Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 Heritage - Hobby Box Stats

So let's take a look at the second box:

1 Clubhouse Collection relic - Sandoval
3 Stickers - Longoria, Stanton, Carpenter
8 High Number Short Prints
2 Baseball Flashbacks - McCover, Koufax
2 News Flashbacks - Penn Station, MLK
1 New Age Performer - Votto
2 Then and Now - Aparicio/Bourn and Mathews/Bautista
1 Chrome Refractor - Masterson
2 Chrome - Morse, Jeter
1 Photo Swap - Lee

some good news:  I have 17 different high-number SP's - no duplicates.
some bad news:  than means I have 58 to go!

more good news:  I have no duplicates on any of the above-mentioned inserts, either.
more bad news:  I am still missing checklist 1 (I have dupes of 4 and 5)

stat-wise:  192/425 of the base card set, 200/500 if you include SP's.

I'll be combining the two hobby boxes today, so I'll post on that soon...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012 Heritage - The Final Five

The final five packs of my Hobby Box are upon us, and I kick it off with my THIRD Mets high-numbered short print!  Jason Bay.  As a Mets fan, I could write an entire blog - never mind just an entry - mulling the Mets career of this guy.  Let's just move on instead...

Here's two more high-numbered short prints - these seem to be buried at the bottom of both of my Hobby Boxes - I always closed out the last several packs with a number of them.  They seem to be coming 8 per hobby box, so it's funny that I pull these four in a row.  Does anyone know how Hobby Boxes are packed?  I'd be curious to find out how much human involvement there is in loading the hits and inserts.

So now I have my 8 SP's - and have also hit all my insert numbers (baseball flashbacks, news flashbacks, etc.) - so what could be waiting in my final pack?  Something cool?

Yup!  I'll say!  I like these photo-swap cards alot - and now I have two, Chris Carpenter and Cliff Lee!  I haven't seen too much in blogs about these cards, so I am unaware about how truly rare they are - so perhaps someone out there can inform me? 

Also, I would like to thank those of you who followed the 20-or-so posts I shared on 2012 Heritage - it made me look forward to opening packs even more, and I appreciated every comment!  I will update this further as I figure out how to chase the set - and if you are interested in becoming a trade partner to exchange duplicates in order to complete your own goals, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 Heritage - A Sleepy Review of Five More Packs

These five packs were opened late tonight, and after opening them I will have just five packs left in my second Hobby Box.  I'm having some box fatigue, and no sight of a Carl Yastremski relic to cheer me up, but I'll try to work through it!

In these five packs I found my dud pack - the only pack in the Hobby Box without an insert or short print.  I'll have to look closely to make sure I'm not missing a color-swap or something similar, but I think it's just a dud.  I did get an Ike Davis high-numbered short print, so with he and Wright I have nailed a couple of the harder-to-reach Mets.  Wilpon friend Koufax is always a nice card to see in a pack, as well.

I figured I would scan a couple of backs since I don't have as many cards for this post.  My apologies for not tilting the Ike Davis - remember, I did say this was "sleepy!"

My final two cards of this post are both high-number short prints, including "the Omega" - a great name for Cuddyer's card 500.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 Heritage - Hobby Box Two - 8 more packs

Box two continues with a trio of stickers, including Mike "Giancarlo" Stanton!  Now sure what I'm going to do with these stickers.  Probably they go up for trade, since I've already had a couple of posts asking about them...  anyone have any Mets stickers out there to swap me?

MLK news flash joins a McCovey baseball flashback, two nice cards.  And then the weird New Age Performer insert which just plain continues to look weird.  I wonder if LifetimeTopps has his eye on this Votto card?

I'm curious about Jose Bautista.  I think alot of people expected him to crash after the stellar season two years ago.  Instead, he seems to be announcing himself as a late-blooming superstar.  The Kotchman card is a high-numbered short print.

In other news, I seem to be getting many cards that look familiar - this hobby box seems to be producing a bunch of duplicates.  And when you see what Lifetime Topps Project was able to pull in his back-to-back hobby boxes, I bet you'll allow me some jealousy!

2012 Hobby Box TWO!

No advertising panel this time!  When I opened this Hobby Box, I found the Original 1963 Buy Back Card, featuring Joe Cunningham.  I don't think I own any 1963 cards, so this probably counts as my first; even though it has that stamp in the upper left corner, I still like it!

