Monday, November 20, 2017

Part 1: Vogelbach on 2017 Cardboard

I'm still hunting multiple websites for Dan Vogelbach cards which have eluded me during the 2017 baseball card collecting year, but the chase is finally starting to slow. I figure by the time I finish this series of posts we'll be counting down the days for 2018 Topps Series 1 to hit the shelves.

I'm going to go in chronological order from the first cards produced to the most recent. Each post will contain all of the Dan Vogelbach cards I've acquired from that set and I'll make a short mention of the ones I'm still on the look out for.

So, without further delay, let's get to the first card.

Early on, many baseball pundits were predicting Dan Vogelbach would break camp with the Mariners in April.

Topps Now, arguably the first "set" to produce 2018 cardboard, jumped at this opportunity and placed Vogelbach in its 15-card team set of the Mariners titled Road to Opening Day.
Vogelbach opened the year with the Tacoma Rainiers in Triple-A, but I did have my first Vogelbach card of 2017. I picked up a single of  the above card from Ebay, as I did many of the cards, because I didn't want 14 other Mariner cards that came in the set if bought directly from Topps.

The Mariners only had sixteen more Topps Now cards produced in 2017. Four of them were of Nelson Cruz and eight of them were of the All-Star MVP, Robinson Cano.

Regardless, this is my favorite non-auto/relic of Vogelbach in my entire collection. It's a nice design, a rookie card, and the photo selection is top notch.  The man has a great smile.

2017 Topps Now Haves:
OD-204 (the card you see above)

2017 Topps Now Needs:

It was a big year for Vogelbach... well, at least in cardboard. One set down... a dozen or so more to go!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Blaster of 2017 Topps Gallery

I've always been a fan of the cards, like Topps Gallery, that get away from the standard photo as medium. When I found a blaster at a neighboring town's Wal-Mart yesterday I had to snag one on my way to checkout.  Let's see how I did!
Good to see Mr. Trout, the best position player in baseball for my money, getting some love from Topps again.
 As the exterior of the blaster states, there are seven four-card packs and one exclusive artist proof  parallel pack.  Ooooh!  Fancy!

Pack #1:
 The first card is a Cub!  Woo-Hoo!  The borders of these are not purely white. They are somewhat slick and have a canvas like pattern only visible when the light hits the card just right. The player portion of the card has more of a matte finish to them and are a tad smoother.
The backs are nice, but I find it intriguing Topps went with the month-by-month statistical breakdown on the back of the cards.  Different.
Here are cards two and four of the pack. The back of the Ryon Healy card was actually the first card I saw, which was not a good sign for this collector. Keep in mind, Seattle just acquired Ryon Healy from Oakland to play first base in 2018... the same position a certain Vogelmonster plays.  Sigh.

Hall of Fame insert cards fall at one for every four packs. I made out with two in the eight pack blaster. Fair enough.
 I should mention that all the base cards are the artwork of Mayumi Seto and all the inserts I pulled are the work of Dan Bergren.

This card is from pack #7.  The pack felt thicker and I was pretty psyched when opening it... but then I found it was thicker because it contained the standard four cards and a non-numbered advertisement card of the main artist.

Pack #2
 No inserts in this pack. That's the second Brewer and second Cub in two packs.

Pack #3
I look at the Matt Harvey card and the Daniel Murphy card and I can't help but think they were done by different artists.  Nope, same artist. Oh, and a Nationals hot pack!

Pack #4 . . . Rizzo!

 Masterpiece cards appear at a rate of one for every seven packs. Again, this blaster is delivering what it promises.
I was pleasantly shocked to see Justin Verlander in Houston Astros gear. I figure a set with artwork would take more time and he would have been painted in Tigers garb.

Pack #5
 There's my second Hall of Fame card... Roberto Alomar.  That gives me a pair of second sackers for my HOF inserts.  I was hoping for Sandberg, but he wasn't granted an insert card, just a short print card.

Pack #6
 I actually like this pack quite a bit. Trea Turner, Tyler Glasnow and Max Kepler are all young players who ooze potential. Matt Carpenter?  Yeah, he's a Cardinal, but I'll find a taker.
 Carpenter's card is part of the 40 card Heritage checklist, which pay homage to the 1951 Bowman set. These cards fall one to every eleven packs, so I beat the odds there.

Pack #7
Diamondback hot pack! Georger Springer is the clear winner in this pack if you ask me.

Pack #8, the Exclusive Artist Proof Parallel Pack
I was very disappointed with my parallel pack. First the "artist proof" parallel only received a little bit of gold foil on the card.  Secondly, these are all duplicates!  Oddly enough though, these four cards were spread out among three separate packs. Different collation on the parallel pack.

The checklist for this product is 200 cards, with cards 151-200 being short prints. I did not pull a short print. 

