2019 Donruss Highlights

2019 Donruss Highlights

Cards

2019 Donruss Brock Holt Highlights

Who knew awesome came in so many colors?

Matt “Doc” Perry

April 24th, 2019

So, 2019 is off to a bit of a whimper for the Red Sox, and card collecting is more or less following suite. There’s not a ton of excitement in the first few products this year. The rookie class is weaker, the designers are weaker, and there are enough short prints and random variations to choke a goat with. Even my stalwart Gypsy Queens are rather underwhelming this year.

Donruss however has been my one bright spot so far. They’re simple, they’re not expensive, and the collation is so good that in TWO blasters and a couple random packs I have about 85% of the base set. You can’t really beat that. I’m also in the minority of collectors since the lack of team names and logos doesn’t bother me in the least.

The Red Sox are well covered in the set, with a couple photo variations here and there, but also with a few well deserved inserts as well. This brings me to just one of two Brock Holt cards to make an appearance in 2019. The other being Heritage. The trouble with Heritage is that the parallels are so short printed, the easiest to find ones (chrome) are starting at $15 on the secondary market. No thanks. I’m not paying $40+ for a semi-rare Heritage variation. Not happening.

Instead I’ve decided to chase the Donruss rainbow. Holt has an insert card celebrating his post-season cycle game. There’s several variations with a couple being un-numbered and actually harder to find than their color/numbered counterparts.

The checklists includes: Base (Silver) #/999, Diamond, Pink Firework, Rapture, Vector, Bronze #/349, Blue #/249, Red #/149, Gold #/99, Green #/25, Black 1/1.

The Diamond, Rapture and Vector parallels are the hardest to find at the moment, with most believing they’ve been short-printed in favor of the colored parallels, or only available in certain packages (retail hanger packs, for example).

That only leaves me with a couple more to go. I’m still looking for “Diamond” (a more geometric version of the base silver pattern) and “Rapture” (a small, sparkly diagonal line version) as well as Gold and Green. I have a Gold saved in the eBay app at $20, but I’m just waiting for the price to drop a little. I haven’t seen a Green appear in the wild at all.

A fun little parallel rainbow is always a good chase, at least for me. 

Anyone else enjoying Donuss, or is everyone still not liking the lack of logos?

2019 Topps Heritage Breakdown

2019 Topps Heritage Breakdown

Cards

2019 Heritage – Design Breakdown

Grey is very in this year…

Matt “Doc” Perry

March 5th, 2019

It’s not going to come as much surprise that this breakdown took all of 20 minutes. 1970’s Topps isn’t exactly known for it’s intricate design. I mean, a grey box doesn’t really need to be “broken down”. That said, I figured I’d at least take a look at the fonts and try and nail those down. At least that way I can share with those of you who like making your own customs, and I can have them in my back pocket for doing a “Heritage-esque” card later on.

So, what are we dealing with? For starters, two classic fonts with long lineages and one more whimsical one for the names.

Up top, for the team names, you’ve got the always classic Franklin Gothic, with what I’m thinking is the Condensed variation.

At the bottom, for the player position, a version of Futura called No.2 D, and the Bold version at that.

The name was slightly trickier, but I’m 98% confident it’s Kaufman BT Bold. It could also be “Cafe Script”, they’re very similar, but I’m sticking with Kaufman.

After that, it’s really just boxes, grey, and a nice photo. The grey looks to be #BFB6A7, at least in my monitor’s color profile.

That’s really all there is to this one. A nice simple design that we can build on for something truly custom down the road.

So, I had an idea…

So, I had an idea…

Cards

So, I had an idea…

What if I could automate a gallery?

Matt “Doc” Perry, Somewhere on that 3rd rock from the Sun

February 15th, 2019

I love solving problems (even non-existent first world ones) with technology.

I had taken a look at the woefully out of date pages on my site the other day. I hadn’t update a needs/wants list since 2015, I hadn’t updated a trade-bait cards list since 2012. It was pretty sad. What’s the old saying? “The cobblers children have no shoes”? Well, the web guy doesn’t have time to update his own site. I’ve built 4 sites in two months so far in 2019, but I can’t seem to find the time to update a list.

So, I had a thought. What would be the easiest way to have something, essentially, update itself with minimal interaction and effort? What if I could create a gallery of Trade-worthy cards using a few off-the-shelf plugins and scripts?