I decided to open six packs tonight - and I will try to do that all week to speed the process a bit - though I do love taking my time.  My first problem, though, was unrealistic expectations - when I saw that LifetimeTopps was able to open two hobby boxes without pulling a single duplicate I was stunned - and then immediately hopeful.  But when I started opening mine, I found no mojo hit, and plenty of doubles.  Oh, well - perhaps I will have to venture into the trade market, even though I am not too skilled at that!

I did land a Chrome Jeter, that's a pretty good pull, as it's numbered /1963.  My refractor is Justin Masterson, /563, not that special of a player, though.  The other chrome is Michael Morse.  Eh.

My box hit is another Clubhouse Collection, and it's another Giant, Pablo Sandoval.  Anyone know a big Giant collector out there?  I nabbed another News Flashback and a Then & Now card.  I also got all three checklists in these six packs, and sadly two of the three I had already...

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Heritage - Hobby Box Final Stats

I pulled 192 out of 425 of the base cards, and if you include SP's, it's 200/500...

Here are the "special" stats:

Stickers - 3 (31, 40, 43; Granderson, Pedroia, Shields)

News Flashbacks - 2

Baseball Flashbacks - 2

Then and Now - 2

Clubhouse Collection - 1 (Vogelsong relic)

Image Swap - 1 (Carpenter)

Chrome Parallel (x/1963) - 2 (Avila, Reynolds)

Chrome Refractor (x/563) - 1 (Felix Hernandez)

High-Numbered Short Prints (cards 426-500) - 8

Checklists - 3
New Age Performers - 1 (Pujols)

Ad Panel - 1

If you'd like to see what LifetimeToppsProject pulled, it was remarkably similar:

Stats for the box:
24 packs per box * 9 cards per pack + 3 checklists +1 50th Anniversary – 1 card for the pack with relic = 219 cards
192 of the 425 card base set (45% set completion)
8 SP cards
200 of the 500 card full set (40% set completion)
3 checklists
2 Baseball Flashbacks, 2 News Flashbacks, 1 New Age Performers, 2 Then & Now
2 Chrome
1 Chrome Refractor
3 Stick-Ons
1 Flashbacks Relic (Yastrzemski)
Box Topper – 1 Ad Panel

2012 Heritage - Last of the Hobby Box

Before I go into the "special" cards from each pack, I just wanted to take a moment to feature some of those giant "All Star Rookie" trophies.  They are a lot of fun to look at, even if a bit tacky.

Next up are two inserts, one Then & Now and one Baseball Flashback:

One nit pick - the comparison of Marichal and Shields is based on the high number of IP.  The thing is, though, as the back of the card points out, while Marichal led the league in IP, Shields actually finished second to Verlander.  I like the Early Wynn pic, by the way, even if the green circle creates a bit of a Captain Hook look.

My final four packs each featured a high number short print, so I'll scan them together:

And just in case you were looking for proof of their high-numbered-ness, or perhaps if you just enjoy looking at the backs of these old-style cards, here you go:

Next post, some final box statistics!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012 Heritage - At the Quarter Pole!

Yeah, sure, it's a horse racing reference, but it works.  I am three-quarters of the way through my Hobby Box, just six packs to go.  The six packs I opened this afternoon featured probably my least favorite insert - the New Age Performers.  It's loud.  And placing it side-by-side with the death of JFK probably isn't my finest blogging moment.

Next up, we have a little run on high-numbered short prints:

It's funny, when I open the pack and don't see anything shiny or different, I immediately jump to the back to see which card is the short print.  And I got the best surprise in my next pack, since I was kinda sad when I saw that my favorite player was only available as a short print - I was hoping not to have to buy him on ebay!

Too bad these guys won't be side-by-side any more!  I don't really blame the Mets for not paying a ton for such an injury risk in Reyes, but I am reminded of the promise that was never truly realized for my Mets team when these two guys came in together.

By the way, Reyes is NOT a short print.  There was no short print or insert in that pack.  None at all.  On Lifetime Topps' breakdown, I think he mentioned that 23-of-24 packs had the insert or short print.  Perhaps this was my dud pack.  But seeing Reyes in it makes it worth something to me!  (Though I am going to have to study closely to make sure I am not missing some strange color-swap variation that may be tough to spot)

Six packs remain, and then I'll run a little stat breakdown, as well.

