Tuesday, November 29, 2022

2022 Topps Update Blaster

Something a little different today. Let's try some 2022 Topps Update! This is always a fun box to open. Not only is it full of rookies for the most part, but Topps has done a good job filling out the set with all-star and other specialty cards. It makes it really packed with stars in addition to the rookies. Not much more you can ask for. How did it go?

Let's find out...



The box. Similar look to the others, but with that green tint.


Just like the packs.


I talked about all the rookies and stars. There are also important updates. My Red Sox team set is in a much better place now that it includes Rob Refsnyder.



And, you know, Rich Hill.


Finally one of those rookies. Hopefully Duran can figure some things out and become a useful member of the team.


OK. This is a good update...and a star. Story was hurt a lot this year, so nice to be reminded that he wore the uniform.

And there we go. Quite a few Red Sox in this one, which is always great. Nothing earth shattering. But, the Red Sox probably don't have any of those in this set. Still lots of fun to open.

How did your blaster go?

Friday, November 25, 2022

Chloee Kline Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Chloee Kline is passionate about mental health, a talented performer, and the current Miss Collegiate North. I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. 

So, let's see what happens when Chloee Kline visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Collegiate North crown?

My family and friends couldn’t make it to watch the pageant, and I didn’t expect to win! I went home with my crown on and surprised my family after the pageant. They were very excited, to say the least. I always get Taco Bell after pageants to my mom bought a taco for me to celebrate.


Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Collegiate North?

My biggest goal is to connect with as many Indiana colleges and universities as possible to share my social impact initiative, implement The Bandana Project and get college students mental health resources they may need but not know about. 


What is something Elizabeth Hallal is doing as Miss Indiana that you would want to emulate?

Eliza is a full-time college student but also attends a ton of events and appearances. I want to make sure I attend as many events as possible, like Eliza and soak up my time as Miss Collegiate North. 


How did you select your social impact initiative, “The Bandana Project”?

While a student at Purdue University, I was heavily involved in Student Government (PSG). PSG organizes a Mental Health Awareness Week each year. In my senior year, we decided to implement The Bandana Project on campus. We distributed over 30,000 bandanas and resource cards on campus. This project was very successful and truly impacted my life and my mental health journey. I knew I wanted to use this as my SII to give students the resources I didn’t have as a college student.


What do you enjoy most about performing your talent on stage?

I grew up in theatre and show choir and miss performing on stage. I truly enjoy the talent portion of the competition as it takes me back to my performing days. I feel so at peace on stage, sharing a song that has touched my heart so much I feel compelled to perform it on stage.


You’re a proud graduate of Purdue University. Where do you see your degree taking you?

With the scholarships I’ve earned in this organization, I hope to attend law school and further my education in legal writing. I feel very prepared from my time at Purdue! I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and Professional Writing. I’ve made many connections with other Purdue alumni inside and outside of the Miss America Organization. I am most thankful for the Purdue Community and how I’ve learned to network with them. 


If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

One of my all-time favorite movies is Ratatouille. I would love to be Remy for a week, not only to cook and eat some delicious food but to also experience Paris and French culture. 


If you had an extra ticket to see the Fort Wayne TinCaps play the South Bend Cubs, who would you take with you? Why?

I would definitely take my sister and my nephew to a Tin Caps game. I grew up in the Fort Wayne area and went to a few baseball games as a kid when the team was the Wizards. I would love to take my nephew to do things that I did as a child in northeast Indiana. 

 

Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

Last summer, I attended an Indianapolis Indians game and had a blast! I’m excited to attend more games next season and I aspire to sing the National Anthem at a game as a titleholder. 


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Singing the anthem would be an incredible experience! 

As always, I want to thank Chloee for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Indiana! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Chloee during her journey as Miss Collegiate North. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on. 


Thanks again Chloee, and good luck!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Karrina Ferris Visits Section 36!

Ferell Ann Photo
Section 36 had another visitor! 
Karrina Ferris is passionate about youth voting, a talented dancer, and the current Miss Silver State. I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. 

