Monday, August 31, 2009

Topps Chrome Football 2008-Blaster

The past week or so I've read a lot of blogs with bloggers reporting on the new chrome offerings and I've only had one real experience with chrome cards. Besides the few that I've received in trades I bought a pack of 07 Bowman chrome once. That was nice, but a little expensive for a small pack of cards.

I noticed that Walmart had the new chrome out, but I didn't want to pick up chrome versions of the base cards. Or at least that's what it seems to be about. I'm still trying to finish the base Topps set, so I'm not really much interested in chrome. Maybe a chrome team set would be nice. Or maybe I could get lucky and get some chrome cards that I don't have and put them in the binder with the Walmart black outs, Target retro and the regular base cards. I already have a couple of gold parallels in the base set so maybe I can just put these in the binder and have a decent cross section of the different versions of these cards. Hmmm, well maybe not, but it's something to consider.

Anyway, they had something new at Walmart which is to say an older blaster of 2008 Topps Chrome Football. Since I'm a new collector pretty much everything is all new to me and it was 35% off so I had to try it out.

The blaster contains 7 packs with a bonus pack. It also mentioned only having 30 cards. 8 X 4 = 32 not 30 so I had hoped that it would be short some cards because of an auto or something cool.

The first pack that I pulled out of the box was the bonus pack.

They weren't kidding; It's actually labelled "Bonus Pack". Cool, maybe there will be something really nice inserted inside.

I'm going to do this a little differently (at least for me) and actually post the pack by pack breakdown.

First pack:

TC50 Joseph Addai

TC146 Reggie Wayne (pro bowl)

TC212 Andre Caldwell
TC229 Sedrick Ellis

That's cool that their are a few guys that I recognize. Two Colts in a row. Not a big Colts fan, but I like to watch them play especially on offense.

I was confused as to who Caldwell was, I think maybe he has an older brother who also played at Florida.

Second Pack:
TC69 Santonio Holmes (wearing a throwback uniform)

DYNC-JM2 NFL dynasties tribute Joe Montana
I really like the fact that Joe is looking into the sun on this shot. This is a really nice card.

HR-CB Chuck Bednarik
He has an award for the nations best college linebacker.

TC174 Erik Ainge
Once again I'm confused as to who Erik Ainge is. I sort of remember him at Tennessee, but I think his dad might have played basketball or something.

Third Pack:
TC198 DeSean Jackson

BFC-253 Brett Farve flight to 420 card

TC234 Red Bryant I'm guessing this is some sort of blue parallel. I'm not sure why they chose a shot of him eyeballing his teammate that way.

TC77 Andre Johnson

I think I might already have the exact same non-chrome version of that Farve card.

It's actually taken me opening up the third pack to realize that the '08 set mirrors the same design as the baseball set that I've complained about here and here.

The design doesn't seem to bother me as much as the baseball cards though, and I'm not sure why, but I think it has to do with the borders in chrome being black instead of white. The black blends in better with the background so that only the guy stands out from the background and the border.

Fourth Pack:

TC36 Ron Dayne
TC189 Kevin Smith

TC21 Marc Bulger

TC169 Chad Henne

I'm really happy to get a Bulger card. I really liked watching him play especially when Kurt Warner was hurt. I want to say it was in the '02 or '03 season when he got a lot more playing time. Actually I really liked to watch the Rams at that time. They had Warner, Bulger, Tory Holt and of course my favorite Marshall Faulk. They had a few other guys I really liked to watch. When they drafted Stephen Jackson and got rid of Faulk and Mike Martz the offense seemed to loose a lot of what I liked about it. It seemed to be more of a power running game with a typical kind of NFL offense instead of a more finesse offense which was more fun for me to watch.

The Henne card is nice, it looks like a retro card in a way because of the uncluttered background with just the shadow and horizontal yard lines behind him.

Fifth Pack:

TC166 Matt Ryan
Cool! I'm glad I got a Matt Ryan card. He's doing pretty well. The card looks like he's playing at some empty high school stadium.

