Thursday, December 19, 2013

5 Days Until Christmas!

It's been a month since I done so much as looked at the blog, let alone posted. To be honest, my life independent of the blog has been so hectic that I've had virtually no time to post. That, and I've lacked relevant inspiration for posting. Mix those two issues together and you have a month-long layoff from blogging. Between celebrating Advent and Christmas time with my family, school, and a lot of other things, I've been so preoccupied.

But hey, it's 5 days until Christmas. Time to spread some Holiday Cheer, right? I love Christmas. Not only am I celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, whom I follow as a practicing Catholic, but I love the aspect of family gatherings and the simple things like the sipping of hot chocolate around a fire. Something I really enjoy is receiving cards for Christmas. I went Black Friday shopping, and picked out some packs for my Mom to get me for Christmas. Even then, she still gets me some cards that I didn't pick out or see her buy, and they are an always-welcome surprise.

I've actually pulled some very interesting cards on Christmas. In fact, some of my favorite pulls of all time have been from packs I've received for Christmas. I actually pulled a Pedro Martinez game used BAT card out of Topps Turkey Red in 2006. It's funny how I always pull something good on Christmas. I'll share some of those pulls within the next few days!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cards In Unexpected Places

Hey, everyone. Sorry for decisive lack of posts lately. School has been really time-consuming, so needless to say my time to post has been limited. I went to my LCS on Saturday, which I'll post about hopefully tomorrow or Thursday.

I was reading a post from Dime Box Nick over at Baseball Dime Box about finding baseball cards in the most obscure or unexpected places. This got me thinking about my personal experiences in finding cards in unexpected locations. I've been thinking of doing a post like this for a while, but for some reasons I just never got around to it

Just thinking about places I've found cards unexpectedly, a few jump out at me. Every summer, for example, my family and I would go up to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire for a week. At the boardwalk inside an arcade-esque area, there were quarter-pull machines that would give you a few cards for $0.50. Obviously, you never anticipate to find anything good, but it's still an overall cool experience.

image for listing #192445249
Another instance of this is at Fenway Park. Although not exactly an "unlikely" location, some of my first memories of purchasing cards came from 2/$5 grab bags of cards in the team store. I remember one year I came home and tried to eat the gum from one of the packs circa-1986. If I were to describe that experience, words wouldn't suffice to relay the pain that experience entailed. Regardless, the cards themselves weren't always the best. One of my favorite surprises out of those cards was a 1992 Topps Top Prospects Shortstops card. Among the featured prospects was a future HOFer by the name of Chipper Jones. Pretty sweet pull for a junk-wax grab bag if I do say so myself.

Generally speaking, finding cards anywhere is always a treat. It's finding them when you don't expect to that makes collecting such a rewarding experience.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It Had To Happen (Thank You, Red Sox...Thank you, God)

What team does God root for?
I don't know how I feel about the role of God in the outcome of sporting events. That's not to say that He doesn't have a legitimate place in the lives of athletes; but, rather, does He play a deliberate role in the final score? That's something that could be debated endlessly. To be honest, that's not a question that I nor anyone on this God-given earth has a concrete answer to.  If there's one thing I'm sure of in life, however, it's that God rewards those who are faithful- those who are STRONG in will and faith. If those aren't characteristics of the city of Boston, then I don't know what are.
Boston has been a city in constant healing since that fateful Marathon Monday back in April. One way people tend to cope with tragedy is to turn to temporary distractions- little things that can take ones mind off of the sadness that can be so consuming and emotionally exhausting. In some cases those outlets of emotional release can be unhealthy, as with those who abuse drugs and alcohol. On the other side of the spectrum, you have people who develop a relationship with their God out of extenuating circumstances that they face in their lives. And then you have sports.
A lot of times, sports are like a bandage that stops the bleeding on the wound that something as horrific as the Boston Marathon Bombings can cause. But a bandage is just meant to stop the bleeding. A wound needs to cauterize, to heal on its own terms. Obviously, measures of protection and cleansing are taken to expedite and ensure the success of the healing process, but the body ultimately heals the wound on its own terms. Prayer, God's Love, and the love of friends and family are ultimately what do that for us in terms of emotional wounds.
This year was different. This year was special. This year, sports and God worked in tandem to heal a city in mourning. God clearly takes precedence, but  its apparent, at least to me, that He knew this city needed this. People turned to prayer, and the very same contingency of people turned to their local teams. Last night, the Red Sox new they were playing to a Higher Call: to God and their city.
"Not just a championship season, this has turned into a lifestyle after  "Boston Strong" came about...and you know The Man Upstairs is celebrating with us" -Jonny Gomes, last night after the Sox won their third World Series title in the last 10 years.
That quote by Jonny Gomes does a profound job in summing up this season. No one had given this team any chance of achieving anything remotely close to success this year. Many of your prototypical baseball pundits said that the Sox would be lucky to finish .500 on the season; for the Sox that would be a victory. Clearly, the 25 men in that clubhouse were not listening. You keep hearing the players talk about how from day one, they knew they had a special group of guys who had the chance to accomplish something incredible.
Every good team needs an identity, and it certainly didn't take the Sox long to find theirs: "Boston Strong".

Boston Strong
Photo c/o

Monday, October 14, 2013

Showing Off Some Cards: Sell High (?) Edition

Hey, everyone. As we are in the heart of the MLB postseason, I figured it's a good time to showcase some of my better cards of some current or all-too-recent postseason heroes. Whether they're pulls or pickups, they're all cards that I have in my possession. I'll include a little description of the card and how I got it below the image. Enjoy!  

