About The Shlabotnik Report

I've been collecting baseball cards since 1974, and I'm on a quest to rediscover the collection hidden within my accumulation.

Pack Animal: 2017 Topps Stadium Club Major League Soccer

Last night I made a quick Target stop, and naturally I stopped by the card aisle on the way to the self checkout.  None of the usual options inspired me to make any additional purchases right then and there, but just before I left I saw a box of 2017 Topps Stadium Club Major League Soccer.

As much coverage as attention as the Premier League, Bundesliga and other footy leagues get, it always seems a shame that MLS gets short shrift.  Part of me keeps waiting for the attention imbalance towards foreign soccer leagues to get politicized somehow (along with the number of British actors in The Walking Dead – “Immigrants coming in and taking our best zombie-hunting jobs!”)

So anyway, in a “What the hell” moment I decided to buy a pack.  I’m not a fan of any particular team nor player, but I wanted to see what they’re like.

The first surprise came at checkout… The five-card pack rang up as “TRADING CARDS  $0.99”;  A third of what I’d expected.  “This is Stadium Club, right?  Is it THIS YEAR’S Stadium Club?  Is this a remainder or something?”

But no, it’s 2017 Stadium Club, released about a month ago.  When I realized the price point I almost went back and grabbed another pack or two, but decided against it, at least not until I saw what the cards are like.

The second surprise came when I ripped open a pack and was greeted by Seattle’s Clint Dempsey, one of the wrapper’s “cover boys”:

It’s the same design as baseball Stadium Club, but no foil!  It’s like Opening Day meets Stadium Club.  It’s not a problem in my book, it just caught me off-guard because I didn’t know anything about the set.  The cards are still glossy.

For those who don’t know, the Seattle Sounders are partly owned by Drew Carey.  The Sounders are in the playoffs, and I’ve just discovered that this Sunday is the last day of the regular season.

Clint Dempsey is one of the biggest American players in the league and played for Fulham in the English Premier League for a couple of years.

The backs are similar to their baseball counterparts, but with no player writeup and the player’s photo is replaced by a team logo.

Dominique Badji is, according to his MLS webpage, is “a young striker who showed considerable promise in his first two MLS season”

This next card is a parallel.  Ooooh, aaahhhh, black and white.  How exciting

David Ousted is a Danish goalie and was finalist for the 2015 MLS Goaltender of the Year award.

I got screwed up by the font on this next card… I thought his name is GIOVINEO, but it’s GIOVINCO.  Damn, that ‘c’ looks like an ‘e’.

Again, mlssoccer.com on Sebastian Giovinco:  “Short in stature but skillful, inventive and explosively quick, he spearheaded Toronto’s qualification for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history, and earned the MLS Golden Boot, MLS Newcomer of the Year and MLS MVP awards”. They’re not kidding about the stature part, as he’s listed as 5’4″.

Ike Opara is from Durham, NC and has battled injuries for much of his career.  He’s apparently been healthy in 2017 as he’s started most of Sporting Kansas City’s games and nearly doubled his minutes played from last season.

So that’s the pack.  The base set has 100 cards plus the expected inserts, parallels and variations. By 2017 standards it’s a fairly no-frills set, but again, I don’t view that as an issue.

Clint Dempsey is the only player I’d heard of and I was unimpressed by the one parallel I pulled, but overall they’re pretty nice and for a buck a pack I will probably buy more of these. Given that I don’t follow MLS at all, that’s a pretty decent endorsement.

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Kellogg’s Cards & Vague Ramblings About Goals And Stuff

On those rare occasions where I can find relatively cheap Kellogg’s cards from the original 1970 – 1983 run, I am there.  For me, cheap Kellogg’s = Happiness… which is kind of amusing given that I made absolutely no effort to collect them back in the 1970’s.  At the time, I regarded them as baseball card wannabes, little plastic tchotchkes that came in boxes of cereal.  Real cards were printed on cardboard and came in packs with gum.  What can I say, I was a snob about cards.  (These days I’m mainly a snob about pizza, bagels and rye bread, but that’s another story).

…Which reminds me of one of my all-time favorite Hallmark cards;  the cartoon was of a man standing in a bakery, in the middle of racks full of loaves of bread, and he’s exclaiming “You call this rye bread?” and the caption was, of course:  “Kvetcher In The Rye”.

