Tim Foli is IN ACTION, And Other Delights: A Trade With Night Owl

First, some background: Night Owl and I have done enough trades to where I’ve lost count of how many there have been, but this one was pretty special. Y’see, I sent him the last 1972 Topps card he needed. Now, if you’re unfamiliar, the ’72 Topps baseball set is a raging pain in the ass to complete, because it’s 1. a big checklist and 2. was released in series throughout the season, the last two of which range from “pretty hard to get” to “my god my eyes are bleeding Z̬̮̭̙͚̙̞̩̱̦̺̣̙͓̲̺̹̤̅̌̌ͤ̿̓ͥ͞͞A̷̢̺͈͉͕̦͍͕̪̙̬̙̩̻̞̞̼̫̔͊ͤͪ̓͋͂ͯ̉̔́̚̕͢L̓ͫͮ̿͑̔̽̿ͪͧ͆͒̀͞͠͏̹̺͙͈͎̜̀G̴̛̣̦̦͉͔̺̽ͥͧ͐͗͑̇ͤ͌ͬ͗͒̀ͫͬͨ̑͟͝O̴̷̷͇̞̪͍͓̣̻͕ͭͥ̓̌̈̇̊̀“.

 

I’m working on mine, too, and with this trade, I’m at 77 cards from being complete, since someone sent the Owl the same card I sent him, only in rougher condition, and it arrived the same day the one I sent him did. How rough?

 

TIM FOLI IS IN CREASED RIGHT ABOVE THE KNEES ACTION kinda rough. That crease could explain while Tim Foli’s version of “In Action” looks more like inaction, too. I mean, that’s gotta hurt. It actually doesn’t look that bad in the scan (Also, I cleaned my scanner bed! Nice, right?), but in person, it’s pretty harsh. Thing is, when we’re talking 1972 Topps “commons” in the 700s, you take what you can get, so I was happy to get this back in the mail.

Also, I am not 100% sure (I think there may have been one other instance of this), but this may have been the first time I’ve ever traded with someone and had the same card in both the outgoing and incoming package. So, yeah, remarkable in a few ways already, and that’s before we revisit something fun I noticed about this pretty creased up card later in this post.

This wasn’t the only card in the trade, though. Hell, this was the last card thrown in the box, right at the end (it was right on top when I opened the box). Let’s take a look at what else I got!

HAY IT’S THAT GUY ALL THE KIDS LOVE

Now, I’m not collecting Bryant cards, but it is good to get them, in the same way it’s good to get Trout, Jeter, Griffey, and Bip Roberts cards. People tend to hoard them and/or ask for a bunch of money/cards for ’em, so when one shows up, especially one you weren’t expecting, it’s a relief. Why’d I get a ’16 flagship Kris Bryant if I’m not collecting him?

Well, because I’m a compulsive completist, and while I plan on continuing to put very little effort into it, I am accepting 2016 Topps flagship cards in trades (and, along the same lines, 2014 flagship; this strategy’s also worked out pretty well for 2012 Heritage), despite the fact that I think both sets are pretty uninspiring, designwise. Set collecting is rough, man. I’ll also confess, it felt a *little* like a Bip, getting them, even though I knew they were coming, but at the end of the day, this is an example of someone doing me a highly valued service by low-level addressing my inability to leave things incomplete without my brain screaming at me, so ultimately, I’m…relieved…to have this big stack in front of me (especially the Bryant on top), and I’m even gonna post a few more of ’em, even though I’m pretty sure that most people never want to see pictures of 2016 Topps again!

Somehow, I hadn’t seen this card until today. Great shot of the ivy. Awkward shot of everything else. This is basically the opposite of the super chill feet-first sliding catch Bernie Williams used to do with astounding regularity, that, for some reason, I’ve never seen on a Bernie Williams card (if any of you know of one where they caught him doing it, let me know). In Cameron Maybin’s case, I’m sure one of you have looked this up, but he almost had to have gotten hurt on this landing. Not exactly the kinda thing you want immortalized on a card, kinda like that Classic card of Andre Dawson where he’s gettin’ beaned, but obviously, not as bad.

I mean, come on.

“Future Star”? Come on, Topps! I mean, I don’t wanna get all “Logan’s Run” on poor Carlos (he is a former BlueClaw, after all), but he turned 30 a month ago, his first big league appearance was in 2009, and he’s been a professional ballplayer since 2004. He got to his first spring training around the same time Millie Bobby Brown was born! I found a card of Carrasco over the weekend from ’07 Bowman Draft. Almost a decade old, and Bush was still in office! I hope that this bodes well for Carlos, and his “Future Star” status leads to him pitching well into his 60s, but couldn’t they have done a “Late Bloomer” subset for him or something?

