Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 Topps Heritage : First Pack






I finally got the chance to rip open some new Heritage and I am very impressed by the overall design and feel of the cards. I knew I was missing out but I didn't realize how much I was going to like this years version of the old.

What I like about them is of course the classic design and the thick card stock. It feels like I have been getting my money's worth.

I also like the fact that these cards just work. I've often looked at past versions of Heritage and felt the modern players didn't mesh well with the old design. Sometimes it seems like they are trying to make the puzzle pieces fit that just don't go together.

This year they got it right. At least in my opinion. I would absolutely love a complete set of these.

I even landed a jersey relic in the bottom deck!





























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Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Topps Baseball Blaster Break with BONUS Bowman Platinum Rip




I know Heritage is out and it is all the rage right now, but unfortunately the local Walmarts do not have any in stock yet. So, try to enjoy my blaster break with an added bonus of a rack pack of 2013 Bowman Platinum!


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Sunday, March 16, 2014

All That Glitters Is Gold


It's a great day over here at the nest when I start talking about GOLD! The only thing that brings it down a tad is the fact that the scanner doesn't make 1993 Topps Gold look the greatest.

You may have a much differing opinion on these particular parallels and set as a whole but for me, they create that uber nostalgia buzz. I don't mean that lightly either. Even the distinct smell of the cardboard and heavy foil bring me right back to when I was 8 years old.


Everyone's got those cards - the ones that mean the world to you no matter what the critics said about them in baseball card land. Some say the 90's were the worst time for baseball cards but I cannot help but assure you that they were the absolute best - for a kid anyways.


Before the big insert craze, you would find one of these shiny gold parallels per pack of 1993 Topps. They were so cool that they were the sole reason I would beg my parents for a pack or two of them. There was just something about them but it's just some silly foil right?


I remember wondering if there was actual gold inside the name stamps. They are unreadable enough for and 8 year old boy to make such a wild assumption. All I really knew was that I couldn't wait to find the next one. 


When you started to put a few of these gold members together, the rest of the set seem unusually unappealing, a trick Topps even brought back and remains in use to this day. The gold may be painted on the borders now, but I'm willing to bet that a reprint or two of 1993 Topps Gold will surface again one day. Can we say mini gold?


They even took the time to stamp the foil on the team cards and are much rarer than there single player counterparts. Cutting these in half would make for some pretty little minis in my estimation.


And of course, "Coming Attraction" - where almost none of them would live up to that moniker. Don't you remember the name Jeter? Shawn Jeter?


Then we get to our beloved Mets. They always look good with gold. This particular card would be near perfect if the borders weren't way out of whack and the cropping was just a smidge wider to the right. It could have been in the Baseball Card Hall of Fame if that exists. Hey, it's already got the gold!

So I'm doing this two part series that may extend into more because...well..um...gee heck, I just love the things!! I snagged 150 card lot from ebay and it's safe to say, I've got GOLD FEVER!!!

A complete set of these would be my crowning achievement in the hobby.








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Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Fantastic Catch!


Trades are fewer and further between these days. That is quite alright because I barely have time to do the laundry, let alone send out trade packages. That's not to say I don't enjoy the trading aspect, because I really do. It's one of the finer things in the life of a collector.

And you know this!

I love the enthusiastic "trade summon" from fellow collectors. You know, those emails that come in asking for a trade with the utmost excitement and optimism. Those are my favorite.




The high energy of Weston over at Fantastic Catch was the reason for this particular assortment of Mets goodies. Every package I receive like this makes me even more proud to be a Mets guy.



I didn't return to the hobby with the primary idea of being a team collector but there seems to be a natural allure of Mets cardboard that feeds my geeky appetite every time. I wasn't much of a team collector when I was little either. 



Collecting at my young age in the 90's had me yearning for big stars and pretty inserts. That's just the way it was. Or at least, that is how I saw it. I loved how there was so much variety. I loved how the cardboard world seemed like is was bigger and vaster than our entire planet.




It's easy to get lost reminiscing about those days. Those were my "golden days." Some say the 90's was not as good of time for collecting as other decades but I surely cannot agree with that. That is a biased way of thinking, but I don't believe I would have been as captivated by card collecting had the culture not been the way it was during that decade.




Of course, I could be wrong. I do love certain vintage now. There is a quality in vintage that I'm not sure we will ever see again. I'm just glad the scabillions of reprints don't tarnish their value - monetary and otherwise. 






Back to the trade package, I was pleasantly surprised as always. I would love to do another trade in the future with Weston. The 2001 Fleer Showcase cards really stood out to me being that from 2000-2010, a huge gap in my collecting exists and it's a thrill to finally be able to get hands on experience from that decade.




I'm not the keenest on Triple Play from Panini and no, it's not because there are no team logos or anything. It's simply because I'm not a fan of the particular type of character design. It's a digital art that you (or maybe it's just me) pretty much see everywhere these days.

I do realize that I'm not part of the product's target audience so that may be why they remind of me of something by Nickelodeon or Zynga.

That's not to say I don't enjoy this Santana. It's a Mets card. It's Johan. I like it.



This summer, I hope to do a little more trading. I will be on break from school and will have slightly more time to dedicate to the hobby. 

As for this particular package...

