Thursday, July 29, 2021

90's Cards Over Coffee:1997 Zenith Football Box Break

*takes a sip on this very nice day in July. This July has been one of the cooler ones we have had since 2009 with temperatures today being in the 70's which is more like fall weather. since it feels like fall and football is technically around the corner, let's do a football card break shall we? takes another sip and moves onto today's post*

Move over Beanie Babies and Furbys, we have some Zenith football to rip today thanks to my friend, Shane from Cheap Wax Wednesday who opens boxes like this all of the time on his blog and on Beckett online.

I landed this box in our last trade which was done around Christmas time so this has been sitting in my drafts for awhile now.

So let's get to posting this as Zenith ranks in my Top 5 favorite 90's products. The 1996 version is tops for me when it comes to Zenith with today's rip being right behind it.

*takes a sip, begins to rip*
1997 Zenith football boxes came with 24 packs of 6 cards per pack. What was fun about the 90's was the no guarantees and the thrill of the chase instead. Boxes I have no idea what prices are now, I think then it was $30 but I suspect they are more than double that now.

When you open up the box, the packs are laid out like this. My friend's uncle used to cheat the system and count packs. Meaning he knew which row and packs had the inserts while the others were duds. He used to buy boxes and boxes before knowing the strategy.

The base set is built up of 150 cards. The background I assume is a moon. There is 100 base cards.

15 season highlights

32 "rookies". These aren't true rookie cards as they feature the seasons before rookies.

There was one parallel to find in Zenith.
Artists Proofs that fell 1:47 packs. These are stunning to say the least. I pulled Bryan Still, regardless of player, the card looks great.

Now onto the part I know you have been waiting on.
Rookie Rising was already on my list of set needs and with this box I knocked down three of them. These fall 1:11 packs so I beat the odds.

What are the odds I would pull 2 Dolphins ones? And this one was tucked behind another card so I didn't see it at first. There are 24 cards to chase.

Up next, another set chase.
V2's were apart of the movie motion stage we were all fascinated by in the 90's. These fell one-per-box or 1:23 packs. There are 18 cards to chase.

And to my surprise I beat the odds once again.....
BOOM! 1:72 pack pulled Z-Team. I finished the 1996 Z-Team set, 1997 I am looking at you next! I now own two of the biggies in Jerry Rice (thx to @90sNicheFBCard) and now Marino.

That was a zinga of a box! Puts the caffeine in my caffeine-less coffee I will tell you that much.

*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*

Yeah, it's fun to pull a big rookie card or autograph from today's products, but I will tell you one thing, it doesn't match the intensity of beating the odds in the 90's. Those were the times to collect and why I still continue to collect cards from that era.

Thanks again to Shane for the box to rip. Memories came back and new ones were made.

*Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

They Are Catching On

*takes a sip of hot coffee, it was much hotter than I expected burning the middle of my tongue. Well, that's not the way to start the day but at least I have some good news to share. takes another sip more carefully*

It has taken over a good long year, but I think, #CardsOverCoffee is finally catching on.

Blog stats for July have been amazing for this blog. Comments are up, individual posts views and monthly views are way up. It's what I have been working hard on for a year and even though the numbers are not even close to Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies (Sport Card Collectors), it's still trending upward. Just hope after July it doesn't trend downward again.

Let's take a look at yesterday's stats alone. It set a daily high, and as you can see, this months stats are way surpassing the average (the last month has been where it's been at) and we still have a few days left to this month.

As a man known for enjoying numbers, this month has made me happy.

*takes another sip, begins to cook breakfast and type at the same time. yes, I can do that*

If you look back at the post title, it says they are catching on and not just it's catching on. That's because not only Cards Over Coffee that has grown in July, but so hasn't Big Blue Cardboard and Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies. Big Blue Cardboard has set all-time highs in daily and monthly views (also averages one comment a post which is a all-time high as well-thanks Fuji) and Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies (Sport Card Collectors) is having it's biggest daily and monthly views in 3 years. I am not sure if other bloggers are feeling this in July of 2021, but I know it has perked me up that's for sure when it comes to blogging.