So, let's see what happens when Karrina Ferris visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Silver State Crown?

Nevada is currently an open state, meaning that we do not have local competitions anymore, so I've actually never competed for a local crown as a Miss candidate. I did compete all four years as a Teen candidate though. Everytime after I won a Teen crown, I would always go out to dinner afterwards with my family, usually to BJ's. BJ's has the best pizookie desserts, so it was and still is my preferred way to celebrate after a big event!


What is something Heather Renner is doing as Miss Nevada that you would want to emulate?

One thing that I really admire about Heather is how open and real she is. She's not afraid to share her opinions and tell her story, which I think is very inspiring. With the shift that our program has gone through, I think it's now much more acceptable for titleholders to share their opinions and feelings on certain issues, which I love. We are no longer just pretty faces, we are intelligent and opinionated women, and I think Heather is a great example of that. I would like to emulate how open and honest she is, because I think it's inspiring for young girls to see women in a position like ours being unapologetically ourselves. 


What part of the upcoming Miss Nevada competition are you most nervous about?

Christina Martinez Photography
I wouldn't say that there is one phase of competition that I'm particularly nervous about, but I'm rather more nervous about the pressure that comes with being 1st Runner Up. I was 1st Runner Up twice in a row as a teen, and what made that second time more difficult was the fact that I felt as though I didn't live up to the standards that everyone had set for me. I felt like I had let so many people down, and that was a hard feeling for me to overcome. Because of that experience, I am a bit nervous about dealing with that pressure again this year. I am trying my best to not let myself slip into that mindset, and I'm reminding myself that everything happens for a reason, but the pressure can be nerve-racking for sure. I just keep reminding myself that timing is everything and that whatever happens was meant to happen. 


How did you select your social impact initiative, “Inform to Reform”?

My Social Impact Initiative, Inform To Reform is definitely what I am most proud of as a titleholder. It really does mean the world to me. I originally created this program and chose it to be my SII because it directly correlates with what I want to do in my future. I'm hoping to attend law school and eventually run for office someday, so I thought it would be fun to have a platform that connects with my long-term goals. But, it turned into much more than that. When I first started thinking about Inform To Reform, I was a senior in high school taking my first government class, and we were learning about voter statistics. I had learned that my generation was the age group that is the least likely to vote. Hearing this really saddened me because I know that my generation has so many great ideas for the future, but most of these ideas were going unheard because they weren't voting. So, Inform To Reform was originally focused on helping people register to vote and helping them get involved in politics through voting. This past year, my focus with Inform To Reform has shifted though. Now, I work with elementary school children and advocate for an increase in constitutional education in elementary schools. I have spoken to over 600 children about the Constitution and have created lesson plans for teachers to integrate into their classrooms. I believe that if students are taught about the Constitution and voting at a younger age, they will grow up to be informed and active voters. Teaching them this information as seniors in high school, when they are already at or near voting age is not enough to get them excited to vote. My goal with Inform To Reform is to create a nation where people are growing up being taught the importance of voting, so as soon as they turn 18, they become registered voters and are excited to vote in their first elections.


As a talented dancer, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?

My favorite part about performing onstage is the energy that is created between you, as the performer, and the audience. Performing allows you to create connections with everyone in the audience because you truly are laying out so many emotions for them to see. The support from the audience while you are telling your story creates such a beautiful energy that is like nothing else. Being able to share your passion and your story, and to receive support from the audience while doing that is such a special experience that I will always adore. 


You’re a member of the Spirit Team at University of Nevada. What is that experience like?

I was a member of the Nevada Pom Team for two years, but I am not anymore. The experience of being a college cheerleader is something that I do hold so close to my heart. I had such a great time getting to perform halftime dances, getting to cheer for our amazing players at UNR, and forming close connections with the girls on the team. I did decide to take a different path though and return back to my roots as a ballet dancer. I am now a company dancer at Sierra Nevada Ballet, and I truly love it. I've been a ballet dancer since I was four, so finding my way back to ballet was a very special journey. 


