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?

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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The Price Was Wright

The Price Was Wright

I really enjoy watching knuckleball pitchers in general. So when Steven Wright joined the Red Sox a couple years ago I was excited. I knew he was one of only a few pitchers actively throwing a knuckleball. Actually, I think at the moment it’s just two, Wright and R.A. Dickey. Regardless, the card industry took it’s sweet time making any Wright cards. He had a 2006 appearance in Bowman products (RC in Chrome, auto in Sterling and a base card in Bowman Heritage), but that was it. Three cards (and some parallels) in just that one year.

He was traded to the Sox in 2011, had appeared in several games, but was never on a card until last year. 2016 Heritage High Numbered was his first Red Sox card. Appearing in the All-Star game last year finally bumped him up into card checklist status and his first Sox/Topps autos appeared in Topps Tribute over the winter. Unfortunately for Steven, 2017 didn’t start off well and he just underwent knee surgery. His season is done, but the silver lining for card collectors is that his card prices are at an all time low. I was able to pick up four awesome autographs for less than $10 total.

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Rediscovery

Rediscovery

I don’t pretend to know how everyone else stores cards, I’m sure everyone has their own system. For me, since my primary goal is year-to-year team sets, I use binders and pages, and that seems to work out fine. It also means that binders get the majority of my attention. As a result, that also means I don’t put “hits” in said binders. I have “shoebox” style monster boxes instead. I’ve filled up three of them (the 3000 card variety) so far with random Red Sox cards… with little to no organization, unfortunately. I was putting some cards in one of the boxes and realized I was dealing with this…

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Various Customs

Various Customs

I’ve been having fun lately with my customs. It started as a way to create cards for sets that should have existed. Missing players, deeper rosters, that sort of thing. Not every set can have 700 cards, but my imaginary additions can fill in the gaps. Then it sort of evolved into this exercise of creativity whenever I was lacking it. My day job is that of a web designer, but I’m only actually “designing” a new site every few months. The rest of the time is the actual building of a site, adding content, manipulating text, changing code, adding links, that sort of thing. So, while editing CSS all day can be rewarding within a finished product, it doesn’t really get the creative juices flowing. There’s only so many times I can spec “Raleway, 15pt, #2A2A2A” before it gets redundant.

Every once in a while, I need to take a break and do something creative. I think it’s a good exercise for just about anyone. Even if it’s not creative, strictly speaking, everyone should find a little time to do something they enjoy.

So, once a month or so, I’ve been working on custom cards. I also realized I hadn’t shown any (except my Fire redesign) since the 2016 Olympics cards. Enjoy, and click the previews to enlarge!

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