*takes another sip, continues to work on breakfast*

Speaking of blogging, after reading comments on here and a few posts from other bloggers about their blogging subject, I have also decided to keep all three blogs chugging along and here is how they will pan out,
  • Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies- Continuing daily posts, Reviews, Breakin' Wax, Small Mail Days, Card Countdowns like the Summer Of Wes one, Random Card postings
  • Cards Over Coffee-a couple posts a week depending on content and time to post. Bigger mail day and special card posts.
  • Big Blue Cardboard-pretty obvious, my Giants card collection and mail days whenever I can fit them in.
I am hoping by not putting too much pressure on myself by doing daily posts on all three, I can juggle a healthy and fun balance. As someone put as a comment on my post about blogging and figuring out my direction, "why choose?" So I didn't.

*takes another sip before finishing up today's post....well...I am also going to finish making my breakfast*

It actually wasn't even the numbers that helped me decide what to do with blogging, it was the summer break of not doing a lot of posts that helped. I had time to think everything over, take in some input and lay it all out in my mind.

Not saying the numbers after didn't further cement what my plan was.

*takes a sip, Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Also breakfast is done and ready to roll, if you can't recognize it, it's a bagel sandwich with egg, sausage, cheese on an asiago bagel. Sooooooooooooo good.

Also, before closing, a big thanks to all of you who take time out to read my blog or blogs. I appreciate taking time out to read my gibberish.

*okay, now Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Jesus Saves!

*feeling energized this morning after a good nights sleep, coffee is hot and ready, I have a card next to me to discuss so it's time for some cards over coffee*

Last night I was finally able to get a good nights sleep after my family decided to randomly head back to Tennessee yesterday and were planning to drive the 20 hour trip straight through. I don't think I could have ever do that, but I commend them for doing so. We all got to say our goodbyes, shed a few tears and laughs one more time and they were off.

It's always hard to see family leave more-so now. I think if 2020 taught us anything, it was the power of family and how deeply important they are as you may never know when or if you will ever see them again. That's not an easy way to think of it, but it's the honest way.

With them off for a long trip, we did a few check-ins on them and took advantage of their departure and went to be before 9:30 last night. A good nights sleep is what I needed especially after two weeks of so little.

Today, I am refreshed and energized like someone had changed my Duracell battery. I am also very thankful today.

*takes a sip, continues on with today's post*

Growing up, you could say I didn't have the perfect life or the perfect parents leading by example. But, what I have always had is a heart and knowing there was more to life than what I was being shown. So I always believed there was more out there and someone watching over me.

It wasn't until I met my wife where I started to seek out more of those answers.

She had always been a lifelong Christian and talked to me about Jesus Christ and how he forgives us for our sins and is the only way we can get to heaven someday. So I started to read the Bible, go to church and have discussions with her. After awhile I realized maybe this is what I sought out my whole life.

So one night I got down on my knees next to my bed and asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive me for my sins. Ever since then, my life has changed and I have been beyond blessed.

When I saw that Project 2020 was coming out with a card featuring a Yankee, Mo Rivera the greatest closer of all-time and Jesus, it was a calling that I needed to have it and I was finally able to grab it.

If you didn't know, Mariano was a very devout Christian who wrote verses on his glove and could be seen reading the Bible before and after games.

This card overall is also very visually stunning,

The card captures a cross that has Jesus Saves and one of Mariano's favorite verses underneath his last name in Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

The back of the card discusses the usual stuff for Project 2020. I just appreciate that Don C went out of the usual on this card.

When Mariano Rivera retired, I believe he went on to chase his dream in ministry. He also devotes his time in a few charities that focus on children.

*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*

I don't talk a lot about my religion as I should. I prefer to show my love of Jesus through myself instead. I think if you are shown love, you should pass it on and show others love. Especially those who really need it. Sometimes a simple hello, how are you check in is better than nothing and you don't have to be religious to do that.

