Group Break from Nachos Grande

Group Break from Nachos Grande

CARDS

Nacho Grande Group Break

Bring me all the Bennys!

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

June 27th, 2017

It’s taken me far too long to scan these. The break Chris (Nachos Grande) did to start off the summer was back at the beginning of June. That tells you what kind of summer I’m having, lol. Chris was busting a couple fun boxes (Bunt, DK and Archives x2), and I thought I’d jump in and grab the Red Sox. My normal hatred for Archives was slightly abaited this year, the designs they brough back aren’t terrible and the checklist was pretty good. I’m also a sucker for Diamond Kings, as most of you know. I can take or leave Bunt, but I will say that you certainly get your bang for the buck out of a box of it (got a whole team set and tons of dupes). It was also a double slot break, with one random team, and I got the Angels. So, let’s see what I got…

You can’t go wrong with a whole bunch of Trout cards. Along with Pujols, they’re obviously the faces of the franchise, and are represented extensively in just about every product. There were a couple other Angels cards, which will inevitably go into an Angels trade stack, but let’s be honest, you just want to see the Trouts.

Here’s a sampling of the 2017 Bunt cards. Most of the team set, a nice Benny rookie card, and a cross section of the inserts. I don’t “get” the “Perspectives” insert, there isn’t much way of an explanation on the back, and the photos are cropped weirdly. Is it supposed to be our perspective of them? The players perspective of the game? A different perspective through photography? I don’t really know. Save the candid photos for Stadium Club please. Also, the “Program” insert is considerably weaker than last year, which I really enjoyed. Speaking of…

Here’s the last of the 2017 inserts, “Infinite”, which I’ve already touched on through a few customs. Chris did pull a nice #/99 green parallel of Drew Pomeranz for me, so that’s nice. He also opened a blaster (if I remember correctly) of 2016 Bunt, which had a weaker design, but also included that really nice “Programs” insert I mentioned.

Up next, some of the cards from Archives. As I mentioned at the top, I don’t mind Archives as much this year. In the past I’ve felt like the material was so flimsy and the designs so recycled that it was nothing more than a cash grab for Topps. This year seemed a little better quality, the card stock is better, the designs are nicer and they even created some minis (see Trout above). 1960, 1982 and 1992 were all pretty safe choices for designs to borrow. No complaints there.

The last card from Archives, and honestly, one of the best looking Benintendi RCs available. Iconic design, bright colors, all good things. Also, my cards from the Diamond Kings box. A bit underwhelming, but understandable given the amount of total cards in the hobby box. I also had most of the team set anyway, with the exception of that Rice “Heritage Collection” insert, so checking that off the checklist was a big help.

Before I show the big hit of the break, I also wanted to thank Chris, not only for the break itself, but for including a good number of “bonus” cards in everyone’s boxes. He filled priority mail boxes to the gills with extra cards from his collection. Spring cleaning for him, bonus cards for us. Win-win.

I don’t know if he did it on purpose, or if was merely a conincidence, but included along side the 2017 Archives were actual 1982 and 1992 cards. It’s fun to see some originals along with their contemporary reproductions. Also included as some classics: 84, 87, 89, 93 Topps, 93-94 Upper Deck, even a 2000 Skybox Nomar that I don’t think I had.

Last but not least. My hit. The hit of the year so far, for me personally…

A Benintendi Archives “Fan Favorites” auto. On card, and completely beautiful. I didn’t even want to take it out of the mag holder to scan it, so, you get a photo instead.

So awesome!

Thanks again for the break Chris, and extra thanks for pulling my first and only Benintendi auto!

Bowman Mega Boxes

Bowman Mega Boxes

CARDS

Bowman Mega Boxes

Adventures in retail!

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

June 27th, 2017

In May Bowman Mega Boxes were apparently all the rage. I noticed a post on Reddit the other day about how someone “got in” on the Mega Box craze before the price sky-rocketed. I was confused. I had bought two of them with zero fuss.

I checked eBay and sure enough, people are asking $75-100 for these $15 boxes.

I didn’t really get it. What’s was the big deal? I literally opened two of them and there were plenty more at my Target at the time. Then I read about Shohei Otani.