Well, I gave it a try.

cards.docholoday.com

Edit: I actually updated my Cards page after I liked the results… Click Here.

I need to say up front that this is a TEST of the technology, not a full blown implementation.

Here’s the jist. On the server, within a defined “gallery” folder, I’ve created 30 sub folders. One for each Major League Baseball team. In those, I drop scans of cards. I’ve made the scans with a photoshop action that crops, resizes and saves anything I have in my “marquee” tool. I have the tool set on a fixed size (2.5x3.5). I scan an entire scanner bed of cards, click once on the card, click the action button, and done. Saving with a useful name is about the longest part of it. Then I use an FTP program to just drop them into the 30 folders.

That’s it. No editing pages to update galleries, no painful WordPress short codes to change. Heck, theres not even “pages” technically.

So, with this little experiment, I took a handful of cards I had sitting around (not and exhaustive inventory of everything I have) and tried it out. It seems to work pretty well.

More cards load as you scroll on the “all” category. It’s sortable by teams if you have a specific interest. The images open larger in a lightbox.

And I feel like all I did was drop files into a folder.

Again, this was just a test. A theory. Since it seems to be working, I have a feeling I’ll be porting it back to this site and integrating it here. Until then, please check it out and let me know what you think. I can answer any questions about it as well for those of you that have WordPress blogs as well.

Later.

2019 Topps Series 1

2019 Topps Series 1

Cards

2019 Topps Series 1

This checklist is a raging dumpster fire.

Matt “Doc” Perry, Somewhere on that 3rd rock from the Sun

February 13th, 2019

I should say upfront, there’s nothing really “wrong” with Topps flagship this year.

The design is fine, it’s simple enough, although I did notice a few things here and there that kind of bugged me. There’s room for nice photos, the horizontal variations are good, they’re not overly and obviously photoshopped and processed. My main complaint this year is the checklist. I feel like it’s complete and utter garbage. I also feel like the Red Sox and Yankees and Braves (oddly) are given undue amounts of focus and inserts. It might seem weird that I’m complaining about too many Red Sox cards, but yeah, that’s where we’re at with this set. I can’t speak for other team collectors so I’m only speaking for Red Sox fans here, but look at this garbage…

3 Eduardo Nunez – WS HL
13 David Price
23 J.D. Martinez – LL
28 Boston’s Boys
50 Mookie Betts
54 Rick Porcello
76 J.D. Martinez – WS HL
77 J.D. Martinez
160 Fenway Park
167 Xander Bogaerts
179 Jackie Bradley Jr.
228 Rafael Devers
262 Mitch Moreland
275 Steve Pearce – WS HL
312 Mookie Betts – LL
314 David Price – WS HL

There’s the “base” checklist. J.D. Martinez 3 times. Mookie Betts 3 times (if you could the “Boston Boys” insert). David Price twice. A throwaway “Fenway Park” card. Let’s cut that down to just players…

Eduardo Nunez, David Price, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Rick Porcello, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Rafael Devers, Mitch Moreland, and Steve Pearce.

That’s 10. Not 17. 7 extra cards with little to no purpose. “But wait, those are celebration cards for the World Series!” you cry. Are they? Are they really? They sure look a lot like base cards with a logo slapped on it. J.D. Martinez’s card for instance, has him batting, pre-swing. His World Series card? Dropping the bat post-swing and a WS logo in the corner.

The base cards aren’t even really my problem. I’m ok with 10-17 of them. I would have liked fewer repeats, but I’d be willing to live with it if it weren’t for the damn inserts in this cluster of a product.

  • There are SEVEN (of the 10) base cards with SP photo variations.
  • There are NINETEEN “150 Years of Baseball” inserts
  • There are SIX “1984” cards, because we haven’t beaten that to death yet?
  • There are FIVE “Grapefruit League” inserts, because no one remembers Ted Williams so we’ll remind you he played in the minors?
  • There are FIVE “Greatness Returns” inserts, because inserts.
  • There are FIVE completely pointless “Iconic Card Reprints”, because why try something new when we can put in reprints?
  • There are SIX “Stars of the Game” inserts.

THAT’S 70 CARDS!!!!!

I haven’t even counted parallels, relics, autographs or manufactured crap. Seventy freaking base and insert cards is nuts. Completely bonkers.

You know who I feel bad for? The Yankees. (I hope I never have to type that sentence ever again). They have, and I’m not exagerating, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN cards that I would consider a base or insert card. Holy crap. There are 37 Gleyber Torres cards alone, mostly due to a special insert set just for him.