…But I digress…

1972 Kellogg’s Merv Rettenmund

There are days when you could ask me what my goals are for the original run of Kellogg’s cards and I’ll say “I want ’em all… All 850 of ’em.”

1974 Kellogg’s Willie Horton

…But that’s not entirely true.  Push comes to shove, my collection will be fine if it doesn’t include a 1982 Dwayne Murphy or 1973 Steve Blass (to pick two arbitrary examples, no offense intended for either player).  I mean, the 1973’s have only two dimensions, what fun is that?

1976 Kellogg’s Dave Parker

…But I can definitely see myself chasing after the 1976 set someday.  It has one of the nicer designs, and it’s right in my sweet spot as far as my initial “Everything Is Awesome” period of collection.  I’d made it a goal before – I probably said something about it here – but having it as a goal has only gotten me 16 of the 57 cards, and most of the 16 are commons.

1978 Kellogg’s Ron Cey

…Which brings it all back to “focus”.  I got this 1978 Ron Cey because it was cheap… but I don’t have a goal of collecting 1978 Kellogg’s in particular, I don’t collect Dodgers or Ron Cey, and visually speaking this card is perfectly fine but not particularly great – no offense intended, Night Owl – but it was available and there was something of a Kellogg’s feeding frenzy going on (not unlike me with a box of Froot Loops).

1979 Kellogg’s Chris Chambliss

There’s a post I wrote but never posted because it’s overly navel-gazey and whiney, but the gist of it is that I’ve been feeling guilty and overwhelmed lately because a lot of my hobby time and resources have gone towards “what the heck” projects;  meanwhile my collection is getting bloated and I’m not making progress on more important objectives.

1981 Kellogg’s Mike Flanagan

So I’m back to trying to work out what it is that I should be focusing on.  I would like some sort of Kellogg’s project outside of Mets and Orioles team sets and given that a number of my other projects have hit budgetary roadblocks, I could use a relatively easy win.  I was wondering if one of the later Kellogg’s sets might be cheap and common enough to give me an ego boost.  I don’t love the 1981 design, but I like the fact that they’re standard sized (and have plenty of background for the players to be “3D” against) is a  point in their favor.

1983 Kellogg’s Keith Hernandez

1983 Kellogg’s seems to be relatively common, but it’s not a great design and the cards are very narrow… again, that matters to me because more background means a stronger 3-D effect.

1970 Kellogg’s Ed Kranepool

1970 would be my dream Kellogg’s set to chase after, but for the previously mentioned budgetary considerations, it will have to wait for another day.

So that all brings me to my question for everybody…  Which year of Kellogg’s would you consider to be a fun but relatively inexpensive chase? 

At this point I don’t even know if a Kellogg’s set will be part of my goals for 2018, but I feel like it’s worth considering…  and I do want to have some sort of achievable goal to get me going, something similar (in terms of difficulty) to the 1968 Topps “Game” insert set. The answer may very well be “Dude, just knuckle down and work on the 1976 set!”

Thanks!

Hey, Kids! Collect U-KNOW-M Stamps — Now In TSR Fun Packs!

That’s right, you get four fun stamps in every pack…

…Featuring your favorite athletes, musicians, actors, historical figures, Nobel Prize-winning economists, game show hosts, cartoon characters, authors, theoretical physicists, sportscasters, members of Congress, mascots and celebrities who are famous for being famous!

You know you’ll like ‘em… because U-KNOW-M!

Here’s your first sheet… Make sure you go to your local VIRT-U-L-MART to pick up the official stamp album!

I fell asleep watching Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday night, woke up for the 9th inning, and ended up watching a fair amount of what followed on  FS1, the Pearl Jam concert film “Let’s Play Two”. I have to admit that even though I’m largely indifferent to Pearl Jam (their music just doesn’t speak to me) it was an interesting film. At the beginning there were shots of the band hanging backstage and I wondered “Who’s this guy hanging with the band, the one with short-cropped hair and glasses looking like Bob Saget’s younger brother?” As it turns out, Saget The Younger turned out to be Stone Gossard, rhythm guitarist for Pearl Jam. This amused me enough that I created a stamp for him.

