Dec 21

Father’s Day Break

Here’s a video from last Father’s Day where Andrew gifted me with some baseball packs and Bubble Yum bubble gum.  Not only was the bubble gum delicious, there was an autograph with the baseball cards!  I’ve slowed down a bit on collecting physical cards as my database that tracks cards became corrupted.  I’ve since restarted creating the database, but have entered about 1,500 cards with about another 15,000 to go.  I’ve also been overwhelmed with the multitude of parallels and inserts available to collect so I’m shifting gears.  I’ve significantly lowered my purchases to just a few baseball packs here and there, and I’m starting to hunt cards of athletes from a sport I both participate in and hold dear and near to my heart – running.  I’ve won a couple of vintage cards on Ebay – Mel Sheppard and Roger Bannister – and they sit waiting in a cabinet ready for me to open.

 In the digital card world, the off-season means lots of trades and I’ve been focusing on finishing the various parallels of the San Diego Padres and Jedd Gyorko.  Topps has also released holiday-themed cards including the Candy Cane design of those pictured.

San Diego Padres

 

Holiday, Inserts & Base

Looking into the future of the franchise, the Padres are looking to improve upon their placing of last year (4th in the West, 11th in the NL).  They targeted pitching sensation Shohei Ohtani but he chose the Los Angeles Angels.  Since the Padres pitching was somewhat decent last season, I’m actually glad they didn’t pull him in. However, they’re also negotiating with a well-established 1st baseman – Eric Hosmer.  If recruited, Wil Meyers will get sent to the outfield.  I’ve always been impressed with Hosmer, and that would be awesome to have him in a Padres uniform.  However, I’m not sure if this is the right move for the organization for two reasons – timing and cost.

Towards the end of the 2016 season, general manager AJ Preller touted that the Padres organization was rebuilding the team on a 5 year plan, and began aggressive recruiting on the international market.  The Padres minor league teams improved with these recruits, however, it’s different once you hit the big show.  Ryan Schimpf moved up but wasn’t consistent so got placed back down in the minors.  Now he’s been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays.  Alex Dickerson is a decent power hitter but he got injured and sat out the season.  There are other examples but the point is that if the core team isn’t ready, then it’s very difficult for the team to succeed even if it has a superstar on it.  Furthermore, if they aren’t realistically looking to contend for the title in 2018, then it’s an over-investment.  I’m sure Hosmer is worth the money he’ll get paid, however, the timing isn’t right and that money could be used to acquire other talent that may be lesser-well known.  If he is recruited, I’m predicting the team (excluding pitchers) will look something like this:

Austin Hedges – Catcher
Eric Hosmer – 1st Base
Yongervis Solarte – 2nd Base
Cory Spangenberg – 3rd Base
Freddy Galvis – Short Stop
Hunter Renfroe – Right Field
Wil Meyers – Center Field
Travis Jankowski – Left Field

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the 2018 San Diego Padres season.  I won’t have season tickets this year (as we’re planning to move), but I’m going to make as many games as possible.

Open for trades in Topps Bunt and Upper Deck ePack – Looking for Padres, Jedd Gyorko and Adrian Gonzalez
Topps Fan Name: SD-PADRES | Upper Deck ePack ID: SD-PADRES

Dec 20

Little Brother

The Anaheim Ducks are 14-13 while their little brother the San Diego Gulls are 12-11 – not good, an off-season for the two teams.  Nevertheless, the digital card collection has been nothing but winners as I continue to level up, expand my Ducks collection, and improve the variety of inserts.

Anaheim Ducks

Level Up Cards

Inserts

Open for trades in Topps Skate and Upper Deck ePack – Looking for Ducks
Topps Fan Name = SD-PADRES | Upper Deck ePack ID = SD-PADRES

Dec 17

2009 Upper Deck Baseball

One of the things I like about heading to Walmart is their discount bin that sometimes has cards you normally can only get online.  In this case, I was able to find a large set of 2009 Upper Deck Series 2 baseball cards for $3.48.  What I like most about these sets is to see how the star players stood out years ago, such as Jayson Werth and Yadier Molina.  Similarly, identifying former (or future) Padres is always of interest.  Included in my set is Khalil Greene donning his new St. Louis Cardinals uniform after being traded from the Padres.  His career never held the promise it once had and he soon would retire from the sport a year later.  Erick Aybar (SS) would become a Padres in 2017 while Clayton Richard (P) joined in 2010 (also had a 2 year stint with the Cubs).  Here are some some of the cards pulled from this discount pack.

 

Dec 06

Preparing For The Last Jedi

Andrew and I just started watching Star Wars Rebels and we’re about a quarter way through the first season – a great way to prepare for the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  Although it’s been awhile since I’ve purchased cards, I’m still getting my daily fix from Topps Star Wars Card Trader.  I’m always happy to add to the Ahsoka and Rey collection, and the free The Last Jedi cards awarded daily have been a nice preview to the upcoming movie.  I’ve been toying with the idea of buying Comic Books as the temptation is there whenever I head over to one of the local Comic Book shops.

The Last Jedi

Ahsoka & Rey

Inserts & Other Favorites

Open for trades in Topps Star Wars Card Trader – Looking for Rey, Ahsoka Tano and All Droids
Topps Fan Name = SD-PADRES

Dec 05

Two Men Destroyed

Two men destroyed – one who kept his ideals of a civilized society and the other a realist who realized survival trumps ideals.  Dale Horvath died while defending his beliefs.  The group of survivors decided to kill their prisoner and that did not sit well with Dale.  There was no judicial process in determining the young man’s guilt or innocence.  Leaving the meeting in a huff, Dale set out onto the farm late at night but the darkness hid the Walker that came upon him, attacking him, digging into his guts, devouring the fresh innards.  Dale’s friends heard his scream but arrived too late.  Although they put the Walker out of commission, his wounds were too severe.  Daryl put him out of his miserable pain with a bullet to the head.

Shane Walsh, a good cop gone bad.  The world had fallen apart and only the strong survive, and so his noble actions of the past no longer mattered.  He won the group over… kill their prisoner.  This wouldn’t be the first time he’s offed someone without any sense of justice – Otis was the first.  After the prisoner, then it’s the leader’s turn to get put down, his once best friend Rick Grimes.  The two never saw eye-to-eye once Rick rediscovered his family, and although Shane took care of them, conflicts began to arise.  Shane got greedy and wanted Rick’s family for himself.  His plan to shoot Rick failed and it was Rick, in despair and in defense, stabbed Shane in the gut and both fell to the ground, Shane held in Rick’s arms as Rick cried in anguish.  As Rick turned, his young son Carl stood in disbelief, raised his gone, and pointed it at his father.  Rick could only raise his hand in anguish as if to say, “Son, you don’t understand.”  You see, Shane was like a father to Carl… so Carl pulled the trigger and fired. But Shane was not his father, for he had turned from a dead friend to a Walker and that Walker was about to kill his dad, so he put a bullet in his head and laid him to rest.

As I start Season 3, I can only imagine what twists and turns the series will take.  Here are some recent pulls from the Topps app.  The FEAST inserts are most appropriate for what I just watched, as it shows the Walkers winning the battle, taking victim by victim. Who will be left?  We shall see…

The Walking Dead – FEAST Inserts

The Walking Dead

Fear… The Walking Dead

Open for trades in Topps The Walking Dead/Fear the Walking Dead – Looking for Tara and Sasha
Topps Fan Name: SD-PADRES