At this point, I have to honestly wonder what the product managers at Topps were thinking. Were they lacking material and didn’t want to make a “small” set so they over compensated? Were they inspired by the “150 Years” anniversary and got carried away? Were they trying to make the product more interesting because it’s always a weak seller and people usually wait for Series 2/Update to spend more on chasing rookies?

I have no answers for any of that, except to say that I’m personally not falling for it this year. This will the first year in my 8 years back in the hobby that I will refuse to collect a master team set. I’ve got my 17 base cards, which I’m fine with, and if anyone wants to dump pointless inserts at me, I’d take them, but I’m not going to go out of my way to find, pay for or collect any of the additional 50+ cards.

I just can’t get behind this idea that they needed to over saturate the product with cards no one will ever card about. Do we want minor league cards of people that have retired and/or died? Babe Ruth, according to Baseball Reference (https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=ruth–002geo) was on, but never played a game for, two “International League” teams in 1914. By all accounts, he went strait to Boston in 1914 and played 5 games. So, for Topps, that means he should get a “Grapefruit League Greats” card? For a league that didn’t technically exist? He was in Baltimore and Providence RI. That’s not exactly south Florida!

I just don’t think this product was well thought out. Normally I’m super excited about the return of baseball, the start of spring training, etc, but I found myself staring at the boxes in Target over the weekend and I just couldn’t buy any of it. I had read the checklist ahead of time. There’s not a single other card (rookie or star player) from the larger set that I would want. I suppose I’m just not going to buy any this year, which is a shame, because my love for baseball is stronger than ever. With the retail exclusives continuing to be a problem and checklists like these, I can see this being a very lean year for my card buying.

Again, I don’t have a problem with the design, I think it’s fine. It’s certainly better than a few of the previous years, last year especially.

I actually took a swing at the design (for customs) and it was fairly strait forward. I’ll do a breakdown of the layout and the fonts at some point. Until then, these are probably the only Series 1 scans I’ll be making…

2018 In Review

2018 In Review

Personal

2018 In Review

Where on earth did the year go?

Matt “Doc” Perry, Somewhere on that 3rd rock from the Sun

December 21st, 2018

I don’t even know where to start…

Usually I’m pretty good with words. However in 2018 they apparently escaped me entirely. I guess that makes sense, there was quite a lot going on.

The majority of the year focused on repairing the house, which I’m sure I’ve beaten to death by now as a topic of conversation. Although we moved in over the forth of July, it wasn’t until August and September that it really came together as a home. Art is up on the walls, things are painted, knickknacks are back on shelves. Everything has settled back in nicely and we’re looking forward to taking a break of everything for the holidays. No, not everything is back to 100%, there’s still lots of boxes in the garage, but we made a good dent and we’re happy with the progress.

Not art studio yet, but I have carved out a little place to do some paintings. Mostly abstract stuff, but it’s fun to dabble in. Might as well do something with the art school education other than enjoy the mountain of debt.

Yes. It’s a pour painting. The Diet Coke or Art. I don’t care, it’s fun.

Why have one monitor when you could have three!

Work has been going ok. I’ve transitioned from a 90% creative position to, literally, IT Sys-Admin and Tech Support. I’m doing stuff that I really never would have thought I’d be doing. I’m managing AD users and an Exchange server, I’m running SQL queries and exporting accounting databases, I’m setting up VMs to run specific servers for specific tasks, I’m checking the corporate spam filters and firewall traffic. It’s kinda crazy. I don’t think I’m really qualified to be doing any of these things, but I’ve always been a quick learner, and I’m at least familiar with most of it. I just don’t have the specific degrees. I guess that doesn’t really matter at this point. Wherever my career ends up going, experience counts for the most important parts, at least in my opinion.

They did finally manage to fix my office. I’m not sure I really told that story. The nutshell version is that it’s on the top floor of a small office building and the roof collapsed… into MY office specifically. Lucky me. Everything was ruined except for a few things under the desks, which luckily included my Synology NAS and Mac Pro. So, I took all that home the minute there was a “home” to take it back to. I’ve been working from here every since. They finished the repairs about three weeks ago, and besides the new carpet smell, it seems to be back to the way it was.