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter Max Scherzer Autograph
I pulled this little gem out of an overpriced rack pack at a local Bob's Store. This statement may be relative, but if you consider 7 dollars overpriced, then we have some common ground. Interestingly enough, Bob's Store is a department store that specializes in clothing and shoes. While back to school shopping a few years back, I convinced my dad to buy me a certain rack pack because I had such a good feeling about it containing an autograph. I had shaken the pack pretty unknowingly and heard a noise that gave me the aforementioned hunch. I purchased it and ripped in and, lo and behold, the shaking noise came from the framed mini auto shaking around the frame.

At the time, Scherzer was a flamethrower with huge upside that also came with HUGE control problems. He was not the surefire Cy Young winner that we've seen him develop into this year. To be honest, I hadn't even heard of him at the time of me pulling this. I've always held onto this card though. Sure enough, this year he went 13-0 before being dealt his first loss. He'd finish the year 21-3, 2.90 ERA, 240 SO (stats c/o At this point, I'm not sure what I'll do with the card. I may hang on to it, I may very well sell it on ebay after he wins the Cy Young. However, I'd also be open to trading it for the right offer. If anyone's interested, comment below!

2005 Leaf Certified Materials David Ortiz GUJ #68/250
I think it's safe to say we all say Big Papi's game-tying grand slam last night, whether live or as a highlight. Our reactions might have all varied; my personal  reaction was jumping up and down screaming in pure excitement over how the most clutch hitter in postseason history had struck again, and at the biggest possible moment. David Ortiz's postseason resume speaks for itself. If you need further convincing, go and read Bleacher Report's piece on why he is worthy of consideration as the best postseason player ever. And watch the video of his grand slam while you read it. I saw it live on TV, and I still get the same reaction each time: goosebumps.

2008 Topps Heritage Pablo Sandoval RC
Now, I realize the Giants are not in the postseason this year. But as the defending World Series champions, they do deserve some recognition. He put together one of the more memorable postseason performances last season when in Game One of the 2012 World Series he launched THREE Home Runs. Unbelieveable.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Because of the Beards...Because of Boston Strong


As a devout Red Sox fan, I've recently wondered why on the blog I've neglected to address their miraculous season. I've talked about it plenty with my friends and family, and I can happily say I've seen the majority of their games this year. It was a bit of a mystery to me.

I didn't really think of a definitive answer as to why this happened until recently. I've experienced something this season that I haven't experienced while watching the Sox since likely their last Championship season in 2007: Excitement. Every game served as a new adventure into the depths of my fandom. Different heroes were made on what was seemingly a nightly basis. Every game tugged at the nerves throughout your body with every ounce of force. The intense feeling that each game gave was not just a "take". It was also a "give". In fact, the Sox wound up "giving" 97 of those moment to me this season. Eleven of these came in the form of a pulse-pounding, exhilarating walk-off win. 

I found myself constantly rooting for the game to go into the bottom of the 9th, or even extra frames. I wanted to experience more magic at Feway from the comfort of my own living room. I found myself wanting to see that half-hacked swing of Jonny "Ironsides" Gomes at the plate with the game on the line. I wanted to see Mike Napoli and his power-stroke up in a key spot. Every time something seemed like it could go right for the Sox, it just did. 

Guys like Daniel Nava, who many thought wouldn't even find the bench of the Sox 25-man roster, had the second highest OBP(.385) for an AL outfielder. The only player ahead of him? Mike Trout. He's just one player out of the many who contributed in so many ways for this team, ways that extend beyond the starting nine men on the field on a nightly basis. 

Jonny Gomes had two walkoff homeruns this year that are almost definitive of the season itself.

Koji Uehara is either a wizard or an extraterrestrial on the mound. Either way, he's been outright incredible this year. 

The list could go on forever.

The statistics and wins, however, are not the basis of this team and it's magical run: The Red Sox have been rallying around the "Boston Strong" motto since that tragic Marathon Monday attack back in April. The team itself has been representative of the strength of the city of Boston. The identity this team has grown to have is one of a group of charismatic, loose, yet rock-strong willed men who have one goal: to bring a World Championship to a city that has been brought together in a common identity.
They wear it on their sleeves in the form of a patch, but they also wear it on their hearts.

Another identifying mark of this team is the beards that the majority of the players are sporting. Mike Napoli looks like a freakin lumberjack, and Jonny Gomes looks like someone straight out of a warzone. It started with them, and it's been infectious. Now you have guys like Dustin Pedroia and Salty rockin some intense beards. It's incredible, and for me at least it hearkens back to the Idiots of 2004 that brought the Sox their first title in 86 years. 

The love for each other and the game they play is so evident. When a teammate with some scruff returns to the dugout after hitting a bomb, they tug on his beard. That's as dedicated as you can be.

When they get on base, throughout the year, they've been flexing their arms and pointing to the back of their jersey, something that's another physical identity of this team. It's been a part of the Boston Strong identity all season. So, essentially, not only do their uniform patches reflect their identity, but their facial hair and arm flexes do the same. That's pretty remarkable.

What I've experienced this season as a fan is something that is tough to put into words. After enduring a horrendous postseason collapse in 2011 and a 69-93 record last year (their worst season in my lifetime), I've become so enveloped within this team. I've found it so hard to leave the realm of joy the Sox provide that I guess I haven't felt inclined to post about it. Here and now, I feel obligated to share my experience this season. The four-day stretch from the end of the regular season to their first playoff game on friday at home has allowed me some reprieve from that. So, I figured, what better time than now? Oh, and about that card at the top? That is something I'll most definitely be picking up. It captures an incredible moment. 

I feel like it's fate that the Red Sox are in this position. They have all the right reasons and every tool at their side to make a deep run into October. If they can pull it off, it'll be in no small part because of their chemistry and identity as a team. It'll be because of the beards. It'll be because of Boston Strong.

For in the words of David Ortiz, "This is our f*****g city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!". Stay strong, indeed Boston...Stay Boston Strong.

My Recent eBay Pickups

Yeah...It's been a while since I've posted. Regardless, I still wanted to share a few of my recent eBay pickups! They're all pretty sweet.

