Archive for Clayton Kershaw

Blaster Break: 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on July 20, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

There was a time when the brand name “Allen & Ginter” set off all sorts emotions for me as a card collector. I would get caught up in the craze that seemingly came with the set.


What major non-sport stars would have signatures in the set? What weird relics would Topps include this year? Would there be a Ginter Code, or any other secrets such as the time Topps embedded unannounced 1/1 parallels within the panels of some hobby boxes?

I’d buy one or two hobby boxes, and then do damage at buy ripping blaster after blaster.

But those are emotions and actions of yesteryear. For me, the appeal of Ginter has waned. I no longer feel the need to hit the Local Card Shop on release day, or do an online break, or even hit retail stores with a fervor. Instead it’s become a product that I open every year in lesser quantities, partially because I feel the quality and bang for the buck has diminished, but also because my interests as a collector have changed.

I know some have argued that the product has jumped the shark and call for its dismissal. I’m not one of them. I’m just saying that I personally consume less Ginter each year.

That said, here I am with a blaster and “fat pack” of this year’s version in my hands and I am going to break it here, show a few, and share some opinions. It’s a bit of an old school ‘Icons act for a pseudo retro product.

I’m not going to do a product break down, link you to checklists and try to act like I am the greatest source of your information. I’ll spare you the bullshit. I bought a random blaster and a fat pack that had my favorite player (Roger Clemens) clearly visible through the front of the wrapper. These are my results; your’s will vary.

The Fat Pack:

Yes, I looked at the front of the packs to see what players were visible. No there was no Aaron Judge otherwise I would be showing that here.  Instead I saw one with my boy Clemens on top and decided to rip it. I don’t care if you consider that unethical. Really. I don’t.


From the moment I opened the pack I could see the middle was a bit different. I had two minis in this pack (which I think is typical for the Fat Packs) and I could see a wood grain border, which turned out to be a 1987 Topps Tom Brookens (silver stamp) buy back. At least this card was mint. I did pull an ’87 buy pack from a Topps Series One pack that was creased across the middle. Go figure.

Anyway, I’m glad I locked down the Clemens base card for my collection; an SP of Seung-Hwan Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a Mini SP of Willie Stargell, and a Required Reading mini that are seeded 1:30 Fat Packs.

The Blaster:

There are eight packs as usual in the blaster and when I opened the first one, there was clearly a framed hit inside. This has been one of the joys of this product over the years.  It’s also been fun to see the shiny frame of a mini hit in the middle of a desert of white base cards. 


As my luck had it, the first single pack of the year held a Framed Mini Relic of Rockies star Nolan Arenado, which to my surprise is a tough pull considering the framed mini relics are seeded 1:733 packs, almost four times HARDER than a framed mini autograph. It’s an interesting ploy by Topps to make these mini relics appealing to some collectors by making them more scarce.  But let’s face it … unless you’re a master set collector, or in dire need of a framed mini relic of Arenado, it’s not paying the bills, not even for this one blaster.


In the third pack I hit an Aaron Judge rookie card, which could be one of the most boring looking rookie cards of the game’s hottest player. But, it is what it is — read: in demand and not something at which to scoff.


In Pack Five I got a rookie card of Mitch Haniger the Mariners’ prospect who hails from my home town.


In Pack Six I got a base card of Clayton Kershaw — the only active player I actually collect — and another one of those Required Reading minis, which are seeded 1:50 regular packs.


And Pack Eight held perhaps one of the coolest Ginter cards to date, that of my friend — and that of like 8 million others — Tom Anderson, co-founder of MySpace. I literally laughed out loud when I saw the photo chose for this card. So so good. It deserves a thumbs up, honestly.


Final Thoughts:

Even though I’d heard some people say this year’s design wasn’t good, I actually disagree. It feels like the base cards are spin on Transcendent, which if was by design, is smart because it plays on the subconcious of those seeking high-end stuff. The brand itself needed something new, and I think this portrait frame design look does it.


I actually dig the fish and fishing lure set — because I like fishing and this is somewhat of a proper homage to the early Ginter sets. And while I applaud Topps for including a slew of other random inserts celebrating animals and events of the world, it all just gets lost in the shuffle for me. Like I said, my personal tastes have changed.

