Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Pack Sized Friendship

*getting ready to head out the door for a dentist appointment, fortunately only a cleaning, so need to down a couple of cups and get a new post for Cards Over Coffee up!*

I have found in the last 9 years of being on Social Media Hobby that some of the friends I have made being apart of it are better than the few friends I have nearby. Some are better than some family members and feel like they are apart of your family instead. 

These are friendships that go much further and deeper than some pieces of cardboard. These are people who message to check in on you and how you are feeling. These are people who ask how your daughter, son, grandmother, uncle are doing. These are people who go the extra mile to help you out when you need it. These are people who pray for you, cheer you up when you are down and even sometimes send you surprises just because.

I know a few of these people, but the one that comes to mind today is @CardpocalypseNC.

Yesterday in my mail I had an unexpected package from Tim. We hadn't made a trade and were working on one so I had absolutely no idea what was in there. So I opened it up, saw a greeting card that I set aside (I always like saving those for last when I open up any package) and began to dig through many packed layers. There was a bubbler, than bubble wrap, then a Heritage Hanger box, then inside of that was more packaging and then inside of that packaging was this,
A hanger pack of 2020 Prizm football. I couldn't believe it. It was as if I had unwrapped a wad of cash was my reaction to it. That Indiana Jones feeling when he found the Crystal Skull.

As many of you know, finding retail right now especially Prizm is like finding that a unicorn in your cup of coffee or a winning Powerball ticket on the ground at your feet.

Tim however, had tweeted a picture on Twitter that he had actually found some in the wild back in December and I was certainly jealous. What I didn't know though was he actually took one of those packs and had mailed it to me for Christmas. But, the magic of the mail delays right now made it not arrive until yesterday.

I would certainly call that true sacrifice for a friend.

*takes a sip of coffee while smiling*

The thought of holding onto the pack and waiting for the right moment to open it came across my mind, you know one of those days where you have a really big itch to open one, but I couldn't hold back. So I ripped into the pack, each pack comes with a 12 card Prizm pack along with a 3 card Red,White, Blue parallel pack, and here were my results,
Isaac Bruce kicks off the pack

Followed by a group of base led by DeAndre Hopkins

My rookie of the pack was Antoine Winfield Jr. Far from Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow but a solid player in the playoffs.

AJ Brown Brilliance Insert

Laremy Tunsil Green Prizm

Then came the pack with the three Red,White, Blue Prizm parallels.
Bryce Love. Seems like I pulled a ton of him last year.

Tedy Bruschi. Long time legendary linebacker for the Patriots

And the final card....
Tyler Johnson. I don't know much about him but with Tampa Bay with so many weapons at that position I can't imagine he gets much playing time.

Nothing too spectacular in this pack, but to me, that's not what this pack was about.

*takes a sip before closing. Okay you got me, I finished the cup*

The pack may not have held the big hit that Tim had hoped I would pull from the greeting card note he left me, but these cards mean more than a Silver Prizm Joe Burrow and that says a lot. Especially to those hit-flipper thrill seekers.

Tim, I know I have told you thanks already multiple times on Twitter but I will say it again. Thank you. Thank you for checking in on me, thank you for the thoughts and prayers, thank you for our long distance pack sized friendship. 

What is a pack sized friendship? It's everything you would want in a friendship, or even a pack of cards, packed into one friend. I hope I am also that pack of cards and more to you as well.

Saturday, January 9, 2021


*has a cup of coffee ready and even breakfast. It's time for a new Cards Over Coffee post*

Luck didn't fall my way like many others in 2020. 

Health problems, anxiety stress from my wife being a nurse and overall bad luck summed up my year. But, I kept pushing through and occasionally something nice actually happened.

To end out 2020, I got a message from Steel City Collectibles on Twitter that someone didn't claim their prize in their 12 Days Of Giveaways and that I came up as the re-drawn winner. Was quite the surprise way to end the year.

Yesterday, shipping is so slow especially to me right now, the prize pack arrived and I was happy to dig in.

*takes a sip before opening up the Panini bag of goodies*

Inside I am greeted by everything but the kitchen sink...or a cup of coffee and breakfast.

Wireless headphones, how handy are these right now to drown out the world.

When I actually find cards, this will be handy to open them up with.

Panini America Paper Weight. I like company collectibles to display.

Speaking of that, will definitely be wearing this around town. I may get stopped and asked what Panini is because nobody collects here. Just a bunch of flippers.

