The National: fin.


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Due to work responsibilities we had to leave around noon on Sunday, which is about the time that most of the vendors are packing up as is anyway. So, we made our way to the show floor early for once, and most all of the breakers had vacated. We met up with Eric, Ivan, and Mel and said our last goodbyes. We shopped around for the best price we could find on a box of 2015 Diamond Kings, and let Mel choose which one as they always seem to have ALL THE LUCK. Seriously, let them choose your box. Usually each box yields two auto, relic, or auto relic cards per box, one or two serial numbered cards, as well as two of each insert, and two short printed image variations from the rookies subset 151-200. We all gathered around the Topps booth for their luxurious floor mat, and I busted at an empty table. The highlights below:

A few packs in this Jameson Tallion #27/99 relic card popped up. Meh. Usually when there’s a relic card such as this, it’s not the best hit of the box. Don’t let your hopes fall down.

Then this mini Bobby Thompson #13/99 showed up. Usually these are an extra hit, and we had at least half the box left when we pulled it. Always nice pulling a long retired hitter’s jersey plus, “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!” is an excellent home run call. But a few packs later, our third hit of the box blew everyone away.

Miguel Cabrera. Dual jersey. Autograph. 4/15! The DK streak continues.

Rounding out the rest of the day, we hit up the booth that had vintage and picked up the few we returned Friday. Some odds and ends Fleer issued pennants, game pieces for Mincher, Perry, Kaat, and Tony-O, and Eddie Yost’s tab-less Red Man. With the exception of the DK box, no new stuff on Sunday. Gimmicks and parallels-less fun day.

Before leaving we ran into Robert again, and chatted with him for a good bit about his Hall of Fame bat, cats, and the internets. We also slabbed Ivan’s mouth on the Mike Berkus main stage with blue painter’s tape. Best use of it all week.

The show’s end really sets home when you close your car door and the slow drive away from all the friends you’ve met up with, and all the sads(to borrow a phrase from Eric) start to kick in. We picked up our fair share though, enjoyed the honeymoon through the east coast, Cooperstown, and Atlantic City, and had another successful National Sports Collector’s Convention. With another year in the books, we look forward to 2017 in Chicago!

The National: Day 3.5


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For those not in the know, or for those that haven’t been to the National, every full day, Blowout Cards hosted a raffle based giveaway for various prizes ranging from unopened boxes, to ping-pong balls redeemable for various cases, and finally on Saturday the grand giveaway for a ticket to Panini’s VIP party. Anybody could ask for a raffle before the giveaways, and the tickets counted every day – so hold onto your tickets all weekend next year!

…that being said, on Saturday we joined up with Mel, Rich, and eventually Kevin before the final raffle of this year’s Nationals. Just prior to the giveaway Blowout tweeted that anybody who came up to their booth and showed the tweet would receive a VIP raffle ticket good for Panini’s black tie event. We both got their in time for one, which was sweet.

Finally, 3 P.M. rolls around and they start pulling numbers, and adding to the prizes when tickets went unclaimed. The first prize gets called several times, and finally someone walked away with the box of gold fish crackers, and a box or two of NFL products. They called the next number and someone walked away with Topps products, including a t-shirt.  The final non-ping pong ball giveaway, I sat down near JWT to take a load off my feet, and as if by fluke our number got called! He said I nearly blew his ear drum out screaming “BINGO!”. Here’s a little of what we won:

    • 2015/16 Panini Clear Vision box. Not too much here, but a lower #/d Drew Brees relic. This did qualify for their pack redemption program. More on that later.
    • Uncut National special sheets of a Civil War set, and one dedicated to captured mobsters. Very cool – but could have came with a Ultra-pro holder..

    • A box of Bazooka gum that we gifted to a kid in the crowd.
    • A handful Onyx prospects each numbered to #/10. Brendan Rodgers, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Dansby Swanson are the clear leaders so far. No Twins.😦.

    • “Some wrestling auto thing” – their quote not ours. Nobody special here.
    • Tristar authenticated random NFL signature – we ended up with Vikings’ Chuck Foreman signed photo. Perfect.

After the final ping-pong ball drawing we stuck around to hear if one of us won the grand Panini VIP prize, but quickly were disqualified as they called a low 100s number – ours were in the high 200s. Of course the person was on site, and naturally super excited. We didn’t want to have to fight over which one of us went anyway – though it would have been an awesome honeymoon present. No dice.

