dustin McGowan of the Toronto Blue Jays.

All that is left worth showing is the inserts, everything else is just doubles at this point. The Gold parallel card is a checklist featuring Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton #d 1259/2010. I forgot how much I liked the design of the 1992 40th Anniversary Topps set until I pulled the Griffey card that might have been thrown away by, as dayf puts it, YO MAMMA!. The 'History of the World Series' card tells me just how happy the Brooklyn Dodgers were when Johnny Podres led them to their first WS win in 1955.

The 2020 3D All-Star set is one that grows on you. The more you look at it the more you appreciate it. I am definitely going to create a want list for these cards, but I won't need to want David Price, I got 'em. Adam Dunn takes a practice swing on his 'Turkey Red' card and the 'Peak Performance card features Mike Schmidt's unfathomable feat of hitting 4 Home Runs in 4 consecutive at-bats, TWICE in his career. Even more amazing is that he did it once in a single game.

In a last ditch attempt to get me to like 'Legendary Lineage' Topps gave me one featuring Jackie Robinson. Even with Ichiro on the other side I am not sold on this set. Sorry Topps.

The set that I am sold on is the 'Vintage Legends' set which puts heroes of yesterday in designs of Topps cards from....well....yesterday, but not the same yesterdays. Anyway, Cy Young looks as powerful as ever in the 1987 Topps wood grain Allstar design.

This is the final Topps 'Million Card Giveaway' redemption card from this box and my last shot (probably) at getting a Stephen Strasburg 661. It all rests on Ichiro now.

The transmorgifier says........

After working my way through the the whole box I am left with the same conclusion I am always left with when it comes to base Topps. How can you not be pleased with this product. It delivers on every level. There are some things that may need tweaking but overall it is another solid release. The only real problem I had with this box is the number of mis-cut cards. All totaled there were 22 cards that were off-centre or mis-cut, in this day and age those should never make it in to packs.

For those who have stuck with me and followed throughout this break I not only thank you but congratulate you as well. I hope you enjoyed the addition of my 'Top 10' list as well. If you want to create your own 'Top 10' list and leave it in the comments to this post, please do so. I would be interested to see what your choices are.

Until the next break on LFB2b, thanks for reading.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Box Break - 2010 Topps Series 2 Jumbo - Pack #9

Mickey Mantle is as ready as I am to kick off the weekend. We have wound our way down to the final row of this box and Ty Cobb is holding on to the "best pack" title right now. With all three "hits" from the box revealed it is going to take something extra special to shine here on out.

We have also come to the point where I announce the runner-up in my 'Top 10 Favorite Television Show Theme Songs'. Alot of people might have this as their number one, understandable, it was almost mine. I enjoy watching this show every time I can and it is one of the few shows that can tug at the old heartstrings. To this day it is a show that produced the best final episode EVER!

#2 - M.A.S.H.

Tomorrow brings #1 in the list, but it is time to take a look and see what 'The Mick' has in store for me.

If he is trying to impress me then he has started off terribly. Zero Toronto Blue Jays out of this pack and only one Chicago Cub, and a double at that. Carlos Marmol stretches one out towards home in this shot.

One redeeming base card pulled is the third one of Series 2 that features a a player bunting. This almost makes up for your complete disregard of this photographic subject in Series 1. Practicing the art this time is Michael Bourn.

The only other base cards worth showing off here are not even really worth showing off. I will include them simply because they are a part of my Fantasy Baseball squad that are currently locked in a dogfight with everyone's favorite Bearded Blogger. Besides, what other blog is going to feature Matt Cain, Jake Peavy and Anibal Sanchez together?

As I head into the inserts it does not look like this pack will be deserving any kind of recognition of "best". A Nolan Reimold Gold parallel numbered 1375/2010 might be of some interest to someone who likes the O's and if they happen to beat me this week I may send it along as a bonus. Steve Carlton's 1982 Topps card looks completely washed out here, wonder if the real version is the same, or else the Black printing plate went missing. Bob Gibson's Record of 17Ks in a World Series game is highlighted on the 'History of the World Series' card.

I think I have decided I like these 'Team 2020' 3D cards enough to collect them all. Ryan Howard winds it up at the plate on this one. Jackie Robinson looks classic as usual as TR70. Ian Kinsler is featured on the 'Peak Performance' card from this pack. 'Legendary Lineage' offers me Luis Aparicio and Alexei Ramirez.

I was expecting 1 "original back" Card Your Mom Threw Out from this box and it came in this pack. Not exactly who I was hoping for but not a disappointing pull. Who can complain about a 1985 Robin Yount?

Another set that I really like form this release is the 'Vintage Legends'. To me it is like having a custom card made but not having to worry about learning how to make custom cards. I like when my laziness is rewarded. Tris Speaker dressed up in 1981 Topps rewards that laziness.

I have been on a fairly decent run this box with the 'Million Card Giveaway' redemption cards. With the added chance to snag a 661-Strasburg now it makes the entering of codes a little more fun. This time however, it was not really any fun. Roger Maris took the day off and turned in from this.....

into this......


I guess they all cannot be winners. But you would think something wrapped in the visage of Mickey Mantle would produce something a little more stellar.

We are nearly done this journey. 9 packs have been presented and 9 T.V. shows have been themed. Tomorrow we wind it up where we started 10 days ago. Babe Ruth, 50 baseball cards and one kick-ass tune.

See you tomorrow.