Friday, September 30, 2022

2018 Topps Big League Gold Pedro Martinez

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. As a nod to the Gold Together activities going on this month to help raise awareness of the leading cause of death by disease in children, I thought I'd contribute several "gold" themed posts sprinkled throughout the month. Here's the last one.


Let's talk about this card of my all-time favorite player...



I'm generally not a fan of cards of players produced after their career ended. (Other than one the next year as a sort of recap.) It seems so unnecessary. It also changes the focus of card collecting from baseball fan to team or player fan. If I collect the 2018 Topps set to catalog the 2018 or 2017 season...this card has no place in it. Pedro wasn't on the Sox in 2018 and the stats on the back don't tell me anything about 2017. But, as a Pedro Martinez collector, I need to have this card. At least this one is pretty.

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If you are able this month, or any month, to support the Gold Together efforts, I highly recommend you consider a donation. You can follow the the link to the American Cancer Society here.

Support their efforts to be Gold Together!

Monday, September 26, 2022

2014 Topps Gold Jon Lester

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. As a nod to the Gold Together activities going on this month to help raise awareness of the leading cause of death by disease in children, I thought I'd contribute several "gold" themed posts sprinkled throughout the month. Here's the next one.

Let's talk about this card...



Look at all that gold! This card is either a fond reminder or a bitter pill. Personally, the 2013 series is the one with the strongest pull to me. Probably because I was able to attend the clinching game six. I also do not hold a grudge with the Sox for Lester not signing long term. So all I do is look at this card and think, "wow, that was a great game on the way to a memorable series win". Isn't that all you can ask for from a card?

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If you are able this month, or any month, to support the Gold Together efforts, I highly recommend you consider a donation. You can follow the the link to the American Cancer Society here.

Support their efforts to be Gold Together!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Elizabeth Lynch Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Elizabeth Lynch is passionate about promoting agriculture, and the current Miss West Virginia. 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 Elizabeth Lynch visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss West Virginia crown?

To be honest with you, the day after I won, my family and I made cheeseburgers to celebrate. We wanted to spend some quality time over dinner and talk about how crazy the next 365 days would be! (And who doesn’t love a good burger?)


What did you learn about yourself during the Miss West Virginia competition that will help you at Miss America?

During the competition for Miss West Virginia, I spent some time reflecting on the past 5 years that I had been involved in the Miss America Organization. From a nervous 19-year-old with a small amount of self-confidence to a 24-year-old making big moves with my social impact initiative, I knew that I had grown tremendously. Throughout Miss West Virginia week, I put that feeling into everything I did. I realized that no matter what the outcome would be, I knew that I was proud of my accomplishments and my personal development. I just happened to be lucky enough to win the title this year. I plan to bring that same feeling with me to the Miss America stage. I am proud of the hard work I have done. I am proud to be West Virginian. And I am a proud woman in agriculture. 

 

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

I am nervous about talent! I am sharing a personal experience and how it is tied into a moment of personal growth. I love my talent and I am so excited to share it on a national level. However, it’s so different from what is typically on the Miss America stage that I am worried about how it will be received. But, at the end of the day, I must remember that I am thrilled with my original work and know that this message will make an impact on someone’s life. 

 

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Growing Up, Growing Ag.”?

I have been involved in agriculture since I was 5 years old. At that age, I began riding horses and 4 years later I began raising swine through 4-H. I joined FFA in high school and fell in love with the future of agriculture. I knew I wanted to be one of the hard-working Americans responsible for feeding our world and I wanted to work towards ensuring that our agricultural industry is sustainable, affordable, and safe. I dedicated my education and career towards agriculture. Becoming a part of the Miss America Organization was no exception. The goals of my social impact initiative, “Growing Up, Growing Ag: Advocating for American Agriculture”, are to promote American farmers and farmer’s markets, bridge the gap between producers and consumers, educate on agricultural careers and practices, and remind those around me to always thank a farmer.


What can you tell me about “Farmer Friday”?

My Farmer Friday interviews started during the beginning of the pandemic and have been a part of my SII since then. We are told that our crowns are a microphone. However, I don’t want West Virginia to hear only my voice. I want to use my crown to amplify the voices of our agriculturists, ag organizations, and ag businesses. I use my Farmer Friday interviews as a way to allow these folks to tell their story and put a face to a name. Not only does this educate my viewers on the numerous agricultural career opportunities, but this also lets our consumers know exactly what is going on in the ag industry, provides them with numerous resources, and gives them ideas on how to support the industry itself.

 

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

I would say Colette from Ratatouille! Not only is she a tough female character but she is also a phenomenal French chef who has worked hard to perfect her craft. I feel connected to her in that way. I have had to work extremely hard to get to the point I am today in the male-dominated agricultural field. So, seeing that strong, hard-working woman in a Disney movie was always huge for me! (Also, who wouldn’t want to know how to create top notch French meals and get the opportunity to try those dishes??)