So we took our Clear Vision to the Panini booth for the wrapper redemption and after quite a wait were handed our three packs. We may have complained about the non-moving line, but it was well worth the wait:

Even if we’re not much of bouncy-ball fans, this was a great pull! Day four, and some stuffs we broke over the past two months soon!

The National: Day Three


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We had intended to be at the show each day on time and early it just never happened that way. If you got to the show early enough, between 11am and noon one of the auction house had their major pieces on display – “The Ty Cobb 7”, a Honus Wagner T206, as well as a game-used Babe Ruth bat. The bat was used during the 1929 season, and hit at least 6 of his career home-runs. Way above my pay-grade, but despite being 2 minutes late, the show attendees allowed me to hold it and take pictures with it.
Excuse the moron, acquire bats. Well, if you can ignore the FBI agents standing nearby, you’d think you had a chance to run off with it. lol. The bat was heavier than I expected, was cool holding a piece of history.
My Babe relic visiting it’s cousin.
Two Babe Ruth autos next to my Babe Ruth relic.
Here it’s visiting the Cobb and Wagner…
…and here’s the Barry Bonds visiting one of it’s relatives.
We stopped by the main show floor to rest our feet later in the afternoon and George from Cryptozoic handed us this Ghostbusters authentic animation card. This was around the time that we got called onto the stage to discuss our National/Cooperstown honeymoon with Ivan.
We finished out our day picking a few vintage cards. I absolutely love these Red Man cards, and one vendor had an entire binder to pull from. Ignore the foods, these were taken shortly after leaving the convention center.
1962 Baseball Bucks, 1970 Stamp Album – with Rod Carew stamped inside it, and a few 70s Fleer issues.
Goudey and Play Ball cards from the late 30s and early 1940s. Made the mistake of grabbing a dupe of the bottom right card. Oops. Pre-war cards are now listed and added to the checklist up above.
1950s Bowman – the 1955 Bowman completing my team set. The 1954 removed one of two at this point that I needed. Win. With the addition of two 1950 Bowman cards, we only need 26 vintage remaining. I’d later finish off 1954 Bowman, as the checklist shows “Complete!”🙂.
Near the end of the day, we found a vendor near the end of the hall that had 5$ 1952 Topps. Down to high-series remaining with these four picked up. The 1962 Topps brought me down to a similar “Rookie Parade” left for my team set. The 1965 Topps Embossed finished off that set. Very helpful vendor!
I couldn’t resist going back to the cheap vendor from the previous day with 10/1$, or 60/5$. Almost of these were #/d and I know for a fact that the only product here we’ve actually opened were the 2007 Topps Opening Day.

Our final pickups of the day, not too much special here, but for 2$ a card… Logan Morrison adding to that collection, and the Fidrych went to my mom who idolized him as a child.

Of course, all three days we had to avoid the far end of the showroom floor, Topps hosted their several times a day giveaway chant-fest. I still hear “Topps! Topps! Topps! Topps! Topps! Topps! ….” in my nightmares.

#CollectFam Mel, Rich, Eric, and us. Ignore my snake eyes. I don’t selfie well.

For the most part we stayed according to plan and picked up mostly vintage cards, straying a little bit for cheap stuffs. Next year I think we’ll attend planning to *only* pickup vintage cards. Besides – at this point it’s practically all we’ve got left. After we left the show, we went to the boardwalk and dove into the Atlantic Ocean before returning to the hotel to pass out.

The National: Day Two


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After a late night, we made it to The National around noon for Friday’s show. After our box break yesterday we wanted to focus on either junk wax or vintage cards, preferably vintage. For the most part we spent the day looking around and checking out tables, but we did end up at several dime and quarter boxes pulling mid to late 90s #/d cards.
Two through-the-mail autographs. I understand the divisive nature of purchasing TTM stuff second-hand but I couldn’t complain about a 3$ gamble each. Plus, I mean… Rusty Kuntz – the jokes write themselves.
Some base card pickups, I’m pretty sure these were part of a 10/1$ or 60/5$ bin.

Part of a gift package from Matt. Cool enough dude, especially check out his music review tweets.
Cheap #/d Triple threads cards…. and I didn’t even have to open an over-priced gamble product.
A few of our relic and auto pickups, with one of the Ryan Eades Bowman Sterling autos coming from Jeff.
Angela found these cheaply on the show floor. 1987 set was added to the birth year collection, busted the ’86 set for the Twins inside them. Such a pain to sort due to the shrunken size.
A few pickups for our Austinite friend. Two miscut or misprinted vintage Topps cards, one of them a buyback.

Sir Rodney! Fleer 3000 Club, 1991 Upper Deck hologram error, and a BB-8. 3 for a dollar steals. Woot.