It's also not always easy to share religious discussions on blogs or social media though I do dive in occasionally. People are too easily offended in these times and if you say the wrong thing, who knows what happens. So I stepped out of my comfort zone today because I believe Jesus wanted me to and I will always take His side.

One more thing I want to note before closing, Rivera's favorite verse of the Bible is also mine as well because knowing that God is in control, you can do anything.

*takes the final sip of cup number one, Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Friday, July 23, 2021

Celebrity Predictors

*takes a sip of McDonalds coffee picked up on the way home from errands, takes a sip, gets ready for a new Cards Over Coffee*

It has been a long two weeks for me.

Last week was spent at "Camp Week" which was exhausting, but not as exhausting as this week has been. I have come to learn that I am not in my 20's anymore after hanging out with my nephew and his wife who are in their 20's We have played wiffle ball, stayed up late watching movies and playing Mario Party and then going out to eat early in the morning. It has definitely been a lot of fun, but I can feel my body falling apart at the seams. I haven't seen them since December 2019, so I had to make up for lost time regardless of how I feel.

Speaking of how I feel, I also had my Liver Appointment this week for my Non Alcholic Fatty Liver. That appointment went well, but I may need some blood work just to make sure there is no scarring on my liver after having the issue for 15 years, hopefully not. While I was there with the Gastroenterologist, I also discussed my heartburn and stomach issues and he thought it would be good to do a procedure to check and see if the acid has caused any injury on my esophagus since I have had the issue for many years. So on August 12th, I will be going under just to have a camera go down my throat to check all of that. I am hopeful that it won't show any damage. So if you pray, I will always welcome prayers.

Now that I gave you my life story for the past two weeks, let's jump onto something not as painful. Let's finally get to the card portion of today's post.

*takes a sip, now it's actually time for some cards over coffee*

In one of my recent mail days from Burbank Sportcards Beckett Marketplace, I grabbed some cards I enjoyed from 2010 Upper Deck baseball.  I know many collectors shunned the product because Upper Deck had lost the MLB license at the time, but I liked the product and especially the inserts.

There were some die cut inserts, fun themes and some non sport ones that really had me at hello. Those ones were the Celebrity Predictor inserts.

Falling at what I believe was 1:12 packs, I can't seem to find any info on that, the 10 card set was built up of celebrity couples at the time.

What I really enjoyed most about the cards was the artwork on them and the underlying messages in that artwork.

Of course in order to enjoy these, you would have to know each couples background. I used to remember them all, but now only a couple. As I stated above, I am not in my 20's anymore and my memory stayed in my 20's.

They are still fun and I am now only two from the set that I hope to finish with my next order from Burbank Sportcards Beckett Marketplace . Luckily these cards aren't overly costly either and I can save 10% by using code 15Burbank at checkout.

*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*

I think my nephew and his wife head back home to Nashville tomorrow so I will be able to get some sleep and catchup on some body rest. Maybe some downtime for sport cards will come along with that as well. I will see. First I have got to get my body back into it's non 20 year old shape.

*takes a sip, Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

You're The Inspiration

*coffee is ready to go, music is on and cards are ready to be shown off. It's time for some cards over coffee*

My passion for writing started out when I was wee little one. Sometimes I wonder if my mother ever found it funny I carried a pen and notepad on my way into the world.

Growing up, there weren't many times where someone didn't see me writing comics, short stories or even a few novel length stories. I loved it. My mind was always racing with new ideas and creativity, I sometimes didn't have enough time to translate it all to paper which is probably why I always carried a notebook to write them on.

So much so, every year for Christmas my parents would buy me a couple of notebooks and pencils so I could pursue my writing.

Fast forward to today, my mind has slowed some when it comes to writing anything outside of my blogging about sport cards. You no longer see me carrying around a notebook or have ideas flowing out of me. I am not sure if that's because I am older or if I set my goals of writing higher putting pressure on myself (I want to publish a book) or if it's because I don't read like I used to. Reading was another passion of mine and writing motivator.

