A Bear of a Mail Day from Topps

If you don’t follow Blowout Buzz on Twitter, you should.  Their giveaways are real and this post is courtesy of them.  I won a Kris Bryant redemption months ago from them.  They are completely on the up-and-up.

Monday I tweeted asking how long it should actually take for Topps to send out live cards.  I had looked to see if my item had shipped and it hadn’t, per the site.  It hadn’t been all THAT long since I entered the code (I waited until the card was live) but it should be a quick process in my opinion.

I checked again Thursday, only to find that it had been delivered to my office on Wednesday.  It was shipped before Monday.  So, take note when looking at redemptions that it does take some time to update.

I went into the office yesterday to get the package, and here it is! Continue reading



October 27, 2016
The time has come in my favorite sport. Political correctness has smothered the great game of baseball. In just two short weeks we have witnessed something I never thought I would see, the hitters are not only showing up the pitchers, but actually getting away with it. I do not claim to know all of the “unwritten rules” rules of baseball, but I do know enough of them to know that if you do anything to show up guy on the mound 60’ away from you, the next time you are in the batter’s box you will get a 95 mph fastball in your ribs. Continue reading

TTM Success #19 & Memories of my first Autograph

Kin Kinsley
August 4, 2016

Like many of you, I grew up collecting cards before parallels, inserts and autographs.  If you wanted an autograph in the 1980s you have to send a TTM request or meet a player.  My most recent TTM success is from a player that my first autograph was from and the first pro athlete I met.

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Let’s Play Two

July 28, 2106

As I look back on my idyllic childhood after moving from Detroit to Scottsdale at age 7, I can name a multitude of advantages I had growing up in a sleepy Scottsdale, labeled “The West’s Most Western Town”.  As a boy who loved baseball, I was living in one of two states that were at the epicenter of major league baseball for one month a year being in the heart of the Cactus League Spring Training country.

Becoming a fan in the early 70s, security was nowhere close to where it sadly is today  We always found ways to get into the games by slipping through back lot gates into the stadium and having the freedom to walk around the entire park, watch the Cubs players take batting practice and perform their warm-ups. I remember the players being so friendly and it was quite evident they were enjoying spring training.

As some background, I was a member of the Scottsdale Boys Club which at the time was next door to the old Scottsdale Stadium that was the then the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.  Also members of the Boys Club were the twin boys of Ernie Banks, Joey and Jerry.  I became friends with the twins and was lucky enough to see the Ernie’s 500th home run trophy at his spring condo.  I remember being in complete awe as I saw the date of each HR listed on this huge award.  It was quite an impressive sight!  Most days after the games Ernie would walk next door to the Boys Club and make the rounds visiting the kids and talking with everyone he could.


We had no idea of the struggles he had as the first black to play for the Cubs or any of his other conflicts coming up through the Negro Leagues. He had retired the year earlier but was obviously still a Chicago icon.  All we knew was his velvety voice could paint such a picture and his stories all had one thing in common, he had such a genuine love of the game of baseball. He was larger than life to a bunch of early teen boys that had watched him on TV.  I feel so blessed to be able to look back on that time with such fondness.  At one point I was lucky enough to get a baseball signed by most of the Cubs players at the time like Banks, Williams, Hundley, Beckert, Santo, Pepitone, Fergie Jenkins and some others.  Unfortunately a couple years after that I needed a ball to play catch with in front of the house and grabbed that signature ball.  A couple of skips on the asphalt and that was the end of that.  Probably one of the most idiotic sports moments of my life!

Banks’ passing in 2015 brought me a sadness I had never really felt before.  Obviously the passing of family members is filled with tremendous sorrow, but this was different.  I had been a part of a unique opportunity.  Not only was Ernie Banks a sports legend, he was an extremely nice, kind hearted man who never let his “status” get in the way of who he genuinely was. I look back on those days and remember the times (yet again) when our world was calmer and all seemed well within ourselves.

As we grow up and old, I see nothing wrong whatsoever with revisiting such thoughts.  After all, we are made up of recollections and experiences which help morph us into ultimately the people we become at the end.  When the time comes and my life is winding down, I can only hope that I’m still able to look back through the years and remember the man that gave us such enjoyment.  We can recall his love for the game of baseball and all of those wonderful afternoons when he would proclaim…. “Let’s play two”.

Hunting for the White Whale

Humans have always been hunters.  I’m pretty sure there are cave paintings somewhere of a guy named Grog hunting down a mastodon or woolly mammoth.  Most of us aren’t out hunting for our supper, but most of us in the hobby that actually COLLECT are hunters.  We are on high alert, armed with spears and looking to pounce.

Sound a little dramatic?  Hear me out.

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PACK BREAK: 2 Packs 2016 Topps Archives Baseball

Yesterday I stopped into Duane’s Sportscards to pick up a storage box.  Like most in the hobby, it’s tough to walk into a shop and walk out with only supplies.

I don’t collect modern anymore, but I have a general idea what’s out there.  I almost picked up a blaster of Archives a couple of weeks ago, but decided against it.  I do love the concept and designs in the Archives set, so I picked up a couple of packs while I was in the shop.

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