Normally I’d scan these, but most have been put away already since the beginning of the month, and besides these photos were taken during the show! …or some excuse like that. The first booth I remember stopping at had under 10$ Goudey originals, and despite an empty B14 “Blankets” section, the vendor gave us his business card and promised he had more at his store. We ended up leaving with a few 1933 Goudey Senators, and a few 1970s Fleer “Wildest Days” cards. R.G. Laughlin decorated these nice cartoon-y cards, but virtually half the set hasn’t been scanned front and back on any of the regular sites. This makes it hard to make a true 100% checklist for those with collecting problems – any mention of a Senators’ player and like Pokemon, we’ve gotta have it.

From there we hit up the cheap boxes, adding several Donruss, Leaf, and Upper Deck parallels. Our pulling only stopped by the 3 p.m. Blowout giveaway. Once the show closed we had intended to meet up with Robert and see Suicide Squad in the Tropicana theaters, but bought tickets for the showing after his and instead settled on food. The Broadway Burger/Bar was to die for – despite our mix-up. With 20 minutes to our show time I decided to order this tremendous 24 ounce burger – to be surprised by the waiter asking what size shirt I’d wear and warning that they’d be putting my face on the wall if I finished the burger. Oops. First time for everything – and yes I finished it with time to spare.🙂. The movie was pretty good too, despite what the reviewers have said. Saturday was our final full day at the show, and we intended to pull only vintage cards, wait till you see what we pulled.

The National: Day One


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We’re finally back from the wedding and it’s been a mild August for Texas. Low to mid 80s are a welcome change, global cooling for the temporary win. As part of honeymoon, we spent a few days attending The National Sports Collector’s Convention. Our first day at The National was Thursday, it was really day two of NSCC, but we didn’t attend the early preview Wednesday, as is our tradition…  We spent most of the day digging and searching through all the things, meeting up with some great peeps, and going to an after-party. Not a slight against our Dallas shows, but nothing compares to The National in terms of what you’ll find – both new and old – both cards and memorabilia. Plus, where else can you hold a game-used Babe Ruth bat? It truly is an almost mandatory, moldy junkie cardboard collector’s Mecca pilgrimage.

Our first sight of the show floor, we were greeted by Ivan and Rob on stage discussing all the things with a size-able group of minions hanging on every word. Before the end of the day we’d meet up with Mel and Rich, the Biggs family, Jeff, Kevin, Robert, Nick, and Shane. We love this part of the show, and it’s probably our favorite part of The National – maybe even moreso than card pickups.

Our first pickup of the show from the Blowout booth were these packs from Return of the Jedi featuring Wicket. It’s no secret in the Star Wars universe, and on Star Wars Card Trader I’m a huge Wicket fan. SEND ALL WICKET TO JunkWaxVikings! …I err, not sure what happened there. Matrix glitch? Probably. Not too bad though for older wax packs, unopened especially – plus since I was introduced to Star Wars Wicket and the other Ewoks were always my favorite – come at me haters.

Speaking of card pickups there were plenty, the first day we spent most of our time ogling vintage but purchasing dime and quarter box pickups. Our best pickup day one was debatably a 2$ Fred Frankhouse(Red Sox) 1933 Goudey or the final 1964 Topps Twin – #340 Tony Oliva. Only six Twins team sets remain – and only five Senators team sets! So close to completion!

We did also break a box of Panini Optic – pulling most of the team set, three or four numbered cards(including a #/d Carlos Correa) and two Twins autographs(Berrios/Kepler)! I’ll probably never pull two or more Twins in a box again. Fine product I must say.🙂. In our Panini National redemption packs we pulled a #/99 Larry Bird base, and a #/25 New York Jets Darron Lee relic.

During the Topps Q&A, there was talk mostly of redemptions, complaints, Santa Claus cards, Topps Now and digital apps. While we didn’t win any of the raffle stuff this year, they did have one of one Allen and Ginter cards and Mike Berkus In Memorandum cards for everyone. We of course asked for Twins Allen & Ginter cards and after some searching we left with Jose Berrios and Brian Dozier.

After the show closed we met up with Shane, Kevin, Nick, Robert, and eventually Ivan for an after-party for the ages. This is where the new twatter nickname comes from, “…at my junkiest…”, as someone brought the topic around to oddball errors and variations and I couldn’t remain quiet. 80s and 90s Donruss, Upper Deck, Fleer variation gimmicks, gotta love it. After a few hours long conversation about cards, trading back and forth, and receiving the below self-produced cards we headed for our hotel. All in all, everything made for an epic start for the National and that was only our day one! Look for day two and three soon!🙂.