*takes a sip to breathe before going into a flipper rant again, breathe...breathe....sip...sip....I'm good*

Prestige Box Topper from 2014 Prestige.

Opened it up and found Sammy Watkins. I really like the nufex (Panini's version of Dufex) technology.

Also inside was 2 packs of 2020 Player Of The Day basketball and football promo cards. One of the football packs felt thicker so I saved football to open after basketball.

*takes a sip, begins to rip*

Pack 1. Each pack comes with 2 cards each.
Kobe Bryant base. I never mind adding a Kobe.

Joel Embid silver foil

Pack 2
Trae Young is a stud on the court

And Hatisse Thybulle. I don't know him but it works for my rookie card collection.

*takes another sip, begins to rip the football*

The Player Of The Day football comes with 2 cards per pack as well.

Pack 1:
Jake Fromm, unless something happens to Josh Allen or he gets traded, the NFL will never see what Fromm has to offer.

Wooooo doggy! Lamar Jackson Tango parallel numbered to 99. Great PC piece!

Pack 2 (the thick one)

Nick Bosa

Baker Mayfield Rainbow foil parallel\

And my hit....2020 hung on and couldn't let me have more than a filler card in this pack.

*takes final sip of cup number one, really exhausted today, this will be a two to three cup day*

That was an exciting prize pack and I send my gratitude to Steel City Collectibles for having me as the winner and thanks to the first winner for choosing not to accept the prize. I suggest you go give Steel City a follow both on Twitter and Facebook as they are always giving back.

Time to brew another cup of coffee and tackle my desk of cardspair.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

What's In The Bag?!

*takes a sip of hot piping joe and gets ready for another new post in the New Year on Cards Over Coffee*

Jeff Parrett best described the mood when my mother-in-law this fall said she had a neighbor who dropped off some baseball cards to her. It was pretty obvious where she would be dropping them off to next.

When I saw her car pull in the driveway, I looked out the window like a dog waiting on it's owner to return from a quick shopping trip. The only difference was I didn't pounce on her when she came into my house. I can't say that I didn't try to rip the bag from her hands though.

The excitement of new cardboard soon diminished when I looked in the bag,

Jim Snyder best sums up my reaction.

*takes a sip with the same reaction behind the mug*

My eyes are not as great as they used to be, but even they could see cards tossed in a bag and apparently from the "junk wax" era as well.

Yup, I have that same feeling Sparky.
The "Junk Wax" era has its nostalgia and hits home for a lot of collectors, for me though, it doesn't. I started collecting in late 1993 into 1994 which is past that era so those cards for me are more annoying than anything as I have already more than filled up my collection with needs from that timeframe.

So my only hope was that something magical was hiding in this bag. Maybe even a unicorn.

*takes another sip, revisits the bag again in my mind*

Larry Walker rookie cards. Not a bad start.

A couple of big names, maybe this bag will surprise me after all.

My anticipation to keep digging expression

Then came the endless pit of 1990 Donruss, 1989 Topps, 1989 Donruss and 1988 Topps I expected. Not a single solid player in that mix either and the condition was questionable as you could already tell from the ravaged cards.

How I was feeling at this point

Then I caught a bit of a break and found a few decent cards in the mix.

(I consider this one decent because I am a fan of oddball food releases)

(once again, oddball)

(I always like finding earlier SI for Kids cards)

In the bag picture above, if you spied it correctly, there was a baggie in there. That baggie I set aside and saved for last just "in case" it was the "bigger cards" in the bag.
It appears to be a baggie full of basketball cards. Larry Nance kicks it off.

*takes a sip, begins to.....unseal? Rip? Open?*

And I was right about it being all basketball,

Sam Vincent, Mark Price, James Worthy, Karl Malone and John Stockton were great names to find.

Then followed up with another James Worthy, Byron Scott and Magic Johnson.

Not a bad way to end the bag of mystery.

Mike Young best describes my overall feeling of the bag

 *brews another cup of coffee to finish up the post. Sits at the table to type and takes a sip*

That moment hot coffee hits your tongue scalding it and you don't want others to know

I pulled out some of the cards to add to my collection while others will find a new home in my box of dupes. That box gets picked through for extras in trades and sometimes given to kids who come to my yard sales as my help in expanding the hobby initiative.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Let's Chrome It All

*takes a sip of early morning coffee. Coffee is good any time of day, but something about that first cup first thing in the morning is where it really hits the sweet spot. It's like watching Ken Griffey Jr hit a home run with that swing*

I haven't had the chance yet to update my health on here so thought I would tackle that first then lead into today's post.

