Friday, April 3, 2020

First Impressions: 2020 Gypsy Queen

I managed to grab one more pack before Virginia's governor issued a stay-at-home order, so lets see if this year's edition of Gypsy Queen offers any joy to this essential employee...

#239 Nick Senzel

Young Reds outfielder Nick Senzel has the honor of being the first card. Overall, I like the design, better than last year at least. One problem I do have with it is the choice to use the player's first name initial followed by the position. The spacing is a little too close for my taste. As you'll see later, this will offer up some interesting card visuals.

#79 Jack Flaherty
#253 Rowdy Tellez
#FTM-11 Vladimir Guerrero Jr (Fortune Teller insert)

I've never been a fan of minis, but this one isn't too shabby. Ignoring my lousy photographing skills, Vlad Jr seems to "pop" from the orange border. If this was a full sized card, that little bit of white space almost lends itself as an ideal spot for a autograph.

#268 Mauricio Dubon (RC)
#12 Max Kepler
#232 Aaron Civale (RC)
#292 Manny Machado
#45 Didi Gregorious

Didi's bat-flip is probably the best action shot among the cards in this pack. I'm glad he's no longer a Yankee, and think the Phillies will appreciate having him around whenever baseball resumes.

#TOD-7 Walker Buehler (Tarot Of The Diamond insert)

Am I the only one getting a little bored with the Tarot card inserts? I think they've run their course and it's time for Gypsy Queen to come up with something new.

#101 Sean Murphy (RC)
#285 Stephen Strasburg
#207 Paul DeJong
#5 Dom Nunez (RC)
#54 Jeff McNeil

Here's our look at the backs. Standard GQ back - good content, but too much wasted space.

#236 Derek Dietrich
#168 Jake Fraley (RC)
#208 Adalberto Mondesi

Yes, there's a period and a space separating the initial and the position, but tell me the word ASS doesn't jump out at you when you look at this card.

The 3-pack of Gypsy Queen comes with bonus green parallels of the cards. Dark green is a good color for a parallel.

Green Parallels:
#168 Jake Fraley (RC)
#208 Adalberto Mondesi
#163 Patrick Corbin

I'll never be able to look at this card again and not think his name is Pee Pee Corbin.

#220 James Marvel (RC)
#2 J.T. Realmuto

Overall, not a bad set. With Gypsy Queen you pretty much know what to expect.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

That Was Awesome!

Even now, the day after, I'm in awe. I never thought my April Fools "prank" would work as well as it did! To everyone who participated, a huge thank you!

By my count, 26 bloggers participated (including myself). I only had contact with 21 other writers, so seeing other blogs jump in was nothing short of phenomenal! The posts were amazing - running from true anecdotes to pranks-within-the-prank. I think we all learned a lot more about Mr. Niekro than we ever thought possible. Again, if I missed any, please let me know!

I had 3 real goals with this. First, I wanted to see my blog rolls filled with 1988 Score Phil Niekros. As Chris from The Collector can attest, that was a success:

I was also hoping to hear about an unsuspecting reader and their realization about what was unfolding. I got my validation late last night with this comment:

Lastly, and most importantly, I wanted to spread some smiles and good humor during these trying times. I would like to believe we accomplished that to great success too. We're a community of bloggers, and most of us haven't met in real life. We're a textbook case for social distancing. Stuff like this brings us closer as a group, and despite the lack of communication outside of the card collecting scene, I consider each of you as friends. You're all amazing, and I'm grateful for you.

So again, a sincere and heart felt thank you to all who were involved. I couldn't have done it without you! (Oh, and just a warning, I already have an idea percolating for next year!)

***** New Blog Alert!*****

It's always good to have new stuff to read, so go check out Card Hemorrhage!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Repack Haiku #146 (Phil Niekro)

An April Fools thought:
Can I get other bloggers
To post this same card?