*takes a sip, continues on with the post*

In my youth, when I wasn't holding that notebook,  I was holding a book. And nothing intrigued my attention more than horror/supernatural when it came to choosing a book. Well, the authors mattered as well from Stephen King to Bruce Coville (really need to locate the original My Teacher Is An Alien series) to my biggest inspiration in RL Stine.
Which is where Goosebumps came into play in my life.

The first Goosebumps came out in July of 1992 and kicked off the series with Welcome To Deadhouse. That book alone had me hooked on the series and I looked forward to every release. I had to make sure I checked the local bookstore and especially the Scholastic book fairs and book order forms for any new ones.
Some of the Goosebumps books and some characters I enjoyed more than others in the series. Bring on more Slappy and Monster Blood!

Which is why I needed every sequel for the ones I liked more and tried to chase down every book overall. Most of these are the originals I personally bought or were ones given to me as Christmas gifts. You can also tell by lots of wear and tear.

However, as an adult, I found myself reading less and less and now I can say I haven't picked up a book in ten years. I don't have a lot of free time and what free time I do have is spent on here, my card collection and playing Madden. I don't have time to read, not even on the toilet. That time is spent catching up on Twitter (as I picture all of my Twitter followers gagging now).

*takes another sip, tummy is rumbling  for a bagel so I will have to make one soon*

When I found out my biggest inspiration for writing was going to be included in my current hobby in 2020 Allen Ginter, I had to make sure I collected him. It was obvious wasn't it?

There was three forms of Allen and Ginter in 2020. Flagship, X and Chrome so there was quite a bit to chase. I even set up a SPREADSHEET of my chase.

This is my Allen and Ginter Chrome collection. I have everything except the /5 Red Refractor and the Super 1/1. Both of those cards had popped up on eBay and sold. I missed both of them and hopefully will see them re-listed some day.

Base series. Allen Ginter X base (missing 1/1 glossy), Allen Ginter base, Silver Portrait and the relic card.

Mini cards. Ginter X, base, gold, chrome, black. Missing quite a few and already missed out on the Superfractor mini of RL and the Red refractor /5.

And finally....the centerpiece....

RL Stine autograph. My favorite card of the group. There are plenty of other autographs to chase in the sets, but I am happy just to have one thanks to my trading buddy @90sNicheFBCard. Maybe some day I will look at adding some of the others.

Here is the collection all together. As I said, I am not done yet.

They go great with my collection of books and the two movies that came out starring Jack Black. I don't own the TV series on DVD yet, but enjoyed watching it as a kid. Maybe something to own next.

*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*

It's been a joy chasing down these Stine cards and it has inspired me to go back and read a few Goosebumps hoping to bring back that writing passion I once had. I know I am a grown adult reading them (my wife would argue this), but sometimes a little youth can remind and motivate you of your past inspirations and dreams.

*Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Have you ever read Goosebumps? Who is your favorite author? Who is your inspiration?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Friends With Cards

*takes a lunchtime sip. Sips of coffee are good any time of the day. I have my latest round of cards from Cards Over Coffee reader Oren right next to me and I am ready to get the latest post up*

Little pieces of cardboard with pictures on it can be more than just that if you think about it deeper. They can symbolize joy, a hobby and even friendships.
I enjoy all three of those aspects and more within my little pieces of cardboard. The hobby has a lot of meanings to me, some deeper than others. But, one thing is for sure, I have enjoyed all of the friendships I have built because of the hobby especially since all of my "close friends" are no really so close.

One of those friendships I built was through email. This was a first one for me in my ten years of being apart of the online hobby community. Usually my email is the last place, besides Facebook, I try to start up any form of trading or interaction. I have gotten some funky requests over the years in my email that I usually don't respond to, but for some reason I felt good about the one Oren sent me and gambled. I am glad I did.

Not only have I acquired some excellent cards in our trades, but we have also created a solid friendship.

Speaking of our outstanding trades, we just made another and once again, it didn't disappoint.

