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Wax Cracker

Cracking a pack of sports cards a day for 365

The Road to 365 Packs

Wax Cracker’s journey to 365 packs will be completed. In January of 2014 I set out to open a pack of sports cards a day for the entire year. I was able to get through the first 200+ days without missing a post sharing with you all my pack of the day. I was proud to make it that long without missing a post. Though I haven’t posted over the last few months, the Wax Cracker project has been on my mind. I am returning to finish off my 365th pack. I’m looking forward to making it to the finish line I had my eye on back in 2014-15. I hope you all jump back on the card cracking train with me for this journey.

To get back into the journey to my 365th pack, I’ll be sharing the hits from 8 packs of 2015 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball. I picked up this blaster box a few months ago, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to open it.

Let the cracking begin at #312.

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2015 Topps Heritage Baseball High Number
2015-12-15 20.11.03
Packs 312-319

Below are my hits from Packs 312-319:

It feels good to have a fresh post up. I’ll continue to work through my collection to see what else I have to crack open.  Pack 365 is just over the horizon. As I head toward the finish line, I’ll be adding some new twists to WaxCracker.com. I’m looking forward to sharing with you all some of my new ideas for the site. Stay tuned!

As always, keep cracking open your own packs and share your hits with me @Sportsman_Kc.

 

Four Nights at the Museum: Patrick Fortin Returns to Crack Topps Museum Collection

My good baseball friend from Montreal, Patrick Fortin, has returned to Wax Cracker with a series of new posts for us entitled Four Nights at the Museum. Over a series of four posts, Patrick will be cracking open a box of his recent purchase of Topps Museum Collection. It’s great to have Patrick checking in again from Montreal, and I am looking forward to his continued contributions to Wax Cracker.

Without further ado, here is Patrick’s first post of his Topps Museum pieces:

FOUR NIGHTS AT THE MUSEUM, By: Patrick Fortin

Objective:

Four Weeks: four mini boxes of Topps Museum.

Along the way we’ll revisit some of my past Museum hits.

Each visit will conclude with the single hit from my latest Topps Museum Mini Box!

Night One: Walking Up the Hall of Sketches

One of the nicest touches in this product is that a sketch card is included in one master box.  Called Museum Canvas Collection, these sketches are a nice way to add bonus character to the product without affecting the hit ratio. As will be the case for all our guided walks up other halls of this awesome museum, a quick look left and right down the hall will provide glimpses of past hits.

Below, you will see a cool sketch of one of my favorite all time legends, Willie Mays. This hit was found in a Museum Box two years ago.

Willie Mays
Topps Museum Collection, Willie Mays

Below, a sleek portrait of a true modern master, Felix Hernandez.

Topps Museum Collection, Felix Hernandez
Topps Museum Collection, Felix Hernandez

From the same year as the Mays, the sketch captures the sheer dominating and haunting look a hitter has to avoid when facing up against King Felix of Seattle.

Just a few steps down and we can rest our gaze on a sketch from this year’s product. This is my second master box of 2015 Museum. Here is the canvas sketch hit from the first one a month ago, Mr. Boggs of Boston!

Wade Boggs
Topps Museum Collection, Wade Boggs.

Knuckleballers assemble as we revisit the Cy Young year of the Grapple From The Big Apple:

R.A. Dickey
Topps Museum Collection. R.A. Dickey

As for a Mets true legend, please see the picture below to find a 2013 rendition of Sir Tom Seaver.

Tom Seaver
Topps Museum Collection, Tom Seaver.

And drumroll as we unveil the latest addition to my personal Canvas Collection. Another Ace from Seattle to join King Felix… the Big Unit himself on the big wall:

Randy Johnson
Topps Museum Collection, Randy Johnson.

Bonus fact is that Randy Johnson came up through my beloved Expos farm system.

Remember, Canvas Collection cards are not considered box hits. I am happy to report that a signature card was the actual hit from this mini box. But before going to the final reveal, here are the base cards found in the mini box.

Dilsun Herrera
Topps Museum Collection, Dilsun Herrera.
Yadier Molina
Topps Museum Collection, Yadier Molina.
Jorge Soler
Topps Museum Collection, Jorge Soler.