HOF-AT Hall of Fame Andre Tippett

The Tippett card is nice. They put more detail in his leg pads. You probably can't see it in the scan, but it's cool. Trust me.

This is one of those weird type of refractor things.
TC252 Keith Rivers

TC101 Tony Scheffler
Here is the one example of what I was talking about earlier. The only cards I have for comparison are these two Scheffler cards.

Sixth Pack:

TC5 David Garrard
TC185 Jamaal Charles

TC17 Jeff Garcia
The Garcia card is nice. Cool pose and it's another one of those weird refractor things.

TC224 Jeff Otah

Seventh Pack:
TC196 Thomas Brown
BFC-335 Road to Perdition card
TC197 Justin Forsett
TC119 Bob Sanders

I would have really liked these Farve cards more like two years ago. I'm really looking forward to seeing him play with A.D. I was hoping that the Packers would have drafted Peterson so that I could see the two of them on the same team and now I have that chance. I really don't like the way Farve does things lately. He seems to have no consideration for the other people on the team that he's playing for and I think it's going to come back and bite him later.

As for the bonus pack it did seem a little thin.

TC148 Devin Hester

TC39 Adrian Peterson

Cool. I'm really glad I finally pulled a Peterson. He's my favorite player. I kind of wish it was a home jersey instead of a road jersey, but oh well it's still a nice card. I really like watching Devin Hester as a kick/punt returner. Two really nice cards to end the box.

Looking at the cards I also like the colored circles behind the team name. I think it looks so much better on black than white.

The cards are also notable thicker than the non-chrome ones. I noticed this when I was scanning the two Scheffler cards. It was a pretty good buy, I like chrome a lot, but I'm not sure if I have the money to shell out for a box or blaster of this stuff to try and complete a set. I have a feeling I'll be buying more chrome to see if I can pull a few players that I like. It would be nice to find some football buddies to trade for some of this stuff and get some more cards that I actually want to keep.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Baseball Dad multi Box Break!

A few weeks ago I participated in an old school box break sponsored by Baseball Dad.

Actually it was a three box break with 1992, 1993 O-Pee-Chee and 1993 O-Pee-Chee Premiere. He promised surprises too, which is always nice.

I picked the Mets and he sent me some really nice cards.

My eye quickly gravitated towards the newer cards he included as surprises, probably because I'm trying to complete those newer sets. He sent me a couple of Mets that are from the Walmart Blackout type of parallel.

I need to finish about 150 cards from 2009 topps series one and two apiece. I have hesitated to buy a blaster because I can never find time to go to Target and the only blasters I found at Walmart include the two packs of these blackout parallel cards. They don't really look that good as scans,but are actually kind of cool looking. After looking at these I might have to go out and buy get a blaster anyway.

This Pelfrey card had a nice background that I liked in the regular card.

This Bazooka card of Isringhausen reminds me of that Pelfrey card just because of the background and I guess the team too.

I love the out of focus lines of the stadium seats in the background.

This is how a highlight card should look like. Lots of action and emotion. A really nice tight shot. Apparently Todd Pratt was cut by 5 different teams but his home run against Arizona was only the fourth home in postseason history that ended a series. His home run sent them to the NLCS.

Cool shot. Sort of reminds me of this card I really like from '08.

This card gives me another excuse to post one of my favorite cards, the Hopper card from Topps '08.

Jack sent me a cool 2009 Goudey Jose Reyes card.

I really think I need to buy more of these cards. I really like the big head inserts.

Sort of like this all-star Ho-Jo card.

Kind of a different take on the big head thing from Score.

One of the cool things about the O-Pee-Chee cards is of course the highlights on the back of the card written in English and in French.

The backs on the '93's seem to mostly have different shots of the players than what is on the front.

You'll have to take my word for it, I'm too lazy to upload the front of this card.

The player portrait cards look cool.

And the action shot cards are nice because the player is actually shown outside of the colored border. That's always a nice touch.

A big highlight for me was Keith Hernandez, I've always liked the Seinfeld episode with him as Elaine's boyfriend.