*takes a sip of a dunkin' hot mocha that my wife just set down next to me, time to show off the goods from this trade*

There was a great mix of cards in this trade,
Alec Ogletree Purple Power /49

Mario Manningham Certified Potential

Lamar Jackson Thunder & Lightning (love the parallels in these)

Amani Toomer Stadium Club rookie (this is a picture of him as a kick returner which is how he got his foot going in NY)

Hakeem Nicks Bowman Chrome Rookie Refractor /99

Mark Brunell (side PC player) game worn relic from Gridiron Gear

Jerrel Jernigan Topps Precision red inked auto

I have always wanted one of these, 2001 Topps Super Bowl Bunting swatch. This fits perfect in my unique relic PC, this one just makes me sad. Super Bowl 35 was an embarrassment for the Giants I prefer not to go any deeper into. At least the relic is cool.

Believe it or not, this autograph had me hooked. Imagine how popular I would have been in 1998 carrying around this bad boy. I have been wanting autographs of guys like this and landed a Tim Couch auto not too long ago. I can finally cross Leaf off my Top 100 wants.

By the way, Ryan Leaf may have never turned his career around, he at least turned around his life after a rough stretch.

The final in this trade, but not really final card as I will get to that in a minute, is Vance McDonald Happy Holidays Santa Hat swatch for my Christmas PC.

*takes final sip of the Dunkin' coffee before finishing up today's post*

I did receive three other cards in this trade before I came on vacation, but didn't have time to upload them. I will include those in my next mail day posting from Oren which I know will be sooner rather than later.

So thanks again to Oren for the trade and I am looking forward to the next.

*takes a look around for something to eat, need to finish this up so I can grab something*

The hobby has provided me with an outlet in life when times get tough, just look at 2020 for example. Last year I started some new sorting projects, moved my card room around, traded away stuff I never wanted to and started to build sets again. It was a nice distraction which also helped me make some new friends through trading last year as well. The hobby has always been there for me and I have always been there for it and supporting others when I feel they need a pick-me-up. Who needs a stress relief ball when you have a piece of cardboard with someone's face on it to make connections..

*Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Coffee With Fran Drescher

*the skies are darkening as the rain approaches on vacation. Instead of sitting outside by the lake, I am in with a cup of coffee and my laptop*

I haven't sent out a TTM autograph in a little while, but after seeing a few scores in the Autograph Facebook Group I am in, I was thinking it was about time I sent one.

One of the returns by those in the group caught my attention. That one was from an actress I saw a lot of in the 90's.

That actress, Fran Drescher.

*takes a sip, continues on*

Fran Drescher starred in a few shows and other TV series guest appearances, but was best known by me and many in her role of Fran Fine on the series, The Nanny, which ran from 1993-1999.

I sent Fran an index card to sign and she was more than generous on her return.
She sent me a signed pocket photo

Along with the index card I sent signed to me. Nothing better than getting an autograph back written to you. For some reason, it feels more legit.

Thanks Fran for the return and for taking time out for a fan.

*takes a sip, finishes up today's post*

Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2000 and underwent a radical hysterectomy. No further treatment was needed as she had a clear bill of health. But because of that, she started the Cancer Schmancer movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women's cancers be diagnosed while in Stage 1, which is the most curable stage. 

She is always looking for donations, if you are up to doing so or just want to read her website about her movement, check it out HERE.

I think cancer awareness is so important and I always appreciate others when they do all they can to get the word out. I will always share anything to do my part to help.

*Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Monday, July 12, 2021

I Can't Explain It

*it's Monday afternoon, 81 degrees and I am by the lake. Despite it being late in the day and a tad warm, it's never too late for some cards over coffee*

UFO's, Bigfoot, The Bermuda Triangle, cheese being stuffed into pizza crust, flippers trying to move Score football are just some of the things that can't be explained in the world.

I would also add my collecting to that list as well as there are some things that I can't explain about it.