And the autographed hit from this first mini box can be found at the end of this Hall. As you will see in the next Night at The Museum, the 2015 product has been rich in Boston hits! Well this box is looking like it will be no exception as we reveal the Relic Autograph of Matt Barnes!

Matt Barnes
Topps Museum Collection, Matt Barnes.

I hope you enjoyed your first Night at The Museum. The second night will be devoted to Jumbo Relic hits from my past box Museum breaks… as we reveal the brand new addition to grace the walls of the Jumbo Relic Hall!

-Patrick Fortin, follow Patrick on Twitter @PFO76

2015 State College Spikes Season Preview

Reporting and video by Christopher Shannon

On Friday, State College Spikes–a short season, single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals–open their tenth season and New York-Penn League title defense.

During the team’s media day on Wednesday, I interviewed the Spikes’ new manager, Johnny Rodriguez, and returning catcher, Brian O’Keefe, to gain some insite into the upcoming season.

Follow Christopher Shannon @CTSPhoto6687

California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episode 6: Featuring My Favorite Baseball Memory of John Kruk

The 6th episode of the California Republic of Baseball Podcast (@CRBpodcast) has been uploaded.  I hope you all will take some time to listen in and reach out to us with any feedback or questions for Tommy D, Producer Matt, or I.  This week we touched on the MLB All Star Game Ballot, as always Tommy D talked about his Yankees, and I reminisced about one of my Favorite baseball memories involving the memorable John Kruk.

John Kruk is one of my favorite all-time baseball players. He was down to Earth, a fun player to watch, and just an all around great baseball guy. I still love listening to what he has to add to Baseball Tonight on ESPN. It was a pleasure to be able to recall his at bat against Randy Johnson at the 1993 MLB All Star Game at Camden Yards.  I remember begging my sister to get us tickets to the game, but unfortunately it was a tough ticket to come by. I still remember watching the Kruk v. Johnson at bat intently from our TV at home. At bats like that are definitely devoid from All Star Games now.

Kruk
The memorable John Kruk. One of my favorite players.
Kruk v Johnson
Kruk v. Johnson in the 1993 MLB All Star Game at Camden Yards.

I’ve included the link to Episode 6 of our podcast below. I hope you’ll take a listen as we are improving week by week.

California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episode 6

And to help you relive one of my favorite baseball memories, here is the Kruk v. Johnson at bat from the 1993 MLB All Star Game:

Kruk v. Johnson, 1993 MLB All Star Game

Take care and have a great night, everyone! Thanks for stopping by WaxCracker.com!

-Casey, @Sportsman_kc

California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episodes 1-5

If you’ve missed a previous episode of the California Republic of Baseball Podcast or are looking for the most recent episode, look no further as the links to all the episodes are listed in the link below:

California Republic of Baseball Podcasts 1-5

As we continue to build out the show we very much appreciate your feedback.  Please leave some comments below if you are listening in.  We are feeling our way through building the on air chemistry and content of the show. As we proceed you’ll start to see us formulate more set up segments of the show, but for now we are free-styling as we get used to our new digs.  We’re excited to bring you the California Republic of Baseball Podcast and we hope you all are enjoying the show so far. Many thanks go out to Matt Pirtle for putting this together and doing the behind the scenes editing every week.  From Tommy D, to The Hammer, to me, thank you for all the hard work, Matt!

We’ll be recording Episode 6 this Wednesday night 5/13. Please check back for a link to that episode.  Also, please stop by to see us at http://californiarepublicofbaseball.com and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CRBpodcast (@CRBpodcast).

Take care, have a great Monday, and stop by WaxCracker.com soon as Patrick Fortin will be returning with a box break of some Topps Museum Collection!

California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episode 2: Fantasy Baseball, Umpiring, and A Recap of Week 1

Episode 2 of the California Republic of Baseball Podcast has been uploaded to our temporary home while we await approval to be an official podcast on iTunes.  Check out the podcast and let us know what you think. Now that the podcast is off the ground I will be able to start writing again on Wax Cracker.  Stop by for some new articles coming up!