That was the episode with the parody of the movie J.F.K.

Their were so many other cards that he sent. They all are nice additions to my Mets collection. It's the first time for me to even see these cards, so that's a nice card history lesson for me.

Thanks again Jack for hosting the old school group break. If any of ya'll have a chance check out his blog All Tribe Baseball.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Their is a contest going on over at coolio cards

Go on over and check it out!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

High School football

I thought I'd break up all the painting posts with something about my first football assignment of this fall. I'm not sure if this counts as fall yet, it was 92 degrees outside Friday evening so I'm still thinking it's summertime.

Anyway, I was in Moore, OK (home of Toby Keith) today to take photos of the Broken Arrow Tigers in a scrimmage at Southmoore high school. Actually the street facing the stadium and high school has been renamed Toby Keith Avenue. Crazy! I really haven't listened to any of his music and actually I wish he'd wear a shirt with some sleeves occasionally. Especially when he's on the OU sidelines.

Back to the game.

This is a running back from South Moore HS doin' his version of the Heisman stiff arm against a DB from Broken Arrow. (The other DB is out of frame.)

Another running back shot, this time a kid from Broken Arrow. The writer/sports editor didn't have a roster on hand so I have no idea who he is. That's fine with me though. I love these types of assignments. I only have to show up, take, edit and upload a few photos and let other people write the recap. I like writing, but I suck at it. Just writing captions sometimes is a chore for me.

Here is a typical shot from my memory card. I don't know how many times a coach, assistant coach, referee, TV cameraman or TV microphone guy gets in my way during the season. I have so many shots of the backs of people's heads and shoulders its ridiculous. Also, maybe I should crop out some of the dead space on the top of the photo.

I kind of like these shots though. Last year I was into collages and I made a few collages out of shots that wouldn't be printable.

Here are a few of them.

The first is from a Southmoore VS Westmoore football game. Same stadium as the above photos.

You might remember the kid from the lower right photo from this post
If I remember right the he had tried to scramble on fourth down for a first down and after much deliberation they gave it to him. This is a perfect example of the out of focus people getting in my way except for the first shot. That's just a stadium light causing a problem. I think this collage is kind of dramatic though. Starting with a head coach pulling off his headset, ending with the opposing QB celebrating. Okay maybe not.

Here is a shot from a Edmond Sante Fe and Edmond Memorial. I really don't have much love for the Edmond schools, especially Sante Fe. The fans and some of the players seem to be too cocky. Edmond North and Memorial not so much, they seem a little more down to earth. For all of you that aren't familiar with the Oklahoma City metro area, Edmond is north of OKC and is pretty much a rich person's suburb.

The assignment was to get some shots of the coach. The lower right was the photo that ran, the others were just interesting mistakes that I put together. The first shot I was just trying to get some shots of the guys in the pregame introductions, but the cheerleaders raised their pom-poms just at the right moment to screw me up. I had never shot a basketball game before so just trying to keep up with the action was pretty hard, hence the second shot. It's really badly composed, but I like it for some reason. I guess it's because it shows the facial expressions of the struggle without showing the actual struggle of getting/retaining possession of the ball.

So anyway, that's it for me tonight. That's all I've got, unless you want to see some random out of focus shots of the ground of the back or some linebacker.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Johan painting

I felt like trying my hand at another painting. This time I would try to do Johan Santana, the pitcher from the Mets.

This is my first sketch with pencil.

Here is a more detailed sketch with paint.

It's pretty monochromatic right now. Mostly just different shades of blues and reds to make up different values of red, blue and violet.

In this one you'll probably notice that I am having trouble again with the pitching hand. I'm trying to show more of the ball so that it's also in the frame. The arm looks a little disembodied right now. I was watching sportscenter at the time that I was looking over the final draft and I realized something awful. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed by this point.

Here is a clue to what has happened.

I was using this card as well as a few others when I was painting. It took a highlight of Johan pitching to remind me that he's a left handed pitcher, not right handed. Ha Ha. Crap! This sucks. I guess I can always un-Johan it and make it into another pitcher. This is a big setback for this painting, but not for me personally. Yikes! I'm so slow sometimes.