People are apparently hoarding these boxes, looking for the first Bowman cards of the “Japanese Babe Ruth” and asking for crazy money for them. There’s also “Aaron Judge Mania”, which took these boxes from an absurd $100, to north of $200 the last time I checked. These are BLASTERS people.

Like I said, I had two of them, I could have made serious bank. What did I do? I opened them of course, and here are the results…

Right up front, I should be honest, I didn’t get any Otahni cards. I didn’t get any Judge cards either. Otahni was in a sub-set of WBC cards, which were hard to pull in general (although I did get one) and Judge was only in an insert set called ROY Favorites, which is ironic because the cards were produced months ago.

Also, it should be noted that I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to prospect cards. I don’t have guys in Single-A or Double-A on my radar, I don’t really pay attention to the draft, and I really only get interested in the next wave of players when my team needs to fill a spot, or because the media attention is too hard to ignore.

Most of my really valuable rookie cards were complete flukes. So, please, if any of these names stand out as valuable, please let me know, because I have no idea. If I scanned it, it was because I had heard of the player, or it was shiny. I probably missed a few good ones.

Might as well do these alphabetically since that’s how they’re sitting in my scan folder. We’ll do these in chunks and then get into the details in between. Since damn near everything in the box was “special” somehow, there’s a lot to scan.

Sandy Alcantara “Mojo” refractor

Tyler Austin RC

Wuilmer Becerra Green Mojo Refractor #/99

Tyler Beede Purple Mojo Refractor #/250

Andrew Benintendi RC

Bo Bichette Mojo Refractor

Alex Bregman RC

Gavin Cecchini RC

That’s not a bad group to start off with. You guys liking the image grid? I’m liking the image grid.

The purple and green refractors are actually semi rare. These boxes (and the mojo parallels) are rare to begin with, but with only 5 packs per box and the purples being 1:6, you’re not even supposed to get one. The green are 1:15. So, statistically, with only 10 packs total, I could have pulled one purple, and zero green. As you can see as we go, I did considerably better than that. One box had an entire pack of purple (hot pack?). I ended up with 4 purple, a green and an auto.

As for these, the Benintendi RC was the ONLY card I went into this hoping to pull. Getting a Tyler Austin, Alex Bregman and Gavin Cecchini were icing on the cake. I had vaguely heard of Tyler Beede as well, so I’m assuming that’s a good thing.

Matt Chapman Mojo Refractor

David Dahl RC

David Dahl ROY Favorites

Mauricio Dubon Mojo Refractor

Carson Fulmer RC

Kyle Funkhouser Mojo Refractor

Tyler Glasnow RC

Abrahan Gutierrez Mojo Refractor

Here’s our second group. The Dahl rookies are nice, he had started off red-hot last year but I think he’s come back down to earth. The Mauricio Dubon is probably the best of the group, he’s one of the better prospects in the Brewers system. Chapman cracked the top 100 prospects list. An RC for Fulmer isn’t too bad either.

Ronald Guzman Mojo Refractor

Teoscar Hernandez RC

Jahmai Jones Mojo Refractor

Mitch Keller Mojo Refractor

Kevin Maitan (Chrome) 1st Bowman

Francisco Mejia Chrome

Yoan Moncada RC

Tyler O’Neill Mojo Refractor

Pretty solid third group here, as several of these guys are in the most recent “Top 100 prospects” lists. Mitch Keller is #22, Kevin Maitan is #44, Francisco Meija is #16 and Moncada is still ranked as #1.

AJ Puckett Mojo Refractor

Roniel Raudes Mojo Refractor Auto

Hunter Renfroe RC

Victor Robles Mojo Refractor

Blake Rutherford 1st Bowman

Christin Stewart Purple Mojo Refractor #/250

Gleyber Torres Chrome

Chase Vallot Mojo Refractor

Wow. I wasn’t expecting an auto. I really wasn’t expecting a Red Sox auto. I most certainly wasn’t expecting a Mojo Refractor auto. That pretty much destroyed the pack odds in these boxes. Not to mention a mojo version of Victor Robles (#5 top prospects) and the Gleybar Torres (#3). Rutherford is another in the top 100 (#45), and the purple mojo is my 3rd from the boxes.

