I had a thing for Topps' old Gallery set. It was one of my favorites, and was disappointed that they discontinued it a few years back. I also had a similar thing for Diamond Kings -- that is, before Donruss paralleled the crap out of it to the point of self-parody. So when I first saw singles from Upper Deck's new UD Masterpieces set, I was impressed.
This past weekend I went to the card show looking for a Hobby box of UD Masterpieces. $100? For 18 four-card packs? I don't think so, jerky. I don't care if a Hobby box yields (on average) three gamers, a player-touched autograph, seven framed parallels, and an over sized chiptopper. All I'm asking for is less sizzle, and more steak.
(And yeah, I could have bought a hand-collated set; but dammit, I write for A Pack A Day! That's not how a Doctor of Gonzo Baseball Card Journalism rolls.)
So thank God for Wal-Mart Blaster boxes. They give you everything you want (base set cards) without the stuff you don't -- and at a fraction of the price. I picked up two $19.99 eight-pack Blasters, which is slightly less than a Hobby box.
Billy Butler (RC)
Andy LaRoche (RC)
Phil Hughes (RC)
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Delmon Young (RC)
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Andrew Miller (RC)
For the record, some players (i.e. Howard, Pujols, et al) have multiple cards.
The first thing I have to say is WOW! To say that the images UD chose are iconic is the understatement of the year. You don't even need to look at the reverse side of Kirk Gibson's card to tell that he just took Dennis Eckersley deep. But that's not all. "The Perfect Game," "2131," "The Bloody Sock" -- they're all here too.
But my favorite is card #19: a head-over-heels Ozzie Smith captured in mid-flight. Fuckin-A!
And to think, I still have another Blaster to go!