It feels great to back in the writer’s chair for Wax Cracker.  I very much apologize for being away like I have.  My day job has kept me super busy over the last few weeks.  However, in an attempt to make my absence up to you all, I’m going to crack through the final 11 boxes of the 2014 Press Pass Gameday Gallery today.  I’ll being sharing all the remaining box hits for you all.

Before I get into the crackings, I can’t go any further without acknowledging the run that the Baltimore Orioles made this postseason.  I was 15 year old the last time the Orioles made the ALCS in 1997, the season I refer to as the Jeffery Meyer year. It was great to see the O’s get as far as they did, especially through the sweep of the Tigers.  The O’s went through three straight Cy Young Award Winners while going against Detroit on their way to advancing to match up with the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals are on an amazing run, almost like a NHL team riding a hot goalie through the playoffs.  If the Orioles couldn’t represent the American League in the World Series, I am glad that the Royals of all teams will be going in our place.

It has been an extra interesting MLB Playoffs for me this year.  When I was in Las Vegas last March for March Madness, I put down three bets.  I walked up to the sports book at The Flamingo Casino wearing my Orioles hat and I placed bets on the St. Louis Cardinals winning the National League and the World Series.  The gentleman at the sports book quietly took my bets and then shot me a look of disbelief.  He handed me by betting stubs and then called me out.

“You’re an Orioles fan putting all your bets on the Cardinals?”, said the attendant.”

“I guess I am, sir,” I said.

“Come on son, you need to bet on your own team”, replied the attendant.

I knew it was this man’s job to encourage me to hand over more of my money to the casino, but at this point I was already up a thousand dollars from a huge hit I had pulled in the night before on a penny poker machine.  I pulled a ten dollar bill out of my wallet and put it on my Orioles winning the World Series at 40/1 odds.  What’s ten dollars when it comes to knowing you are backing your own team?

Little did I know back then how far the betting odds on the Orioles would change as the season went on.  By the time the League Championship Series rolled around, the Orioles were the favorites to win the World Series at 2/1 odds at that point.  What a great run it was as a fun, and it turned out to be a great season for the O’s.  I will take winning the division as a huge win…that’s right, we finished above the Red Sox and Yankees for once!  With the losses of Chris Davis, Dylan Bundy, and Manny Machado, I can’t imagine anyone would have expected the Orioles to get as far as they did this season.

However, even with the success of this year’s team, it’s no guarantee the Orioles will return to the postseason next year.  The Orioles have a lot of roster questions and they should be kicking themselves for only signing Nelson Cruz to a one year deal when nobody wanted him.  There are rumors that Chris Davis won’t be back and Nick Markakis unfortunately may be on his way out.  It will be interesting to see what the O’s do in the offseason, and in particular, whether Peter Angelos will stay out of the key baseball decisions.

So there’s my Orioles wrap up. It was tough to see the O’s knocked out the way they were, but I am happy as a fan to see them go as far as they did.

Ok, let’s get back into some sports card cracking with guaranteed autograph hits!  Below are the 11 autos I pulled from Blaster Boxes of 2014 Press Pass Gameday Gallery.  Here were my hits:

The hits!
Pack 272
Pack 273
Pack 274
Pack 275
Pack 276
Pack 277
Pack 278
Pack 279
Pack 280
Pack 281
Pack 282


What a great way to get back into cracking.  Nothing says sports card collecting like hitting for guaranteed autographs.  I need to restock on some packs to crack for this week, and I hope work slows down a little bit so I can get back in my writing groove in the evenings.  I’ll also have three big video breaks coming up for you all for Steel City Collectibles, so make sure to check back.  Take care and have a great weekend, everyone!