You see, sometimes I will make a trade for cards and can't explain why I traded for those particular ones. I just do it. Then I wonder sometimes if it's not my collecting and maybe it's just me. Maybe I can't be explained like Bigfoot.

*takes a sip realizing that my hair loss over the years probably proves I am not Bigfoot*

Take today's cards for example. I don't watch tennis. I don't play tennis. I don't even collect tennis but something told me I just needed to trade for these so I did.

*takes a sip before moving on*

I acquired these cards awhile back so my memory is blank on who I acquired them from, but thank you if you are reading this.

Even though Tennis isn't my thing at all, it doesn't mean I don't know some of the tennis players. Big names like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams are ones that even the non tennis fans know or have at least seen or heard in newspapers, the news or SportsCenter.

That's probably the same for,

Venus Williams who is known for being one of the all-time greats in women's tennis alongside her sister Serena.

Andy Roddick who won the 2003 US Open and remained at the top for a few years despite only winning that one time.

And of course who could forget about Anna Kournikova. The stunning Kournikova won championships and tournaments at an early age of 14 and made a name in pros for herself especially in doubles matchups. She was also known for dating Enrique Iglesias.

*takes a sip, gulp actually before moving on*

Just a little information on this set, the 2003 NetPro cards had 100 cards in the base set made up of big rookies including Serena and the cards above. Well, the Andy Roddick is actually an Sp and not the rookie, but still is his rookie year card.

*takes a sip before finishing up today's post and begins to contemplate a coffee snack companion*

Don't get me wrong, I think the additions are fun and all, I just still can't explain why I added them. If only Unsolved Mysteries was still around. I can picture Robert Stack walking from behind a dark alley corner..."tonight on Unsolved Mysteries.. we try to solve why a guy continues to acquire cards that do not quite fit his collection....and why he continues to drink coffee next to his cards and laptop..."

Now that would be a worthwhile watch.

I am sure these additions will not be the last ones I acquire and can't explain why I did.

*takes another sip*

Do you add cards and not know why? Tell me some examples in comments.

*Coffee Card Blogger Out*

Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Future

*a day before vacation and all through house, not a creature was stirring, not even a...not sure what would be stirring in my house but hopefully not a mouse. My laptop is on my table with care, hoping the coffee I am drinking will not spill there. My cards are in hand, waiting for me to post them while doing a hand stand. Sorry, I won't be doing or never have attempted a hand stand. Enough with this trying to rhyme, it's cards over coffee time!*

Prospecting in the hobby has never been my thing.  I don't go all out and risk it all on one guy, but that doesn't mean occasionally I won't fall into a little hole especially when it comes to promising guys who play for our favorite baseball team.

*takes a sip being careful not to spill, instead I do because my cup is being a pill*

The name Jasson Dominguez has been floating around the baseball rookie cardsphere for a couple of years now. Prospectors are rejoicing for his cards and chasing all that they can hoping he can be everything that is promised of him. I on the other hand, just add what I can when I can without giving up my entire collection to do so. As I said, I don't bank on prospects and my collecting isn't for the money.

If Dominguez retired tomorrow, it wouldn't affect me.

*takes another sip*

The past couple of years I have been able to add a good handful to my collection via trading and am always seeking more. Here is what I have accumulated so far,


This last card I just acquired a short time ago from @Doug_E_B on Twitter and is by far my favorite card of this PC,
Panini baseball or not, this is a stunning card and one I continue to stare at.

Currently Jasson is playing for the Florida Complex League Yankees of the Rookie Level. He was selected to represent the Yankees in the 2021 Futures Game.

*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*

I am hopeful I can continue to add to this PC especially since I have condensed my baseball card collecting to just Jeter, Griffey Jr and Dominguez. Of course I will always PC 90's inserts, but those fall under my 90's inserts PC. There is a difference, I promise.

With vacation underway tomorrow, I am not sure if any more posts will be up for the rest of next week on here. Depends on if I have any down time and if the WiFi works there. Otherwise, new posts will be up the following week and in the meantime check out Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies.