Tuesday, January 24, 2023

2022 Topps Archives Blaster!

More Cards! Today, let's try another box of 2022 Topps Archives. I know I opened one of these not too long ago, but it's always good to open more. Right? Plus, with so many different designs in one set, it's almost like a new set every time. It makes it all a lot more fun.

How did this box go? Let's find out!

Still love how Topps went with the archive feel on the box as well.

And the packs as well.

So, "archive" on top of "archive" on this one. A player from 100 years ago on a design from 45 years ago. I'd say it just works.

Not a Red Sox card, but I had to wonder if the ad placement behind Johnson was intentional. 

Oooh. Lookie here. I never get a Red Sox hit, so this was pretty cool. Even if it's Pedroia. I love the 1992 Topps design on this card. The colored borders really work with the rest of the card. Simply elegant.

And there we go. Not many Sox cards, but quality definitely made up for the lack of quantity. I'll take that trade any day.
How did your box go?

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2022 Bowman Blaster!

It's time to open another blaster of this I'd say. Like I've said before, it's is always a little less fun to open than some of the other sets since with all the pre-rookies. There's a lot of, "I think I've heard of that guy" when you open the packs. But, it's still fun opening them...right? And who knows. Maybe I'll look back at this post in a year or two and marvel at the key card I pulled.

Let's see how it went!

I am officially on the lookout for green parallel cards.

The packs copying the box. That's not fair.

And a rookie right off the bat. Will Duran be the Sox starting center fielder this season? Will it be OK if he is? Where did all his promise go? Can it come back?

Yup. Have no idea who this is. But, it's his first Bowman card. So, there's that.

Another rookie! Another guy who probably won't play much for the Sox. 

And, a guy who definitely won't play for the Sox. I wonder if he regrets not signing with the Sox after the Devers deal.

I've heard of this guy. But, only because he's a fellow card collector. He should have a future in Boston someday. If so, I have this card.

And there you have it. A decent haul. Some rookies. A vet. Some prospects. Not bad for a blaster.

How did yours go?

Friday, January 13, 2023

Olivia Andrews Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Olivia Andrews is passionate about music therapy, a talented singer, and the current Miss Pride of the Commonwealth. 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 Olivia Andrews visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Pride of the Commonwealth Crown?

The majority of the celebratory events actually happened before the competition! I went swing dancing with friends and celebrated another year of vying for the Miss Kentucky crown the night before. It sent me into the Miss Danville competition with a fresh wave of confidence in the fact that I have an army of dancers behind me who love me no matter what! (Naturally, we all FaceTimed after and spent most of the time jumping up and down in celebration.) 

It’s important to note the competition I entered gives three titles, as well as the corresponding outstanding teen titles: Miss Danville, Miss Heart of Central Kentucky, and Miss Pride of the Commonwealth! I gained four new sisters that night and was able to continue my Miss KY sisterhood with Ashley-Shae Benton! 

What has been the biggest surprise about your time as Miss Pride of the Commonwealth?

I was most surprised at how much community support I received from an area of Kentucky I was formerly unfamiliar with. The people of Danville and Stanford Kentucky are so incredible, hardworking, helpful, and kind, and I am proud to be a member of their community as Miss Pride of the Commonwealth! Our director Reuben Harness is heavily involved in philanthropy and the Danville girls (my sister queens) and I are always out and about helping the community!

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

Onstage question threw me through a loop last year, so I’m a bit nervous about that—however—I have full confidence in my director and working with him to prepare stellar onstage Q&A skills! 

How did you select your social impact initiative, “The Miracle of Music: Music Therapy for All”?

My SII was originally The Miracle of Music: Helping Elderly Communities with the Power of Music. I was inspired by the care my late grandparents received in their nursing home and how my family gathered together to play music with them. Music was the most healing part of their end of life care and I want to make music therapy more accessible to those in need. As I researched music therapy programs and learned from my friends majoring in music therapy at the University of Louisville, I realized how incredible MT is for various communities. 

The Miss America Organization helps me create goals for incorporating music therapy programs into Kentucky’s health legislature and the resources to reach those goals! 

You’re studying Music Education at University of Louisville. Where do you see that field taking you?

My ultimate goal is to achieve a DMA in Choral Conducting and become Dr. Olivia Copland Andrews. I want to work as a professor in a collegiate choral program and take my choral ensembles to perform in a foreign country every year. I also want to create and participate in community outreach programs surrounding fine arts education and build a collaborative educational program with the surrounding middle and high school choir ensembles. 

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

As a performer, I enjoy connecting with audience members the most. Music is a universal language and it’s incredible to see people I love and people I have nothing in common with all be able to think and feel from music. 

I make a point to talk with audiences after performances and find out what they liked and what moved them. Everyone’s connection to the music is so beautiful and incredible. Some people are reminded of lost loved ones, reflecting on fond memories, or simply immersed in the music itself. 

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

This one is a no-brainer for me! I would be Princess Ariel! Fun fact about me: I own and swim in a Fin Fun mermaid tail! Being a mermaid helps me advocate for body positivity and find fun and unique ways to exercise! 

I love Ariel, because she is independent, brave, adventurous, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and her interests. I see a lot of myself in her when she isn’t afraid to break the mold to go after her dreams…not to mention she sings along the way! 

If you had an extra ticket to a Louisville Bats baseball game, who would you take with you? Why?