If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

If I could be a Disney character for a week, I would want to be Moana. Since the movie came out, she has been my favorite Disney character, because of how determined and resilient she is. I also loved how her story didn't revolve around a love interest, but was rather focused on her as an individual. Plus, who wouldn't want to spend a week on a beautiful island, and swim in the ocean everyday?!


If you had an extra ticket to Reno Aces baseball game, who would you take with you? Why?

If I had an extra ticket to a Reno Aces game, I would bring my younger brother, Keagan. He's played baseball since he was four, and is now still playing as a senior in highschool. He loves baseball, and would be very excited to watch a Reno Aces game.


Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

At the Reno Aces games, they have an event at the end of the night where children get to run the bases. I also have a three year old brother, named Colt, who I was able to take to run the bases last summer. It was so much fun getting to do this activity with him and to see how excited he was. I would love to experience this again. 


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Oh yeah, running the bases is definitely something I would want to do! 

As always, I want to thank Karrina for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Nevada! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Karrina during her journey as Miss Silver State. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on. 


Thanks again Karrina, and good luck!



Thursday, November 17, 2022

2022 Topps Fire Box

Let's try some 2022 Topps Fire. Going a little bigger than usual today, with the whole retail box instead of just a blaster. Always enjoy opening Fire. It brings a lot of variety to the pack, and usually has all the players you're looking for. Not much more you can ask for. How did it go?

Let's see!


Here's the box.


Just look at all those packs!


I will say that I always forget how cartoonish these cards are in person. I always envision a premium brand, but it's much more fun than that. Of course, the graphics are over the top. But, that's the whole point. It's not flagship or anything. Which is why I don't mind getting retired players as much.


Of course, active players are always more fun. And, a nod to the variety, this design shows Devers breaking my window. Definitely fun.


Is this a current player? Is that a bad joke? How great is that swirling design? 

Three Sox on three different designs. Not a bad haul. Obviously, could be better, but a nice representative sample of what to expect. 

How did your box go?

Friday, November 11, 2022

2022 Topps Series 2 Hanger

Sometimes you just feel like opening cards, even if it's not a full blaster. I can't seem to really get into these hangers. I think, mentally, the one stack of cards is so uneventful. Somehow more utilitarian. Like I'm just robotically added cards to the collection. No effort on my part. But, you know, in the end they're still new cards.

Let's see how this one went!


Here's the box itself. 


And here's the "pack" inside. With a Devers card sitting right there on top. Am I supposed to leave this unopened with him on top? I mean, I didn't...but was I supposed to? Was I supposed to ignore the wonders to be found within?


Like, you know, this Garrett Richards card. That's probably not the gold mine anyone it looking for.

But, there you go.

What do you think of the hangers? Are they fun ways to get your card fix, or anti-fun card grabs?

Friday, November 4, 2022

Grace Stanke Visits Section 36!

Photo: Denise Watrous
Section 36 had another visitor! 
Grace Stanke is passionate about clean energy, a talented violinist, and the current Miss Wisconsin. I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. 

So, let's see what happens when Grace Stanke visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Wisconsin crown?

I was lucky enough to celebrate becoming Miss Wisconsin with family and friends at the after-party that the Miss Wisconsin Organization puts on. I spent so much time with people at that after-party that I quite literally forgot to eat, so about 5 hours after being crowned Miss Wisconsin I was able to get some hard earned Chik-Fil-A!


What has been the biggest surprise about your time as Miss Wisconsin?

The biggest surprise was the amount of support I received from the nuclear industry. As a nuclear engineer, I am breaking stereotypes in the Miss America Organization. However, as a Miss Wisconsin, I am breaking stereotypes in the nuclear industry. I was pretty nervous about how the industry would respond to an undergraduate student becoming Miss Wisconsin! However, I have been continuously congratulated and supported in a variety of ways, including three partnerships supporting my mission as Miss Wisconsin.