For those who missed the debacle, the USMNT (U.S. Mutant Ninja Turtles Men’s National Team) were eliminated from World Cup qualification, bringing shame and disgrace on our country for generations to come. I haven’t seen the USMNT lately… and apparently won’t for quite a while… but Christian Pulisic sounds like he’s the future of soccer in the United States. Just the fact that he’s a 19-year-old playing in the German Budesliga impresses the hell out of me.  Maybe things would’ve gone better for the USMNT if the Mutant Ninja Turtles had been sent out to play against Trinidad And Tobago… or at least if Splinter had been the head coach.

I was amused by a t-shirt I saw, one which featured Cookie Monster and says “Straight Outta Cookies”. I like the shirt, but given Cookie Monster’s speech patterns, wouldn’t he say “Straight outta cookie”? …or maybe I’m just overthinking this.

Hagar Ben Ari is the bass player in the house band on The Late Late Show With James Corden. She’s often seen in the background and has this cool vibe about her, but I’d never seen her do anything but play bass and react to things on the show. I’ve been intrigued by her for a while, even more so when Googling turned up only her name, the fact that she’s Israeli and…. um….. she plays the bass.

Hopefully you enjoyed these… let’s see what else is in this particular Fun Pack!

While I have no love for the Washington Nationals, they recently did something I whole-heartedly approve of… They installed a full-blown organ for their organist Matthew Van Hoose (who previously had been using a keyboard).

I grew up listening to Jane Jarvis playing the organ at Shea Stadium, so I feel like a good organist should be part of a baseball game.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Nationals Park, but when I return to watch the Mets take on the Nats, I’ll make sure to appreciate Dr. Van Hoose.  I have a feeling, however, that he won’t be playing “Meet The Mets”.


When Nathan Walker took the ice recently, he became the first Australian player in the NHL. I thought that was really cool, and it almost made me want to root for the Capitals again. Almost. You know the rules… I won’t have any thoughts of reconciliation with the Capitals until Ovechkin’s gone.

The absolute best thing about this story is that Walker was congratulated by the Australian ambassador to the United States, a gentleman by the name of – and I am completely serious about this – Joe Hockey. My sources tell me that Mr. Hockey does not spend his winter skating on a frozen-over birdbath, thinking things like “Here’s Joe Hockey at the Stanley Cup Finals…”


If you hadn’t heard, the NBA is allowing teams to wear an advertising patch on their uniforms starting this year. What you may not have known is that the Indiana Pacers will be sponsored by 1994 Fleer Baseball.


The Angels’ Parker Bridwell went 10-3, 3.64 with a 1.198 WHIP. He also went at least 6 innings in 13 of his starts. The Orioles really could’ve used a guy like that in their rotation….

What’s that?

The Orioles had Parker Bridwell and DFA’ed him in April?

Oh.

Saturday Side Trip: Track #14 From The Beatles FrankenAlbums

…And the white flag is out!

This is the last track for the Beatles “FrankenAlbum”, and this time around we’ve got only 8 tracks vying for that coveted final spot. We’ve run out of tracks on A Hard Day’s Night, Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Disk 2 of the White Album and Let It Be.

Just a reminder that there will be one final Beatle post next Saturday to review this week’s voting and run through a couple of other Beatle-related lists of my devising.

As with previous weeks we’ve got other features and images from the 1993 River Group “The Beatles Collection” card set… like this one:

Recapping the voting from last week… “A Day In The Life” posted an overwhelming win

Here’s where we stand after thirteen tracks:

My FrankenAlbum:

  1. Help
  2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  3. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
  4. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
  5. And I Love Her
  6. I Am The Walrus
  7. Can’t Buy Me Love
  8. Strawberry Fields Forever
  9. You Never Give Me Your Money
  10. Things We Said Today
  11. In My Life
  12. Get Back
  13. A Day In The Life

Your FrankenAlbum:

  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. Something
  3. I’m Only Sleeping
  4. Medley: Nowhere Man / Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
  5. Medley: And I Love Her / I’ll Follow The Sun / Think For Yourself / Octopus’s Garden
  6. Medley: I Am The Walrus / Let It Be
  7. Here Comes The Sun
  8. Strawberry Fields Forever
  9. Penny Lane
  10. Medley: I’m Looking Through You / I’m So Tired / Lovely Rita / Things We Said Today
  11. In My Life
  12. I’ve Just Seen A Face
  13. A Day In The Life

My Favorite Covers FrankenAlbum:

  1. “Come Together” by Aerosmith
  2. “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker
  3. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Hooters
  4. “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey” by Fats Domino
  5. “Sexy Sadie” by Phish
  6. “Tell Me Why” by The Beach Boys
  7. “She Said She Said” by Gov’t Mule
  8. “Porque (Because)” by Grupo Fantasma
  9. “I’ll Cry Instead” by Billy Joel
  10. “For No One” by Chet Atkins
  11. “Good Morning, Good Morning” by Micky Dolenz
  12. “You Can’t Do That” by The Supremes
  13. “Got To Get You Into My Life” by Earth Wind And Fire

If you want to see the prior posts, you can click on the “Beatles FrankenAlbum” link at the bottom of this post.

OK, let’s get to it…

“Golden Slumbers” (Abbey Road) vs. “Money” (With The Beatles)
If not for the rule of following the official track listings, the combination of Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight and The End would be formidable… but as it is, the dividing line between “Golden Slumbers” and “Carry That Weight” is pretty well arbitrary, so I can’t really go in that direction for a chunk of a track.
WINNER: “Money”

“Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” (Beatles For Sale) vs. “Don’t Pass Me By” (White Album Disc 1)
These 14 posts make it seem like I hate Ringo… I’ll admit he’s not my favorite Beatle, but for me many of his tracks are enjoyable but generally not outstanding.
WINNER: “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby”

“Dizzy Miss Lizzy” (Help) vs. “Run For Your Life” (Rubber Soul)
I feel guilty for liking “Run For Your Life” because it’s quite a nasty and misogynistic song. If I remember correctly, even John Lennon came to regret writing it… but it’s a damn catchy song.
WINNER: “Run For Your Life”

“Twist And Shout” (Please Please Me) vs. “Tomorrow Never Knows” (Revolver)
Yikes… This is one of the hardest matchups in the whole shebang. “Twist And Shout” is so iconic and such a perfect end to any album; “Tomorrow Never Knows” is so ground-breaking and awesome… I’m grasping for anything I can latch on to, so I’ll go with the fact that Ferris Bueller didn’t lip synch to “Tomorrow Never Knows” on a parade float.
WINNER: “Twist And Shout”

SEMI-FINALS
“Twist And Shout” over “Money”
“Run For Your Life” over “Everybody Wants To Be My Baby”

CHAMPION
For the first and only time, I’ve got a cover version as the FrankenAlbum track: “Twist And Shout”

Cover Version

This is a bit problematic because out of this week’s eight songs, four are the Beatles covering other artists so I won’t include those songs. That leaves “Run For Your Life”, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Golden Slumbers”. There are good cover versions of “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Mission (UK) and also by David Lee Roth, but they don’t stray terribly far from the original. All of the covers I know of “Golden Slumbers” are a bit too sappy for my taste. Nobody covered “Run For Your Life” other than Nancy Sinatra and Gary Lewis And The Playboys, and I am not going to go there… Suffice to say, if Nancy’s last name was “Schwartzbaum”, we wouldn’t even be talking about her right now.

I don’t like to do this because one could debate whether it’s a cover when it’s Ringo doing his own Beatles song, but it’s the most interesting version of any of these four songs… and I feel like the Ringo fans should get a little bit of love for me. So… I’m going with “Don’t Pass Me By” from Ringo’s recently-released “Give More Love” album.

To make up for it, here’s The Flying Lizards’ version of “Money (That’s What I Want)”, which was a favorite on The Doctor Demento Show.   For some reason, I used to picture the vocalist as being  a Yoko-ish Japanese woman.


And now, one last time, head to the polls and vote!

Jiminy! Cricket!

A couple of months ago at work, several of us got to talking about the binder full of Pokemon cards that so many kids have. One teammate mentioned her own son’s Pokemon binder and went on to say that when she was a kid in India in the 1980’s, everybody collected WWF and Cricket cards.

