Monday, June 19, 2017

Buying From Brent

Tomorrow, thankfully, the election in my House of Representatives District -- the now infamous GA-06 about which every national political commentator suddenly has become an expert regarding demographics, voting tendencies, geography, and restaurants -- will come to a close. At least I hope so. It would be a terrible trick if the Russian hackers decided to intervene in the election and create a recount of some sort.

Just thinking about it makes me angry and think of punk rock. And yes, the Problem is You!

Perhaps it is funny, and perhaps it is appropriate, that I've only mentioned The Sex Pistols twice on this blog -- and the most recent of them was to highlight my purchase of 2016 Heritage from Brent Williams of Brent & Becca. I've taken the tack this year of finding more team sets on eBay to avoid some of the problems of putting together team sets through random finding at card shows. 

This time around, I'm going to show the result of a couple of purchase packages from Brent. Let's start with 2017 Finest:

While this looks like I bought two of everything, rest assured that the top three cards are the base cards and the bottom three cards are Refractors. I like the use of the gold on the card, but man -- these look like they were infected with that JPEG disease that haunts the base set this year: that Topps had its designers aim for something that would look good on the Bunt App and if it translates to physical cards, well, so be it.  

As an aside, if you would have told me when the season started that (a) Ryan Braun would have played 30 games by June 19; and, (b) Jonathan Villar would also be on the DL as of June 19 and be slashing .213/.283/.342 in 250 plate appearances, I would have guessed that the Brewers would be somewhere around Phillies territory. It's really been a great ride already for the team. Here's hoping that the ride can continue for a while.

Appropriately for showing Topps Finest, here's a song by The Boo Radleys called "The Finest Kiss." The Boo Radleys were definitely in that "shoegazing" thing that was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s in England. Their best known song in the US is probably "There She Goes," which is actually a cover of a song by The La's but which the Radleys covered for the introduction to the movie So I Married An Axe Murder.

Earlier this year, I also bought a master set (probably) from Brent of Topps Bunt. Actually, I bought a little extra because, after all, I have to have two Brauns. I have been trying to place where I have seen that photo of Yount and have been unable to do it. I know I've seen it somewhere though.

When I got back into collecting in 2013/2014, I decided to have bunches of player collections to represent all the different years of the Brewers franchise. As part of that, I made the rule for myself that I needed two of each card -- one for the PC, one for the team set. As I have collected longer, I have started to realize what a fool's errand creating my collection that way is. I mean, it's not easy to find one card serial numbered to 250 from 2002 -- not to mention two. I'm starting to reconsider more and more that position. I may end up scaling it back just to base sets. 

That, or I may just decide that I want to collect all the cards from the 1980s. That appeals to me too. That would be a fun pursuit.

Needing music, I put "Bunt" into the search bar at YouTube and found this band called BUNT. (song is called "Coming Home") that sounds a lot like the song "Wake Me Up" by Avicii to me. There are definitely sound qualities within the song's bridge that strike me as very similar. So, if you are into a danceable sound like Avicii, you might like this song.

Next up: Archives. The Brewers pretty much are getting the same three players in all the sets these days: Ryan Braun, Orlando Arcia, and Jonathan Villar. I get it, of course -- the Brewers were not very good last year, turned over half their roster, and traded away any/all the mainstays that might otherwise engender being included in a set. 

Since the beginning of the season, of course, several players have emerged. For instance, there is former Korean Baseball star Eric Thames -- who is a hell of a lot more chill than I am about all the times he has been tested for drugs/steroids -- whose numbers here are pretty damn impressive: .265/.399/.607 for an OPS of 1.007. There is the Mayor of Ding Dong City, Travis Shaw, about whom I was cautious in light of his .251/.312/.442 slash line in Boston. It's still early days for him, but he, too, has looked fairly good and has learned to take advantage of the hitters' park that is Miller Park. 

Throw in pretty good performances from Hernan Perez, Keon Broxton, Domingo Santana, and the completely out-of-character run that Eric Sogard has been on, along with Manny Pina's play behind the plate and Jesus Aguilar's ability to play first while Thames is in the outfield, and you can see the real issue here is simply the fact that no one has heard of these guys. Now if only the firestarters in the bullpen would put down the torches, the team would be in even better shape.

I'm starting to think that there is a band with a name to match about anything I can think of at this point. This band is called Archive. Perhaps not surprisingly, they, too, are in the trip hop/shoegaze arena of music. To be fair, I had never heard of them before my searching today, but I feel like I should have. Their songs are well written and are driven by lyrics. That's a sure way to get my attention.

The final cards I got from Brent were randomly dispersed amongst various sets. We have the "Fortune Teller" tallboy insert from Gypsy Queen as well as the printing-mistake-made-parallel blackless version of Braun's GQ card. There's the Mauricio Dubon autograph from Topps Pro Debut in 2017 at the top, and then the Isan Diaz "Bowman Scouts' Top 100" insert from Bowman.

I'm still looking for a bunch of those "Top 100" inserts, if you might be willing to trade those to me.

Since, thankfully, there is not a song to go with "Pro Debut", I figured I'd go with "Fortune Teller" by The Rolling Stones. 

And I will not let an opportunity to post a Van Morrison song go past me, with his song "Gypsy Queen" popping up. Again, let's be fair: a song called "Bowman Scouts' Top 100" would suck.

Brent is a good guy to do business with, and I'll probably buy more from him in the future. If only he wouldn't save all the good Brewers cards for someone else, I'd buy much more from him.


  1. Oh man, The Boo Radleys take me back! I was obsessed with the song C'mon Kids for an entire summer for reasons still unknown.
    The Crew's checklist selection does get tiresome but Finest is always beautiful in hand

  2. I really enjoy the Perspectives cards from this year's Bunt set. Brent & Becca are great sellers.

  3. I thought Brent was retiring from breaking/selling after last year? I stopped following him on Twitter when he started posting nothing but board game results. Anyways, good stuff as always.