The scanner cut a few short. I snagged that Middlebrooks Tribute auto, /99, for 12.50 in an auction. The rest I all paid fairly little for. They all fill various wants in my PCs, which is nice.

 I especially like the Pedroia Mini, as it's not only a MINI of my favorite player, but it features him in the ever-snazzy throwback duds. The Middlebrooks sparkle RC is always a welcome Middlebrooks PC pickup. The Babe Ruth is a SP from Gypsy Queen which features him in a Sox uniform, as opposed to pinstripes in the standard print version. 

The Pedroia Ultimate Collection base card is a truly beautiful card. It's numbers 278/599, and the scanner just doesn't do the card justice.

 Check out the next scan, too. I snagged a 2013 Bowman Platinum Gold Parallel JBJ Rookie Card.
I'll have some more scans soon!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Hey everyone! I've been really absent from the blog for a good week or two because school started up again, and I've had seemingly endless amounts of work and almost no time. However, I do need to post a few updates in the coming future. One is part two of my "Weekend Trip" where I picked up some cards at the flea market. The second is all of my 12 or so recent ebay pickups. Those will have scans in the very near future.

Now, however, is a scan of a card you all can appreciate. I've been meaning to post this beauty for quite some time. I pulled this out of an $7.00 pack of 2012 Bowman Platinum. Worth the money, if you as me (cue atypical understatement.)
Woah. 2012 Bowman Platinum Mike Trout GUJ Auto.
(photo c/o
It's selling upwards of 150-200 bills on ebay, and has sold no lower than 100 in the past year. I'm definitely hanging on to this card of a surefire all-star for years to come.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1/1 Triple Threads Patch Mailday

A couple weeks ago I won an awesome card for my Kevin Youkilis PC on eBay.  I put in a max bid of $100 and was lucky enough to win the card for $50.  This card is the 2010 Topps Triple Threads Kevin Youkilis Platinum Relic 1/1.  It took a while to come in the mail, but it was definately worth the wait.


While the card is numbered 1/1 and features some amazing patches from his 2008 All Star Game jersey, it also came with some unexpected damage.  There are some surface scratches as well as fingerprints on the card.  While this is unfortunate, it should not effect the value because it is a 1/1.  It will also be staying in my PC for  the rest of my life, so its not that big of a deal.

I also own a copy of the version numbered to 3, pictured below.  Since I have the two lowest numbered parallels of the card, I would like to try for the rainbow.  The other versions are numbered out of 9, 18, 27, and 36 so this will not be an easy task.

If you have any of the cards I need for the rainbow, please leave a comment below as I am willing to trade for or buy the remaining versions I need.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend Pickups (Part 1)

This past Saturday, I went to a local town-celebration day as I do every year with the intention of grabbing some lunch, exploring with 20youksox, and picking up some cards. There are usually several contingencies of folks selling items around the center of town. Among the items being sold, generally speaking, are your garden-variety junk wax boxes, along with the occasional mix-ins of little gem treasures which are either inhumanely overpriced or incredibly cheap.

Just to give you some perspective on the wide array of prices along the spectrum, I once bought a 2007 Ultra Josh Hamilton Lucky 13 RC for a pretty $0.50. The lowest I've seen the card selling for as a BIN is here. Then on the other end of the table, a lady was attempting to sell your prototypical late-80's junk wax complete set for $50. Not exactly the most price-aware sellers.

In addition those sellers, however, is a dealer who has been a staple in my card collecting journey since early on in my life. Every August, I'd wait with anticipation to arrive at the table, knowing that each year brought an entirely unique experience. He always had team bags full of 50 cards or so for 50 cents, and then some for a dollar. He had varieties of unopened packs from the 80s and 90s, some being your average junk packs and others being pretty unique.

Take this pretty incredible find as case 1A, an unopened 1996 Pinnacle promotional pack issued by Denny's with the purchase of every Grand Slam meal, which yielded this unique card. I'd heard about the food-issued hologram set, and knew that someday I'd like to have one for my own collection...I just never knew I'd find the unopened packs containing them.

If the previous find was case 1A, this is certainly case 1B: a 1995 Studio Chipper Jones. The card is brilliantly engineered like a credit card, all the way down to the laser signature on the back. It was the front card on the acetate team bag featured for 50 cents featuring a medley of various cards. I knew it was certainly worth shelling out a couple of quarters.

Another team bag, this one for a dollar, featured a 2012 Dustin Pedroia Topps Hertiage need for my Pedroia PC. Again, I knew it would be worth the price. Of course, when it came time to pay after I accumulated several other wants, I ended up paying a flat rate or everything of 5 dollars.

I had so much money left, I decided to dig through his quarter bin. What it yielded was incredible.

This is a yet-to-be-completed page from my Throwback PC. All of the cards are ones I had picked up over the weekend at one point or another. The ones I'm featuring I all snagged on Saturday. The set is brilliant; it's an insert subset from 2001 Topps Heritage, which features player painted in their respective teams classic or throwback duds. All of em were only a quarter a piece, and I knew they'd find a great home in my binder.

Quick Rundown of Upcoming Posts

Hey, everyone. I've been so busy lately that I've barely had to so much as even consider posting on the blog. I have some free time in the next few days, so I figured I'd give a rundown of what to expect. So, yesterday 20youksox and I hit up a flea market, and the day before we hit up a town fair with a similar setup. Within the next few days, anticipate scan-heavy posts with rundowns of some of our sweet pickups.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Card Store Recap Plus IMPORTANT Allen and Ginter Announcement!

I am going to start off with the Allen and Ginter announcement because it is important: DON'T THOW AWAY YOUR BOXES!!!  Topps has hidden 1/1 glossy parallels of the base set inside of the box lids.  While they are quite rare, it is definitely worth checking with there possibly being a 1/1 inside.

