Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up. Featuring 2011 Heritage

Hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did.  Time with my wife's family down in Stone Harbor was absolutely enjoyable (BBQ festival in North Wildwood on Sunday was a highlight), and my hobby pursuits were well-founded, too.  In addition to the contents of my 2011 Heritage blaster, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law gave me a nice belated birthday gift -- a gift certificate for a local card shop!  Pretty cool!  Additionally, when we got home, my recent eBay auction purchase was waiting by the front door.

I'll just focus on the '11 Blaster for this post and fill you in on the rest in future entries.  The blaster was a great one; one of the best I've opened in a long time (ever?).  I got a great assortment of cards, inserts and SPs. Oh yeah, and I also got a hit!  I really, really like this set, so getting such a quality group of packs was icing on the cake.

Without further delay, I present eight packs of 2011 Topps Heritage:

Pack 1
Mike Aviles - 305
Corey Hart - 202
Ryan Franklin - 149
Brian Roberts - 6
Jeff Niemann - 264
Orlando Cabrera - 381
Pittsburgh Pirates - 409
Joey Votto AS - 398
AL ERA Leaders - 55

My first pack wasn't an HOF effort, but I still enjoyed getting the Votto card.  Anyway, I'm a very easy collector to please.  If it's a set design I really like and I get a group of cards that I don't already have, I'm a happy man. Moving on...

Pack 2
Lucas Duda - 333
Russell Martin - 32
Chris Sale - 214
Mark Reynolds - Clubhouse Collection bat relic
Midway Masters (Kinsler/Andrus) - 211
Bobby Jenks - 161
Chris Young - 413
Grady Sizemore - 97

I was happy enough getting the Duda and Sale rookies, but I wasn't expecting to get a relic.  I rarely, if ever, get "hits", but I guess I got lucky this time around.  Not exactly a player that gets my blood pumping, but it's a great looking card.  Obviously, this was the best pack of the eight.

Pack 3
Lucas May - 417
Ty Wigginton - 290
WS Game 2 (Cain) - 233
Lucas Harrell SP - 479
Vladimir Guerrero - 125
Jake Peavy - 89
Gregory Infante - 326
John Jaso - 16
Ronny Cedeno - 270

The Harrell SP is the pack highlight.  I'm always excited to get an short print, regardless of who it is, especially in the Heritage sets.  Nice cards of Vlad and Cain here, also.  Both of which I actually have, but I will happily add both to my player collections.

Pack 4
CC Sabbathia - 48
Tommy Hunter - 324
Matt LaPorta - 78
Yovani Gallardo - 329
Alex Presley - 86
Baseball Flashbacks (Maris) - BF3
Brian Matusz - 355
Clayton Kershaw - 5
Kelly Johnson - 259

Some all-star names in this pack, with primo southpaws Sabbathia and Kershaw leading the way.  The Maris insert is awesome, of course, and I like the Presley card because I remember him from his minor league days in Lynchburg.  The latter is recovering from concussion-like symptoms, but it looks like he is close to returning for the Bucs.

Pack 5
Jonathan Sanchez - 71
Fernando Salas - 344
Mike Stanton - 288
Chicago White Sox - 113
Brian McCann AS - 397
Jordan Brown - 49
Mike Leake - 331
San Francisco Giants - 226
Arthur Rhodes - 151
Checklist 1 of 6

I bought the Stanton card at a hobby show a while ago, but I was pleased to get another copy for my player collection.  Of further note, this is the lone All-Star Rookie card I received in this box.  No Posey, no Strasburg, no Castro.  Still, this is a pretty good one to get!  Also, I got my second All-Star card of the box with McCann.  I love the look of the AS cards in this set.

Pack 6
Joe Nathan - 11
Brennan Boesch - 154
Heath Bell - 189
Alcides Escobar - 332
Huston Street SP - 435
Freddy Sanchez - 188
Jeremy Jeffress - 271
Luke Scott - 112
Wade Davis - 407

Three quality closers in one pack, how about that?  Of the three, Street gets the blue ribbon since his card is an SP.  Nothing else really earth-shattering in this pack, though I am becoming a fan of Escobar.  He's really playing well for the Royals, especially of late.

Pack 7
Andrew McCutchen - 10
Bobby Cramer - 291
Joakim Soria - 147
Trevor Cahill - 122
Kyle Drabek (Chrome) - C24
Scott Kazmir - 257
Chris Coghlan - 408
Geovany Soto - 66
Ricky Nolasco - 352

The pack started out with a bang with leading hitter in all of baseball, Andrew McCutchen.  And just a few cards later I found a chrome parallel of Kyle Drabek, who was perhaps the key piece of the trade that brought Roy Halladay to the Phillies from Toronto.  Okay, one more pack to go...

Pack 8
Jacoby Ellsbury - 101
Juan Pierre - 410
R.A. Dickey - 94
Carlos Quentin - 129
Josh Hamilton "New Age Performers" - NAP-3
Bath Ruth Special - 138
Oakland Athletics - 384
Adam Kennedy - 27
Adam Wainwright - 285

A few pretty cool things about this final pack.  Firstly: R.A. Dickey, enough said.  Additionally, the Ruth subset is pretty nice, and the Josh Hamilton insert is tremendous.  Hamilton is one of those guys that I have very few cards of, so getting anything of his works for me!


Like I said earlier, this was a great blaster.  I got two SPs (1:3), one chrome parallel (1:13), a New Age Performer insert (1:15), and a Baseball Flashbacks insert (1:12).  Oh, and the Clubhouse Collection relic card, of course (1:58)!  I don't know that you can ask for much more out of a retail blaster, can you?

The only downside?  Now I've got the major itch to pursue this set full-blast.  That would be fine normally, but trying to complete a trio of 2012 products (Series 2, Archives and Heritage) simultaneously has me kind of tapped out already.  Oh well, it's not like I'm on a deadline or anything, right?

Thanks again to my Oriole-loving wife, Mrs. K, for a truly great gift/surprise!  [Ed. Note: Don't think I didn't notice that my relic card happens to be a player currently residing in Birdland.  Coincidence?]

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