Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Verse

Romans 8:1-2

New International Version

Life Through the Spirit ] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New goodies from the Collector's Crack (just in time for MNF)

When the colder weather starts to set in it usually brings with it some illness and that illness found me last week. For the most part Friday was pretty good, but shortly after I went to bed it hit me. Let's just say that for most of the weekend I spent hovering the porcelain throne...two ways. It was not the best weekend I've had.

Right before I fell ill, I did receive a little package in the mail all the way from Alaska. In it was filled with new Braves goodies from my good friend Mark who runs the Collector's Crack. I had inquired about a Freddie Freeman card he posted several months back so I knew he had sent that, but I had no idea what else he had included.

I don't really have a good card shop locally anymore so I missed out on the National Baseball Card Day promotion, luckily Mark set aside this Freddie Freeman for me. I also got a shiney Freshman Flash RC of Dansby Swanson from this year's Topps Chrome set. The Saber Stars card of Andrelton Simmons I'm not familiar with, but I'll take it!

I don't buy much of any Bowman product these days so I didn't have any of these Bowman Platinum cards. Of course its always good to pick up a new Freeman I don't have, but I was glad to see the Dansby RC. Max Fried was pick up in a deal w/ San Diego a few seasons ago and while he hasn't made a huge impact on the Braves pitching staff yet, I do hear that there are good things to come from him.

There were many other Braves cards in the bubble mailer, but here are 3 of them that I grabbed to scan. I haven't had much luck pulling those Rediscover Topps cards, but now I've got one. Brandon Beachy was a guy I really enjoyed watching, then he messed up his elbow, was shipped off to the Dodgers and then just disappeared sadly. None the less, this is one of those Power Players redemption cards and not an easy card to come across. Speaking of fun players to watch, Furcal was amazing in the infield w/ the leather. I've got a few nice cards of his and I'll always take a new relic.

Mark is also one of the few baseball card bloggers that I know that buys/collects football cards too so I can't say I was completely surprised to find a few Carolina Panthers cards in the stack. Couple of Cam Newtons, jersey card of the now free agent DeAngelo Williams and a few others that I didn't have time to scan.

I really appreciate the kind gesture Mark and I plan to return the favor soon. Now I need to get off this computer and finish packing as I'm headed up to Charlotte today for a 2 day self storage sonference (sounds riviting, doesn't it?!). At least I get to go to the Monday Night Football game tonight with the Panthers vs. the Dolphins.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Batting Pitchers: 2016 Topps Now Adam Wainwright

It's been a really long time since I've found another card to add to my small themed subset collection I have of batting pitchers. This 2016 Topps Now card beautiful captures the Cardinals pitcher smacking a double in the top of the 12th inning on June 10, 2016, scoring runners on first and second. The Cardinals would go on to win the game 9-3.

I don't normally buy Topps Now cards of players other than Braves, but for me this was an easy decision despite the $9.99 price tag. 1) the card meets all the guidelines for my batting pitchers collection and 2) he's yet another outspoken athlete that isn't afraid to share his faith with his fellow team members and the fans. Great all around guy (who ironically enough was drafted/traded by the Braves) and a great card commemorating him helping w/ his bat win a game.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday Verse

Colossians 4:5-6

New International Version

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps Star Wars Rogue One Series 2

Series 2 offers up another 100 base cards featuring images from the movie. There are 3 levels of parallels: Death Star Black (1:2), Green Squardron (1:3) and Blue Squadron (1:6). Inserts include Character stickers (1:6), Heroes of the Rebel Alliance (1:14), Villians of the Galactic Empire (1:14), Prime Forces (1:3), Troopers (1:3), Movie Posters (1:48), Darth Vader Continuity (1:24), Autograph (1:4,424), Patch card (1:251) and Sketch card (1:1,272).

The various inserts in this set of cards is what steals the show in my opinion. The Trooper insert set offers up some great art featuring different Empire troopers. 

Each 6 card retail pack seems to yield 1 parallel and 1 insert and retails for $1.99. I'm currently working on getting my cards from series 1 and 2 in order so I can post a want list. Just something about the Rogue One movie that I really enjoyed and that carried over into wanting to complete this set as well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pack Break: 2017 Topps Series 2 Toys 'R Us

(this post was originally posted on A Pack To Be Named Later)

I don't recall what year Topps and Toys 'R Us teamed up to offer exclusive purple parallel cards, but the trend continued in Series 2 this year. Unlike in past years, there is only 1 parallel card per pack now. The packs retail for $2.99 at TRU stores...I hope the included parallel is worth the extra dollar.