Next on to the card store recap.  I was able to buy cards at 3 different locations on Cape Cod.  The first was at a Newbury Comics at the mall.  I bought 1 pack of 2013 Goodwin Champions and 1 pack of 2013 Gypsy Queen.  I didn't pull anything spectacular but I did get a Jim Bunning SP from Gypsy Queen and a cloth mini of Nikolas Lidstrom from Goodwin which are inserted at a rate of 1 per box.

This stop was really just to tie me over until I went to Pastime Sports Cards and Collectables.  I had been a couple weeks earlier, so I knew he was cleaned out of any Youkilis cards I needed for my PC, but I did do some digging for my new Stars and Stripes PC which features cards of players wearing their Stars and Stripes uniforms with no success.  The pack selection was a little slimmer than I was hoping for so I just bought a few packs of 2013 Topps Heritage.  The Heritage was a bust except for an R.A. Dickey high number SP.

The final stop on my card tour was Hyannis Sports Cards Inc..  This was my first time ever going to this shop, so I saved the bulk of my money for here because it looked pretty big from the outside.  When I walked in they certainly had plenty of sports cards, but the bulk of the store was taken up by t-shirts and apparel.  They had a ton of singles, unfortunately none for my Youk or Stars and Stripes PC.

There were not many baseball packs for sale, just your basic Series 1 and 2, but he did also have some 2013 Bowman.  I never have any luck with base brand, so I decided to go for some 2013 Bowman.  I think I busted about 7 packs if I am remembering correctly.  Anyways, I pulled the usual assortment of good prospects, a blue bordered parallel, and a cream of the crop mini refractor.  However, the big pull was an autograph.  While just a base autograph, it is the best one you can pull in the set.  Baseball America's number 1 prospect, Byron Buxton!

This card is in perfect shape!  The corners are sharp and the centering looks pretty good (hard to tell from scan, but take my word for it).  The autograph is legible until you get to the second half of his last name.  I am so glad I pulled this card and for the record, I have had some luck with prospects in the past.  Maybe I will post my top Bowman pulls sometimes.  I also have a couple of PC mail days coming up!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Incredible Vacation Card Haul (Part 2) + I Chime In In Recent PED Suspensions

This post is a continuation of me showing off some of my awesome pickups and pulls from my vacation at Cape Cod. This time, I'm showcasing pickups from my trip to Pastime Cards & Collectibles, a baseball card store in Yarmouth, MA.

I picked through a little-known gem in the storekeepers dollar bin, which yielded some nice cards for my throwback collection. The first is a 2012 Topps Team Set Variation Ervin Santana, which features him in a nifty LA Angles throwback.

The next card is a 2011 Topps Ryan Braun. 

It's quite disconcerting to hear of the still well-and-alive usage of PED's at the pro and minor league levels, as many people, myself included, had hoped that a newer era beyond expansive PED use had been ushered in. At least as it appears now, that is not the truth. That being said, I respect and admire the MLB's decision to suspend an unprecedented 13 players for PED usage, with Alex Rodriguez suspension being the most harsh. His suspension is currently under appeal, but assuming it is upheld the 211 game suspension will be the longest and harshest suspension the likes of the MLB has ever dished out...and for entirely justifiable reasons as it appears. A-Rod is accused of being a cheater, and I feel like that is a totally accurate and justifiable statement. We'll see how it plays out, but I certainly hope Rodriguez is suspended so as to be effectively removed from the game.

Anyhow, the next card I bought was one I had seen on Dime Box Nick's Blog and I'd been meaning to add to my want list on the blogs sidebar. I looked and looked in the stores Nomar binder, and to my joy I found it on the second or third to last page in the binder. It really is a sick card, and as Nick said you don't often find Red Sox throwback uniforms on cards. The set the card is from is actually 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated; It's from an insert subset called "Legends of Today".

As for my Pedroia PC, I added a 2012 Topps "Career Day" insert to my collection.
Also, I pulled two Red Sox cards from a pack of 2013 Archives: a David Ortiz and a Jim Rice insert.

That's all for now. Next installment of this segment, I'll showcase the pinnacle pickups of my vacation!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Epic Redemption Mailday

Well, I just got back from a week at Cape Cod and had a package waiting for me in my mailbox. This package had the return address of Panini so I figured it was my redemption card. The package was sent via FedEx with signature confirmation so that gives you an idea of how cool this card is going to be. I waited about three months for this redemption and was excited to see that it finally came. I opened up the outer box to get into the bubble mailer inside. Due to the recent Topps replacement garbage, I was a little nervous that I wouldn't receive the original card. I opened to package to find the intended card placed carefully in a magnetic holder. This card is my 2011 Panini Prime Cuts Miguel Cabrera Notable Nicknames Autograph numbered 14/25. The beauty of this card is that not only is it an autograph of the reigning MVP and triple crown winner but it is also inscribed with his nickname, "Miggy". This makes the card unique as well as more valuable than a standard Miggy autograph. The autograph is on card and I am proud to add this to my personal collection.

I was also able to bust some packs at various card stores on Cape Cod, so I will share those some time later this week.  Spoiler alert: I pulled something pretty sick!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Incredible Vacation Card Haul (Part 1)

Hey, everyone. I haven't posted in a while, as I've been at Cape Cod for 2 weeks. However, during those 2 weeks, I was able to accomplish so much in regards to my card collection. I visited a flea market, 2 baseball card stores, and a mall, in each of which I found cards of all varieties. I managed some incredible pulls, the best of which I will showcase in the last part of these segments.

The first part of this set of posts highlights my pickups from a flea market, all of which I acquired for the total of only a dollar. Two cards were for my Throwback PC, and two were for my Pitchers at the Plate PC. Also, I picked up a pretty notable rookie card for what was essentially free.