For the wedding detail curious, our first dance song was Foo Fighters’ “Everlong”, followed by Florence + The Machine “Never Let Me Go”, mother/son was “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” with Grandma standing in as mom was suffering from a nasty flu/infection. Father/daughter dance ensued and they danced to The Beatles “In My Life”. We finished up our dancing with Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight Reprise” and “Tonight Tonight” back to back before opening it up to everyone else.🙂. Day Two’s post due soon … only a month late!

2016 Bowman Platinum – Twins



22 Byung-Ho Park
37 Jose Berrios
71 Brian Dozier
81 Eddie Rosario
84 Miguel Sano
93 Byron Buxton

Top Prospects
TP-ABW Adam Brett Walker II
TP-NG Nick Gordon
TP-TJ Tyler Jay
TP-WJ Wander Javier

Bowman Next Generation
NG-17 Miguel Sano

Bowman Next Generation Prospects
NGP-17 Tyler Jay

Top Prospect Autos
TPA-ABW Adam Brett Walker II
TPA-NG Nick Gordon

Veteran/Rookie Autos
PA-BB Byron Buxton
PA-BHP Byung-Ho Park
PA-ER Eddie Rosario
PA-MSA Miguel Sano



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Prior to the National I received good and bad news. A heads up for regular readers, this post won’t really be card related – feel free to wait for my National reviews for day one, two, three and four in the coming days, plus the card show this past weekend. I mostly just need to rant…

I’ve always had bouts with asthma and high temperatures(108°+ at one point) – I was even declared legally dead at one point(2 years old) from a febrile/fever induced seizure. When growth spurts began happening as they do in young adulthood, the pain in my knees was almost unbearable. I’ve been told by my parents that it kept me up most nights. I’d always been seen as a bit of an outcast, but my super flexible fingers(left index being able to touch the back of my hand, both pinkies being able to bend nearly all the way) always mystified classmates. After a car accident a few years back I had two herniated discs(one in my neck and one in my back) that caused great pain for a good while. Even now the neck pain returns every now and then – a lovely reminder of being rear-ended. When the shoulder dislocations started though is when everything was pieced together by my doctors. You see all of the above are common symptoms of Ehler-Danlos Syndrome(EDS). As are frequent cavities and chipping of teeth – check😦, chronic fatigue – check,  and insomnia – check.

So you’d think that wouldn’t be a good thing – just by my matching symptom list – however it’s nice finally knowing a cause. Dealing with pain for the rest of ever isn’t ideal but now at least I know the causant – short of a blood test to officially confirm. I can now plan accordingly and prepare and deal with the symptoms more effectively. While ranty, it’s nice finally knowing what is causing all of these issues. I finally have a support group of similar people who deal with the same issues. While doctors have been calling flexible joints hyper-flexibility for years, research is just now confirming what we’ve all known – something isn’t right.

As I said above, my review of each day at the National is coming soon vicarious card readers. May you eventually make it to your own National. It’s well worth the visit!

Watch: Stranger Things
Read: Day One at the National – soon!

2016 Donruss Optics



17 Brian Dozier(Diamond Kings)
35 Miguel Sano(Rated Rookies)
46 Byung-Ho Park(Rated Rookies)
54 Max Kepler(Rated Rookies)
66 Tyler Duffey(Rated Rookies)
93 Eddie Rosario
159 Brian Dozier

Back To The Future
15 David Ortiz
Power Alley
5 Miguel Sano
The Rookies
Miguel Sano

Back To The Future
4 David Ortiz
Rated Rookies Signatures
4 Byung-Ho Park
22 Max Kepler
35 Tyler Duffey
1984 Rated Rookies Retro Signatures
3 Miguel Sano
1985 Rated Rookies Retro Signatures
3 Miguel Sano
1986 Rated Rookies Retro Signatures
3 Miguel Sano
1987 Rated Rookies Retro Signatures
3 Miguel Sano
1989 Rated Rookies Retro Signatures
3 Miguel Sano
8 Byung-Ho Park
Studio Signatures
3 Miguel Sano
12 Joe Mauer
21 Eddie Rosario
22 Jose Berrios
Significant Signatures
12 Bert Blyleven

2016 Topps Allen & Ginter – Twins checklist




Base Parallels – Short print (301-350), glossy (1/1).
Mini Parallels – Mini, A&G mini, black border mini, no number mini, Brooklyn backed mini(#/25), glossy mini (1/1), printing plate mini (4 1/1s), wood mini (1/1).