California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episode 2

-Casey

California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episode 1, Segments 1-4

As promised, Matt the Producer was able to upload Podcast Episode 1, Segments 2-4 last night.  We are currently uploading to YouTube as we await our approval to be put on iTunes as a podcast.  We’ll have that taken care of for you all soon and look forward to bringing you all the podcast in its entirety on ITunes.  Below are the links to the California Republic of Baseball Podcast Episode 1, Segments 1-4:

California Republic of Baseball Podcast 1, Segment 1

California Republic of Baseball Podcast 1, Segment 2

California Republic of Baseball Podcast 1, Segment 3

California Republic of Baseball Podcast 1, Segment 4

We’re all three getting used to being back behind the mics again.  We can all sense the chemistry forming as we continue to record.  We hope you all come along for the ride and join in with us to talk baseball this season!  Please let us know what you think of the podcast so far.

Here’s to baseball and bring on Opening Day!

-Casey, Tommy D, and Matt the Producer

Please visit us at:

@CRBpodcast

@Sportsman_kc

http://californiarepublicofbaseball.com

2015-01-24 11.37.41
Matt the Producer
20140919_193333
Co-hosts and even better baseball buddies, Tommy D (l) and I

2015-01-24 11.36.54 HDR 20140731_174042 20140725_195129 2015-01-24 11.01.54 HDR-2

California Republic of Baseball Preseason Podcast 1, Segment 1

It’s exciting to share with you all our first episode of the California Republic of Baseball Podcast as we bring you  our MLB Preseason Primer. This is the First Segment of two for this episode. Matt will have Segment 2 up later tonight. Tommy D, Matt, and I are bursting with excitement to get this podcast off the ground.  We very much appreciate any listenership you all will give us. I hope this one gets you all excited and I will share with you all later tonight the link to Segment 2.  Please feel free to write to us with questions or comments.  You all can get in contact with us through leaving a comment at the bottom of this post, on Twitter @CRBpodcast, at waxcracker1@gmail.com, or visit us at http://californiarepublicofbaseball.com.  We look forward to responding to your questions during future podcasts.

We hope you all are as excited for the launch of the California Baseball of Baseball Podcast.  Stick with us throughout the season as we will be passionately discussing baseball.  Below is the link for Podcast 1, Segment 1:

California Republic of Baseball Podcast 1, Segment 1

podcast logo

 

John von Drunk – Dull and Rusted

Before I get into this installment’s movie, let’s all think about the heady days of 1996. Maybe you’re a hotshot movie exec that still does cocaine and the comic book industry is still booming with holographic covers and profitable movie tie-ins. You decide that you’ll pick up a lesser-known indie book with an approachable post-apocalyptic hook, like Tank Girl but more grounded in reality. You’ll throw some money out to a 2-dimensional but serviceable pair of boobs as the lead actress, like Bo Derek. You’ll surround her with a bunch of journeymen actors as bad guys; hire a writer that’s pumped out a few Jean Claude Van Damme action movies, and a newbie director. The plot will be second to the action and boobs, so no one will notice that’s lifted blow-for-blow from a better movie. Speaking of blow…

All of those decisions should lead to a decent, generic, maybe profitable movie but instead each one just missed the mark. What you’re left with is Barb Wire, a movie that should have gone straight to Cinemax but instead was released in actual theaters in 1996. It stars Pamela Anderson (then going by Pamela Anderson Lee) as a badass bounty hunter in the far-flung future of 2017, trying to toe the line between right and wrong. This is the only movie that I’ll watch for this series that I had seen a part of before, pay attention and see if you can figure out which part 11 year old me had seen. To accompany this movie I’m drinking something called a “blonde-headed slut”, a suggestion from my friend and professional bartender Kevin. It’s supposed to be a shot comprised of equal parts Grand Mariner, peach schnapps, and pineapple juice. I threw everything together and added a bit of club soda to make it a makeshift cocktail. It’s not as terrible as it sounds.

I actually am quite happy.
This might be the most depressing thing on the internet

The movie starts with a text crawl explaining that it’s 2017, and America is going through a new civil war. There’s a voice-over narration that reads all of this to you, explaining some despotic politicians have overthrown our democracy except on one island: Steel Harbor. That sounds less like the civil war is going on and more like it’s already done. After that primer, we see Pamela Anderson dancing in a black PVC dress alongside the opening credits. Eventually, as she’s wont to do, she shows off her boobs and water starts spraying her down. At the end of the opening credits, she throws her shoe at some guy that was yelling at her and presumably kills him. Don’t objectify women that dance and strip in black PVC while dudes hose her down, kids; just tip them.

