Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

Let's close out the year with the last product out of the gate. Well, for Topps at least. I picked up a blaster of this stuff with one of the numerous gift cards I got for Xmas. The two cards I want most out of this set are Jason Heyward and Yunel Escobar. Sure I could go online and pick them up pretty cheap, but where's the fun in that? Let's rip the last pack of the new year! Unless some wiseguy comes in with a post at 11:59 and ruins everything!

BDP46 Homer Bailey
BDP48 Angel Sanchez
BDPP5 Chrome Trevor Pippen
BDP27 Chrome Ben Francisco
BDP49 Gold Phil Hughes
BDPP55 David Price
BDPP46 Josh Horton

So, Yankee fans... Is Phil Hughes really as good as all the hype? Because I've pulled a ton of his cards the past couple of months. Will he be anchoring the rotation in New York for the next decade or is he going to be trade fodder for Santana? Price was the first overall pick in the draft so that's promising. The other two picks I know nothing about, although Pippen is from (shudder) Peachtree City, Georgia. That place is skeery. Lots of golf carts, stepford wives and the Pizza Hut's roof isn't red. The whole town is like a Twilight Zone episode. Other than Hughes, the green rookies aren't promising. Homer Bailey has had Bowman cards in every year since 2004. But this card has a logo on it. Meh. Same with Ben Francisco. I know for a fact I've seen a card of him floating around somewhere in some old Heritage set. That leaves Angel Sanchez who was on the DL all year with Tommy John surgery. It took a while to figure that out because Googling his name gets you a bunch of links to a fashion designer. These are all prospects though, so who knows... Maybe in 2010 Josh Horton will be an All-star shortstop for the A's, or Pippen will go on a rampage in his golf cart and run over a crowd of people resulting in several painful stubbed toes. Hey man, any publicity is good publicity and you can bet I'll have Josh's card on eBay before the battery on his cart runs out.

2007 Allen & Ginter Blaster Packs 3 and 4

Time to post another couple of packs from my Allen & Ginter blaster.

Let's tear in.

Pack 3:
21 Adam Wainwright
Perez Sketch 23 Greg Maddux

Mini 49 J.J. Putz (A&G Back)
93 Chad Tracey
54 Juan Rivera
56 Chien-Ming Wang
282 Josh Johnson

Again, nothing special. I'm sure the sketch cards have suffered a million insults already, but I must say that the picture makes Maddux look like Lon Chaney a little bit.

Pack 4:
46 Cole Hamels (Great start.)
Mini 212 B.J. Upton
Black Mini (No #) Prince Fielder (YES!)

Perez Sketch 3 Nick Markakis
240 Miguel Tejada
151 Bob Wickman
216 Rickie Weeks

236 Yoel Hernandez

I'll be surprised if this doesn't turn out to be the pack of the box. After opening two hobby boxes, a couple blasters, and several random packs, I've never gotten two minis in a pack before. The fact that there's a black bordered one, and the fact that it's Prince make opening this box worth it. Screw the $20 I would have made on eBay, I got a somewhat-hard-to-get Prince Fielder card. Now if only there's something even better in the next few packs...
I'll keep you posted.

Check out my Top Five Pulls of 2007 Countdown. It starts slow, but builds to a climax!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Legends 35 Football Cards for $1.99

The plan was to have a pack fight for today to commemorate the Patriots' run at an undefeated season, but I forgot the game was on Saturday night. Oops. I'll save the fight for the Super Bowl or something, here's one of those 2 buck Legends repack blisters instead. I've opened a couple of of the Baseball version and both were really fun. What the heck, let's try a football one. Worst case scenario is that it sucks and I missed out on getting a pack of Fleer Ultra instead. Both at the store had a Duce Staley card on the front, I picked the one with a squashed blister allowing a card of UGA alum Reggie Brown to peek out from behind.

