It's a busy time of year for everyone, but that does not excuse my inactivity here. I've been working on various projects related to my card collection and in real life and, as a result, my blogging here at the Hiatus has suffered. I hope to be a bit more prolific in terms of blogging here (I have some ideas, now, for posts that are not just recounting packages received) but, too, I need to catch up once again on sending out packages to fellow bloggers.
Last week, a package -- literally, an envelope wrapped in packing paper -- arrived in my mailbox from the New York City metropolitan area. It was entirely unexpected. But when I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised:
Being Zippy Zapped is always a pleasant surprise. But what does he mean about that I "might need this toploader"?
I mean, inside the package appeared what looked like your average pack-searched version of an Allen & Ginter Value Pack. Taped together, beat up...the usual for the pack searchers.
Why would Zippy Zappy send out something like that? Alright. I'll bite. Let's open it up.
Wow. Pack searchers gone wild. Pre-RIPPED packs of cards? I'm sure this will turn out well, though -- I trust in the Zippy Zapping.
As I opened up the package further, I found six packs of cards, rather than the three plus one bonus promised on the package. Well, actually, there were three A&G packs inside...and a bonus...and a Chrome? And a Bowman Platinum? What kind of wizardry is this?
Since I could see a purple Peralta peeking prominently from one clear pack, let's peruse that pile posthaste.
Here's the purple Peralta from Platinum. And then:
I guess Zippy Zappy was concerned about a mailman walking out the door at Target with my package and not paying for it.
Now I can see why he was concerned. Card #56 in my Warren Spahn collection is this 2001 Topps Noteworthy insert. Happy Warren means Happy Tony.
And then, the final card in the bonus pack -- a 1994 Ted Williams Card Co. Joe Adcock! Just my fourth item in my Joe Adcock Player Collection. Sometimes, being very good but not a superstar means that people don't bring your cards to shows to sell!
If he had stopped there, this package would have been excellent. But that's just pack 1 of 6. What else is in there? Let's check out the Chrome pack.
There are Chrome cards in the Chrome package. Yes! At least there is some truth in advertising.
Scooter Gennett is penciled in as the starting second baseman for next year's Brewers. Brewers fans have been chattering amongst ourselves about whether the team needs a platoon partner for Scooter in light of his struggles against left-handed pitchers. The team appears to be sold on letting him play every day to see if he can work things out. I hope he can.
The next card out is also a Chrome card, but it is serial numbered!
Holy crap! I don't have the foggiest idea again what parallel this is, but it is a Ryan Braun serial numbered 3 of 99. It doesn't matter what it's called -- it's still awesome to me! It is item number 227 in my Ryan Braun collection, also. That's a pretty incredible number of cards/items to have amassed for a guy whom I had exactly 5 cards for -- all from 4 hobby boxes of 2010 Topps Series 1 that I bought, opened, and then let sit in a closet at some point in 2010 or 2011.
A serial numbered Eddie Mathews? Yes please! This is from 2014, and it is the 33rd Mathews card in my clutches.
I think I had this card before, but when you're ripping packs, you sometimes get a couple of cards you may have already. No matter -- I can use it for my team collection or, if all else fails, to make sure that my desk legs are even.
Let's dig into the three packs of "Allen & Ginter" now. Here's pack 1.
Two 2014 Topps Update cards, two 1973 Topps cards -- including the incredibly miscut Billy Champion, a 2010 Topps checklist of Braun and Fielder, two Corey Hart cards, and a Prince Fielder "Hot Commodities" insert from 2008 that, if the logo on the helmet were airbrushed away, would look perfectly proper in an unlicensed set.
I'm pretty sure I needed the Harts and the Fielder insert, and the other cards will work nicely in other collections or, perhaps, will inspire me to create another subset of Brewers collecting.
Maybe, for instance, that Skip Lockwood card should start a "Taken at County Stadium" subcollection. I always loved Milwaukee County Stadium. It was an incredibly flawed venue -- lots of poles obstructing views, lots of uncomfortable wood chairs and wood bleachers in the outfield from which you'd get splinters from time to time, small bathrooms, etc. But, it had character. My favorite place inside of County Stadium was the Hank Aaron exhibit. Other than a uniform and a bat, the other item of interest included in the display were some flip-flops that Hank wore as shower shoes. Seriously.
More ballparks these days need displays of players' shower shoes.
Okay. On to Pack 2.
Another eclectic mix of cards, and nary an Allen & Ginter among them. Everything from Rickie Weeks's impersonation of Medusa's hair to a 1990 Edgar Diaz being the utility baseball card to a couple of Tickets to Stardom (one wonders what Bill Hall's "Ticket" to stardom was, since his 35 HR season in 2006 was just 17 HR more than his next highest HR output in a season) to a Finest Nelson of the University of Alabama.
And, as Shaun Marcum shows us, Zippy Zappy was more concerned about the postman stealing these cards from Wal-Mart and not from Target. As he should be.
Okay, let's see the final Allen & Ginter pack:
Now that was a hot pack. Four cards from the 2014 Bowman Chrome -- my first four cards of 2014 Bowman Chrome, in fact. I like the fact that Topps did not repeat the Bowman checklist and photos for Chrome. I also like the little diagrams on the back.
As cool as those are, however, they don't quite reach the level of the Orange parallel Corey Hart -- numbered 183 of 250 -- or of the Press Proof Ryan Braun numbered 15 of 199. As much as I hate gimmicks and all the parallels, a few parallels are not bad. I kind of like the Donruss one, even if it is unlicensed.
And Ron Theobald. That has to be Spring Training.
Now, remember what Zippy Zappy said about needing that toploader? I do. I haven't seen why, as of yet, that I might need it. I guess I need to open this last pack.
It starts with....theft protection?
What the deuce?
What's this? Oh, I DO need the Toploader. Do I ever!
That is one awesome patch auto serial numbered 10 of 50 of Corey Hart. And it is THICK. Yup, that is going into the toploader!
Zippy Zappy, thank you very much for the great cards and the first packs I have ripped this year where I liked and wanted literally every single card in the pack!