Nothing fancy or special here, just regular cards from Series 2. I need to check these against my own list to see if I need any of these for my set.

Rainbow parallel of Rockies catcher, Tom Murphy.

Memorable moments insert of Derek Jeter. Not a Yankees fan, but I can respect Jeter's talent. 3,000 hits...dang. Not sure though how I feel about this set though.

...and finally the purple parallel that I'm sure most are curious about. George Springer. Nice photo Topps. Appropriate that this card was pulled on the night of Game 2 of the World Series.

I was hoping to find packs of the new Update series while at TRU, but no such luck. Not sure of Topps even produced these special packs for Update. The Jeter insert and the parallels are available for trade if anyone is interested.

Well, now off to find me a purple parallel of Freddie Freeman.

Monday, October 23, 2017

I feel as if Panini is trolling me

After a horrible offensive performance by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, 10/22/17 against the Chicago Bears I was hoping some new football card therapy would help. I picked up pack of 2017 Panini Donruss football earlier in the week and held onto to open on Sunday...makes sense right? Well wouldn't you know...the first insert in the middle of the stack of cards would be Mitch his 4 for 7 pass completion glory. (by the way, I love the look and feel of these canvas like cards...I just can't believe of all the players I could pull this is the guy I get!)

It's so embarrasing for your defense to go out and hold the opposing team's QB to 4 of 7 pass completions, 68 rushing yards and to hold them from scoring a TD...and still lose the game. The Panthers controlled the clock, possessing the ball for over 38 minutes of the game. Bears had the ball for just over 21 minutes. Cam Newton completed 21 of 34 passes for 211 yards with another 50 yards on the ground. Panthers bested the Bears in the 1st down department too with 20-5. However the Bears walked away w/ the win with two defensive TDs.

The first defensive TD came off of lateral that was dropped by rookie Curtis Samuel. Eddie Jackson would run it back 75 yards for the TD. This particular play really made me upset because I don't see how they ruled that it was a catch/fumble. Samuel never had possession of the ball! I knew the Bears didn't have much an offense so I really didn't get to down...I knew that we would come back to tie it up and eventually take the lead...but that never happened.

Fans here in Carolina this morning are wondering who to point the finger at. In my opinion you need several fingers. 1) Offense Coordinator Mike Schula, 2) Head Coach, Ron Rivera, 3) Offensive Line, 4) WRs/slow developing routes, and 5) Cam Newton.

  • The play calling for years has been questionable at best under Schula. Remove the 2015 Super Bowl season and you have mediocre plays being called. I love McCaffrey, but the little dude can't run it up the middle of the field...yet the same play is called time after time. 
  • Ron Rivera is a good coach, but the dude needs to stand up and hold his staff more accountable.
  • The Offensive line yesterday was horrible. As soon as the ball is snapped, it seems as if the line is moving backwards and that pocket is all but gone for Cam. Does Cam hold onto the ball too long? Yes, but his guys are being backed into him so quickly its rediculous. 
  • The Panthers have two big WRs in Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess. I love to watch their physical style of play, however it seems to take them longer to get open than other WRs. I don't know if again its the play calling or what, but Cam is holding onto the ball so long because he's waiting for his guys to get seperation from their defenders and it's taking too long!
  • Lastly there is Cam. I like Cam and I get mad over a lot of the criticism that I think he doesn't deserve. However yesterday's performance was ugly. The Panthers had chances. I don't fault him for the pass to Benjamin that he tipped and landed in the hands of the Bears defender. It happens. However he over threw many players that would have kept a drive alive and possibly resulted in some points.

Overall it was a real ugly and embarrasing game for Panthers fan. The only good news yesterday was that Tampa Bay lost and the Patriots whooped up on the Falcons (again) late last night. The Panthers find them in 2nd place in the NFC South behind the Saints that have all the sudden won 3 in a row after starting their season 0-2. Hopefully we'll get Luke Kuechly and others back for the game next week against Tampa Bay and the Panthers can right the wrongs of this week. I hope