Braves Talent Pipeline Mojo Refractor

Cardinals Talent Pipeline Mojo Refractor

Cardinals Talent Pipeline Purple Mojo Refractor

There were also 3 “Talent Pipeline” cards in my boxes. I don’t think the Pipeline insert set was in regular Bowman, so these might have been exclusive to these boxes (someone correct me if I’m wrong). I got all 3 in the parallel mojo packs. The purple refractor also had different odds than the regular purple. It was apparently a 1:18.

Last but not least, one of the WBC cards. Takahiro Norimoto. By all accounts, an excellent pitcher, ranked #6 non-US prospect with anticipated “posting” and availability to MLB teams in 2019. Threw a near perfect game for Japan in the WBC this year. Most people consider him the #2 Japanese prospect, right behind Shohei Otani.

The Otani hype alone made these boxes impossible to find in stores and this was before the Aaron Judge insanity. Post Aaron Judge craziness has made these like unicorns to some collectors.

I still can’t believe I found some. All in all, I’d say I’m pretty happy with what I found in these boxes. What do you guys think?

Battle For the Net

Today us July 12th, the day the internet has decided to join forces and fight, once again, for our basic rights as net citizens. People far smarter than I have espoused long and detailed arguments on why this is important, and I don’t believe my commentary could add any more to the argue than what’s already been said. So, with that, I urge you to visit https://www.battleforthenet.com/ today. We all need to tell the FCC and congress that this is important to us.

https://www.battleforthenet.com/

From the site:

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—”fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.

 

 

Slight Changes

Slight Changes

In case you were reading the site over the past couple days and were wondering what on earth was going on, fear not. I’m just doing some spring cleaning. I’ve been using a wordpress builder theme/plugin combo for quite a while now and while it was easy and quick for building pages, I never fully embraced it for blogging. It’s a few extra steps, some extra configuration, and the standard editor had worked well for the past 10 years, so why mess with a good thing.

Well, as you might have guessed with the last post being more “magazine” looking, I’m trying to build more interesting posts while actually taking the design of the content into consideration as well.

You probably don’t care, and I didn’t expect you to. These changes are mostly for me.

The new look around here.

That also means a few structural changes as well. The blog and homepage are now one. Before they were separate pages but I was redirecting homepage traffic to the blog page anyway. Now the homepage features a blog-grid with “card” style post excerpts and “featured images”.

Blog posts will now be full-width and without a sidebar. All those links are now in the page footer.

This also means that old posts might look slightly different. I have no intention of going back and reformatting 4000+ posts. Old posts will have a sidebar like before.

I might also using a variety of post styles at any given time. For example, this post doesn’t feature a large header graphic like yesterdays, only a simple title. Both are options now, and I like the flexibility.

Anyway, pardon the dust while I rearrange a bit.

If you’re reading this is a feed reader, you probably didn’t notice any changes in the first place.

DIY Refractors – A Quasi Tutorial

DIY Refractors – A Quasi Tutorial

ARTS & CRAFTS

DIY Refractors

A quasi-tutorial

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

June 13th, 2017

I had seriously considered not publishing this at all. Part of me feels like it’s the trading card equivalent of magicians secrets. In the wrong hands, you could use these notes to create fake cards and to scam people out of real money.

That was a major concern, but I’m a creative person, and by nature I enjoy sharing with people. My enjoyment in creating something overrides my hesitations about people using this for nefarious purposes. Much like guns can be used for good, they can also be used for evil, and in much the same way so can knowledge. I don’t mean to make this sound ridiculously grandiose. It’s not. They’re little pieces of plastic and cardboard. However, in researching all this, I found a very purposeful and distinct “we don’t talk about this” among the card community, especially among people who create custom cards. No one wanted to discuss this. I couldn’t decide whether people were simply keeping it for themselves, or if in some altruistic way they thought they were preventing fraud in the card community. I don’t want to dismiss the later, but I also don’t agree with keeping secrets in what is essentially an art project.

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