Now, Domingo Santana (another former BlueClaw), there’s a guy who still qualifies for the Future Stars label! He’s still only 24, despite seemingly being around forever (Wow, he broke in with the Phils’ farm teams when he was 16), and I think he could still do great things well before it’s time to RENEW.

Heh, King Felix likes my “Logan’s Run” references. I like King Felix, too. He’s a high number. (Don’t panic about the bottom left corner of the card. There was a smudge on the scanner that I found late. All better now. No, I’m not rescanning the bloody card. What do you think I do, write letters all day?)

Heh, and he’s laughing at the reference in the blurb for the last card. (Points to anyone who gets it.) Strasburg looks kinda like Steve Buscemi in this picture. Bless the both of them, and best wishes to Stephen Strasburg and his wife, who are expecting a kid this week!

NOOOOOOOO NOT MORE ’16 oh wait it’s Chrome. Less like Buscemi in this picture, but kinda like Jim Breuer, or someone equally stoned looking.

Now, Sandy, he’s got things under control. That darned smudge on the scanner aside.

Yay, Straw! Yay, Bunt cards I needed! (There were a few.)

There were a few Stadium Clubs I needed in here, too, from ’15 (Kiermaier’s about as exciting as it got, namewise)…

…and from ’16. Man, that’s a card.

For those of you who have stashes of ’14-16 Stadium Club doubles, and are also planning on buying too many ’17 Stadium Club, I’m happy to take those off your hands if I need ’em for any of those sets, and I won’t even make a comment about being Bipped, unless you send me ’15 Stadium Club Bip, which I already have 3 of, but I’ll always take more of.

Jumping back a ways, here’s Andre Dawson lookin’ MEAN on his ’96 Score card, probably because I posted that Classic Update earlier. This is another great card, and one I’d never seen. There was a small handful of ’96 Score in the box, too…

…but I can tell that Dutch wants me to get to the main event, and those of you reading this probably do as well, so here it is!

Yeah, a ’53 Bum! A creased-up ’53 Bum!

Hey…wait a second…

THE CREASES LINE UP PERFECTLY!

IT’S LIKE ONE OF THEM PUZZLE JOINTS!

WHAT INCREDIBLE SYNCHRONICITY!

 

Į̶̸̬̪̩͉̜͍͕̜̼̱̫̘̫̰̼͚͍̰̂̆̀̎ͫ̄͊ͭ̀̍ͬ̑ͭͨͧ͜ ̢̛͗͋̎̓͛̀͘͏̞̖͓̘̳̣̣ͅÇ̥̺͖͈̦̯̰̠̗͇͕̉ͧͩ̂͒A̐͐ͥ͐̾̈ͩ̚͢͏̕҉͉̤̩͓͈̱̥͉͚͖̣̪̪͓̙Ņ̴̵̷̗̙̪͈͕͔͍̫͇̭̟̘̘̬͔̞̼͇̰̅̂ͬͫ͗ͨͫ̽̚ ̥̺͇͙̪̠̬͚̲̮̣̠̹̖͒͑̒̄̾̇ͦ̔ͥ̄͒̅͡͡S̷̭͍̟̪̦̙͍̖̘͂̏̏̑͗ͤͨͨ̏̍͌̏̚͢͞Ę̫͕͉̬̱͚̠̰͕͍̥̮̰̯̻̝͖ͥͫ̊̐̓͛̒̿ͪ̀͢͜͞E̽̈́ͣ̍͏̟̟͉̠̳̦̣͕̟͙̺̹͈͕̻̫̖ ̵̷̸̤̙͓͔̗͙̰̗͂̓̔̊͘ͅF̧̛͈̳̖̬͍̘̙̦͚̣̙̼͙̤̙̹̹̦ͩ̃̀͑ͯ̈́ͬͧͫ̆̌ͮ̍̑ͣͬ̆̅͐̕͝O̸̘̘͙ͤͯ̑̆̿ͫ͂̅̀͒ͪ̓̀R̨̡̡͇̻͔͇͙̮̼͚̩͕̣͆̈́̇͐̍̔̓̊̍̎ͧ̕Ȩ̸̼̥̫͉̯̜̖̟̩̟̱̟̙̃̊ͪ̿̇̇̆ͤͤͩ̓́͝V̵̧͓̣̣̙̥̖̊ͦͩ́̀͜E̴̶̴̢̥̝̟͉̼̩̱͕͖̗̘ͧ̈́ͦͩ̽͆̋ͮͤͣͩ̇͑̓̉̕R̢ͫ̒̊̔̊̒̈̋ͬͪͥ́͗̑̚͡͞҉̴̝̯͙̗̣̳͖͖̟̜!̷̢̨͎̯̣̳̋ͪͦͪ̎͐̋̓̅͜ͅ!̧̙̝̤̜̗͍͕͖̬̯̣̲̣̭̆̒ͤ̽̊̋̑́̌͗͐ͯ̎͋̍ͦ́͠!̊͛̋͗̈ͩ͆̚҉̸̗̭̟̤!̶͚͈̰̳̳͉͉͕̝̮̤̫͔̯̲̅ͫ͌̌̈ͬ̏͆ͤͣ̀̇̕!̹͍̘͍̠͚̖̠̲̥̮̖̣̯̞̒́͆͋̇͋̄̾ͥ̂̂́̅ͪ͝ͅ!̸̵̲̖̳̺̖̣̗͌ͦ̂̈́͋ͭ̓̈́̋̿̇͘͡!ͭ̉ͨ̀҉̷̵̢̫̪̳͎̞̳̤̫̩̥͙̙̗̠̜͡!̨̛̱̟̙̲͈̭̖̲̙͎͍͕͖̫̠͛̃ͯ͐̈̑̅ͤ̈̇̒̄ͅ1̧̘̳͓̰͈͈̺̦ͧ̿̊̚ͅ1̸̨͓̗̪͍̼̦̩̤͉̒̉͒̀̄̓ͪ̾̈́ͧͦ̆͐ͮͪͪͩ̑1̡̐̊ͦͯ̉ͥ̓̆̀̃͂ͬ̏̾ͮͯ̔̌̚͝͏͏̱̺̜̟͎̗̯̜͉͔̹͓͔͇̱1̶̛̰͍̩̻͔͇͓͖̮̼̝̂ͦ̈́̆̇̎͛͆͒ͯ͋̄̍͐́̚̚̚1̟̺̞̺̙͍̗̤̜̗̬̲̥̮͑̓̊̈ͫ͐̓ͥ͗̾̐̔̾̃ͮ̓̇̾̑͘͝