It was a Fantastic Catch indeed!

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Topps Mini Blaster Break and More!



My first mini blaster of the year yielded me some decent pieces of cardboard. I am quite fond of this year's release, as noted in My First Rack Pack , so I was happy to acquire a little more. 

I also plan on buying a hobby box in the near future. Don't quote me on that because I change my mind quicker than a fireman changes his clothes.

If you would like to skip the reading then you can watch my video below, as I did my first ever "Blaster Break." I started doing these because I realized just how much fun they really are and that fellow collector's can get quite a bit of value from them.




I hope to grow the channel into different areas that include more than just your typical assortment of Box Breaks and Pack Rips. For now, I hope collector's enjoy my brand of package opening show and tell.

For those of you still reading, I have something else to offer rather than the run-of-the-mill "Look what I got" schtick.

I have noticed that there is a general malaise and disdain for this particular set around the carding blogosphere.

That doesn't bother me in the least.

I love the fact that we are so passionate about our craft that we must nit pick every little thing and fine detail. If we didn't care, then we wouldn't get upset when product seems to miss whatever mark we may have conjured up in our heads.

I'm not a professional card analyzer, but I know what I like and don't like and I happen to like this one overall.

OK...you got me!

I don't like the "Bowman-Esq" design on the right.

But, I don't hate it either.







I grew up collecting in the 90's after all and I LOVED it. I loved having so many different choices. I loved having no idea what I was getting. I loved all the shiny colors and I loved netting an insert that was priced around $5. 

Those were the days!



Every kid was best friends with the rich kid who had the prestigious Beckett. It was the be all, end all. It was the basis for how trades were handled.



We went after the big names that would net us the highest trade value. It's a great way to begin teaching children about economics too.




Of course, there is far more to the hobby then just market value and numbers. That's probably one of the biggest revelations you learn here in the blogosphere. 

There is no right or wrong way to collect. 





I learned how to appreciate all cardboard and not just the inserts, hits and big names. I find my personal collection to be much more valuable, with the wisdom that a simple base card can be worth far more to me than an AUTOSERIALPARALLELRARESHORTPRINT.







I've also learned how to actually look at and examine the cards. They are the most detailed, yet simplistic things one can fathom. Doing something so simple as to changing the hue of the border, can have a dramatic effect. 

As sporty and geeky it is to be a collector, it's also very artsy. Some people have a very keen eye for the artful aspect in this hobby. They are just baseball cards but they have to look and feel just right in order to be sold. They have to inspire and stimulate the senses in just the right way. 

Maybe they don't though. Maybe they just need to have a team logo and a number so they can fit in with the rest. Maybe they can be ugly as sin and most of us will still pony up the dough.





That is, if they are just baseball cards. 

But most of us know, they are much more than "Just Baseball Cards."

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About Me

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I am the mostly obvious but sometimes not-so-obvious computer geek. If it can be done with computing technology, I'm interested. I serve to be the intermediary between human and information technology - connecting people and things to our digital planet and binary universe.

You can learn more about Information Sciences & Technology for the every person at my website:



For more, please visit my YouTube channel where you can find my personal VLog and other tech related videos
 


Michael Chase's Communities



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Back Story

I share a nice home on the river with my beautiful wife and two children. 

My oldest son (Zayden) is a cancer and stroke survivor and my other son(Tanner) is more intelligent than any 2 year old I know. They were born 10 months apart, making them "Irish Twins".

Zayden was treated by Vermont's Children's Hosipital and we couldn't have asked for a better experience. The nurses, doctor's and staff showed the utmost caliber of professionalism. Their dedicated team was crucial to our son's recovery and survival.


In the past, I have put my self through quite a bit (self inflicted mistakes) in regards to substance abuse but now  have everything in the world going for me as I continue through sobriety and exploration of life.


PASSIONS


Information Technology...I love anything computers and am a full blooded Computer Geek. I am trying to break back into the IT world by getting my Bachelor Of Science in Information Sciences and Technology through Penn State. Besides my family, this is my main focus.

My website:  www.techrave.net 


Music... I have a big passion for music and I listen to most types of metal, hard rock, techno, trance, folk and much more...

I play guitar on a Schecter and play both acoustic and metal styles.

I also produce electronic music in FL Studio under a project called Mushraven that can be found here:     

                        


Card Collecting... The hobby has grown and changed in so many ways...I'm glad to be apart of it once again. I am the proud author of the blog listed in the link below.

My Card Blog: cardraven.blogspot.com  


Sports...  I am a huge METS and BULLS fan! I also like the Jets, Canadiens and Rangers.

Mycology... I enjoy growing Shiitake mushrooms and take photographs of fungi in the wild. Some of my pictures can be viewed here on G+ in the albums section.

Picture Taking...I don't call myself a photographer because that would be insulting to real photographers. Actually, I just like taking pictures of scenery and various other things.

Along with that I also enjoy being outside tinkering around, fishing, landscaping, and spending time with my wife and kids.

So congratulations, you've found me and by reading this you probably know more about me than I would like you to know. Just kidding, my life is an open book and I am what is known as a modern day geek. Not exactly the stereotypical kind but whatever...

I just love life basically...I can find almost anything interesting. 

Please visit the links section for more ways to connect with me!


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