Another quick reminder for you, folks.
Voting on the current region of the "Gems of Junk Wax" tournament ends tonight at 11:59 PM. Many of the matchups are neck-and-neck, so your votes can certainly make a difference!
Back to the action.
As far as this blog goes, I don't pat myself on the back too often.
Frankly, I'm astonished at the following I've received during my year-plus around here this far. Never in a million years did I think that many people cared about dime box material.
Still, I'll give myself a bit of credit for at least one thing.
I sure do enjoy this little "blogger pack" series I've started up on the blog. It was never meant to become a "thing" around here.
It's escalating quickly. I mean, it's really getting out of hand fast. (Points for getting the movie reference.)
In the end, the continuation of the series is a testament to the great people of the blogosphere. These special little "packs" just keep arriving on my doorstep. And I simply love writing about them.
Recently, Marcus from the terrific blog "All the Way to the Backstop..." put together a nice surprise package for me.
Originally, I thought it would be a Heritage-exclusive pack of cardboard.
After all, he managed to squeeze a good deal of my Heritage base needs into this batch.
It sure beats the hard luck I've had with my retail Heritage breaks thus far. I can't help but think that my lack of a "magic touch" thus far in 2013 is building up to some huge, mega-pull later in the year. If only, if only...
Anyways, I'd have to rate these as the two best Heritage pieces from the ones Marcus sent. After all, they're my first cards of both Hamilton and McCarthy in their new duds.
And I have a feeling they won't be the last.
Upon further examination, I found that this was actually a "combo blogger pack".
I'd only heard about these before this one wound up on my doorstep.
On top of the generous array of Heritage, Marcus also included quite a few of my Opening Day needs as well.
These "Play Hard" pieces are already making for some vastly underrated cardboard in 2013. After all, Opening Day inserts don't tend to get a whole lot of recognition in this hobby.
Case in point...
This year marks the fourth installment of Opening Day's "Superstar Celebrations" series.
They've been around since 2010, which is probably a surprise to most. I've barely heard a peep about these thus far.
I've professed my love for the series over and over again within my writings. They're one of the best things this hobby has going for it in today's market, in my humble opinion.
If this awesome Morneau is any indication, the celebrations are back and better than ever in 2013.
These emerged as couple of early favorites from this year's Opening Day base checklist.
I liken the Papelbon to The Kramer. He is a loathsome, offensive brute.
And yet I can't look away.
Now, let's get into what made this such a great "blogger pack".
Marcus seems to have a good grip on the many different things I collect, something that was further emphasized by the various pieces of "fun" cardboard he included in this latest package.
I collect Danny Tartabull, but that's not the real reason why this piece is so special. In a recent trade post, I was absolutely perplexed by one of Bret Saberhagen's early Upper Deck cards, one that featured him mysteriously tossing an apple into the air.
Thankfully, a few of my readers made the connection that eluded me. Given that the UD piece in question was one of Saberhagen's first as a New York Met, the apple was a nod to New York City's famous nickname, "The Big Apple".
Given that Tartabull was just coming off his first season with the Yankees when this card was produced in '93, I'm sure this was a similar "Big Apple" tease on the part of Upper Deck.
Thankfully, I get the reference now.
It still doesn't make the "apple" theme any less odd, though.
Even though it features the tainted Mr. McGwire, I still can't help but love the card of his that Marcus included in this package.
I guess throwbacks just have that effect on me.
The Piazza is one of those cards that I've adored from afar over the years. I've known of its existence for a while now, but had never managed to get my hands on a copy.
Until now, that is.
You can add the Piazza-Karros combo to the "Awesome Players Hanging Out Together" realm of my collection.
Even with all the great cardboard I've already featured, this was far and away my favorite pull from Marcus's "blogger pack".
I'm not sure how I'd never seen it before.
Obviously, the action of the shot itself is something to treasure. Joe Carter looks to be in the process of making a spectacular catch at Yankee Stadium, near what would become Jeffrey Maier territory two years later.
What captivated me, however, was the t-shirt on that fan in the backdrop. That is one seriously demented rendition of Don Mattingly.
To top it all off, I can't tell whether the ball near the cap of the freaky Mattingly is the one that Carter is attempting to catch or one that was painted onto the shirt itself.
This whole card is a mystery.
Still, Pinnacle produced an unquestioned gem with this one. They're the most underrated brand this hobby has ever seen.
I'll say it until I'm blue in the face.
A huge thanks goes out to Marcus for putting together such an awesome "blogger pack". I couldn't have asked for much more.
I love the "Superstar Celebration" insert. I love the Tartabull. I love the freaky Joe Carter card. And I love lamp.
Stay classy, fellow bloggers.