 

(Thanks for the cards, Owl!)

Topps Bunt Physical Trading Cards

Yes, I’m doing a dedicated baseball card post over here! (For those wondering why this is a big deal at all, I have another site where I usually do this. I may eventually just move all that other stuff here.)

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After a false start yesterday, I found packs and blaster boxes of 2016 Topps Bunt! For those unfamiliar (I’ve written a bit about it on this site already), Bunt is Topps’ digital baseball card trading app. If it seems like a weird idea to you, trading JPEGs or PNGs or whatnot, you’re not alone, but that’s another conversation. Anyway, this week, for the first time, Topps has issued a crossover physical card product in the Topps Bunt line, and so far, I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s priced affordably (a buck a pack, or 11 packs in a 10 dollar blaster box), the cards (while a bit fragile) look nice, there’s good names in the set, fun insert cards, and you can also get code cards in the packs (I was promised 3 on the box, and I got 4!) that unlock digital packs back on the app, with (I believe) exclusive insert cards (again, digital) in them. Here’s some of how I did.

buntbase1

buntbase2

These were the best of my base cards. As you can see, a solid if unspectacular base card design (definitely better than Topps’ flagship base design this year, though, and better than the planned design for next year, as well). Cool mix of current players and veterans in the set. I got a bunch of my favorite players, and I ended up putting together 1/6 of the set in 11 packs with no doubles!

buntmccannnumbered

These were my inserts. Loving the Lightforce set (which they’d done a variation of in the digital Bunt product already), and happy to get some decent players. The Alex Gordon is for trade, and I know I have a Gordon collector who reads my other site, so hopefully they’ll jump on it.

buntmccannnumbered 1

This is also available for trade! These come at a rate of 1:105 packs, so getting one in my first 11 is pretty good, I reckon!

As I mentioned, there were scratch-off code cards in 4 of the packs (they mercifully keep the number of insert cards in each pack to 1, for optimal set building), and I’ve redeemed those already. Let’s have a look at what happened there…

Screenshot 2016-08-20 14.43.31

This is what it looks like when you successfully redeem a digital pack via your web browser. Over in the app, the packs show up in your “Bulletin” dropdown. I opened them, and here’s the best of the best…

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Hey, it’s a platinum Nolan Ryan! Now, to me, the platinum cards just look like the base cards, but they’re super-limited (there were just 21 of the Ryan last I looked). I’m not a Ryan collector in physical or digital (I’ll keep a great looking card of his here and there and I keep the ones I need to finish sets, but mostly I flip his stuff for cards of different players who I do collect), so this is being made available elsewhere, along with the cards below that I mention as being stuff I’m unloading.