2004 Fleer Authentix 24 Duce Staley
1993 Score 191 Darren Perry
1995 Topps 53 Ben coleman
2002 Pacific 381 Andre Carter
2006 Topps Team set TEN3 David Givens
2007 Topps 7 of 12 Lito Shepard
1997 Collector's Choice Terry Glenn "Acropat"
1994 Topps Andre Hastings
1990 Pro Set Super Bowl Collectible 8 Super Bowl VIII
1993 Pinnacle Men of Autumn 5 Eric Metcalf
2003 Ultra William Green
1994 Ultra 365 Steve Everett
1991 Ultra 73 Robb Thomas
??? Upper Deck Gridiron Dogpile Defense
1989 Topps Traded 91T Jim Harbaugh
1997 Score Board 46 Karin Abdul-Jabbar
1989 Topps Traded 31T Todd Blackledge
1996 Donruss Shawn Jefferson
1989 Topps Traded 102T Andre Rison RC
1990 Fleer 23 Bobby Humphrey
1990 Pro Set Super Bowl Collectible 116 Ray Guy
1989 Topps Traded 49T Jeff Lageman
1993 Classic Draft 30 Adrian Murrell
1989 Topps Traded 58T Greg Kragen
1992 Ultra 358 Todd Bowles
1989 Topps Traded 29T Issaic Holt
1991 Upper Deck 23 Eric Turner Star Rookie
1989 Topps Traded 109T James Lofton
1994 Collector's Edge 113 Louis Oliver
1989 Topps Traded 36T Jeff Uhlenhake
1994 Collector's Edge 114 Irving Fryar
1994 Fleer 465 Ken Harvey
1990 Pro Set Super Bowl Collectible 10 Super Bowl X
2007 Ultra 151 Reggie Brown
1994 Topps 524 Carlos Jenkins

I don't have time do do my normal commentary right now, I'm late for a football-watching party. I huge bowl of chili awaits! I'll leave you with some scans and you can write your own commentary in the comments section.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

1991 Bowman

This is a great set. It's the last Topps baseball product produced in the classic Topps Cheapo Grey™ cardboard. It's a whopper of a Bowman set at 704 cards. Topps got fancy and included cards with a tiny foil stamp on them at one per pack. Foil? On Cards?? MADNESS!! It's also loaded with rookie cards including Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, Mike Mussina, Kenny Lofton, Jeremy Burnitz, Tim Salmon, Carl Everett and the King of the Rookies in this set, Chipper Jones. There's even gum! I grabbed 10 packs of this last weekend and I wish I had bought the whole box now. Out of the 10, I immediately ripped 4 packs, dropped one under my car seat and can't find it and had five saved for later. Well, four now, 'cause this one's getting opened. If I pull the Chipper, I'll be so happy I'll chew the gum.

one piece of nervous gum
120 Jody Reed
106 Jeff Tackett RC
283 Ruben Sierra
344 Melido Perez
15 Mike Timlin
615 Ronnie Walden
240 Brain Holman
592 Alfredo Griffin
379 Barry Larkin foil
122 Jack Clark
277 Jack Daugherty
333 Brian Harper
136 Cecil Fielder
231 Harold Baines

No Chipper, but still a nice pack. My SCD Price guide says this set imitates the 1953 Bowman set. I don't recall purple, blue and orange borders on any 1953 cards I've ever seen. They may be talking about the photography though which in most cases is pretty nice. Mike Timlin's badly lit mug shot is an exception, but most of the other portraits are all nicely done, usually with the player looking wistfully off in the distance while white, fluffy clouds float in the background. The action shots are even better. Flip Ruben Sierra's batting stance and you could turn the three cards into a SportFlics card with a perfect swing. If I could figure out how to make an animated gif in MSPaint, I'd show you. Melido Perez is wearing one of the many throwback White Sox uniforms that caused the Sox to be my favorite AL team in the early 90's. Cecil Fielder and Jack Clark are both chilling out and leaning on their bats. Jack is wearing a hefty bag for no apparent reason and I sincerely hope Cecil's bat was reinforced with steel rebar. Actually, that would make for a kick ass bat card... wood with a slice of rebar right in the middle, kinda like Manny's Pacific card. Harold Baines is shown in the batting cage, which is very appropriate since the man was a professional hitter. Hopefully the Hall of Fame voters realize that one day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 TriStar Prospects Plus

