I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! I know Mrs. K and I absolutely did. Quality time with family; great food; and some very thoughtful gifts received. Doesn't get any better than that. Heck, even my beloved Celtics won.
So today in some parts of the world Boxing Day
is celebrated. I used to think the day got it's name from the propensity for folks to rush to the malls and return all the ugly sweaters, socks and neckties they got on Christmas. Y'know, they would throw those items back in the box and run 'em back to Sears or wherever.
Anyhow, for me, Boxing Day serves as an occasion to bust open some boxes that I received on Santa's big day.
For instance, I got a 2012 Topps Football factory set from Dad K. I always put one of those on my Christmas list, especially in recent years, because of the little extras that come packaged within. Last year it was a patch card of Cam Newton. This year, certain factory sets either had an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III patch card.
My set had the Luck card. Hey, either way I wasn't gonna be able to complain. Both QBs are blazing their way towards record seasons and playoff appearances, to boot. While we are an RG3 household (due to Mrs. K and her Redskins fandom), I'll happily add Mr. Luck to my collection.
Another great perk of the factory set is the five-pack of rookie variation cards. Included were Luck, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson, Doug Martin and -- oh yeah -- RG3!
I definitely dig these cards, and I think there are some factory sets that feature rare variations of each player. I know some collectors out there aren't huge fans of factory sets, but for someone who doesn't buy a lot of football cards anymore -- like me -- these are the way to go. And the little bonuses make it even better.
Mom K got me a '12 Topps Baseball factory set, which features card No. 661 of Bryce Harper, plus a five-card rookie variation pack. From some very quick research, I think this pack includes Harper, Darvish, Cespedes, Lawrie and Matt Moore.
I haven't opened this box yet, and I'm kinda on the fence about doing so. On the one hand, I already have amassed all 660 cards from this set and I would feel bad busting the box just to get the Harper. On the other hand, I would love to see the five rookie variation cards. Plus, as a completist, I'd like to add card No. 661 to my 2012 Topps binder.
Staying with the baseball theme, Mrs. K got me a couple of 72-card hanger packs of Topps cards: one Series 2 and one Update. Now, as stated already, I have all of Series 2. And I also finished Update. But, because these boxes each have inserts, parallels and code cards, this wasn't a bummer in the least. So, I dove into those two boxes earlier today, likewise.
From the Series 2 box, the true highlight was an SP variation of Andrew McCutchen!
This is the first time I've ever come across one of these, save for the All-Star SPs from this year's Update. I'm not sure how rare these are, but I was pretty excited to get this one. McCutchen is one of the game's best young stars. And, well, can you beat this action sequence??
I also got a Seaver '87 mini and an extra Darvish rookie card.
Not too shabby!
As for the Update hanger box, I got a Mike Trout "insert"...
And, since these were purchased from Target...I mean...the North Pole, they came with a pair of red-bordered parallels. Included in my Update box were Carlos Ruiz and...
...Justin Verlander. Hey, that works for me!
Oh, and the code card in my Update box was a winner, as it netted me a Derek Jeter die-cut card. A real card, not a Super Mario World coin with Jeter's face or whathaveyou. Not sure if I"ll be keeping it or looking to swap it out for another player.
So, my Boxing Day was a good one, I must say. And I nearly forgot the other important box I tore into this afternoon. My sister bought me a new scanner! Of course, because I'm something of a tech dummy, it took me a few hours to work out all the installation quirks. But, now that it's up and running I really love it! It's way quicker and easier than my old scanner and it produces images that are much sharper and brighter.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday seasons, gang! I know I will...