Before I had my second kidney stone surgery, I had to have a "health call-in" with my PCP since he no longer is taking in-person visits currently and my internet is crud so I couldn't do an online virtual call. He wasn't too happy with my blood pressure still, I have had to test it at home the past month so he stuck me on a third blood pressure med that has so far been decreasing it though it's not where it needs to be quite yet. It's a working progress.

On the better health news front, I had my second kidney stone surgery which was a success. Both stent and stone were removed and I am currently recovering. I will be having a checkup with an ultrasound in a few weeks to make sure my kidneys are still properly working after having those surgeries but so far, so good.

*takes a sip of coffee feeling better about a clean slate to start off 2021*

For one of those kidney stone surgeries, my wife made a quick trip to Walmart-something we have avoided with the pandemic-and surprised me with a blaster box of 2020 Stadium Club Chrome baseball for a cheer-me-up.

I was more impressed by the fact she was able to find any cards but the fact it was Stadium Club Chrome was a bonus.

*takes a sip*

2020 Stadium Club Chrome is a new, but old product, as it was in the 90's for a very short period. It appears they are finally understanding collectors love of chromed items as they have now in 2020 put chrome on Stadium Club, Allen and Ginter (really wanted to open some of this) and even came out with a second round of Topps Chrome and called it Topps Chrome Black.

I guess if chroming things works, stick with it!

*takes a sip, begins to rip*
Every blaster box of 2020 Stadium Club Chrome baseball comes with 4 packs per box with 6 cards per pack. Each blaster comes with a bonus 1 pack of 4 bonus card X-Factor parallels. Boxes when not being flipped are $20.

The base card design is the same as Stadium Club except it has a nice layer of chrome on it. Up close, these look superb when you have that photography and open non border design as well. I actually liked it more than Topps Chrome which says a lot for me who is a die-hard "chromie". It's like a groupie but for Topps Chrome.

The base set is a pretty big sized one at 400 cards, which is really large for any chrome products and includes players like Baez above

and legends of the past

along with all of the rookies.

*takes another sip, feels the tummy grumbling for some breakfast. Will have to think on breakfast while I tackle the parallels*

When I saw another chrome product, I expected a year long list of parallels like all the other products. The good news is, there isn't a lot of parallels to seek out. You can find Base Refractor, X-Fractor, Wave, Gold /50, Orange /25, Red /5, and SuperFractor 1/1.
I pulled only one, yes one, refractor in this blaster and it looks outstanding. The image combined with the shine may have made this one of my favorite cards of 2020. That's coming from a Yankees fan about a Mets card.

The only other parallels I found were the four card bonus x-factors,

Rogers (seems like I pulled this guy often when I did open baseball)

Soto (solid!!)

And lookie here, one of my main NY Yankees pc players and my favorite Yankee player of all-time in Derek Jeter. Great PC add.

*decides on a bagel, puts it in the toaster and moves onto the inserts*

Inserts have the following parallels to search for in Gold /50, Orange /25, Red /5, and SuperFractor 1/1.
Emperors Of The Zone has 25 cards in the set and has all of the top pitchers in the game.

And the always exciting and included Beam Team. These fall 1:4 packs and have 25 players to collect.

*bagels ready, time to sum this up so I can eat*

I really enjoyed this box break, despite how short it was. I doubt I will find anymore blaster boxes around even if I did make the trip to Walmart but it left me wanting more.

Speaking of wanting more, there are a few cards I am specifically looking for in the product I may need help landing,
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Refractor Ken Griffey Jr
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome X-Factor Ken Griffey Jr
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Inserts Ken Griffey Jr
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome base Derek Jeter 
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Refractor Derek Jeter
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Kyle Schwarber
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Refractor Kyle Schwarber
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome X-Factor Kyle Schwarber
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Orange Refractor Kyle Schwarber
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Wave Refractor Kyle Schwarber
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Gold Refractor Kyle Schwarber
  • 2020 Stadium Club Chrome Red Refractor Kyle Schwarber
There are reasons for this list I will tackle at a later date.

I hope 2021 has kicked off positively for you so far and I hope you have had at least one cup of coffee while checking out this post. I will be on my third cup soon.