Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Edition

I've been extremely slow to update this blog of late, and as a result have a good number of envelopes piling up that I need to get to.  For today, I'm going with three recent arrivals from Jim of Elgin, IL.  Jim has been the patron saint of recent Topps Base Set needs for me the last three years or so, and has been wildly generous with his mailings.  Thank you Jim.  Here's a look at his recent contributions:

Jim has knocked out a huge number of 2008 Topps for me.  This grouping included one of my favorite players of the last decade, Dontelle Willis.  I've always been a sucker for pitchers who can hit.  I went to a ton of Tigers games in the Spring of 2008, and this Willis reminded me how the tickets were made up to look like these 2008 baseball cards.  I need to dig around and see if I still have any.  In anyevent, with these cards I'm not a mere ten cards away from finally completing 2008.

2008: 90, 209, 258, 457, 476, 518, 541, 618, 623, 643 

Five more 2011 Topps, including Robinson Cano and cool looking Alex Rodriguez that I hadn't previously seen, bring me within five of putting this set to bed.

2011: 100, 135, 138, 145, 155 

And finally, a good number of 2012 Topps, including local New Mexico product, Jordan Pacheco.  I haven't actually listed my series 2 needs for this set (it's probably only about half complete), but I am very close to wrapping up series one.

2012: 7, 30, 52, 60, 82, 97, 99, 109, 119, 150, 158, 159, 178, 179, 185, 188, 199, 213, 239, 245, 275, 330, 334, 349,....and lots more

Thanks for the cards Jim.

And if you've sent Wallach's, I hope to keep busy this week and should get to a good number of them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mira Foundation Button

This is button was (apparently) put out by the Mira Foundation.  A quick google search shows that the Mira Foundation is still very much an active group.  Per their web page, "The MIRA Foundation is totally dedicated to helping disabled individuals by pairing them with dogs bred and fully trained to respond to their adaptation and rehabilitation needs. All of MIRA’s services are made available free of charge to individuals with one or many visual or motor disabilities, and to children presenting an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)." 

Occasionally I'll do a "Montreal Expos" search on ebay to see if anything interesting pops up.  It's rare that I find something Tim Wallach related, but that's how I found this button.  The listing made zero mention of Tim Wallach in the title or description.  But that's definitely Wallach.  This is easily my biggest success to date on the generic "Montreal Expos" search.  I love odd ball items like this and really don't have very many of them. 

The button is two inches in diameter and has a generic silver back.  I have no idea how these were distributed or wha it's from.  My best guess is about 1986 or '87.  I'm basing that guess on Wallach's stirups and nothing more, so it's not exactly "scientific."

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Woodstock, GA

This 1986 Sportflic was sent by frequent contributor Tom Gibson of Woodstock, GA.  Tom is very involved with the Saints Prison Ministry.  You can check out there webpage by clicking here, or read the letter at the bottom of this post for more info.  Tom included a custom card with this envelope, so he joins a fairly exclusive club of senders who also have their own cards.

Thanks for the card Tom.

Updated Total:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Brooklyn, NY

These two cards and a nice note were sent by Tim of Brooklyn, NY.  Tim made reference to remembering Wallach from his time in AAA Denver, so I'm guessing Tim hasn't always lived in Brooklyn.  If he has, he owns some eclectic rooting interests.

Thanks for the cards Tim.

Updated Totals:

1990 Fleer: 307
1990 Leaf: 86

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Edition

I was busy on in the aftermath of opening a box of 2018 Topps.  The box left me 27 cards short of the complete first series, I wasn't going to let those needs linger for years to come as has become my habit.  I've found the key to Sportlots is to be efficient as you can be with shipping.  This means clicking on a seller before blindly adding cards, and maxing out the limits on a particular shipping rate.  Sometimes it ends up being cheaper to pay 60¢ for a card than 18¢ based on the shipping.  Typically I max out the shipping categories by adding Wallach's.  With this recent batch (spread out over four sellers) I also took the opportunity to go after other recent set needs from the last ten years.  I was also fortunate enough to find that one of the seller's had a few of my 1970's needs as well.  Here's a look at the handful of 70's needs I crossed off my need list.