The two throwback cards were from the $0.25 box, which was a more than welcome find for my taste. The bottom right card is a 1991 Stadium Club Sammy Sosa, which features him in a White Sox throwback. Above that is a 2003 Donruss Miguel Tejada, featuring him in the A's famous yellow throwbacks.

The top left card is a 2004 Fleer Tradition Randy Johnson, and directly below that is a 2003 Ultra Jason Jennings. Both cards feature pitchers batting, one of my newer potential PC's.

Lastly,  the top right card is a Just Minors issue minor league card of Clay Buchholz. As a Red Sox fan and a fan of Clay, I found this to be a no brainer. When I brought the cards to the sales table and the toal was $1.50, the owner threw in the Buchholz and had me hand over exactly one semi-wrinkled dollar.

Pretty incredible pickups for only a dollar!

Friday, July 19, 2013

First Mailday in a While; Rainbow Complete!

Hey, I haven't been able to post much over the summer due to limited computer access and the fact that I am slowly transitioning into a break from this hobby.  This isn't a matter of me being dissatisfied with the hobby or uninterested, but rather me going off to college this fall.  I will try to post when possible, but it will be limited with all of my schoolwork.

Now onto the mail day.  I purchased this 2009 Bowman Red 1/1 off of eBay of my PC player Kevin Youkilis.  Now this wasn't really a rainbow I was working on, but when I got this card I discovered that I had a completed rainbow!

This was certainly a pleasant surprise and the red 1/1 cost me only $20.  I should have some more posts soon of pack breaks from my trip to a card store.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cards For Trade and For Sale on Sports Card Album

Everyone needs to check this out. The brainchild of a Busting Wax blogger, this is a free, revolutionary alternative to Beckett's Org, your Photobucket, or whatever system you're using.
My username is thepackprodigy, for whoever is interested in trading.

Here's a link to my page-

Congratulations to our "Home Run Derby" contest winner, Dime Box Nick!

Nick from Baseball Dime Box correctly predicted the winner of the 2013 MLB Home Run Derby! By correctly predicting Yoenis Cespedes as the winner, he's won a base card of Cespedes. Congratulations, Nick!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trade with 20youksox (Plus a Home Run Derby Contest!)

Today, I completed a trade with 20youksox to fill some holes in my Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester PC's. I got two cards which filled the gaps, which I am both very excited about.

They are both from the Red Sox 2012 team set, which for some reason I never got around to picking up. To be honest, my theory is that they just were so terrible last year that I had no motivation to go out and spend my money on a set commemorating their worst record in my lifetime.

The reason these cards are special, however, is because they have a silver logo stamped on the corner of each card commemorating Fenway Park's 100th Anniversary. That was the common theme with every card from the Sox team set from last year, but because I specifically collect Lester and Pedroia I knew I had to snatch these up.

In addition, I also picked up about 10 or so cards to complete a page and a half in my binder of my "Throwback" collection. It's in it's early stages, but the progress is definitely visible. I'll post some scans of those tomorrow.

Also, the annual Home Run Derby is tonight! Be sure to catch it for some undoubtedly exciting action!
My pick is Chris Davis of the AL.

Comment below with your pick! If you're right, I'll hook you up with a base card of the winner of the HRD!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Sentimental Side of My Collection: My Favorite Cards (Pt. 2)

A few weeks back, I made a post about cards that mean a lot to me for various reasons, whether it be my faith, my family, etc. I have been promising a follow up post, which I have prepared after careful consideration. Without further ado, I present to you....

The Sentimental Side of My Collection: My Favorite Cards (Pt. 2)

I chose to highlight two cards, as I had done three previously. The two cards I chose, again, both mean a great deal to me, and I appreciate the opportunity to be able to share them and their unique stories with you.

1. 2004 Fleer InScribed "Names of The Game" Ted Williams GU Bat Card

Around January of 2004, I was sitting downstairs on my couch watching TV after school. I had come come from what I assume was a rigorous day of 2nd grade (only kidding), and I was enjoying my relaxation. My Dad usually got home from work around 4:30. It was usually the same routine: I'd sit downstairs, not even having to leave the couch to understand the everyday significance of the familiar jingling sound of keys hitting the wooden key rack. That meant Dad was home. This day, he came downstairs and leaned over the railing carrying a package. He walked over to me and handed me the yellow bubble mailer, telling me it was a Christmas gift he had bought online that the seller had failed to ship in time for Christmas morning. I opened it up, and inside was this card. Additionally, it held a Carl Yastrzemski GU Jersey card from the same set. But this...this was different. Having a piece of lumber held by the greatest hitter who ever lived in my hands? That  was and continues to be an indescribable feeling. My Dad, as well as my Mom, have always been so good to me and my siblings and they've always done a great job picking up gifts that they knew we'd like, especially when it came to baseball cards. This is easily one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever gotten.

2. Doug Mirabelli Self-Issued Autographed Card (Obtained IP)

When I was a little boy (I don't exactly remember when), I was staying at my Grandparent's house with my Mom and Dad. Every time I had a sleepover at my Nana and Papa's house, it was tradition for my Nana to make waffles for my family when we woke up. Don't ask me why, or how, but those Jiffy-batter waffles are the best waffles I've ever had. One morning, as I was sitting in my chair eating my waffles, my papa was reading the Patriot Ledger, his local newspaper, and told me about an advertisement for a local Chevrolet dealer that was holding free autograph signings with Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli. My Dad, my Papa, and I all went to the dealership, where I was able to meet Doug, take pictures with him, and even receive an autograph on a card which he provided. Until several years later, I didn't really understand that there was religious connection on the back of the card. Doug used the card as a form of praise and spreading the Gospel for God, as on the back he related his baseball career to his Faith.. To me, as a Catholic, that's something I have a great deal of respect and admiration for

I'll probably have another post like this in the near future, so stay tuned. 
If you have a story about a card that holds sentimental value to you or has a unique story, feel free to comment in the box below this post!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dollar Store Card Assortment Repack (Results)

Hey, everyone.

I've got some scans of my latest "pack" rips from the dollar store.
First, a couple housekeeping items to address. Now that summer break is here, definitely anticipate more posting on the behalf of myself and 20youksox. Obviously with school being over, we'll certainly have more time to attend to the blog. Additionally, keep an eye out for some scans from trades, pack rips, etc. Generally speaking, our scans have do a good job of summarizing the contents of our post.

The other day, 20youksox and I went to our local Dollar Store in search of some "JunkBalls" to play wiffleball with. As I had found them there and picked up a few previously, I was anticipating there to be some. Unfortunately, we came up empty in that department. I, however, had some dollars to spend and noticed a relatively new addition to the card section.

There were about 50-100 card "packs" each available for (shockingly) $1.00. There was a clear plastic packaging wrapped around each stack of cards, so I was able to pull out all of the stacks in order to chose the packs based solely on the front and back cards respectively. I found a few that I like, specifically ones featuring somewhat modern-era Red Sox cards or other players of note.

Now, as collectors, we are all able to determine the general time period which cards were produced based on the material/coloring used. I looked from a side view, and as no surprise to me did I find junk wax upon junk wax below the top cards. The majority held those, but several didn't, which are the ones I ultimately decided to buy.

What I pulled wasn't anything less than I expected, if not a little better than anticipated.

The first two cards in the top row are some of my favorite pulls; they honestly remind me of something Dime Box Nick would appreciate due to their interesting concepts and photo/design. The cards are from 1998 Metal Universe, and in the background they feature a panorama-esque picture of the location where the player on the card plays. For example, the Hideki Irabu of the Yankees features a New York City skyline and the Empire State building, while the card of Royals 1B Jeff King features train tracks running across farm land in Kansas City. They honestly look a lot cooler in person.

The last card in the top row was featured on the top of the card stack, which is a reason I picked it. It's a 2004 Topps Aaron Hill First Year Card, which features the current D-Backs second baseman in his Blue Jays years. I personally found it worthy enough of my dollar.

The first card in the bottom row is a 2002 UD Diamond Collection Cliff Floyd base card, which again is the reason I picked the stack it belonged to. I know he was a short-term Sox player, but I still saw it fit to find a home in my Red Sox binder. Next we have a card included in the middle of a stack which features Jason Varitek from 2010 Topps. Another card for my Red Sox binder, which I also find unique because it features the Captain's "C" displayed prominently on the torso of Tek. Surprisingly, I don't see a lot of his cards with the Captains patch. The next card is for trade for any Yankees fans. It's a 1990 Bowman Bernie Williams RC, which was found somewhere in the middle of a pack. I was surprised to pull it, as the repack company obviously didn't notice that it featured a RC of a 5x All Star and 4x Gold Glove Outfielder. He's actually ranked the 134th best hitter of all time by Pro Baseball Reference.

The last card I really like. It's a 1988 Donruss RC of current Red Sox skipper John Farrel from the iconic "Rated Rookies" subset of Donruss. I find it pretty neat and definitely worthy of a spot in my binder.

That's all.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pack Rip: 2013 Bowman Jumbo

I was looking through some I my Youk cards today when I ran into a pack of 2013 Bowman Jumbo that I busted a while ago but never got around to posting.  Now that I remember, it was a pretty good pack.  The first highlight was a Jurickson Profar rookie card.

And behind him was his buddy Mike Olt.

In the prospects, I managed to pull the number 2 overall pick Byron Buxton.

Next, I pulled a craacked ice of

So far, so good, but I also pulled an autograph.

Patrick Wisdom was the Saint Louis Cardinals first round draft pick in 2012.  This card isn't worth much, but between all of these cards I definately got my money's worth out of this pack.  I was just thrilled to pull some kind of auto.  After finding this pack, I found a pack of 2013 Gypsy Queen that I never posted either, so I will post that eventually too.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Segment: Check Out My Youks

I haven't really been inspired to post lately.  Trying to reverse this, I came up with a new segment called Check Out My Youks that I will post weekly if it goes over well.  In this segment, I will showcase a Kevin Youkilis card from my PC that I haven't previously shown on the blog.  We'll start off with this.

This autographed manufactured letter patch was a card that really got my Youkilis PC rolling.  After getting this card as a Christmas gift, I decided to start collecting Kevin Youkilis.  This decision was based on Youk being my favorite player and hero, and that fact that I had began to acquire quite a few of his cards: several relics, a few autographs and countless base cards.

Numbered 4/20, this is still one of the few autographs in my PC.  If any part part of my PC is lacking, it is definately the auto department.  I'm not sure why, but autographs just don't excite me as much relics and patches.

If I do say so myself, I feel as if my epic patch collection makes up for this.

So that was the first Check Out My Youks post.  Hopefully people enjoy this and I will try to post one of these every week.  I am also planning to bring back my Random PC Card of the Week segment that was pretty popular while I was still running it.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Finished My First Bowman Chrome Autographed Rainbow!

I finally ponied up the cash for the last card I needed for my 2003 Bowman Chrome Kevin Youkilis Autographed Rainbow.  As usual, it wasn't the rarest card in the rainbow that I needed.  The last card this time was the regular refractor version.  The reason it took so long to pick up is that when they pop up on ebay, they are usually a buy it now set at higher than I want to pay.  Finally, one popped up for $25 with free shipping and it arrived in the mail today.

Now, for the rest of the rainbow.  2003 Bowman Chrome, an early version of Bowman Chrome had less refractor versions than the modern version.  2003 had only gold refractors numbered to 50, x-fractors numbered to 250, refractors numbered to 500, and of course the regular version numbered out of 1700.  That's right, no 1/1 or superfractors, but still really cool.