 

You’re a West Virginia University graduate with a master’s degree in food and nutritional sciences. Where do you see that background taking you?

I actually decided to get this degree in particular because I wanted to ensure that I had a well-rounded animal science background before continuing to my PhD. Animal nutrition is a fundamental piece of the animal science puzzle that I wanted to refine. Now that I have that background, I will start my PhD in the fall of 2023. The goal is to eventually become a professor at a Land-Grant university with a teaching and research appointment. I would like to continue inspiring young adults to become involved in agriculture while doing research in sustainable agricultural practices. 

 

If you had an extra ticket to see a West Virginia Power baseball game, who would you take with you? Why?

I would take my brothers, Brett and Joseph! They always know how to make a great time better, and we never fail to make each other laugh. I know taking them to a game would be an insane amount of fun!


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

I’ve been to quite a few MLB games, and I have absolutely loved my experiences there. I would like to actually catch a foul ball at some point but I cannot catch/throw anything to save my life. This is why I am an equestrian athlete. Ha-ha!!


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I'd love to catch a ball at a game too! 

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

As Elizabeth continues her time as Miss West Virginia, I encourage you to check out her title's Website, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, 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 Elizabeth, and good luck!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

2022 Topps Chrome Blaster!

 I was as surprised as anyone when I saw these on the shelf of Target yesterday. I was also as surprised as anyone when I saw the $35 price. What the heck is going on here. The fun little option for buying cards is becoming considerable less economic. I mean, there are only 32 cards in the box. How are these going to be worth $1+ per card?

I guess we'll have to see...


Maybe they're thinking if I get this guy it's worth the $1?


Apparently they really think that.


What about this guy? A Red Sox who's not a Red Sox anymore. Is that why I spent my $1? I will say the design works pretty well as a chrome silver shiney thing.


It's not a Red Sox player, but here's one of those sepia things I'm also supposed to be looking for. Is he worth $1?



How about this guy? Is he pointing to Altuve saying he's the goal? Or is he suggesting I scroll all the way back to the top? It's hard to tell.

Either way, this was not the world's best box. I know Chrome is a risk-reward type product...but it's not looking like it's worth the risk.

How did your box go?

Monday, September 19, 2022

2020 Topps Gold Ryan Weber

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. As a nod to the Gold Together activities going on this month to help raise awareness of the leading cause of death by disease in children, I thought I'd contribute several "gold" themed posts sprinkled throughout the month. Here's the next one.

Let's talk about this card...


It's nice that Topps decided to include just enough border on this card to allow for the colored parallel. As much as I like a design that focuses on the picture, it's nice to have something anchoring it visually. This card does a nice job of that. It also does a great job of cropping in close enough to get Weber's intensity without going in so close that you lose the rest of the picture. Overall I'd say a nice job.

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If you are able this month, or any month, to support the Gold Together efforts, I highly recommend you consider a donation. You can follow the the link to the American Cancer Society here.

Support their efforts to be Gold Together!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Ebony Mitchell Visits Section 36!

Photo: Jason Masters
Section 36 had another visitor! 
Ebony Mitchell is passionate about digital responsibility, a marketing specialist, and the current Miss Arkansas. 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 Ebony Mitchell visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Arkansas crown?

I celebrated with some much needed sleep! Haha. I also celebrated with my family by eating some Crumbl Cookies and sushi! There isn’t much time between winning and the start of the job, so it was a quick celebration, but it was great to see family. 


What is something that Whitney Williams did as Miss Arkansas that you would like to emulate or expand upon?

Whitney always did a great job of expanding her Social Impact across Arkansas, so this year I will be expanding on this and taking my social impact across Arkansas and the nation! 


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

I don’t know if I would say nervous, but I am anxious to be there! I have watched Miss America since I was 9 years old and I have always wondered what it would be like to compete on that stage. I’m anxious to compete and see what it is truly like to be on the Miss America Stage. I’m excited to represent the best state in the U.S!


How did you select your social impact initiative, “A Responsible Digital You”?

When I was in 8th grade, my best friend and I created our first Facebook accounts and posted things like our phone numbers, locations, and things that weren’t responsible because we weren’t aware of the repercussions. As time went on, my best friend was approached by an online predator. Watching her go through that was traumatic, but for her to go through that herself was even more traumatic. Since then, I’ve studied marketing and social media and obtained a marketing degree in college. I knew this was an area I could champion and a cause I could bring awareness to and potentially save a life. We’re online now more than ever! So, I believe this is the perfect time to spread awareness about being digitally responsible. 


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

I enjoy the ability to perform for a crowd and do what I love. I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old, so anytime I have the chance to dance, I take it! Dance helps me express myself as well as decompress. I’m excited to finally dance on the Miss America stage. 