I'm sure I've seen that Pirates "Series Celebration" card before, but I definitely never fully appreciated it.  It's an all around epic card.  If you're not at a point in your collecting habits where you're actively trying to complete 70's sets, but have itch to pick up some cards from that era, you could do worse than that one for the buck it'll set you back.

I wasn't on Sportlots to work on the 1972 set (though I'd have been a lot happier if I were), I was there to finish 2018 Series one, which just doesn't have the same ring to it.  So here's a look at some of the new stuff:

I thought I had filled out my order with all of my needs.  I should have known better.  I think every time I've ever tried to finish off a set by ordering more than two needs at once, it gets screwed up somehow.  I've either missed a blank space in the binder, written down a number wrong, or a seller sends the wrong card.  I don't what happened this time, but I'm still two cards short.  (I'll list them at the bottom).  The McCutchen and Cano are both strong candidates for the spine card at this point, but I'll wait until I see Series 2 before locking anyone in.

I also moved within four cards of finally knocking off 2017 Topps.  One of my needs is this Dansby Swanson kid.  Maybe I'm an idiot, but I just don't get excited about 24 year old .232 hitters with zero power who play on last place teams.  I guess that's why I'm not a GM, I have silly hangups like that.  But people seem to be into the kid, and his card has eluded me so far with a couple of others. 

I also took a chunk out of my 2010, 2011, and 2012 needs.  It'll be nice to finally cross those sets off and that day is in sight now.  I returned to collecting in 2008, and have been trying to complete the run of Topps sets since then.  I haven't touched anything from 1996-2007 yet, but once I catch up I'll have to decide whether to work back from 2007 or up from 1996.  Neither sounds like much fun, but it'll scratch my collecting itch.

When I first posted my need list of current sets, 2008 was one of the largest.  It's now down to under 20 cards, thanks in large part to a very generous reader named Jim of Elgin, IL who has sent me a dozen or so at time probably close to a dozen times.  But I can't just rely on Jim's generosity, so I went ahead and picked these up as well.  This is my favorite Topps design over the last ten years.  It's what brought me back, and while I may not love everything about the design (why  is "Topps" in the middle of the card?), I love that Topps took a risk.  Aside from 2015 (which I also love) the base set has been far too vanilla of late.  Case in point, can you tell the difference between '10, '11, and '12 above off the top of your head?  We didn't have that problem for the the first 50 or so Topps designs.

Finally, two stray needs that a seller happened to have.  These bring my need list for 2015 and 2009 down to two and five cards respectively.  If you're interested in trading, here's what I'm looking for.  I'm pretty flush with duplicates to send in return.

2008: 45, 80, 90, 200, 209, 258, 288, 313, 357, 393, 457, 476, 518, 538, 541, 602, 618, 623, 631

2009: 387, 449, 451, 643, 658

2010: 353

2011: 100, 130, 135, 138, 145, 155, 202, 306, 359

2012: 7, 30, 41, 52, 60, 80, 82, 97, 99, 109, 119, 150, 158, 159, 177, 178, 179, 185, 188, 193, 199, 213, 216, 219, 230, 239, 241, 244, 245, 247, 255, 275, 278, 315, 330

2015: 616, 617

2017: 87, 455, 513, 539

2018: 104, 266

Set needs aren't all I've been up to.  A month or so ago, I posted my "Top Ten" most wanted cards in a post about my 2018 Collecting Goals.  I've actually scratched #1 and #2 off that list.  There's a strong possibility that those will be the only two I scratch off this year, but I can live with that.

 #1 on that list was the 1952 Andy Pafko.  This card is tough for no other reason that it's card #1 in the first Topps set.  It's essentially the first modern baseball card.  You can disagree, but the market makes a pretty strong argument in support of that assertion.  This card completes my run of the first 310 cards in the 1952 set.  It took me close to ten years, but they're all in the binder and 8-pocket pages now.

This 1980-81 Topps Magic Johnson and Larry Bird rookie was #2 on my list.  Obviously some enthusiastic collector took advantage of the perforated sections, and turned one card into three cards.  I would have done the exact same thing, and the fact that so many exists in one piece speaks to just how unpopular this set must have been.  No wonder Topps took a decade off from making basketball cards after this set, it's obvious no one was buying them.

