Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Top Pulls of 2016: #2

Card: 2014 Topps MLS Chrome #22 Kyle Beckerman Cyan Printing Plate AUTO (1/1)

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
While I'm not too sure about that sticker auto (or why this would need to go on a printing plate, or why only some of them would get a sticker auto), Beckerman, dreads notwithstanding, seems like a solid dude. He plays that holding midfielder position that is very hard to fill at the national team level, and while his play isn't spectacular, he avoids the precipitous valleys which plague so many USMNT defenders. (Maybe that's selective memory on my part.) I always like the effort he gives, and although he's on a Western Conference team (and thus battles for a playoff spot with my Timbers). It was a thrill opening this case of MLS Chrome this summer, and I think this was the hit of that case.

One more card to show. What do you think it might be???

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Top Pulls of 2016: #3

It's been a few days since the last pull was revealed. It was a long work week interrupted by a day of feeling like utter crap, prompting me to stay home from work on Thursday. Things are looking up as a three-day weekend is upon us.

Card:
2014 Topps MLS Chrome #OT-DE One-Two Clint Dempsey / Brad Evans Magenta Printing Plate (1/1)

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
This is another example of late-in-the-year events causing a particular card's stock to plummet. Ordinarily, any Dempsey 1/1 would be an automatic best pull of the year. Even an out-of-form Dempsey, as he was this season, would have claimed the top spot. I mean, I own one USMNT jersey, and it's a Clint Dempsey. He's my favorite national team player. However, an improbable Seattle Sounders MLS Cup run (which I predicted), and non-factor Dempsey's ignorant comment made toward the Portland Timbers (He should have said, "I didn't have shit to do with winning this cup."), made this card fall a couple of spots in my esteem. However, it's still pretty great, and Clint will have a chance to redeem himself as World Cup 2018 qualifying marches on.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Top Pulls of 2016: #4

Card:
2016 Topps WWE Heritage John Cena Event-Used Shirt Relic Silver Parallel (03/50)

From: Blaster Box

Why I Like It:
John Cena is currently one of the most polarizing figures in the business, and I am firmly on the "Let's go, Cena" side of things. His presence elevates any match or feud he is in, period. Some say that he's just there for the little kids, but I would contend that there needs to be someone like that in the company. My three-year-old son is just tangentially aware of wrestling, but he certainly knows John Cena. When I ask him what he knows about Cena, he replies, "Uh, he wears a blue hat." His iconography is organic and cannot be replicated. I can remember nearly fifteen years ago kids in the class I was teaching would come to school with a cheap chain around their necks with a padlock on it. His transcendence of the sport is staggering, and I'm thrilled to own a card with a piece of his shirt on it. Plus, getting a card of this quality as your guaranteed hit in a blaster is certainly not the norm. Usually it's a Curtis Axel mat relic or some such thing. This... better.

Trade Me Anything X #4

Repeat participant David from San Diego is up next.

Giving:
First Pitch #FP-6 Aubrey Plaza
I'll admit, it's kind of hard to watch this one go. I'd been a Parks and Recreation viewer since the very beginning, and Aubrey was a great part of that show. Not too sure about the face paint and short shorts here, though.

Four Base Cards


Getting:
2014 Topps Update Series #US-285 Cody Allen
COMPLETION! YES!!!
Thanks, man, always good to complete a set.

2016 Topps Allen & Ginter #179 Jen Welter
Now that's a jawline worthy of Batman: The Animated Series.

Some Brewers and a Brave

Some Stickers for Tunes and Brews


Thanks, David, I look forward to trading with you next year!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Trade Me Anything X #3

This trade package came from Daniel at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop.

Giving: #ASTIT-PG Paul Goldschmidt Event-Worn Workout Jersey

Before moving on the the getting, I must say that Goldschmidt has become a "That Guy Again" for me. If I ever take the time to look at a checklist of possible hits, I mentally categorize the possibilities. There are epic fails, epic wins, and everything else falls in between. Getting a Goldschmidt is always a worst case scenario to me, and he's almost always the guy I receive. I don't dislike the player, but he's just totally irrelevant to me. I'm sure there are Brewers players who fit into the same category for other collectors, and I'm happy they do. I'm also happy that this card gets a good home.

Getting:
A Bunch of Brewers (and a Buck)

Some AUTOS (Mostly Minor Leaguers)

Smokey Bear Bookmark
Very cool!

Two Lord of the Rings Magnetic Picture Frames
Lots of future fridge fun.

Fun stuff, Daniel. Hope you enjoy the Goldschmidt!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Top Pulls of 2016: #5

Card: 2015 Topps WWE Chrome Brie Bella AUTO

From: Hobby Box

Why I Like It:
Well, I definitely prefer Brie over her sister, Nikki. Unfortunately, she retired after this year's Wrestlemania, but she can still be seen on two different reality shows. And let's talk about that signature. It's hard not to love the peace sign she includes. Over the past few years, I've bought a few boxes of this product, and I finally got an auto. Here's to hoping that she and her husband Daniel Bryan have a great experience with the birth of their first child in a few months. (And let this Top Five selection not jinx her like last year's Paige card seemed to. Whew, what an unpleasant downfall.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Top Pulls of 2016: Honorable Mention

This year my Top 5 Pulls seemed to be fairly well-defined until a pair of late-in-the-year events threw everything out of whack. I had a surprise fortuitous December as a result of a spur-of-the-moment Black Friday purchase that pushed everything one rung down the ladder. What I ended up with was a stack of six cards that stood above all the rest. Unfortunately, one had to be left out of the Top 5 proper. Let's start with that card.

Card: 2014 Topps MLS Chrome #IF-MB Michael Bradley In Form Black Printing Plate (1/1)

From: Hobby Box

Why It Didn't Make the Top 5:
While Michael Bradley had been one of the most reliable players for the United States Men's National Team, he has definitely faltered in recent years. The USMNT needs him to be the straw that stirs the drink, and as of late, it's been a weak-ass watered down impotent potable. When it came time where the national team needed a solid performance, Bradley has looked lost, far from the form he demonstrated at the 2010 World Cup. The Gold Cup, the playoff against Mexico for the 2017 Confederations Cup, and the first couple of 2018 WCQ matches have been lackluster. There was light at the end of the tunnel for his club team, Toronto FC, who went to the MLS Cup final, but he was ineffective in the championship game. Ordinarily a printing plate featuring a major star would make the cut, but this year was special.

Lots of good stuff coming up in the next few days. Watch this space!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Stale Gum Mailday!

In late December, 2016, Stale Gum sent me some cards. Check it out.