Monday, June 6, 2016

My Hit Parade

I don't get much luck when it comes to pulling hits in card products.  In all of my years in this hobby, I can probably count on one hand the amount of autographed or memorabilia-embedded gems that I have personally pulled.  Luck just hasn't been on my side, for whatever reason.

Likewise, luck was definitely not on my side Saturday morning, when I decided to head 20 minutes out to one of the neighboring villages for their community-wide garage sale day.  I live for these kind of events.

Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side and my hopes for baseball card bargains were dashed with lackluster conditions.  While it wasn't pouring, the steady drizzle and constant threat from above seemed to keep most people from setting up camp.  Drat.

Oh well, at least my failed adventures put me within shouting distance of a card shop that I don't often frequent.  I figured I'd sooth my disappointment with a couple of packs of Archives and move on with my weekend.

Also, some Pro Debut.  I mean, that stuff never pops up retail, so when in Rome...

Since the main attraction for me was Topps latest release, I saved those packs for last and ripped into the Minor League product first:

Oh hey, look at that, a couple of Cubs prospects, both from the AA level Tennessee Smokies.  I was kind of hoping for a Willson Contreras, but these two will do.  

Black was the return from the Alfonso Soriano trade of a couple years ago and it currently on his third go-round through the Southern League.  That said, he still has a chance of cracking the Cubs bullpen at some point.  Meanwhile, McKinney came over with Addison Russell from Oakland and is one in a very crowded outfield prospect picture.

LOVE these inserts!

Promo night uniforms are all the rage in minor league baseball lately and fans have been eating them up.  It's about time we saw a card set devoted solely to these gimmicky, cheesey and awesome bush league stunts.  My only complaint about these is that I have no idea who this Dodger prospect donning a Hawaiian shirt is - neither the front or back gives any clue.

However, I quickly forgot about that inconvenience upon seeing the next card:

Oh sweet an autograph!

Oh wow - I actually know who this guy is!!

Hot damn - look at that serial number - it's a Christmas card!!!

Well, that was quite unexpected and it certainly brightened my mood quite a bit.  Even if the Archives packs were total duds, I think I'd have been pretty happy with my overall results.  They certainly started out inauspiciously enough:

My only Cub from either pack was this 1991 version of slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo (who was two when the original product first hit the shelves, in case you were wondering).  Not too exciting, but definitely better than being shut out.

However, I wonder why Topps completely changed the team-name banner at the bottom right?:

As you can see, the color went from red to blue and they forced the city name in there as well (the font is also slightly different, but that's always difficult to replicate perfectly).  Very odd.  Then, of course, they also updated the anniversary banner in the upper left, which I thought was a nice, subtle added touch.

Otherwise, Topps pretty much cloned this bad boy.

Now, like I said, that was it as far as Cubs content goes.  However, that doesn't mean there wasn't anymore interesting stuff contained within these packs:

Say what?!  Another autograph?  

This one of a former first round draft pick, 1974 AL MVP, 2 time All-Star who played 16 years in the Big Leagues?  Jeff doesn't get a lot of love in modern day product either; this is why we love Fan Favorites isn't it?  Not too bad for a purchase that was meant to be a consolation prize. 

To sum it all up, I pulled two autographs in just four random, conciliatory packs, along with three new Cubs cards for my collection.  That's probably a lot better than I would have done at the garage sales anyway.

Meanwhile, though they were thrilling to pull, I'm not exactly wed to the Judge or the Burroughs (or the Ogden Raptors Hawaiian shirt insert either).  So, if they caught your fancy, please let me know.

In the meantime, maybe I should go buy a scratch off or something - I've clearly inherited some good luck somehow and I have to milk this streak for all that it's worth.


  1. Looks like you luck is changing with the autographs in packs. Nicely done.
    On another note, I'm heading to the post office today so be on the look out for a package to "grace" you mailbox. Bwahahaha!

  2. Nice autos. That Burroughs is a tough card to look at. The grey is a bad choice by Topps.

  3. Anything you can flip for some more Cubs on top of the Cubs you pulled are great packs!

  4. Those are a few great packs, congrats! If you're not already planning on trading the Judge, I'm definitely interested...

  5. Don't know what the odds were but two auto's seems really good to me. I love the Promo Night concept. Anything different is good--well maybe not anything but I do like that one.

  6. Sweet pull with the Judge!

    Those Promo Night inserts are very cool. Well done, Topps!

  7. Fantastic pulls, I'd be beside myself with luck like that!

    I didn't know Pro Debut was out... But it's not like there's any place within an hour's drive that I can buy packs, so I'm guessing that has something to do with it.

    My semi-educated guess about the team name banner on the 1991-style Archives: Much like teams have official logos, I believe most teams also have official wordmarks, and licensors like Topps are required to use them. I'm thinking that the official Cubs wordmark is what you see on the Rizzo card... CHICAGO CUBS in blue.

  8. Congrats!..especially on the Christmas Card! :) Sounds like I'm too late to call dibs on working out a trade for it, but I'm always down for 12/25 cards.

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  10. I have some cards that may interest you, in exchange for the Burroughs.

  11. Whoa!!!! I'm just catching up on some reading and just saw this. Congrats my friend.