In a penny sleeve, these cards more or less stay in place and don't slide very much.  My first instinct was to glue them.  I went so far as to buy some special craft glue and cut an old 80's card into three pieces and test the process.  It worked really well, and I think it would work even better with the dirty edges left by the perforation.  If it could seal a clean cut with scissors, there shouldn't be any issue with this one.  Additionally, you couldn't  see the glue.  It was obvious the card had been cut, but there was zero ugly residue.  I'm not sure if this sample is going to get the glue treatment or not.  I went from 99% certain that it would, to now I'm leaning towards no.  I just don't know.  It's not that I'm a purist about this sort of thing, I actually just sort of like the look and implications behind the card when it's clearly been broken up.  Gives it a degree of character.  What do you think?  I'd love some opinions on the matter.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Citrus Heights, CA

Fifty four (54) more Wallach cards showed up in my mailbox courtesy of "Big Shep" of Citrus Heights, California.  You can check out his blog by clicking this link or the logo at the bottom of this post, and you can also follow him on twitter here.  Shep also included a huge lot of my lingering 2012 Topps needs and a good number of 2017 needs as well.  I actually went online to figure out when I placed this order before realizing it wasn't a purchase, but just a nice guy generously sending me cards.  They're greatly appreciated Shep.  Thank you.

Updated Wallach Totals:

1987 Donruss x3: 410
1987 Topps x3: 826
1988 Score: 247
1988 Topps x2: 631
1988 Topps All-Star x5: 615
1989 Fleer: 297
1989 Topps x2: 651
1990 Donruss: 400
1990 Score x4: 253
1990 Topps x2: 449
1990 Upper Deck x2: 265
1991 Bowman: 58
1991 Donruss MVP x2: 225
1991 Score The Franchise x3: 181
1991 Studio x2: 69
1991 Topps: 227
1991 Ultra: 78
1992 Fleer x2: 104
1992 Score: 78
1992 Stadium Club x2: 46
1992 Topps x4: 190
1992 Ultra: 128
1993 Bowman: 20
1993 Topps: 149
1993 Topps Traded: 24
1993 Ultra: 39
1993 Upper Deck x3: 129
1994 Upper Deck: 72

And here's a look at the 2012 and 2017 Topps that were included:

If anyone else is so inclined to look, my Topps need list can be found here, I have plenty of duplicates to offer in trade.

Friday, February 9, 2018

20,000 Tim Wallach Cards

About thirty five years ago, give or take a few weeks, I pulled my first ever Tim Wallach card from a pack of 1983 Topps.  Actually, my father opened it.  He showed it to me and said "this guy has the same name as your brother."  I asked if he was "good" and after my father read the stats on the back and declared that he was in fact "good," I announced Wallach as my favorite player.  I haven't wavered since.  My father was more of a baseball guy than a baseball card guy.  Having pitched through college and some semi-pro leagues after college, he wasn't that far removed from his playing days when I was born.  Baseball was going to be my thing too if he had any say in it, and baseball cards seemed like a natural way to spark a young kids interest in the game.  It worked.  I also was forced into a lot of baseball clothes before I was old enough to have a say in that sort of thing, and one of my baseball outfits that I liked at the time bore a striking resemblance to the Expos uniforms.  I think that may have swayed my decision as well.  Same name as my brother, he was good, and the uniforms were cool.  What more does a four year old kid need in a "favorite player?"

This week I crossed the 20,000 card mark for Wallach's in my collection.  I'm not sure what that means, or if it means anything at all, but it's a nice round number.  But here are some figures.

The average baseball card is 3.5 inches tall.  So if I were to run 20,000 Wallach cards end to end that would be 5,833.3 feet, or approximately 1.1 miles.  Perhaps I could adopt a mile of Highway and lay the cards out along the edge with some sort of weather proof seal?  Or just name it in tribute to my collection?

I'm not interested in that, for a few reasons. I don't want to lose the cards, I'm not interested in any tributes and the money could be spent on trying to reach 30,000 cards instead.  For now, they'll just stay in boxes.  How many boxes?  Less than you'd think.