2012 Heritage - Halftime Stats (Half-Hobby Box!)

Halfway through my first Hobby Box, I have opened 12 packs, and (thanks to Lifetime Topps) have learned a few things.  I am receiving one insert or SP per pack, and so far I believe that has only yielded one high-numbered SP.  I should be getting these 1:3 packs, but maybe that will balance out on the back end of the box.

Here are my stickers, and so far I have found three, while the odds are 1:8 -

My high-numbered short print is a nice name:  Ryan Zimmerman, while I found a x/1963 chrome, as well:

Here's my only Then & Now and my only Baseball News, so far:

And finally, I have found three checklists.  I may not scan them, but they exist, I promise.

Remember, the "special cards" not pictured include the Clubhouse Collection Vogelsong, a JFK newsmaker, King Felix refractor, Reynolds chrome, and the Chris Carpenter photo-swap.  These ARE featured in earlier blog posts.

2012 Heritage - First Shiny Cards

Remember several days ago, when I was opening those first five packs from my Hobby Box?  Well, I finished opening those packs... this morning!  (At this rate, I will probably finish my two boxes just in time for Heritage 2013!)

Pack four seemed to be the Lincecum pack, featuring two cards with his picture on it.  And then, at the end of the pack, I found this:

I was a little worried that the scan wouldn't show the "shiny" - but now that I look at it, I think it comes out okay.  And as for the shiny being Mark Reynolds?  Kinda disappointing...  If you are a close follower of this blog (and who isn't, really?!?) you may remember that Mark Reynolds was the first card I saw when I opened Topps 2012 Series One....  Perhaps this is my Year of Reynolds.

While I was kinda depressed that THIS GUY was going to be my first shiny, I opened the next pack to find this:
I don't know if this one scans as good as it looks - but this is a different kind of shiny, I believe it is the refractor kind, and it is numbered out of x/563 (the Reynolds was x/1963).  Now THIS is the kinda player that I like to have a cool version of!

And now I can open some more packs!

2012 Heritage - Morning Quickie

I just wanted to post quickly this morning to share some images from notable cards from the second and third packs that I opened.  If you want to check out some of my bigger pulls, check out yesterday's post where I shared a Jersey relic and a cool photo-swap variation.

As for today's cards, here's a couple of rookies from pack two.  I loved the Matt Moore story last fall, and am looking forward to see what he can do this year - and hoping as well that he can avoid the injuries that have stalled other impressive young arms.  Speaking of injuries (perhaps), the Montero side of this off-season's trade with the Yankees is looking quite good at the moment, with Pineda's velocity noticeably down this Spring.

The final photo, from pack three, was the talk of my Strat-O-Matic draft. Although I got two different floating head rookie cards, I decided to scan this one instead:

I decided to add the rookie floating heads in this post, so here they are:

So Matt Moore got a floating head, AND a regular card...  kinda weird.  I feel like you should get one or the other.  But then again, I guess Topps 2012 set a precedent with Craig Kimbrel getting like 7 different cards in series one...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 Heritage - Something Special in Every Hobby Pack?

My pack ripping has been WAYYY slower than I anticipated - thanks in part to a friend's wedding yesterday and St. Patty's today - but I HAVE managed to open three packs...  yup, just three!  That's partially because I want to get some scans up here and have you comment or tell me what you think.

First up, in pack one I found the Kennedy insert that I featured the other day.  In pack two, I think I got my hit.  Gotta admit, I'm not super-excited about this card.  Has anyone else found their hobby box hit?  Just wondering how this one rates...

When I opened pack three, I found my first image-swap short print. 

Chris Carpenter, World Series Champ, featured on this card - and if you haven't seen these before, check out how the small circle in the lower right corner features the "normal" picture with the "regular" background, while the background on the main picture is the solid color (blue) normally reserved for the background of the small circle.  (Also, the main image is B&W, while the small image is color.)

A quick check on EBAY shows that I can pay anywhere from .99 to $15 for the Carpenter, and i can "Buy Now" the Vogelsong for $12 - though I don't see any bids on the four other auctions that are running for this card.  The JFK card can be had for a dollar or less, it seems.