So by now we all know about Donruss getting back into the baseball card game, kinda. Their Extra Edition draft pick product hit shelves and looks like it's being pretty well received so far. I bought a pack of their Elite Extra Edition set a few years back and got an autographed rookie card. No one I'd ever heard of before though, some Red Sox infielder. Darren Pedroia or something like that. I wonder whatever happened to him? Anyway, I went into the local card shop last week for one last gasp before the Holiday and they had boxes of Donruss sitting right there on the counter. Sweet, I thought, I can get a pack to open here. Maybe I'll get another auto of some scrub like Dunston or whoever. Someone had the same idea I did, and asked if there were packs for sale. "Sorry, we're not packing these out, box sales only," was the reply. I looked at the price tag. $120 a box. Ouch. A little quick math came up with $120/24 packs a box=No Donruss for Dayf this year. I left downhearted (not really, I got all but one card I needed for my UD Masterpieces set while I was there) and wondered where on earth I could go to get my unlicensed MLB Draft pick fix? TriStar to the rescue! Three bucks a pack at Wally World! Christmas was SAVED! Hooray for Tristar!

36 Michael Main
6 Rick Porcello
PT-CLL Chin Lung Lo
74 Nathan Vineyard
61 Joe Savery
6 Ryan Dent

I do not know who ANY of these people are, even though half of them are purportedly first round draft picks from this year. I did get an insert card of Chin (misspelled Ching on the card) Lung Lo, who is a AA pitching prospect for the Rockies. The rest of them are all picks from last June's draft. They all have "Pro Debut" logos on them except Rick Porcello, who has "2007 Draft Pick" where the logo should be. Rick also has a black band on the bottom instead of red. I guess Rick signed too late in the season to play in a rookie league, thus no Pro Debut yet. He got a huge contract from the Tigers and was named Gatorade's top High School Baseball player, so I guess he pretty much has to go in the set. His grandfather is also this guy. There's also pitcher Michael Main, 1st rounder for the Rangers; pitcher Joe Savery, first round pick of the Phillies; and Ryan Dent, an infielder taked by the Red Sox with a sandwich pick after the 1st round. Nathan Vinyard is the coolest out of the pack though, it turns out he went to high school 20 minutes away from where I live over in the next county! And he got picked by the f#$% METS! Now I am downhearted. I got a cool card of a local kid though and now I'm going to be keeping an eye out on Nathan's progress.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

1994-95 Topps Basketball

I forgot I had this pack. It won't be as fancy as the other posts because the scanner is buried.

Each card is foil stamped! shouts the wrapper. Let's dig in!

Kevin Duckworth, on the Washington Bullets!
Antonio Davis
Charles Barkley Paint Patrol
Isaiah Rider... I wonder if he's in jail
Stacey King... I think she was in my 3rd grade class
Scott Brooks... as a Hawk. I remember him as a Sixer.
Jim Jackson... #4 overall pick!
Sherman Douglas
Stacey Augmon
Sean Rooks
Nate MacMillan
Detlef Schrempf... the pride of Leverkusen

Only one Hall of Fame player and a bunch of draft busts. I give this pack a C.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 Allen & Ginter Blaster CONTEST!

Alright, I've exercised self-control for long enough, and now's the time to act on the spur of the moment. Back in summer I bought a couple of blasters of 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter with the intention of setting one aside to sell a few years down the road on eBay. While the market for these isn't great right now, and because these things were available at basically any store that sold anything, the supply is probably on the high side. That being said, I also need to reveal that baseball cards are a gift that my family is not apt to give. We keep Christmas smaller than it has been in the past, which I actually like. Therefore, I am going to rip the blaster that's been sitting in the back bedroom where my cards are kept (a glimpse of which can be seen here):

Since I have already completed this set, I'll run a little contest here. If you can identify the purpose of this part of the image (seen below), I'll send the first person to respond correctly the card of their choice from either of the first two packs I rip.