Oh, and I still dig the minis. The design actually looks really good in the minis.


Would I buy more? Probably. But as has been the case in recent years, it’ll be less. I’ll likely steer entirely clear of hobby boxes — if for no other reason it’s already crazy expensive.

 

2016 Stadium Club Clayton Kershaw is my new favorite card

Posted in Misc., Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on July 8, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Being a card collector, new cards releases of my favorite players always bring joy into my life.  Roger Clemens will forever be my favorite player, but Clayton Kershaw is my second favorite. And his 2016 Stadium Club card is now my new favorite card.

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Take a look at this card and you see Kershaw celebrating with catcher AJ Ellis.  A keen Dodger fan knows this exact moment when the two embraced at the conclusion of Kershaw’s one-hit, 13-strikeout performance against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 30, 2015, to clinch the National League West title on enemy territory — at AT&T Park.

I am not a Dodger fan. I am a Red Sox fan. But why is THIS card my new favorite?

Because I was there. And I also captured this moment from near the Giants’ bullpen along left field.

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It was a magical performance by Kershaw, who got the best of the Giants who were led into the game by their ace Madison Bumgarner. It was billed as a pitching classic from the start and while Bumgarner wasn’t great that night, Kershaw definitely was and now I will not only remember the performance based on what I saw, or the pictures I took, I will remember it with the assistance of this Topps Stadium Club card.

Seeking your base cards … 

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on May 19, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

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So I’m gonna throw this out there. I want your base cards. 

Well, some of them anyway.

I’m tired of looking at some of the stuff I have. And some of you might be in the same boat.  I haven’t been huge on trading in recent years because it takes a lot of effort and a level of organization that sometimes is beyond my control. Also, it’s hard to find trading partners who aren’t just looking to bolster their collection of high-end stuff while giving up nothing. 

So here’s what I want. I want your base cards of Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

Singles, duplicates, triplicates, whatever.  The catch is I want lots of at least 20 — and I need to know what you want in return. 

No, I will not trade autos or game used cards for them.

No, I will not buy them.

No, you’re not getting vintage in return.

No, I do not have a trade list.

I’m lookin to swap base cards of your guys or your team for cards of these guys.

Good old fashioned low-end trading.

Interested? Hit me on Twitter @cardboardicons or via e-mail: cardboardicons@yahoo.com
Thanks,

Ben

For Trade: 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Clayton Kershaw Auto BGS 9

Posted in For Trade with tags , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2006BowmanChromeCLAYTONkERSHAWThis Clayton Kershaw 2006 Bowman Chrome auto rookie here on the right is for trade, seeking offers of rookies something of similar quality. This card was pulled from a box last year and submitted to Beckett grading, which gave slabbed it a a Mint 9 (3×9; 1x 9.5) with a perfect signature. Serious offers only, please. Traders whom I have not dealt with before will ship their item first.

2009 Topps Ser. 2 Baseball 3 Pack break

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

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I said I was going to try this Topps Ser. 2 set after buying just two packs. But I decided to pick up three hobby packs at the card shop the other day. Here’s the break. I’m also working on a few trades, so I’ll post a want list soon enough.

Pack 1

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Cardboard Dilemna: 2006 Bowman Chrome Clayton Kershaw

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

As members of the card collecting community, both you and I know there are right times to buy and sell certain cards. But as collectors, we also know there are certain cards that just don’t fit into this mold. Sometimes they are cards we already own, or they are ones we want at any cost. Today I find myself trying to figure out where I stand on one of my favorite cards: 2006 Bowman Chrome Refractor Clayton Kershaw auto rookie. I pulled this card from a blaster in late 2006 and have since had it slabbed by Beckett. It is Gem Mint with a 10 signature. I’ve offered the card for sale a few times within the last 18 months — mainly because I pulled a base Kershaw auto from a hobby box in 2007 — but it’s still in my possession as the price has not been met. But after Wednesday’s 13-strikeout performance against the rival Giants, I’m again starting to wonder if this is a sell-now candidate, or simply a card that I shouldn’t part with at any price.