Despite the lack of 1/1's, this is still one of the best rainbow's I have completed.  The gold refractor is considered the "holy grail" of Kevin Youkilis cards.  Although the cards are numbered, there is no serial number printed on the card.  For those of you who are wondering, the superfractor was not put into Bowman products until 2005, two years after this rainbow was made.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Worcester Tornadoes & Chris Colabello

When I was much younger, 20youk and I would go to Worcester Tornadoes games together. As of last year, not much had changed. We'd find time in the summer to go a ballpark that was rarely filled to 1/4 of its capacity just to watch the hometown boys play. As of this year, the Worcester Tornadoes don't exist. In one off-season filled with the total uprooting of the franchise, Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field is now without a semi-pro baseball team. I give immense credit to the ownership and baseball executives, because for a while they fielded a team that was very well rounded and had a fair amount of talent. In their first season in the league, they won the Can-Am league championship.

The memories of attending Tornadoes games will always be vivid for me...but that's all I have now- memories. Believe me, some of those memories are nothing short of spectacular. Last year, on opening day, we saw the Tornadoes field a team headlined by the presence of former MLB slugger Jose Canseco. That stint was brief, and filled with a lot of disappointment for everyone involved. One game, we saw the now-defunct Brockton Rox franchise trot to the mound a submarine throwing RHP by the name of Joshua Papelbon, brother and polar opposite of Jonathan. That was a unique experience. Perhaps my favorite memory, however, was watching Chris Colabello play 1B the Tornadoes. The pride of Worcester and a graduate of Assumption College, Chris would do so much for the Tornadoes franchise. Today, he is a member of the Minnesota Twins; He now has a hit to his name at the major league level.

He blossomed for seven seasons in the Can-Am league before anyone gave him a legitimate chance, besides a brief 22 day spring training stint with Detroit in 2006. In 2010, the Minnesota twins gave him a spring training invitation. Here, he would prove that he belonged with the organization by surprising everyone and making the AA New Britain Rock Cats where he would go on to hit .284 with 19 HRs and 98 RBIs. This season, he earned a spot at AAA Rochester, where he was absolutely tearing up AAA pitching by hitting .358 with 12 HRs and 39 RBIs. Well, the Twins took notice. After placing OF Trevor Plouffe on the DL, they called up Colabello. After going 0-4 in his first game, he would notch his first MLB hit a few days later. I have to many of Chris' autographs to count. I've even held conversations with him. From what I remember, he was a great guy.

I honestly could not be more happy for Colabello. I'm so happy that he achieved his ambition, an ambition and a dream that he never gave up on. I most certainly can't wait to pick up his first official RC, which would end up being his first baseball card other than the team-issued Worcester Tornadoes cards (I've got a few). If and when Topps produces a few of his other cards, I definitely anticipate them. They say memories keep alive great moments in your life, and growing up watching Chris Colabello become a star from the brink of irrelevancy is a memory I'll forever cherish.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Love When Patches Fit Together!

Jumbo patches are awesome.  A giant chunk of patch is one of my favorite relics, because with the bigger size you can start to see where the patch came from.  I really love when the patches fit together.  For example, I am collecting the 2011 Topps Update Kevin Youkilis All Star Jumbo Patches.  I currently have 5 out of the 6, and all 5 of them fit together.

Here they are together.  Now, here they are assembled to create letters.

As you can see, they spell out RICAN from AMERICAN.  I'm geussing that the one patch I am missing is the top of the RI.  These aren't the only patches I have that fit together.  Check out my 2009 Topps Triple Threads All Star Patches, again of Kevin Youkilis.

These patches are the MER from AMERICAN on his 2008 All Star Game Jersey at Yankee Stadium.  Now, these cards would all be nice on their own, but they are much cooler together and tell a better story.

Do you have patches that fit together?  If you do, please comment below with some pictures.  We would love to see what you have!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Congratulations to Chris Colabello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris Colabello's story is the definition of perseverance.  A local hero from central Massachusetts, Colabello played from 2005 to 2011 for the Independent CanAm League Worcester Tornadoes.  He was a fan favorite being the best player on the team and the only player to return every year.  He was very freindly and willing to sign anything for the fans.


Last year, the Minnesota Twins gave Colabello a try out during spring training.  Chris was good enough to get a roster spot on the AA New Britain Rock Cats, where he had a great season hitting .284 with 19 home runs and 98 RBIs.  This season was followed up by excellent numbers in winter ball.  After playing for team Italy in the World Baseball Classic where he also hit very well, Chris earned a promotion to the AAA Rochester Red Wings.  On the season, he has hit .358 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs.


Last Wednesday, Chris Colabello received his fisrt call-up to the Minnesota Twins with Trevor Plouffe being placed on the DL.  In his MLB debut, Chris was 0-4.  He is still yet to have his first MLB hit seeing only one at bat since.


The fact is, doing well doesn't matter because he has finally made it.  He kept with baseball this long after everybody told him he wasn't good enough and he has proved them wrong.  This may be one of the most inpirational tales of MLB.  So, I would like  congratulate Chris Colabello on making it to the Major Leagues and I hope he will stay in the lineup for years to come.  He is a hero for young boys throughout the Worcester area.

EDIT- Congratulations to Chris on his first MLB hit.  Colabello singled to center in the top of the sixth during today's 4:00 game.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

2011 Prime Cuts Box Break HUGE MOJO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many of you have probably realized that I don't open many boxes.  Well, I got to pick out my own birthday cards this year and decided to treat myself to a hobby box.  Like I already posted, I got a box of 2011 Prime Cuts with some packs of 2013 Gypsy Queen.  I've already posted the Gypsy Queen, so now its time for Prime Cuts.