What part of the upcoming Miss America competition are you most nervous about?

I'm pretty nervous about wardrobe - I've never been the person to really care about wardrobe too much, and it always feels like wardrobe is an intense part of preparation for the Miss America Competition. However, I have made sure to find wardrobe that I feel confident in, and that I know is 100% me as I continue to prepare for the Miss America Competition!


How did you select your social impact initiative, "Clean Energy, Clean Future"?

As a nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I have become heavily involved in the energy industry. When choosing my social impact initiative, I asked myself what I knew I could talk about for hours on end and is something that society needs to change. That answer came down to switching America to zero-carbon energy with a heavy emphasis on nuclear energy, along with dispelling the myths surrounding nuclear power. I've had the pleasure of working with the nations largest fleet of nuclear generating stations, and am excited to share my work experience with the nation as I create public information campaigns for the general public to learn more about nuclear energy.


As a talented violinist, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?

There's something about practicing a piece to the point of complete muscle memory. When I get to this point, I'm able to more of think about the audience and having fun on stage rather than focusing on emphasizing a note, bringing out a certain dynamic, or making sure I hit the shift into sixth position just right. I love to be in the moment and soak it all in, and that is best done when I have that muscle memory down pat!


If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

Judy Hopps from Zootopia! She is paving the way in her industry, in the same way I intend to do in mine.


You're currently working on a degree in nuclear engineering. Where do you see that field taking you?

There are many options I could pursue. I could work in the medicinal field, academic field, research, the power industry, policy, and more. I personally plan on entering the power industry to help create and generate zero-carbon energy for the nation. I plan on spending most of my early career there, but I would like to end my career in either management or in policy work as I continue to advocate for the nuclear industry.


If you had an extra ticket to a Milwaukee Brewers game, who would you take with you? Why?

I would take my dad with me! We honestly aren't a huge sports family, and I think we would have a fantastic time being engineers and absolutely dissecting the sport and probably solving the physics equations of what velocity the ball hit after being hit or something along those lines. It might take the fun out of the game for some people, but it would be our cup of tea! (Maybe we should pursue positions in sports analytics!)


Is there a feature or activity during a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

I would LOVE to see the organs that play the music in the stadiums. I recently learned that some stadiums still have real organ instruments and hire organists to play them. Being able to see those and play them would be incredible!


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Since Fenway is one of those parks, I definitely understand the appeal! 

As always, I want to thank Grace for visiting with us.

As Grace continues her time as Miss Wisconsin, I encourage you to check out her title's WebsiteFacebook, and InstagramThey're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on! 

I also want to wish her the best of luck when she competes for the Miss America crown this winter. It would be wonderful to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!

Thanks again Grace, and good luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

2022 Topps Heritage Blaster!

Is it possible to open too many of the blasters? If you ask me, it's always fun to open packs...even if it is the same ones ober and over. Right?


Right?

How'd it go? Let's find out! 


Here's what the box looks like. Just in case you forgot...and care that you forgot.


And the packs. Eight of them is actually a pretty good number these days. As sad as that is.


And a great shot of Eovaldi staring down an imaginary batter. One this that just occurred to me, the Red Sox are missing their hedge. What happened to the hedge background that was on every Red Sox Heritage card for years? I miss it greatly.


Xander here seems be somewhere between "confused" and "intimidation". Like the photographer told him to scowl, but Xander wasn't sure who he was supposed to be scowling at. 

But, there you have it. Two Sox cards in the box. At least they're Sox stars.

How did your blaster go?

Friday, October 28, 2022

Lindsay Fincher Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Lindsay Fincher is passionate about the Arts, a talented dancer, and the current Miss Alabama. I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. 

So, let's see what happens when Lindsay Fincher visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Alabama crown?

The night that I won Miss Alabama was a whirlwind! This year was the 100th anniversary of Miss Alabama, so one of the most special parts of my crowning night was getting to celebrate with so many former Miss Alabamas who made the trip to celebrate the 100th anniversary and welcome me into their sisterhood! I was thrilled to finally get to hug my family and friends at the afterparty, and their reactions were priceless! I finished the night with an Alabama staple - a chick-fil-a sandwich! 


What has been the most pleasant surprise about your time as Miss Alabama?

The outpouring of love and support I’ve received since winning Miss Alabama has been unbelievable! Miss Alabama is blessed to have incredible Board Members, Volunteers, and Sponsors, but I have been astonished by how many people are so invested in Miss Alabama’s year that have no involvement with the competition! I love getting stopped at the gym or grocery store when people recognize me and ask about what I’ve been doing. The Miss Alabama family truly extends across all corners of our state, and I love meeting new people almost everyday day! 


What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Alabama competition that will help you at Miss America?

As I prepared to compete at Miss Alabama for a third time, I focused on being fully present and enjoying each moment at Miss Alabama. It’s easy to get caught up in the competitive nature of the week, but I felt confident knowing that I had prepared as much as possible and could simply enjoy my favorite parts of Miss Alabama week! Instead of stressing about my performance, I had lots of fun, spent quality time with the other candidates, and soaked up every moment on stage. This mindset made a world of difference for me, and it’s one that I plan on bringing to Miss America. I’ll only have one Miss America experience, and I plan on living it to the fullest! This is a moment I’ve dreamed about for years, so I am working hard to prepare with 110% effort right now so that I can be fully present in the moment at Miss America and enjoy every second of this once in a lifetime opportunity! 


How did you select your social impact initiative, “Catalyst: Arts for All”?

The arts have played a key role in my life, but thousands of students across Alabama are missing out on the opportunity to experience the transformative power of arts education. Growing up in a Title I public school in rural Alabama, I witnessed this lack of artistic opportunity firsthand. Catalyst: Arts for All aims to make arts education accessible for students across Alabama (and now America) by creating educational arts curriculum, fundraising for scholarships, advocating for pro-arts policy, and sharing my children’s book, “ABC, The Arts and Me.” The arts have the unique power to spark creativity, foster connections among diverse people, and inspire lifelong learners, and I believe every child should be able to experience an arts education. 


As a talented dancer, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?

The feeling that comes when the stage lights hit me as the curtain rises before a performance is truly unbeatable. I first stepped foot on a stage at 8 months old, and I haven't wanted to leave one since then! I genuinely have so much fun while performing for an audience, and I cannot wait to share my love for dance and the joy it brings me on the Miss America stage very soon. My Miss America talent is FUN, and I am having a blast preparing for my biggest performance yet! 


You recently graduated from the University of Alabama with degrees in political science and dance. Where do you see those fields taking you?

I hope to perform professionally as a dancer/vocalist on stages across the nation before fusing my love for the arts and the law by attending law school to pursue a career as an entertainment attorney. 


If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

Peter Pan was my favorite Disney movie growing up, so I would definitely be Tinker Bell. I love Tink’s sassy spirit and truly believe that with “faith, trust, and pixie dust” anything can happen! Plus, being able to fly and spending a week in Neverland - Count me in! 


If you had an extra ticket to see the Birmingham Barons play the Rocket City Trash Pandas, who would you take with you? Why?

My Grandpa was an avid baseball fan, and most of my memories at my grandparents’ house growing up are accompanied by a Braves game playing in the background. My Grandpa passed away in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I would love to spend one more baseball game with him in my new city - Birmingham, AL. 


Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

When I was in the 4th grade I signed up to play softball and managed to only hit one ball the entire season. As Miss Alabama, I would love to throw the first pitch at a game and (hopefully) redeem myself by showing some improved skills!  


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I'd love to throw out a first pitch as well! 

As always, I want to thank Lindsay for visiting with us.

As Lindsay continues her time as Miss Alabama, I encourage you to check out her title's WebsiteFacebook, and InstagramThey're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on! 

I also want to wish her the best of luck when she competes for the Miss America crown this winter. It would be wonderful to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!

Thanks again Lindsay, and good luck!

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