With that out of the way, it's time to get started. I have a good feeling about this box.

Let's tear in.

First pack, top to bottom:
(I should note that this top pack is filled with an unusually large amount of air. I should actually go out to my car to get my tire pressure gauge, but it's gotten a little nippy out.)
100 David Ortiz
306 Morgan Ensberg
Mini 176 Bronson Arroyo
Checklist One of Two
305 Jeremy Bonderman
197 Greg Lougainis
174 Jamie Fischer

Second pack, no air, hopefully some great pulls:
179 Matt Cain
222 Rocco Baldelli (SP)
Mini 213 Lou Pinella
Checklist One of Two
268 Washington Monument
188 Josh Willingham
260 Andruw Jones

Okay, the first pack was better. Nothing to write home about on either of them. First dibs on any card to the first correct commenter!

2007 Topps Updates & Highlights HTA Jumbo

I know I've been hatin' on this set for months, but this is the first time I've seen a Jumbo pack of any of this year's Topps for sale by itself. The brick & mortar shops I usually go only sell it by the box, not so with flea market guy. Once he told me there was still one hit left in the box, my greed got the best of me and I splurged on this pack.

(the UH from the number has been omitted to preserve my sanity)
108 David Newhan
196 Brian Wolfe RC
202 Danny Putnam RC
29 Carlos Silva
166 Felix Pie RC
300 Jason Gabbard
184 Yovani Gallardo RC
143 Jeff Baker
77 Esteban German
190 Eulogio De La Cruz RC
12 Marlon Anderson
330 Brian Burres
42 Chris Snelling
41 Ryan Langerhans
6 JD Drew
305 Orlando Palmiero
178 Matt Lindstrom RC
144 Edwin Jackson
137 Erick Aybar
214 A-Rod Season Highlights
208 Mark Buehrle Season Highlights
95 Dmitri Young
306 Paul Bako
287 Red Alex Rios Home Run Derby
311 Red Josh Phelps
122 Red Rich Harden
100 Red Abraham Nunez
23 Red Tadahito Iguchi
193 Red Chase Headley RC
99 Red Carlos Ruiz
323 Red Jorge Cantu
129 Red Dustin Moseley
288 Red Vlad Guerrero Home Run Derby
253 Gold Derrek Lee #0033/2007
MHR490 Mickey Mantle Home Run #490
GN 520 Curtis Granderson Gen Now Double #1
153 Mark Reynolds 1st Edition RC
HAAH Aaron Heilman Autograph
99 Carlos Ruiz
100 Abraham Nunez
287 Alex Rios Home Run Derby
173 Kevin Slowey RC
154 Jesse Litsch RC
93 Chris Sampson
245 Takashi Saito All Star
227 David Wright All Star
259 Freddy Sanchez All Star
261 Carlos Lee All Star
223 Russell Martin All Star
255 Dmitri Young All Star

Well there certainly was a hit left in the box. It's an auto of a Mets relief pitcher, but the sticker is shiny so I don't care. Me like shiny cards. WooooOOOoooo shiny! This pack has also cemented my decision to buy a Jumbo box of 2008 Topps. Opening these big fat packs with a bunch of inserts in them is more fun than ripping through pack after pack of little packs and pulling a bunch of Generation Now inserts. I wonder what will be the crappy Gen Now insert of 2008? My guess is they seed the Presidential Campaign cards 1:2 packs and when we all pull our 18th Giuliani card we will all go collectively mad. That's a scary thought, isn't it? A bunch of insane card collectors mobbing the streets gibbering and drooling and throwing Hillary and Huckabee cards at innocent passers-by. At least the Granderson card I pulled was #1. Too bad Topps didn't stop at #1 for all of them. I'm also happy I got a Mantle Home Run crap card instead of Bonds or an A-Rod Waste of Space. Making the 1st edition cards with gold foil instead of silver was a good move by Topps. It was way too easy to shuffle by a one-a box insert thinking it was nothing when all there was to signify it was a little circle with 1st inside. Not that you could actually tell the color of the foil from my lousy scan. I have got to figure out how to work my scanner or better yet get a new battery for my digital camera.