I have seen many people recommend blaster or retail, as opposed to the more expensive hobby box.  Are the "hits" I'm seeing in these first 3 packs normal?  Do they make the hobby box more valuable?  Obviously, my sample size is ridiculously small, but I am curious about the hobby vs. retail debate, especially since a few other bloggers say they prefer retail for this product.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 Heritage - Hobby Box First Pack

Since I cheated a bit by trying to lock Jeter in as my first card of Heritage 2012, let's celebrate Billy Butler for a moment.  I opened the hobby box and picked five packs to open tonight.  And I have to admit, I got a little rush when I tore it open and peered inside at the heavy stock cardboard packed together.  When I turned them over, Billy Butler stared up at me.  I know I posted a while back about the odd color schemes of Topps 1979, and I know there are some wacky color combinations in this set as well;  but that said, the soft blue base against the white background really look nice when presenting a Kansas City Royal.  And the photo screams "Heritage" with the blurred background and a player's facial expression that you could spend an hour trying to read.

I didn't know much about Billy Butler.  As a Mets fan, and honestly more a follower of the National League, I can't say I've watched too many games that he has played in.  Also, we don't get to see too many Royals games on national TV in the New York area, so I was surprised to see that this was already his fifth season in the Majors.  (I would have thought it was only his second or third)  I think I'm going to root a little for Billy Butler now - and more than just to beat the Yankees.  Maybe just to thank him for being the first face in my first non-flagship Hobby Box.  I feel like I've entered a new threshold of collecting, and I can't wait to open the next pack.

Elsewhere in the pack, I found these two cards.  Granderson, card #200, seems to be the perfect hitter for his new home, Yankee stadium.  I grabbed him in fantasy last year, and he turned out to be a huge steal.  Does Topps continue to use the 00 and 0 for stars and superstars in the Heritage series?  I'll find out soon, I guess, though probably not tonight.  I wanted to highlight the Jerry Sands card because I wanted you all to see how damn cool he is trying to look on this card!  I like it - and I like the varied colors of these two cards side by side.

These are my two "special cards" - though I guess the JFK is the only one that is an insert.  I did want to feature some floating heads, as I know they have their fans out there!  I also had Hunter Pence in the pack, and a cool Koji Uehara pitching face on his card - and I kinda feel like I wanted to write about EVERY card in the pack.  I guess that's a sign that I am loving this product!  I'll close with a scan of the back of the Kennedy:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2012 Heritage - First ever Hobby Box!

As Virgil guided Dante Alighieri through the Inferno, I am hoping to invite you along on the trip through 2012 Topps Heritage with me.  From what a couple of posters have warned me about SP's, I hope that my equating this journey to Hell doesn't prove prophetic!

Ok, that's enough English teacher-talk... 

Here's what you get when you open the box - a wrapped 1963 Advertising Panel - and I must confess, I have no idea what that is...  So I guess it's time to open it!

Well how's that for truth-in-advertising?!  It's actually 3 baseball cards-in-1!  I like those floating heads - I've read alot about them on the blogs.  I remember thinking they looked strange, outdated and odd.  But hey, this is Heritage, so that's awesome!  Let me flip it over for you...

Alright guys, probably need to head to bed - hope you enjoyed the short preview.  Tomorrow we will bust some wax!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Heritage 2012 - First Card

I have to admit it.  I rigged this.  I opened my first pack of Topps 2012, and staring at me was Mark Reynolds.  Eh.  Not too memorable, and Nick at Dime Box broke in the new year with Mickey Mantle!  So at Target today I took a look through the $5.29 packs of 16 cards - I dedided the slighly see-through nature of the product would allow me to pick a better subject for my first card of the year.  When I saw the Jeter name, I grabbed it.

Now keep in mind, I am a die-hard Mets fan.  And it is a brutal time right now.  And I am also a Yankee hater, nearly all of the time.  But Jeter, for many reasons, I respect more than anyone.  I always consider David Wright "our Jeter" - and even though he seems to be failing to live up to most Mets' fans hopes for him, he IS still the best position player the team has produced in its history.  (We can debate Strawberry in a future post, but not tonight.)

So by choosing this pack, I hoped to salute a player who never fails to play the game the right way!