Anybody have any suggestions as to who I could change it to? I was thinking since it's already got the Mets logo I can just turn it into somebody else.

Allen and Ginter Giveaway

CardCache is hosting a really generous Allen and Ginter Giveaway over at his blog

I never win these things, so you guys should go over and enter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

sandy koufax painting part two

I think this is the first time that I've ever followed through on a two part blog post. Anyway I thought I'd would show the progress I've made on my Sandy Koufax painting as well as show some of the other stuff that I've done in the past.

First I'm going to show how far along I've gotten on the Koufax painting.

Basically all I've done is rearrange the pitching arm and add a little detail to the figure. Oh yeah, I also added the background "people".

I'm not crazy about the figure in general. Mostly I do a more impressionistic style of painting. You saw this one behind the Koufax painting in the last blog entry. Nearmint mentioned wanting to see more of my paintings.

Here is an example of one of those paintings. Just some girl.

The only part that I really love about this one is the face. The eyes especially are what I like about this painting.

So far in the Koufax painting I haven't really gone all out with the wilder impressionistic stuff. Some might say it leans a little bit more with post-impressionism or Expressionism, but I slept through most of my art history classes, so what do I know?

Here is a detail of his face. It's okay, but it doesn't really look like him.

The ball is kind of cool, I guess.

I was into painting butterflies at one point in my life. I did a lot of these.

A friend of mine from Indonesia told me something about an old saying that if you see a butterfly on your wall that you will have people come over to visit you soon. She mentioned that because I had come over to her house to watch a movie. I thought it was a good idea to just paint some butterflies and maybe I would have some visitors. It didn't really work.

Oh well, that's all I've got for now. If I continue on with the painting I might update it sometime. Usually I only take an hour or so on a painting and that's it. So far with the Koufax one I've spent about 3 or 4 hours on it in two different sessions. That's a first for me I think.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sandy koufax painting

A week or so ago I posted about how much I liked the Sandy Koufax card I received in a trade with Night Owl. I also mentioned how I wanted to get back into drawing and painting. I originally wanted to do something like this Mickey Mantle card I saw online.

The more I looked at the card I knew that it might not make a good candidate for a painting or sketch.

Originally I wanted to paint the whole card and just leave out some things that I didn't want to keep, like maybe the catcher or the big aisles in the stadium. I thought about making them a little bit more narrow.

I was thinking to do something like this:

But for some reason it never came out that good in my mind. Also I noticed when looking closely at the card I couldn't really see a lot of detail in his face. I have a feeling that is going to be a problem if I only use cards as my basis for paintings. They're just too small sometimes to get really good idea of the face.

I'm probably going to have to get a model to pose in baseball type poses or look to photos and really watch some games more closely to see if I can just use that as a basis and then add in the details to make it more resemble the person I'm trying to paint.

That may be too much for this amateur artist though. I thought I'd start simple and use a card that I really liked which also happens to be a painting.

I took this card and cropped it to be around the same size as the canvas that I was going use.

Well, anyway here is my first sketch using the Koufax card as a guide.

I did this in colored pencil and it took me a couple of tries to get it where I was somewhat happy with it.

You can see from the photo above that all I've really done is make the outlines of his body more defined.

Here he is with a full background which makes the figure standout. Now I'm starting to see what I like and don't like. I think both of his arms aren't in the right place.

I tried moving his gloved hand out a little. I think it looks awkward the way it was.
Now I'm sure that the pitching arm is messed up too,but this is all I've gotten done so far. I spent about 2 hours maybe getting it to this point. I spent most of that time washing and trying to find all my old brushes. I also spent a lot of time looking at the current version trying to see where I've gone wrong.

I think that the pitching arm needs to come in more. My painting is different than the card in that in mine it looks like we are looking at him from a slightly different perspective. The card is more from just his side. In mine it looks like maybe we are a little bit more in front of him. I need to bring in the ball and the forearm a bit.

Creative criticism is always welcome.