Remember those bright factory set boxes Topps used to put out in the 1980's?  They still do it today, so I don't know why I'm asking like they're some bygone relic lost to history like gum and wax stains.  But when Wallach was in his prime, those boxes held 792 cards.

Twenty six of them would hold my entire collection.  Sure that's a lot of closet space, but it's not like it would require an addition to your house.

Regardless, I don't keep my collection in those colorful factory set boxes.  I keep it in drab white boxes, with duplicates sorted in groups of 25 and placed in sealed team bags.  It's not exciting, but it's cost effective, effecient, and makes sorting new additions a lot easier.

On the other hand, I would be against putting say 792 1987 Topps Wallach cards into a 1987 factory set.  That actually might be a good way to sort them.  But It'll bug my OCD to no end that there aren't factory set boxes to be had for every Wallach card.  These are the sort of issues I deal with.  So at 20,000 cards, I'd just like to thank everyone whose read this blog at any point and helped contribute to that number.  Thank you all very much.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

42 More

These 42 Wallach cards arrived this week from two sellers on  I mentioned in the last post that I thought I had managed to knock of the 27 cards I needed to complete the 2018 Topps 1st Series, but as always seems to be the case, I found I'm still two cards short.  I must have ordered the wrong ones, missed them, or been sent the wrong ones.  I'll have a post on that later.

For now, I'll focus on the Wallach's these sellers had lingering in their respective inventories.  This isn't the most exciting assortment to ever cross my desk, but it's not the worst either.  The two 1986 Leaf are probably the highlights.  The 1992 Score Super Star is a sneaky scarce card.  I think I overlook how few I have because it's so similar to the 1992 Triple Play design.  The '92 Topps Gold are "Winners" and if you can't tell, those '93 Topps are Gold as well.  Finally there was a stray Brett Wallach for the taking, so I took it.  As far as Brett Wallach cards go, I'm not trying to "collect them all," but that doesn't mean I won't add more to my collection when the opportunity presents itself.

This group of cards also presented three statistical anomalies.  The '86 Topps and '86 Topps All-Star brought there respective totals to 300 and 600 total cards.  What were the odds of that happening?  These 42 cards also push my total count over 20,000 Wallach cards.  I'll break that down more in a future post.

Updated Totals: 

1986 Fleer: 117
1986 Leaf x2: 24
1986 Topps x3: 300
1986 Topps All-Star: 600
1987 Topps x2: 822
1988 Donruss: 730
1988 Donruss Baseball's Best: 32
1988 Topps: 629
1988 Topps All-Star: 610
1988 Topps Big x3: 60
1989 Topps x3: 649
1990 Score: 249
1990 Upper Deck x4: 263
1991 Donruss MVP: 223
1992 Fleer: 102
1992 Leaf: 81
1992 Score: 77
1992 Score Super Star: 7
1992 Studio: 57
1992 Topps Gold Winners x2: 23
1992 Ultra: 127
1992 Upper Deck: 263
1993 Fleer: 46
1993 Topps Gold x2: 33
1993 Ultra: 38
1994 Collector's Choice: 42
1994 Stadium Club: 38
1994 Topps: 108
1995 Leaf: 16

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sportlots Pickups

In the aftermath of opening my first full box of Topps in three years, I took to to fill out the 27 cards I was missing from 2018.  I ended up buying cards from four different sellers and, naturally, I went ahead and bought out their Wallach inventories while I was at it.  The first two packages arrived yesterday (I'm not separating them by seller, that distinction just goes to people nice enough to send cards), and here's a look at the Wallach's, 116 of them to be exact.

The easy highlight of this haul were the early O-Pee-Chee's.  There were five 1983's and eleven 1984's included.  I love the early O-Pee-Chee cards from about 1982-85, and they really don't pop up very often.   So to pick up this many at once from a seller who happened to be the only guy not charging for a 2018 Aaron Judge League Leader card like it was an '84 Mattingly was a happy little coincidence.  They're the first '83 OPC I've picked up since 2015.