You currently work as a marketing specialist. What drew you to that field?

I have always been a people person and enjoy being around people. As a Marketing Specialist I have the opportunity to collaborate with many individuals and see their creative visions. I love taking ideas and bringing them to life! 


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

I would choose Cinderella! I have always loved watching stories where the underdog comes out on top. I love the story of Cinderella and watching her happily ever after come to fruition. We can’t forget about those fabulous shoes either! 


If you had an extra ticket to see the NW Arkansas Naturals play the Arkansas Travelers, who would you take with you? Why?

I’d take my sister! Mainly because she knows nothing about baseball so it would be funny to hear the commentary she would give! I enjoy spending time with my family as much as I can. So anytime I have a free day or weekend, I’ll always choose to spend it with my family. 


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

I threw out the first pitch at an Arkansas Naturals baseball game when I was 13 years old. I’d love to relive that experience as Miss Arkansas! 



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It would be great if she could do that again! 

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

As Ebony continues her time as Miss Arkansas, I encourage you to check out her title's Website 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 Ebony, and good luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Madison Leslie Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Madison Leslie is passionate about empowerment, a huge Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Maine. I was thrilled that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. 

So, let's see what happens when Madison Leslie visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Maine crown? 

I spent the night with all of my family and friends. They all came to support me during competition. Most of them are from out of state so they stayed at my house. My family and friends mean the most to me and being able to just sit in the same room as them fills my heart up. 

 

What is something that Mariah Larocque did as Miss Maine that you would like to emulate or expand upon?

Mariah is extremely passionate about this organization and her drive is something I admire. I have loved this organization from the second I stepped into it in 2016 and I hope to continue to use social media as our organization’s asset. I have already had young women reach out to me via Instagram and ask how they can get started in MAO. 

 

As a former Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen, do you think that national competition experience will help you at Miss America?

Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen really jump-started my journey into becoming a strong woman. As Miss America says: “Preparing great women for the world. Preparing the world for great women.” MAOT gave me the tools to learn more and grasp the idea that I could achieve whatever I put my mind it. Competing at MAOT was where I was able to test my public speaking skills and my confidence. I believe that this entire experience has prepared me for my year as Miss Maine and Miss America because I am aware of what the job entails. I have learned what best strategies fit how I want to approach my job this year. I also feel that it was a “practice” round for a lack of a better phrase for the big job. I am beyond blessed to have been able to have had that experience and use that passion I found and continue with the momentum to compete with my whole heart on the Miss America Stage.

 

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Shake Your Beauty”?

I made a post back in 2019… speaking about my physical insecurities and I was overwhelmed with the response of all the people who related.  Leaving high school I was consumed by the opinions of others and struggling with my mental health. I created “Time to Shake Your Beauty” to be an empowerment movement. To own your space! And claim your confidence! “Time to Shake Your Beauty” is not just my social impact initiative, it’s my purpose. I aspire to be an empowerment speaker and talk about the message of inner confidence, and positive self-talk. 

 

As a talented singer, what do you enjoy most about performing your talent on stage?

Music is where I really express myself. I am a very bubbly person, but I am not in my performances. I talk a lot about the importance of prioritizing your mental health, I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I find my outlet in my music. I am able to find comfort in lyrics and the passion of a performance. The talent piece of competition gives me the opportunity to show another side of myself and use my voice. 

 

You recently graduated from Franklin Pierce University. Where do you see your degree taking you?

I graduated with a B.A. in Communications, a focus in Journalism/Media Production, minor in Political Science, and a certificate in Gender and Leadership studies. I found a passion in branding, and I see myself using the skills I’ve learned with my degree to continue my social media work with more businesses and growing my own brand. I plan to use the skills that I have learned to improve my personal brand: “Sheismads” and “Time to Shake Your Beauty.” I love public speaking and I hope to use this passion with spreading the message of confidence to young people around the country, and the world! 

 

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

CINDERELLA!! She has birds getting her ready in the morning. That seems so peaceful and a great addition to my morning routine! 

 

Which is your favorite place to watch the Red Sox…the AA team in Portland or the big club in Boston?

I am a HUGE sox fan. My dogs are Fenway and Papi. My family has a Red Sox room with all sorts of memorabilia. Hadlock Field is nostalgic for me because I grew up going to the games with my Dad. However, Fenway has the most contagious atmosphere that can’t be replicated. I love them both for different reasons. 

 

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

It is a dream of mine to sing the National Anthem at the Red Sox. I also am a big Rafael Devers’ fan. I’ve been watching him since 2016 at the Portland Sea Dogs. I would love to meet him one day. Meeting him is on the top of my bucket list, for sure!


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I think that's on a lot of bucket lists! I also really want a tour of that Red Sox room. 

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

As Madison continues her time as Miss Maine, I encourage you to check out her title's Website 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 Madison, and good luck!

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