If you are familiar with 2011 Prime Cuts, you will know that that there are 5 cards per pack with at least 2 autographs.  However, there are usually 3 autos and most of them are prospects.  Two out of five boxes have three prospect autos while three out of five have two prospect autos and a veteran or hall of famer auto.

The way Panini packaged the product, you can tell right away if you've got a box with all prospect autos.  These boxes have a a base card on top.  Granted there are some nice relic cards in this product, three prospect autos are never a good sign.

So now on to my break.  Being a higher end product I go with the slide reveal approach, and I see a relic card on the top!  This means only 2 prospects.  The relic is a Matt Kemp bat peice.  The next card is a relic too, but I will skip over it for now because quiet frankly I would take a relic over a crappy prospect auto any day.

My two prospect autos were Michael Kelly and Chad Comer.  Blah.  Although, they were both short printed out of 99 instead of the usual 299.

At this point I have looked at the second relic, but I'm going to skip it again, and I'm sure you'll see why.  That leaves the veteran or hall of fame auto.  Crap.  Its a redemtion.

I'm already excited becuse it is a notable nicknames auto.  That means it is an on card auto inscribed with the players nickname, and the checklist is pretty strong.  Well, its triple crown winner and MVP Miguel Cabrera.  I would have been thrilled with just this, but it isn't even the best card in the pack.

Remember that memorabilia card I skipped earlier?  Well yeah,

Satchel Paige game worn two color patch numbered 6/10.  This is amazing!  I did a little research on Beckett and found that Satchel Paige only appears on 22 patch cards.  Thats pretty rare.  Safe to say that this is my best box break since 2010 when I pulled my Mystery Cut out of 2009 SP Legendary Cuts.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Sentimental Side of My Collection: My Favorite Cards (Pt. 1)

Today, I felt compelled to share with the the readers some of my cards which mean a great deal to me for varying reasons. Each reason brings with it an interesting story as to why I hold the card to be so sentimentally valuable to me. I plan on showcasing more in the very near future, but for today I picked three which mean a great deal to me. Without further ado...

The first card I chose to display is my 1994 Classic 4 Sport Nomar Garciaparra Rookie Card. Growing up, Nomar Garciaparra was my favorite baseball player by far. I had posters on my wall, jerseys, name it. I remember how emotionally spent I was when he got traded in 2004 at the deadline. I was only 7 or 8, but to me it felt like my heart had been broken. The ironic thing was I was wearing a Nomar shirt at the time, so I went upstairs when I found out (we were staying at a relatives house) and tried to rip my shirt in half, and couldn't so I tossed it into the empty trash bucket (I later picked it up and washed it, and still have the shirt today). Regardless, one Christmas my dad bought me a photobox that is generally used for storing pictures...but he converted it into a cardbox and replaced the picture windows on the lid with images from the Boston Globe issued on the day I was born. This was the best Christmas gift I had ever gotten, and with it I recieved a plastic case of various assorted baseball cards. And, lo and behold, one of the cards was this Nomar. I will always love this card for so many reasons. I continued to follow Nomar after he was traded, but eventually fell out of my line of sight due to me having new favorite players. But Nomar was never really gone. I had always held a special place in my heart for him. So, when he signed a one-day contract to retire with the Red Sox at the end of his career in 2010, I could not help but smile. I now have plenty of Nomar cards in my Red Sox binder, and I hope to eventually start a PC of my childhood favorite. So, here's to you Nomahhh!

1994 Classic 4 Sport Nomar Garciaparra RC
The next card I chose to showcase is this 2004 Upper Deck First Pitch Pedro Martinez. The card itself is so unassuming, and it's not necessarily the card but the photography which provides me the joy of sentimental collector's value. I've probably had this card for a long time, but believe it or not I just found it in my assorted card boxes a few weeks ago and slipped it into my binder. The picture, to me, captures one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of baseball pointing to God and thanking Him for his blessings as he always did after leaving the game. My faith and God is the most important thing in my life to me, without a doubt. I've always been fascinated by the connection between faith and sports, and I've always admired athletes who talk about their faith and how they play for a greater cause, but do so humbly. I always enjoyed watching Pedro pitch growing up, and next to Nomar he surpassed every other player in terms of being my favorite. I feel so blessed by God to be able to do all I do in my life, and be able to get a good education and enjoy the life he gave me. Little things like this make me happy to know that I'm part of a larger plan and that other people all over the world share the same Faith.
2004 Upper Deck First Pitch Pedro Martinez
The last card I chose to talk about is this 2004 Fleer Tradition Manny Ramirez card. This card denotes his winning of the 2004 World Series MVP, and as I recently just found out it is actually short printed. Shortly after the Red Sox won the world series in 2004, I was at an Olympia Sports at a mall near my house. While there, I was looking at the various baseball cards near the checkout counter with my mom, when a younger employee noticed I was doing so. He asked me if I liked baseball cards, which I said I did, and he and I started talking about cards and collecting. Being only 8 at the time, I was pretty early on in my collecting career. So, he told me he had something for me and that he'd be right back, and when he returned from the back room, he told me that he had in his hand some cards from his personal card collection. He insisted on giving them to me, and the card he specifically pointed out was this card. He noted that the gold wreath around the Fleer logo meant that the card was truly special. I was overjoyed, and I've kept this card ever since. I never got the employee's name, but he knows he mad a kid truly happy. I had watched the 2004 World Series with my Dad, and it was one of the better experiences of my life. The only game I fully stayed up for until the last out was Game 4, and I've never been as excited as I ever was when Keith Foulke underhanded a chopper back to the mound to Doug Menkevich for the final out.We had watched Manny Ramirez tear it up that series, and deservedly receive the World Series MVP award for his play. This card always brings back those memories upon simply looking at it, which is one of the reasons why it's truly one of my favorite cards.
2004 Fleer Tradition Manny Ramirez WS MVP SP