I did get my tasks essentially tripled this year as well. We have two guys leaving (in an already small team), so everyone gets to step up and take on larger rolls, myself included. The job security feels nice, but I’ve yet to see the added, umm, “compensation” for all the hard work. Luckily it’s review time and my boss is actually a really awesome guy, so I’m not too worried.

Health wise it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster of a year. I was pretty beat (mentally and physically) at the start of the year, floods and stress will do that to a person. Then the summer was better, I was feeling pretty good, getting back to everything. Then this fall I had a bit of a scare. I landed in the ER one night having trouble breathing. Long story short, I’ve had to change a lot of things about my life and the way I eat and exercise. Fun fact, getting older sucks. Also, just as a pro tip, from someone who’s had to find this out way too late, go figure out your family history of medical problems. Do that NOW. Then have your doctor start checking for that stuff.

The upside is that it’s now under control and I’ve made such a crazy change in diet that I’ve lost 30-40lbs since only October and I’m feeling considerably better. Apparently, if you don’t eat junk, and have a salad, you might not die early! Who knew?!

I’m actually kinda proud of myself for this one. I haven’t had a carb or a refined sugar in three months. Cold turkey. I could give up sweets and soda without a problem. I did that over night. Bread on the other hand, I really love bread. That’s been the hardest. Well, that and tortillas, which are basically bread, but with an accent.

I can however, continue my BBQ ways. That’s got me through quite a few “I don’t want to have another effing salad” moments. I’m thinking about doing a competition this spring with an old friend.

Getting better. Practice makes perfect.

New. Favorite. Shirt.

Then we come to the baseball portion of our post. How about those Red Sox? I’m not going to lie, there were a few times I thought the bullpen was a raging dumpster fire, but it’s really hard to find fault with 108 wins, and a really solid post-season run.

They were really just incredibly fun to watch this year. I’m going to be selfish for a minute, but I really needed that pick-me-up. It felt good. When I had a crappy day, or something was going wrong with the house, I knew I could put the game on and relax.

The mood was different from the other recent championships too. 2004 was destiny, plain and simple. 2007 was just a solidly built team. 2013 felt like angry “revenge” baseball to prove a point or get back at shitty terrorists.

2017 was, as far as I can tell, just really really fun.

Mookie was as advertised, Benny had a solid year-two, and J.D.Martinez proved himself to be a ridiculous hitter and an incredible clubhouse presence by helping some of the younger guys throughout the season. Sale was amazing, and the rest of the rotation too. I’m excited to have guys like Eovaldi back as well. Should be fun to watch again next year.

Last but not least, baseball cards. I’m not sure where to begin. I picked some up (surprise!). I didn’t scan most of them. I bought the usual team sets and a few assorted hits on ebay. I didn’t really go crazy this year, other things were more important. I didn’t abandon the hobby by any means, but let’s just say that it really helped the 2018 was a boring year in cards, in general. I just wasn’t impressed with 95% of the products this year. I even bought a very limited amount of Gypsy Queen.

I also couldn’t find half the “exclusive” bullshit products. Target exclusive this, Walmart exclusive that. Bullshit. The distribution is so terrible that Topps should be ashamed to be using the same companies year after year. I’m not exactly rolling in cash, so I’m not buying cases of anything (ever), but it seems like that’s the only way to find about half of the hobby these days. That and their stupid online only crap, which I refuse to buy into. I did make one exception and bought a “Holt hits the cycle” Topps Now card, but I bought it for $0.99 on ebay, on the secondary market.

There was one bright spot in the boring wasteland of cards this year. I teased it on twitter, and I’m teasing it again now (see image), but Panini Chronicles was a massive success in my book. The designs, borrowed from Panini’s other products (football, soccer, etc) as well as a few baseball and unique designs made the box (and subsequent blasters) a real joy to open. The variety was outstanding. I got dozens of really nice rookie cards for the top talent in the league, and well, what can I say about the hits…

I’m doing a proper post, with scans of everything from the box, probably after new years, but this was easily my best personal pull in history.

Oh my…

I think that about wraps it up. I’d apologize for not blogging enough this year, and I do miss the interaction with people, but things just got crazy and needed to be taken care of. I know I speak for everyone around here when I say we’re really wishing that 2019 would be a normal, boring, regular sort of year. No changes in jobs, no car wrecks, no floods, no sickness. Maybe a vacation at some point? People still take those right? That would be nice.

Anyway, I hope everyone has an awesome Christmas, and a safe New Year. Sláinte!