After she gets off stage, she kills her creepy strip club manager for reasons unknown to the audience. Then she opens a meat locker and rescues a school girl. This movie is doing a really great job of making sense and drawing me in already. After she returns the girl to her parents and takes their car as payment (leaving them in a dark alley a block away from the strip club), she gives a voice-over narration of the exact same story we heard 10 minutes ago. I’ve already finished my first too-sweet drink and want something completely different, much like this movie makes me want to watch something completely different. But I will persevere.

We then get a scene of bad guys torturing some girl on a table wearing a metal bikini with wires coming out of it. They’re mentioning names and motivations that mean nothing at this point. The phrase “the free city of Steel Harbor” has been uttered 4 times in 15 minutes, so you think it means something. It doesn’t, but we find out that some woman with magical DNA has escaped there, and the bad guys want her.

There’s a drawn-out scene in an industrial bar set up in a warehouse that makes the movie one pair of JNCO jeans away from being the most 90’s thing ever. Pamela Anderson owns this place, and to make ends meet decides she’ll go out and collect a bounty on some schmuck. There’s another drawn-out scene but this one involves guns and over-the-top fighting. She straight-up kills a guy after the fight because he calls her babe, and then frets over a broken nail. She’s hardcore, guys. Honestly, the only thing I’ve realized as far as character development is that she’s pissed off all the time and does not wear much clothing.

Seems natural
Action Pose

The bad government guys show up at Pam’s bar and she’s pissed at that. Of course, Magic DNA Lady and the guy she’s with decide to show up on the exact same night and Pam’s pissed about that too. Turns out, Magic DNA’s man was Pam’s man back in “The War” and we’re treated to a flashback of Pam wearing combat fatigues, dirt, and too much lipstick for a battlefield. That’s why she’s so pissed; she lost the war for her country and her man! She tells him she won’t help them, and she won’t help the bad guys either- she’s in this for herself and she’s got a good thing going on right now. All I know is that in the future everything is dark and wet and no one is happy. Clint Howard is in this movie for some reason, and he shows up the next day to sell some contact lenses (read: mcguffin) that both sides want but Pam wants none of it. He hides it in her bar with her somehow not noticing it and then runs away. He’s going to die later, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Forrest Gump was smarter
Lieutenant Dan!

The bad guys know Clint had the lenses and dealt with Pam because they have special eye-reading technology that they can use for identification or reading your memories in a painful way because the future is bullshit. They trash her bar looking for the mcguffin, but she’s still not goaded into anything. Her brother took the lenses because even though he’s blind he knew Clint hid them in the bar. I try to stay just drunk enough to follow the plots of these movies, and thankfully this one met me halfway. If I was any less drunk I’d have an aneurism, any more drunk and I would actually like this movie.

To sum up act three: bad guys kill Pam’s brother, Pam decides to sell the lenses to get her and Magic DNA to a plane to Canada even though Magic DNA needs the lenses to board the plane. She’s double-crossed, but double-crosses them back and a painfully long car chase, shootout, and fight scene follow. They all get to the airport, and she lets Magic DNA and her ex get on a plane while she stays back with a sort of dirty police captain that’s been floating around. It’s not until that final scene that I realize this movie is Casablanca, but with more tits and explosions. Someone actually did a grim reboot of fucking Casablanca. I’m not proud to have finished the Grand Marnier on that realization.

This movie was not racist or sexist
There was also this guy who’s name was, I’m not making this up, Bit Fatso. He was carted around in a front-loader.

Other thoughts:

  • Magic DNA was going to stop a global epidemic of super AIDS, but Pam didn’t care about all that. I think in real life, she’s more cognizant of incurable STDs.
  • This is as close as I would get to Pamela Anderson’s sex tape until I got broadband internet. I’d like to thank her for that.
  • Is this what Twitter arguments will do to our country in the next two years? It seems wholly possible.
  • The comic book “Barb Wire” actually had a mini-series after this train wreck of a movie, although the character hasn’t been seen since 1998.

Bottom line: Somehow the attempt at a plot made this worse than Steel. At least I could see that Steel was silly, family-friendly fun. This seemed more like it was created by throwing darts at a wall made up of b-movie clichés.

Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than a month from now. As always, you can help start the civil war of 2017 by reaching me on Twitter @captjohnstarr or dropping a line in the comments.

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