The 1992 Bowman is proving to be more and more elusive.  I didn't pick up a single copy in 2017.  That dry spell is now over.  It was a little odd to find six 1991 Donruss MVP's and not a single Donruss base set card, and ditto for the 1991 Score Franchise.  At some point I'm going to need to address the 1992s Topps Kids set in more detail.  I think it's aging extremely well.

1993 Score is one of the odder cards I've run into, or rather, never run into.  Where are they all?  Between the ugly design and obscene amount of other sets in 1993, I don't think anyone bought any.  Are they all sitting unopened in a warehouse somewhere, or is it actually scarce?  1993 Topps Finest is a card/set some people still try to charge out the nose for, so it was fun to pick up a couple at the normal 18¢ price point.  They're also (somehow) the first ones I've acquired since 2013.

I ended up with a good assortment of somewhat "high end" inserts somehow.  There's a '94 SP die-cut in there, a Score Dodgers Platinum, a Topps Embossed Golden Idol, and Pinnacle Museum Collection as well.  Not bad.

Here are the updated Totals:

1983 Fleer: 109
1983 O-Pee-Chee x5: 39
1984 Donruss: 151
1984 Fleer: 104
1984 O-Pee-Chee x11: 46
1985 Fleer: 95
1986 Topps: 297
1987 Donruss x7: 407
1987 Donruss Opening Day: 35
1988 Fleer Star Stickers x7: 79
1988 Leaf: 35
1988 Score: 246
1988 Topps x3: 628
1988 Topps All-Star x2: 609
1989 Donruss x4: 347
1989 Score: 172
1989 Upper Deck: 181
1991 Donruss MVP x6: 222
1991 Leaf x4: 108
1991 Score The Franchise x2: 178
1991 Studio x3: 67
1991 Topps Cracker Jack: 11
1991 Ultra x3: 77
1992 Bowman: 49
1992 Bowman USA: 53
1992 Fleer x3: 101
1992 Leaf x3: 80
1992 Pinnacle: 94
1992 Stadium Club x2: 44
1992 Studio x3: 56
1992 Topps Kids: 37
1992 Triple Play: 82
1992 Upper Deck: 262
1993 Donruss: 90
1993 Flair x2: 36
1993 Fleer: 45
1993 Pinnacle x2: 32
1993 Score: 25
1993 Score Select x3: 44
1993 Score Select Traded: 10
1993 Studio: 41
1993 Topps Finest x2: 6
1993 Ultra: 37
1994 Collector's Choice: 41
1994 Donruss: 30 
1994 Fleer x2: 36
1994 Leaf: 41
1994 Score x3: 63
1994 SP x4: 36
1994 SP Die-Cut: 16
1994 Studio: 19
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 35
1995 Donruss: 42
1995 Pinnacle Museum Collection: 3
1995 Score: 41
1995 Score Platinum: 2
1995 Score Hall of Gold: 8
1995 Topps Embossed: 13
1995 Topps Embossed Golden Idols: 3
1995 Topps Finest x2: 12
1995 Ultra: 23
1997 Collector's Choice: 23

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Edition

A few weeks back on this blog I declared my intention to buy a factory set of 2018 Topps and just a couple of packs from each series.  That didn't work out.  I ended up ordering a box a few days prior to it's release.  My Target never has cards until at least a week or two after they're released, and I didn't want to wait.  Ordering didn't work out so well either.  Tuesday night I was alerted by my phone that UPS had delivered the box and that it was on my porch.  It wasn't.  After two stressful days a neighbor three houses down brought the box over after they found it on their porch.  Nice work UPS. In any event, I had my first box of Topps since 2015.

The box came sealed with that black pack taped to the exterior of the shrink wrap.  That's not a situation I found to be tenable, so I wasted no time in opening the box up and popping the display the way it was meant to be and immediately felt a degree of order restored to the universe.

Per custom, I opened my first pack and was happy to pull a Yankee and a Met.  C.C. Sabathia is a guy who has slowly become one of my favorite players, so it was nice to see him right off the bat.  That Travis d'Arnaud is one of my favorite cards to come out of the box.  So things started well.