Now two thoughts crossed my mind at that moment… The first was about the fact that WWF was popular enough in India to have cards, at least in the 1980’s. I have to say, I have several friends who grew up in different countries and it often surprises me (and sometimes pains me) to hear about some of the pop culture exports which came out of the USA.

The second thought was this: “There’s such a thing as Cricket cards? OOH! WANT SOME!”

The first thing I did when I got home was sign on to COMC and search on “Cricket”. Most of what I found were tobacco cards featuring portraits which could’ve been from any sport.

After some searching I found some Australian Topps Cricket cards from the 2002 Topps ACB Gold Cricket set. Since the Cricketers involved meant absolutely nothing to me, I picked out three based on the action shots.

Since I don’t know anything about the Cricketers or teams, and I don’t have any time to research them, you’ll have to make do with scans of the front and backs…

I don’t currently see myself buying any more Cricket cards in the near future, not unless I run across some which are, for whatever reason, irresistible… but I’m happy to add these to my “Misc. Sports” binder.

But they’re actually not the first Cricket-related cards I owned.  I have this card of W.G. Grace from the 1969 Brooke Bond Tea “Famous People” set.

Grace was, from what I’ve gathered, somewhat equivalent to Babe Ruth in terms of ability and importance… but this card wasn’t meant for a “Cricket” part of my collection, but rather as a sort of “Monty Python Reference” collection… Specifically in this sketch where Grace appears briefly as part of a Terry Gilliam cartoon (at 1:45 if you don’t want to watch the entire sketch):

 

 

PWE Playhouse: A Surprising PWE From Dime Boxes

I recently got a PWE from Nick at Dime Boxes, and I was frankly amazed not only at the selection of cards, but also at the sheer number of cards he can cram into a PWE… And what we have here is not the full extent of what he sent me, nor did these come in a larger envelope… this is truly “Plain White Envelope” stuff.

This nice-looking card of Jim Palmer came with a 1998 Starting Lineup figure.  I’d be curious to know how many Starting Lineup cards I have now, given that I have only ever owned one Starting Lineup figure (Gregg Jefferies, if you’re curious)

I pulled a couple of these 3000 Club cards from 2016 Topps, but I had bad luck with players I actually wanted to pull.  This goes into the Cal Ripken collection.

Some of you may be surprised that the next two cards were my first exposure to 2017 Allen & Ginter.  I don’t ever buy packs of A&G, I just acquire them after the fact.

I enjoy any cards featuring “The Kid”, especially when he’s shown with the Mets.

Zach Britton is an Orioles pitcher, so needless to say he’d like to forget about 2017.  At least he knows he has a job for next year, unlike some of his teammates.

This year’s design is pretty nice… but it’s still PWE and dime box fodder for me.

As it turns out I got two Zach Britton cards, including this light blue Archives parallel numbered to 25.

This “Beef” Wellington Castillo card was also numbered to 25.

Another first… this is my first 2017 “National Baseball Card Day” card to enter my collection.

I think the nearest participating dealer was something like an hour’s drive away.

For whatever reason, I don’t run across a lot of “Broders”, but this one is pretty nice (speaking of Gregg Jefferies).

This card probably qualifies as the biggest surprise… I didn’t expect to get something as old as 1959 Topps, but there it was!

Willie Tasby got his career off to a promising start; he was the Orioles starting centerfielder on Opening Day of 1959, and he was named to the 1959 Topps All-Star Rookie team. He ended up as a journeyman, playing for four teams over 6 seasons.

This 1980 Kellogg’s Jim Palmer is cracked but still welcome.  I’ve been thinking I need to up my game when it comes to Kellogg’s cards.

These next two cards were very welcome after reading about TCMA’s “The 1960’s” cards over at The Five Tool Collector.

Danny Napoleon played 80 games for the Mets, spread out over the 1965 and 1966 seasons.

The back of the card says that Dennis Musgreaves was a highly-touted pitching prospect done in by injuries. I don’t know much more than that about him, but his career consists of 16 innings in 1966.

Another Kellogg’s card, this one featuring Neil Allen who was recently let go as the Twins’ pitching coach.

I’m not sure which Fleer Box set this Lenny Dykstra card is from.  Cards like this saying  “Limited Edition” reminds me of those card shows where every dealer has the same recently-released wax boxes for sale and many of them have the chutzpah to label them as “rare”.