24 Max Kepler
66 Miguel Sano
74 Brian Dozier
78 Jose Berrios
104 Byron Buxton
154 Ervin Santana

201 Byung-Ho Park
234 Glen Perkins
305 Tyler Duffey
348 Trevor Plouffe

Baseball Legends
22 Rod Carew
Mascots In The Wild
MIW-5 Bear(T.C. Bear)
The Numbers Game
NG-93 Miguel Sano
Skippers mini
S-19 Paul Molitor

Mini Cloth #/10
66 Miguel Sano
74 Brian Dozier
104 Brian Buxton
389 Brian Dozier
Mini Metals #/3
66 Miguel Sano
74 Brian Dozier
104 Brian Buxton
279 Paul Molitor
389 Brian Dozier
394 Paul Molitor
Mini Exclusives #/?(Rip?)
389 Brian Dozier

Auto/Relic/Book #/10
SBC-BB Byron Buxton
SBC-MSA Miguel Sano
Mini Auto
AGA-BHP Byung-Ho Park
AGA-JBE Jose Berrios
AGA-MS Miguel Sano
AGA-PM Paul Molitor
Rip Cards
RIP-39 Brian Dozier
RIP-84 Byron Buxton
RIP-94 Harmon Killebrew
Artist Originals #/1
AO-MS Miguel Sano

Misc/Junky Twins

Base Parallels – Short print (301-350), glossy (1/1).
Mini Parallels – Mini, A&G mini, black border mini, no number mini, Brooklyn backed mini(#/25), glossy mini (1/1), printing plate mini (4 1/1s), wood mini (1/1).

279 Paul Molitor*

The Numbers Game
NG-85 Rod Carew***
NG-91 Paul Molitor*
+ More to come.

Mini Cloth #/10
279 Paul Molitor*
394 Paul Molitor*
Mini Exclusives #/?(Rip?)
394 Paul Molitor*

Auto/Relic/Book #/10
SBC-PM Paul Molitor**
Rip Cards
RIP-7 Rod Carew***
Framed Mini Relic
AGR-RC Rod Carew***
Box Loader Autographs #/15
BLA-PM Paul Molitor*
Box Loader Autographs/Relics #/5
BLAR-PM Paul Molitor*

* Milwaukee Brewers
** Toronto Blue Jays
*** California Angels


So now that the wedding is complete, the finest 1/1 was finally added to my collection.😉. Now there’s a week or so lull in time before our trip starts for the National. I’ve never been up the east coast(North Carolina count?), or further east than the Ohio border for that matter. Our planned honeymoon to Atlantic City and upstate New York should be a fun trip though. I’ve been through most of the western states(missing Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Alaska), and I’ll look forward to crossing a few off my list.

It’s been a slow month for cards, but I did receive a trade package from Nachos Grande knocking off a few Fleer Tradition cards from 2000. We had a trade years ago where I sent him a huge chunk of the 2011 diamond parallels, and both were great trades for us, and he runs a great read of a blog.

In new set round-up – Allen & Ginter comes out soon. I love the set, but I just can’t be compelled to collect it as much as I did in years past. That said, I’ll probably bust a box at the National and pickup a team set online. I’m not much of a fan of Topps/Bowman chrome. The umpteenth parallels may be a “necessary evil” for investors and sellers but kills my hopes of master team set building. Another bothersome problem with the product, the incestuous relationship of the Bowman Chrome rookies set in Topps Chrome. Sure, they feel the need to pump out more rookie cards hoping one pans out to be the next Kris Bryant or Manny Machado – but couldn’t that be reserved for Bowman and Bowman Chrome? Again, investor types killing off the team collectors… but enough about #ThanksTopps, Panini is trying their hand with a similar set.

Panini Optic as they’re calling it, looks interesting. An 80 card box with an averaged two autographs, 4 parallels per box with flashback mid to late 80s Donruss designs making their appearance again. The junkie collector in me is intrigued. Numbered cards and fancy parallels don’t pull me in, but they look similar in production quality and print run to previous Panini releases(Prizm). Hot boxes produce 5 autos or 20 parallels as previewed in the blog post. Should be a fun set, but I wish they would release more than one Donruss set a year!

All in all, more posts are on the way and The National honeymoon will provide content for months I’m sure… Up next however is a round table discussion with some twats about junk wax. What makes junk wax sets, junky? What were our favorite junk set/s? Favorite card/s? Find out more soon.🙂.