Next I opened the black pack that was tapped to the outside.  1983 Topps is my favorite set of all-time, so I couldn't help but like these cards, even if they are kind of goofy and feel more like a toy than a baseball card.  As a collector who came of age collecting rookie cards in the 1980's, I'm pre-conditioned to love seeing Ryne Sandberg on the '83 design.  McGwire looks great (if not somewhat unnatural) as well.  The Dodgers are one of the teams from '83 that are towards my lower end of favorites, as I just never loved the blue/green border combo.  Don't get me wrong, I still like them, but I just prefer other team color combos more.  That said, it would have been epic if Topps could have tried to recreate the classic '83 card of Fernando warming up in the bullpen with this Kershaw.  The fourth card is blue for some reason (having long ago completed the '83 set, I'm pretty sure there were no blue borders in it), and is of some Brave rookie I'd never heard of.  This ended up being one of four Ozzie Albies I pulled from the box, and apparently the speculators are hot on this kid.  My bet is he falls somewhere between Ricky Jordan and Greg Jefferies for career numbers.

I was luke warm on this design when I first saw the images of it popping up online months ago.  I knew I liked it more than the last two years (which was a very low bar to clear), but didn't like it as much as 2015.  Having now opened enough of it to have a clear opinion, my first impression was more or less correct.  In fairness, I like it more than to just say "it's better than 2016 and 2017."  Those are two of the worst designs of all-time in my opinion, and this design is probably one the better one's of the last ten years.  Not exactly a span that will be remembered as a glorious run, but I'd put 2018 in my top three along with 2015 and 2013.  I like the scoreboard name effect a lot, and the slide doesn't bother me at all.  I think it's fun.  Here are some of the cards that caught my eye.

Joc, the Albuquerque Isotope Legend, remains one of my favorite players in the game.  I still believe he has the potential to put up monster numbers and be a regular All-Star.  This is a great card.

So much red.  The Ozuna is a great outfield catch card too, but I can't see his face.  That's weird.  Hamilton though looks great.  

Bregman is an Albuquerque kid.  Farmington, NM is the town I live in and every year it host an amateur baseball tournament.  They call it the Connie Mack World Series.  Each year ten (12 now) teams come and they're usually more or less the same teams, so it's not like the Little League or American Legion World Series with some massive qualifier to get here.  I view it as sort of an AAU Basketball All-Star event, but for baseball.  "World Series" or not, it's a big deal locally, and as the host Farmington gets a team in it every year.  And in what's become an annual tradition, the locals confuse getting an automatic invite as being meaning that they're as talented as the teams with future draft picks and Pac-12, SEC, and Big West bound college players.  Bregman wanted to play for Farmington his senior year of high school (unlike Little League you can also randomly pick up kids from anywhere at any seemingly any point in the season/playoffs).  Farmington told Bregman "we have enough bats."  So instead Bregman played for the powerhouse team from Dallas that's here every year and led the Tournament in hitting.  Farmington went 0-2 and mustered one run on an error.  Good call Farmington.  To his endless credit, Bregman was back in town recently to do a fund raiser for the coach of that team that told him to get lost, to raise money for that coach's sick child.  I can't stand the Astros, but I'm a Bregman fan.

It's a crowded outfield in New York right now, but hopefully that Red Sock the Yankees are stuck with can find a home somewhere else and Frazier can platoon with Gardner and Hicks.

This is just a great looking card of a great player who likely is destined to be forgotten by history when he falls short of Cooperstown like so many other very good but not Hall of Fame players.  The Tim Wallach's and Dave Parker's of the world.

Scooter Gennet endeared himself to me with a strong role on my fantasy team last year when as a spot starter he hit four home runs in one game and followed it up with a pretty good season.  My father is a die-hard White Sox fan, and as a result I watch a ton of White Sox games with him over the course of a season.  Frazier was one of my favorites, so when he was traded to New York, it was sort of a perfect storm for me.  There's a chance that could be the Cabrera kids are pulling from packs when he hits his 500th home run.  He's 38 shy.  Tyler Saladino has now assumed the role of my favorite White Sox.  I have no inside knowledge, but I'd put money on him being the most fun to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with for beer.