1988 Score #555 Phil Niekro

A few months ago, I had an idea. In keeping with my "Jester" namesake, I decided I wanted to try and pull a prank. I wanted to do something that other members of blogging community could get in on - a sort of twist on the blog bat-a-round concept. I thought it would be funny to get as many bloggers as I could to all do a post on April 1st focusing on the exact same card. I had in my mind this mental image of a blog reader going through their routine of favored blogs and realizing something was up.

I started out emailing the handful of bloggers I actually had email address of. I also put out a cryptic forum post on the TCDB. The response was fantastic, well beyond what I could have possible have hoped for! A lot of bloggers were eager to participate. Other than myself, no one else knew exactly who else was involved, or how many would there be.

As far as the card choice goes, I looked up athletes born on April 1st, and immediately settled on the Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. By choosing his "sunset" card, I figured that would give my fellow bloggers numerous ideas for posts - I gave everyone complete creative control as to what they posted. They could do whatever they wanted as long as this card shone in all its golden beauty!

So now we play the waiting game! Throughout the day we should be seeing more and more Phil Niekros. I'm going to try and update this post as blogs are revealed and link all the participating blogs. If I end up missing anyone, let me know!

Phil Niekro Sightings

The Lost Collector
A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards And A Hot Dog
CrazieJoe's Card Corner
The Collective Mind
Johnny's Trading Spot
Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards And Menko
The Collector
Baseball Cards Come To Life!
The Profane Saint
$30 A Week Habit
Scribbled Ink
Bump And Run Football Card Blog
Padrographs: Abner To Zimmer
Pack War
John's Big League Baseball Blog
Cardboard History
Stadium Fantasium
The Chronicles Of Fuji
Starting Nine
Night Owl Cards
Infield Fly Rule
The Angels In Order
The Bucs Stop Here
Highly Subjective And Completely Arbitrary
Tenets Of Wilson

Monday, March 30, 2020

Happy Birthday Chris Sale!

Just when you thought I was done proclaiming the awesomeness of Rod from Padographs, comes one more goodie! Rod had a bunch of these 2020 Heritage Chrome Hot Box Refractors that he was offering up first come first serve, and I just had to put my claim on Mr. Sale!

I don't know Chris Sale personally, but I can't help but think that as we both blow out our birthday candles today, our mutual wish is for baseball's swift return! (Even though we won't be seeing him on the mound anytime soon - let's add a smooth recovery from Tommy John surgery to the birthday wish, shall we?)

Thanks for the card, Rod!


Who doesn't like free cards? Johnny from Johnny's Trading Spot has been doing a monthly sign-up for a weekly series of Big Fun Games. You can sign up for it here, just be sure you're available during the Friday night fun!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Padrographs Bounty 2

Today, we're going to take a look at the other cards I received courtesy of Rod from Padrographs. Back in December, he was just giving away stacks of cards, and I showed off some of the Red Sox I received on Monday.

This is the pack led my the Heritage Michael Chavis. Just like last time, I'll highlight some of the standout cards in the pack instead of just showing them all off.

More Chrome goodness, including a pink refractor of Hanley!

My first foray into Donruss's 1997 base set. This has to be one of the best Jose Canseco cards ever put to cardboard!

Here's just a few other cards that stood out to me. If I'm ever crazy enough to attempt to complete a parallel set, the 150th Anniversary stamp would be among the front runners.

Two more of Rod's signature autographs! Deven Marrero made his MLB debut in 2015, and is currently a free agent after a 5 game stint with Miami. Frankie Montas was involved in a number of noteworthy deals before making his debut with the Athletics in 2017. He was having an impressive 2019 before getting an 80 game suspension for a banned substance.

Thanks again for the cards Rod!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Blue Springs, MO

Thanks to a TCDB member named Nathan, I was able to knock out most of the Red Sox cards from this year's Series 1 base set:

Favorite Card: That Red Sox team card is the pick here. I can't wait until games start again and players won't be afraid to give their teammates a fist bump

Thanks for the cards Nathan!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Repack Haiku #145 (Bryan Harvey)

Marlins' first closer
Same season was an All-Star
Son debuted last year

1990 Topps #272 Bryan Harvey