Thursday, August 3, 2017

Two More Crackin' Wax Breaks

Greetings from sunny and humid Ponte Vedra, Florida. I'm attending a trade organization meeting this weekend, which will leave me with a fair amount of downtime -- it will almost be like a vacation of sorts in some respects.

Of course, I still need to dodge the local fauna.

So, as I have written about a few times here on Off Hiatus, I subscribed to the "Topps Package" with Crackin' Wax as part of the charity case break series. The last two products in the package were Topps Series 2 and Museum Collection. 

I tend to forget about Series 2 being separate from Series 1. I'm still stuck in the 1980s, when all the cards were issued at once and had 792 cards in the set and had checklists without front photos and had prospect cards and team checklists. You know -- the good old days of wild overproduction! So, getting the guaranteed team set from Series 2 from Chris was a good thing. 

As for Museum Collection, I splurged on a box of it for myself back in 2014 when I got back into collecting. I like the product in many respects, but there are problems with it too. I like the base cards -- the high quality, thicker stock with a classier looking design appeals to me. I wish it could be a standalone product with just the base cards and two or three parallels sold in packs of 6 cards for $5 or something. The problem with it is the problem with all of Topps's non-flagship sets (other than 2017 Stadium Club for some reason): the Brewers generally get ignored. 

The Brewers really got shafted by both Series 2 and Museum Collection in terms of hits this year. It was so bad that I got money back from Chris on both breaks because of the lack of chances at a Brewers hit. So what did I get?

Let's hit up some music and introduce the cards!

How about a cover of a Loverboy song that sounds like it is being played in a drainage pipe? Sure, everybody is working for the weekend. No question about it. And there's nothing like a cover artist from Saskatchewan playing it to make it awesome!

These are the rest of the base cards from Series 2 that I didn't show in the break that Peter did. It's a mixed bag. Taylor Jungmann has spent most of the year in Triple-A. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been added to the 40-man roster twice and designated for assignment twice so far this year. Matt Garza has been as good as you'd expect a mid-30s starter in a contract year who can't stay healthy to be. 

Chase Anderson was developing into a guy who could be an ace earlier this year before straining his oblique and being put on the DL on July 1. His injury arguably was as big a turning point in the NL Central race as the Cubs getting Jose Quintana was -- he was pitching that well. Don't believe me? Check this out: in his last 7 starts before the injury, he pitched 41-2/3 innings, giving up 21 hits and 8 walks, striking out 44 and allowing 6 earned runs (1.30 ERA, 4-1 record for him, 4-3 for the team with two losses blown by the bullpen). Those are ace numbers.

Finally, we have Eric Thames, who has cooled down (as you would expect) since April. He has been okay, but his April stats have obscured a slash line of .221/.338/.450 since May 1 (14 HR, 27 RBi in 293 plate appearances). That's acceptable based on the OPS, but that is a factor in why Jesus Aguilar is getting more playing time as the season goes on.

I'm not sure if this counts as "trip hop." It's pretty relaxing, even if the guy in the video wears too much eye makeup and yells at us all the time and even if the song is called "Dummy." 

Wait, I'm not a dummy, and neither is Chris. What is going on here?

Okay, now I get it. Parallels are for dummies. Well, if there are too many parallels its makes us all feel like dummies, I guess. This one is out of 65, if I recall correctly. You'll have to forgive me for being dumb and not noting that on my scan file even though I knew I would be doing this remotely.

Maybe I am a dummy?

This song was originally written by Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernandez Marin, who was given the name "Mr. Cumbanchero" by President John F. Kennedy. Hernandez is a hero in the Puerto Rican community. There are schools in the Bronx, Boston, and Newark named for him, as is the airport in Aguadilla, PR. 

Always good to have a little bit of upbeat music on a Thursday to get you heading in the right direction for Friday and the weekend, right?

I'm pretty sure that Topps has been stamping "buybacks" just to get rid of its inventory of 1990 Topps cards from its warehouses. Perhaps I should try to put together a 1990 Franken-team-set of Brewers from these buybacks, but I really just don't like the idea of chasing the cards. I'll take them if people want to send them, but dang...actively seeking out the 1990s? No thanks.

Also, Robert Flores is a native Houstonian and a huge wrestling fan who apparently owns a Louisville Slugger autographed by Ric Flair. 

This song strikes me as a bit uninteresting. Alexa Goldie is a Canadian artist whom some were thinking might be the next Avril Lavigne, except that these songs just weren't all that great. 

I'm not sure if anyone has picked up yet on the theme uniting the songs I've used here today. Perhaps it would help if I told you that Topher Stott is the drummer on this song for Alexa Goldie? 

Right, Chris?

In reality, I've saved the best for last. For the first time in a long time, I beat the odds in a break and got legitimately great cards for my collection:

The "Meaningful Materials" serial numbered to 50 beat the odds for me. Getting a gold parallel for Braun was nice too, but Brewers hits have been sparse this year. In fact, they have been fairly nonexistent this year in the breaks in which I've been involved. So, when I finally had the opportunity to check in on the break and see what happened with it, I was incredibly excited to find out that I got a nice serial numbered patch. 

Still, I'd rather that there be a separate product for the base cards away from all the hits -- I mean, these designs are excellent and look sharper in hand -- even if the photo cropping makes the card look miscut. 

Chris...Topher...whichever....thanks for running these breaks and enjoy the Topher music!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on hitting the two color Braun patch. Museum Collection is a solid product year in and year out. I'm especially fond of their on-card autographs.