I'm calling this my favorite card.  Gardner has held the title of my "favorite active player" ever since Jorge Posada retired, and this is easily his best card ever.  Great work Topps.

As much as I like the front of 2018 Topps.  The backs are awful.  I want full stats.  I know that's not a law or anything, and as recently as the 1970's Topps wasn't giving me full stats, but I want them, and I'll judge them harshly anytime they fail to give them to me.  I view the Topps set as a sort of annual almanac.  I know kids today can find stats easily on their phones and no longer rely on Topps for crucial information like whether Cecil Cooper or Don Baylor had more career doubles, but it'd still be nice if they could.  I don't mind the social media information.  When I was a kid, I would have really liked it, had it existed.  I just don't think it needs to be so big.  I would have found it in the same font as the "bats:left" info on the top.  With the logos and large font, it almost looks like Topps is being paid by instagram.

Also included in the packs were spacers, or inserts as they're often called.  As far as I can tell the purpose of these is to gip collector's out of their money so they have to buy more packs to complete the set.  These 83's are admitedly pretty nice, but at the end of the day I'm just going to end up selling them, giving them away or sticking them in a white box in the closet to waste away the years in darkness.

This was the lone "SP" I pulled from the box.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the purpose of these SP's was to sneak in old retired players, or use photo's that were a little less traditional.  This is just an uglier version of Abreu's base card.  I couldn't get it listed on eBay fast enough.

This was my one "relic or autograph" per box card.  I understand the appeal of autograph cards.  Had a Vance Law autographed card fallen out of my pack of 1987 Topps I would have been excited for a year.  These "relic" cards though, they're just stupid.  Look if you like them, it's time somebody who cares about you sat you down and gave it to you straight.  These are dumb.  I hate telling anyone how to collect, but it's well past time we all had this conversation.  First of all, they're not baseball cards.  This stupid thing is about six times as thick as a baseball card.  It's ugly, and the small fabric swab is pointless.  What am I supposed to do with it?  Touch it and feel like I'm closer to Mr. Zobrist?  How about instead of cutting a bat or jersey into a hundred pieces, you stick a redemption card in the pack for a game worn jersey, or game used bat?  This "thing" pictured above is dumb.  Even my 1987 self would have been confused by this thick hunk of styrofoam and laundry.

The rest of the spacers were less than thrilling, albeit, two of them did get a rise out of me.  Those Topps Now spacers, aren't just dumb, they're offensive.  Topps Now isn't a baseball card.  They're made to order, and you know exactly what you're getting.  They're novelty items, like a plastic helmet that holds your ice cream Sunday.  Topps Now just happens to be made by a card company and be in the shape of a card.  They're glorified post cards.  These spacers celebrating how many people were tricked into buying a Topps Now "card" are just rude.

Finally, this printing plate fell out of one of my packs.  While it's clearly labeled a printing plate inside of a package that clearly claims to have cards inside, I'm not mad.  I like money as much as the next guy, and this is sort of like having a folded piece of cash fall out of the pack.  Naturally I've slapped it on eBay with an obnoxious price tag on it, in the hope that some giant Stanton novelty item collector will pull the trigger and I can turn it into a 1953 Willie Mays.  We'll see what happens.  I've never pulled anything numbered less than /50 out of a pack, so this is all new to me.

When it was all said and done, this is what it looked like.  I have to say, these Hobby Boxes are the way to go.  I pulled 323 of the 350 base cards in the set (I've already ordered the 27 I was short on sportlots, so don't look for a need list) and not a single double.  I'll pull four doubles out of three packs at Target.  To be honest, I sort of miss having duplicates, so I'll probably end up picking up a few packs at Target anyways.  I need to find a "spine card" for the 2018 binder after all.  I've also already sold four inserts that have paid for half the price of the box.  I hate the idea of being one of those eBay sellers, but I also hate the idea of spending over $50 at once on baseball cards like I did for this box.  So it's an ethical trade off.

If you see any spacers you want to trade for (or inserts if you will), let me know.  I'm happy to pull them off of eBay if they haven't sold yet and send them your way in exchange for Wallach's or set needs to be named later.