I was surprised to get this Art Shamsky card from the 1994 Spectrum “The Miracle of ’69” set… not because I haven’t seen it before, I have… but I don’t recall ever seeing these “out in the wild” before.

Cards on the table, I already have the full set… but it’s a really nice set commemorating the 1969 “Miracle Mets” and this reminds me that I need to feature it someday

And speaking of non-vintage vintage Mets, there was this 1992 Front Row card of Tom Seaver. I didn’t know that Front Row did any Major Leaguers, but it looks like there are also sets (inserts?) for Brooks Robinson, Ernie Banks, Al Kaline and others.

Thanks very much for this PWE, Nick!  I enjoyed going through this and marveling at the variety!

Because Nobody (But Me) Would Buy “Heritage Rookies, Relievers And Bench Guys”

I like Topps Heritage High Numbers, but we’ve long ago established that I march to the beat of a different drummer.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to actually look forward to Heritage High Numbers coming out… and it’s not because of the hyped rookies.  Instead, it’s about the guys who play significant roles on each team but disappear from sets after their rookie card.  I’ll admit that my enthusiasm for this set would be lessened if I actually liked the Topps designs of the past couple of years, because then I would be buying Topps Update, which provides many of the same players.

It took a while for these cards to show up in Shlabotsylvania, but I finally had a chance to buy a blaster at Target last week, and I thought I’d share the highlights from my perspective.

I got a pair of recently-retired pitchers… OK, this isn’t a highlight, but it amused me to pull cards of guys who hung it up days ago.

Carlos Carrasco is about as close to non-rookie star power as you’ll get in High Numbers.

I got a pair of inserts for Ryan Zimmerman, someone I collect.

Second-generation player Delino DeShields… It seems like there are a lot of “Juniors” and other sons coming our way.  In the minors right now we have Vlad Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr and Bo Bichette (son of Dante).  I’m sure I’m missing a couple more.

I was very pleased to pull a “Game” insert of Mets rookie and Baseball Card Breakdown favorite (on account of his Gavinosity), Gavin Cecchini.

I got the awesomely-named Jett Bandy… and his card reminds me of some of the controversy regarding whether backgrounds have been photoshopped into some of these photos.  Yeah, there seem to have been a lot of days with bright blue skies and puffy clouds, but as long as it’s done reasonably well, I don’t have a problem with it.

This real Jett Bandy card makes my quickie “Cheap Seats” custom somewhat superfluous, but it’s all good.

I also got cards of these guys with awesome names: Magneuris Sierra and Yangervis Solarte

A pair of pitchers named Albers who, somewhat surprisingly, aren’t related.

Andrew Albers has played for three MLB teams, none of them being the Braves (although he did pitch for the AAA Gwinnett Braves)

On top of the above Game insert, I also got four Mets, including the Steven Matz SP… But not a single Oriole.  See, CommishBob!  It’s not just you.

…I finally get a new card of Mike Montgomery, someone who has been represented in my current rosters binder by a six-year-old Bowman “Topps 100” insert.

Mike Montgomery appeared in 49 games last year and his only card for the entire year was a Topps Now card because he got a World Series save.  Even now, he’s probably only in this set because he’s a Cubs reliever.

These “Rookie Performer” inserts aren’t bad, but I don’t feel like they fit in with this year’s Heritage design.

Here’s unlikely postseason batting hero Archie Bradley

Like the Rookie Performers inserts, the Award Winners don’t really fit the Heritage theme… but this one seems like it would go better with the “Retro Original” inserts in 2017 Archives.

Ben Revere is another player I like to pull from packs like these… I realize that he’s not as good as he was when he lead the league in hits, but he’s still better than other players who do get cardboard.  It’s a bit hard to believe he’s already on his third team since being traded by the Phillies in 2015.

…and because you were all waiting with bated breath to find out… I DID pull a Cody Bellinger rookie card, so now I don’t have to worry about where my next car payment is coming from.

…And maybe someday I’ll learn to call him “Cody” instead of “Clay” without thinking about it first.

So those are the highlights of the blaster.  It really wasn’t much in terms of value, but i enjoyed it… I might buy some more should I find any in the stores, and if/when I run across a dime box of the base cards, I’m going to be diving in con mucho gusto.