There are four different colors for the base parallels (green, blue, orange, and red), but I didn't pull a color parallel.

There are four insert sets in this year's edition of Topps Gallery, but I failed to pull an Expressionist. That's a bit of a bummer.

Oh, and two of the main panels of the blaster box say, "Look for Rookie Autograph cards!"  Nope, that didn't happen either. That's okay, I never expect to get an auto in a blaster anyway.  For the record, there are 150 non-SP cards in the base set and there are 170 different autograph cards in this product. Yes, 170! The late 80's and early 90's are known as the junk wax era and I think we're currently living in the junk auto era. Just sayin'.

I pulled some nice cards, like Bryce Harper, three Cubs, Yoan Moncada, and couple of World Champion Astros. But overall, I felt my box was lacking.

The Cubs, Yankees and Brewers in this box are already claimed, but if you see something you'd like hit me up with a comment!

I hope you enjoyed my quick blaster break of 2017 Topps Gallery!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What would you do?

Back in in January I promised myself to pick up one version of every Dan Vogelbach card released in 2017.  I made it almost five full months until I added my a Topps Inception auto to the Vogelmonster player binder.  I'm now approaching 130 different Vogelbach cards from 2017.    Wow.

Then I pulled up Ebay this evening.

Guess what dropped earlier today?

Yes, Topps Tek.  I haven't researched the 2017 version yet, but for those of you not in the know, Tek is a variation/pattern/parallel cornucopia!

Oh boy. 

So, I ask my fellow player collectors and super-collectors, "What would you do?  What have you done in the past?"

Thanks for reading and your advice!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Cards from a World Champion Astros Fan

 I title this post for Marc, who I'm sure can't get enough of the Astros' big accomplishment. I know I couldn't a year ago when the Cubs were on top of the world. 

Marc, the author of the Remember the Astrodome, seems to be having a bit of a blog and trading rebirth as of late. I've seen a number of his packages popping up around the blogs recently. 

On to the cards!  I've really been lax in picking up Cubs cards this year. I'm fairly certain these are my first Opening Day cards from the 2017 set.
 I've got a nice stack of Vogelbach cards from this year's version of A&G, but that's about it. These two will go right into their respective player binders.
 Topps 2016 flagship release was one of my least favorite designs, and the little Opening Day emblem doesn't help things. I did like it when Topps switched the fog/smoke into snowflakes last winter though. I wonder if they'll pull a similar gimmick this year?
 Schwarber! Many Cubs fans are down on him right now, but he did put together a decent second half last year. I'm hoping he makes some adjustments next year and hits 0.260+.
I believe the Topps Gold Label card is the black parallel of the Class II card. Class I, if I recall correctly, pictures Schwarber attempting to make a defensive play in the outfield.

Conlon set help!  I almost forgot I was building this set!
 Here's my list of Conlon needs if you think you can help out!

I couldn't find any singles of 2017 Topps Update at lat weekend's card show. Marc to the rescue!
 There are a couple of base cards and few inserts I will have to track down to add to my World Series binder.
 Because of the back of this card, it will also be added to the World Series binder.

I think this one will be my favorite card of 2017. I now own two different versions of this card.
 The other version I own is the "blue chip" version, but the golden parallel is so much nicer and appropriate given the name of the insert set.

Lastly, 2017 Topps Fire set help!
I'm waiting on a couple more packages, but once they arrive I'll be down to needing just two cards. Again, here's a link to what I need.  Do you have a copy of Dellin Betances or Edwin Encarnacion lying around?

The Astros win their first ever World Series title and I get a trade package from Houston. Our little cardboard community is great, isn't it?  Marc, I'll get some cards out to you as soon as possible! Thanks again!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Blog Bat Around: Vogelmonster to Bacon

Collecting Cutch challenged the blogosphere and I'm always up for a Blog Bat Around.

Let's see if I can somehow get Dan Vogelbach, aka The Vogelmonster, connected to Kevin Bacon in six degrees or less.
Kevin Bacon was in JFK with Tony Plana.

Tony Plana appeared in Gojira (1984).

Kei Satō

Kei Satō played a role in the Godzilla film and also acted in Onna to Misoshiru with Masakazu Tamaru.

Masakazu Tamaru
Masakazu Tamaru was in a movie called Furuhata Ninzaburo: Final Dance. You'll never guess who also had a role in the movie.

Yes, Ichiro Suzuki. Didn't see that coming did you?

Ichiro played on the 2011 Seattle Mariners with Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager.
King Felix and the older Seager both player with Dan Vogelbach in 2017.
How about that. Six degrees! I think I could have shortened it by using Vogelbach's past ties to the Cubs and gone the Mark Grace route, but that had already been done by Tony Burbs.

Ichiro, for the win!

That was a fun exercise and certainly something different. Nice idea, Collecting Cutch.
Thanks for reading!