Sunday, September 28, 2014

NFL Score Streak: Week 4

We're down to single digits with 9 teams remaining.  Of the remaining teams, the Broncos and Cardinals have byes this week, so they are automatically through to Week 5.  Congratulations.

ARIZONA CARDINALS - No cards, but saved by the BYE!



DENVER BRONCOS - No cards, but saved by the BYE!





TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - They don't get 4 cards, but they do get a glossy Griese.


So, the two teams with Bye weeks went cardless, but advance.  I didn't expect that.  That is awesome.  I'm glad I made up that rule.    Sorry Chargers, you're the lone loser this week.

Here are the best of the rest:

Xavier Adibi is one of my all-time VT favorites.  Glad to pick up his RC.

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Topps Finest Baseball Hobby Box

So yeah, when I bought the Topps Chrome box I posted yesterday, I also bought a box of Finest.  I'm weak. Again, I sold some of the stuff to offset some of the cost.

All base sold

The design is much closer to 90's Finest than 2000's Finest.  I think that was the point, so job well done.

I feel like the idea of Finest is losing ground with the amount of high end products out there.  It says Finest, but we know it's not the Finest.  I think one good step would be to get rid of regular refractors.  Ok, maybe not get rid of them, but make them the base set.  No more Finest non-refractory base cards.

Then, the X-Fractors would really be something special.

Don't get me wrong, the XFractors are pretty spectacular, but they would be extra special if they were the first level of refractorhood.

Colored refractors are the pseudo-hits in Finest.  The lack of defined borders makes the color tough to decipher, though.  Beltre is Green #/199.  Jeter is Black #/99.  I sold the Jeter, which turned out to be the highest-dollar card in the box. Good timing on that one, too.


Bravo to Topps for not making all of the 1994 Finest cards refractory.  Truth.  I also got a Justin Upton 1994 card, but apparently forgot to scan it.  The Aaron is kinda weird.  Most folks associate "Vintage" in the hobby with old cards, not old players on new cards.  The Sterling doesn't do much for me.  The picture they chose for Jones is awful.  It looks like someone accidentally clicked-and-dragged the image while trying to do something else.  The Warriors die cut is fantastic in every way.  Daddy like.

That leaves the hits:

Yikes.  These were definitely a weak pair of autos.  The Martin is a black refractor #/99, but he's a blah reliever who hasn't cut it in the bigs.  At least the autos are on-card.  That got me pumped for Finest Football, until I saw the flood of stickers.

Well, that Black Jeter saved this box from being a complete loss.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

NFL Score Streak: Week 3

With 20 teams eliminated, 12 remain in contention.

Since it is Week 3, we're going with a 2013 Score Rack Pack.  That's good news for the 12 teams remaining, as there are 52 cards in play.








NEW YORK GIANTS - Nassib...aka the guy who should be the Giants starting QB this year.  Fake bonus points for David Wilson backflip sad, now.


SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Apparently Rivers wants to win this thing.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Buccaneers have gained a card each week...4 cards next week?


So, this weeks sees a quarter of the field knocked out leaving us with 9 teams.

Let's look at the rest of the good stuff from this pack:

Odd to choose a scrambling image for an Airmail card.

See you next week!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hobby Hack: Package Filler

At this point, I think everyone knows that blue tape is a hobby necessity if you are sending out packages.  However, there is another useful tool I've found for packaging cards, and it is cheap.

Again, I went to Dollar Tree for this hack.  In the arts/crafts/school supplies section, I picked up a 20" x 30" foam board.  In the tool section, I grabbed a box cutter.  I own like 5 box cutters, but I can't seem to ever find them.  Most folks use cardboard, but I've found that this foam board tends to be thicker, lighter and more rigid.

20" x 30" is a convenient size.  Toploaders are 3" x 4".  That means you can cut up the foam board into 50 toploader-sized sections.  The board cuts really easily with Dollar Tree box-cutters.  I first cut it into 10 strips.  Then, cut each strip (or a couple at a time) into 5 pieces.  If you have a coping saw laying around, I find it easiest to clamp all 10 strips together a cut them all at once.


Of course, you may want not want to cut the piece to 3" x 4".  I usually drop 1/8" to 1/4" off each dimension so that they will fit comfortably with a card/toploader in a team bag:

This foam board was invaluable when it came to breaking my case of 2014 Allen & Ginter.  I kept one sheet for odd-sized pieces.  I shipped individual cards as shown above.  I packed minis sideways into team bags, then sandwiched them between foam panels.  I even use it to protect oversized boxloaders.  It's always good to add a little thickness to packages without significantly increasing the weight.  I also used pieces to fill out boxes.  The thickness is perfect for filling all the gaps in a card box.

Additionally, you can cut these to 2.5"x4", and they make great monster box dividers.  Throw an address label over the top edge for labeling.

Cardboard is good, but it can be heavy, flexible in one or more directions, and hard to find in large, convenient sheets.  For $1, you can't beat a sheet of foam board.

It comes in black, too, if you're a badass.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Topps Chrome Baseball Hobby Box

I went to the LCS to grab a few packs and ended up buying a box.  Such is life.

I sold all of my base cards in a lot on eBay.  I'm finding that is a smart move for me these days for hobby boxes.  My wife prefers that I don't add big stacks of cards to my collection.  I also sold some of the better cards in the box.  I'll note which ones I sold, and the rest are available for trade.


Zoom out on the Ortiz and it's a great card.  The Springer card is awesome.


All X-Fractors are gorgeous.  The Bethancourt is cool, but I have to chastise the photographer for not observing the national anthem.

The Black refractors (#/99) look really nice as usual.

These 1989 Topps cards throw back to my childhood.  Other than that, I don't really care about them.

Holy Dodger Die Cuts.  Die cuts are cool just because they're different.  These may be a little too different.


These Topps Shelf cards are a thing of beauty.  It's a shame these are 1-per-box, because they make a great set.

Lastly, we get to my 2 autos:

Polanco is a good auto to get and Odor is a refractor #/499.  I sold both of them.  You always hope for a color refractor, but overall it was a decent break.