I’ll be honest…I’m a bit of a romantic and I think baseball games are the perfect date! I’d ask a crush to go with me and spend the day talking, sharing high-calorie baseball field snacks, and riding the merry-go-round! (Bonus points if we wind up on the kiss cam ;)

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

I’d love to sing the National Anthem again! I was asked to sing at a Louisville Bats game a few months and I loved every second! Maybe I could sing the National Anthem for a Red Sox game someday! 


That would definitely be fantastic! 

As always, I want to thank Olivia 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 Kentucky! It would be fantastic to have the first Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Olivia during her journey as Miss Pride of the Commonwealth. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. You should also check out her linktree! It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on. 

Thanks again Olivia, and good luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2022 Topps Archives Blaster!

More Cards! Today, let's try another box of 2022 Topps Archives. I opened one of these not too long ago, but it's always good to open more. Plus, this product is always fun to open with the different designs giving the process lots of variety. 

How did this box go? Let's find out!

Even the box has a throwback feel to it. I like that.

And the packs.

Nice shot of Verdugo floating away into the clouds. The shot does give a 1978 vibe to me.

Yeah, it's the 1987 Topps design repeated for the 36,000th time. But, I don't care. It's still fun. But it could be more fun.

And another shot of clouds with a Red Sox player in the way. This one a nice rookie card.

And there you have it. A rookie, and two other Sox. Not exactly a monster haul. At least the Red Sox are all on different designs. That's where the fun comes from.

How did your box go?

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Section 36!

I hope you all made it through 2022 and are excited to see what 2023 will bring. I know I'm ready to make 2023 the year this here blog gets back to its roots and finds its way again.

I made 104 posts in 2022, the lowest number since the first year of the blog. I'd like to get that number back up so you all hove more from me to read. I'd much prefer to live in the 150-200 post range which is three a week. Let's see if I can get back up there.

And the types of posts will hopefully improve. I admit to mailing it in a bit with the blaster breaks lately. As much fun as it is to open packs, the posts are really a cheap trick when there are so many of them. Especially when the Sox are giving so many topics to dive into, I really have no excuse for not exploring them. Expect to see more, and feel free to call me out on that.

On the bright side, those posts almost always included an interview on Friday, having conducted more than 40 in 2022. Included in that list were Miss America Candidates and Red Sox player wives. I think they're a lot of fun, and enjoy hearing input from those types of fans. (This year, I again had the honor of including the future Miss America herself, Grace Stanke.) If you enjoy the interviews too, that’s wonderful. If you don't, hopefully once or twice a week isn't too intrusive and I can keep that up.

The Section 36 store also had a great 2022. More people keep buying shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, and whatever else. I'm always humbled whenever a sale goes through. Hopefully you've enjoyed all the pictures people have sent in wearing their gear. With any luck, both sales and picture submittals will increase in 2023!

Hopefully 2023 is a continuation of my blogging perspective to help me find my voice or my place in this wide world. I still didn't write about the team itself as much as I would have liked. But, I am still a Red Sox fan. I like talking about the team, and about collecting their memorabilia, and reading the books, and talking with their fans. It's called a Red Sox fan blog for a reason. Because it's by a fan, about being a fan. Whatever type of fan that is.

And some of that includes Social media.

And is also some of the reason for my lack of posts. If I have a free hour, searching and commenting on social media is sometimes easier, and more attractive, than writing a post. I need to refocus a bit.

How will those social media sites get even better in 2023?

I’m glad you asked.

Once again, Instagram is probably the place I’ve seen the most movement in the past year. It’s been so much fun connecting with fans and visitors through that site. For Section 36, in the past I have posted exclusively pictures I have taken. It’s a way to enjoy different views from a Red Sox fan. I've continued adding pictures people have submitted of themselves holding a “I’d Rather be in Section 36” sign, or pictures of themselves with Section 36 gear. (So, if you were wondering how you could appear on the Section 36 account, that’s how.) It’s been a great way to add variety to the feed, and publicize some great pictures people have submitted. And the best part? The account keeps adding followers and seeing more interaction, and I couldn't be more thrilled! Here's hoping that number keeps growing. If you’re one of the followers, thanks! If you’re not, what’s keeping you?

Twitter is still the old standby...assuming Elon doesn't drive it completely into the ground. I find that it’s an easy way to spread the word about new posts to the blogs. The Section 36 account tweets out links to posts here on Section 36. It also converses with fans, especially during Red Sox games. At over 1100 followers, it’s a fun group to be involved with.

Facebook provides fun opportunities.

I find it’s a combination between Twitter and Instagram. It can post links and pictures with ease, and has the ability to allow sharing with friends. The Section 36 page will post links to every post here on Section 36. Facebook is also great for pictures, so it posts pictures that I’ve taken. It’s also a prime spot to post pictures submitted by others. So almost every picture someone submits of themselves with Section 36 behind them, or in Section 36, or holding a “I’d rather be in Section 36” sign, or with Section 36 gear gets posted there. Section 36 has more than 500 likes and adds more all the time, which is great!

Beyond that?

Section 36 also has a presence on Snapchat and Pinterest, although I honestly have no idea why. Maybe in 2023 I’ll figure something out. Feel free to follow/add to see the progress! In fact, follow all of Section 36 on all social media accounts.

It’ll be a lot of fun.

Hope that's OK with you.

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