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Billy Hamilton, on the other hand, I do like a bunch! Always did like base stealers (the rookie card of Rickey Henderson, whose cards I’ve just started formally collecting again, was in my first pack of Topps cards, after all). Keeping it!

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The confetti you see in this James Shields picture is what happens when the app is like “HOLY SHIT YOU GOT SOMETHING GOOD!”. It’s a fairly limited card, but I don’t collect Shields. Unloading it.

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Love Jose Fernandez! Keeping this.

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I think Stephen Piscotty’s a pretty solid ballplayer, and I’ve had him on and off my fantasy team a few times now, but I’m not collecting him (I generally don’t collect Cardinals players; I’ve had a grudge dating back to Davey Johnson’s Mets…). Unloading it.

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Hey, it’s a Lightforce! I don’t collect Gonzo, though, and I’ll probably have a real hard time finishing the digital set, as these are hella limited. Let me look at the checklist and figure out what I’m doing here.

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Dee Gordon screwed up this year (or got caught for it this year, anyway), but he has always been a fun player to watch, and this is a fun card. Keeping it, and hoping he keeps his shit together from here out.

2016-08-20 14.49.04

BO. Keeper.

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These cards score 3X in the Bunt contests (kinda like fantasy baseball, you create a lineup on the app and your players score according to what they do in the day’s games), but I haven’t been playing contests lately (not enough hours in the day, and the freeplay ones have gotten weak), and I’m not a Votto collector. Unloading it.

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Hey, it’s one of them new Cubbies that isn’t Kris Bryant! Let me put it in the hands of someone who’s a bigger fan than I am.

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Sometimes, the app gives you “HOLY SHIT” stars, too! Severino’s available.

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I’m not sure where Boston and their fans are on Henry Owens, who seems to have stalled out a little, but hey, it’s a limited card. I’ll see what the open market will fetch. Update: it moved before I even finished this post! I guess folks still like him!

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More confetti, and I haven’t seen enough of Ozuna to really be a fan just yet. Unloading it.

So, remember how I had that Lightforce I was gonna try and trade for another Lightforce (the Luis Gonzalez) up yonder? Well, I found out that Bernie Williams was in the Lightforce set, so I made a trade offer to a few people on the Bunt app, and minutes later…

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YAY BERNIE

And that’s how I did!

Well, I got a bunch of “base” Bunt digital inserts too (they look like the base physical cards, but are not like the Bunt base, which still resemble flagship; the synchronicity between app and cardboard still needs some work), but you’ve seen what those look like out here in meatspace already, so there’s not much to see there.

So, did I get my $10 worth?

Absolutely!

Best time I’ve had opening a new trading card product in some time. Lots to like, lots to do. Well worth your money, if you just like to crack open packs and have a good time with this stuff.

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Digital Card (And Wider Collecting) Dilemma

As some of you already know, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the Topps Digital apps since last summer, collecting digital trading cards (ridiculous concept that they are). I mostly collect Topps Bunt (their baseball app), but I also do Star Wars, Huddle (American football) and Kick (football) as well. (I also do the non-Topps Kitten Cards, which is a hoot, and has a really fun community.)

I’ve run up against a dilemma of late with Bunt, though.

I got the one card I really, really wanted, above all others. I mean, look at this card. Look at how happy Vladimir Guerrero looks to be on this card. That’s pretty remarkable, considering that digital trading cards didn’t really exist back when ol’ Vlad was still on the Montreal Expos. How did he know? It’s a great card, and I’d love to actually have a physical copy of it, but if I can’t, this is still pretty cool.

Now, this is a dilemma in any hobby, whether you’re collecting JPEGs or antiquities from lost civilizations. What do you do after you get the best thing you can get? I will say that 2016 Topps Bunt is leaving me cold in terms of both card designs (kinda lackluster) and in-app bullshit (they’ve stacked the deck against free players like myself, complicated the app needlessly, and they keep running into glitches in the app that make it pretty easy for people to amass a ton of cards and game the in-game contests at least short-term), which really isn’t helping matters much. But even with that aside, there’s kind of a hangover period in any collectibles hobby when you get the best thing you can get (in your own view, anyway), and aren’t sure where to go next.

The other apps I use are far more casual, because they’re not baseball, and baseball’s kinda my thing. I do collect build-a-ships in Star Wars, but I’m up-to-date on the complete run of the base variant there, so mostly I’m just sitting around, waiting for the next one to be released. Football and, well, football, I don’t really follow, so I gather those mostly to trade for baseball. I could start trading these things for Kitten Cards, but while Kitten Cards are awesome, I’m not especially completist or committed to being where they’re concerned.I’m curious as to your thoughts on this. Feel free to comment here, and, if you want to know how to find me on Topps Digital or Kitten Cards (to trade cards and whatnot), drop me an email.

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