So the final wrap up on my Jumbo pack is: one auto, 2 inserts, enough parallels to fill a retail pack and a bunch of cards I probably already have but I'm not completely sure because I cannibalized my set to help Thorzul complete his. I still haven't pulled that damn card 103 though. Who could it be that is avoiding me so? My favorite card from the pack is one of the stupid Red parallels, the Vladdy Home Run Derby card with him holding up his trophy triumphantly.

2006-2007 Topps Full Court Basketball

I know, what am I doing buying this crap. A basketball set from last year that I have no intentions of building, what am I doing opening this? I'm trying to keep this blog interesting is what I'm doing. If you want the same ol' packs all the time, I'll go buy a box for five bucks and you'll get '88 Donruss every day for a month.

44 Larry Hughes
79 Josh Howard Photographer's Proof #1314/1999
26 Gilbert Arenas
46 Al Jefferson

I only got 4 cards and not 5, but one was a serial numbered Josh Howard parallel so that's not too bad. If this stuff had a glossy finish instead of matte, it would be identical to your typical Stadium Club release. Even the Photographer's Proof is an old Stadium Club insert isn't it? Why didn't Topps just call it Stadium Club? Hell if they called it Stadium Club, I might have bought a Blaster in a fit of nostalgia last year. Nobody has an emotional attachment to Full Court for Pete's sake. This is pretty nice stuff actually, a stealth Stadium Club with 4 stars in the pack. Actually Topps did bring back Stadium Club this year, but it's a $20 a pack premium offering. I wish they'd do that in baseball, just call Co-Signers Stadium Club and keep it the same product and everyone would be happy. They could even bring back the Members Only set, but this time charge $500 for it and include a two gamers, a numbered Rookie, an auto and the severed finger of a Triple -A utility infielder in every pack. The high rollers would eat that up!

2005 Playoff Absolute

Here's another cheap Target pack I bought to keep me busy posting the rest of the year. I don't know if I've bought any of this at all before now. It sure doesn't look familiar. Well, other than George Brett, who is seemingly on the wrapper of every single Donruss release from '05. Let's see what we got.

32 Rocco Baldelli
89 Hideo Nomo
61 Richie Sexson Blue Parallel
25 Jason Bay
82 Roy Oswalt card

Yep, this is the first pack of this I've gotten although I think I have one or two of the shiny foil Hobby version. I can't imagine why I passed this up in 2005. Not a good sign when you lead off with two Devil Rays. I had no clue Hideo played for the Rays. How did that happen? Bay and Sexson are both good players, but they suuuuuuucked last year. Sexson is a meaningless blue parallel (ie: the foil is blue instead of gold, whoopie) making his card that much more blah. Thank goodness for Roy Oswalt who saves the pack at the end. When you go 14-7 with a 3.18 ERA and that's considered an off year, that means you are a damn good pitcher. Anyone else play the game? every year I'd get these cards in the Topps I bought in March and I'd go online and play their Fantasy game. I'd set a lineup and then never ever look at it again, at least until next year when I got new sluggers cards. For all I know I've won three trips to the All Star Game by now.

Monday, December 24, 2007

1990 Topps Football

I'm getting down to the nitty gritty in the collection of unopened packs I own, so here's a really bad set, 1990 Topps Football. To me it seems that Topps was still operating under its 1981 paradigm. How stupid could they be? Pro Set arrived a year earlier and was blowing Topps out of the water. Score was in the mix, too. Yet they thought they could still come hard and strong with a set 90% of which was comprised of guys standing around with their helmets off. Exciting.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
506 Buccaneers Team (Ugh, could I have gotten off to a worse start?)

236 Kevin Haverdink
524 Redskins Team
299 Chip Banks
479 Jessie Tuggle
292 Scott Davis (...who had apparently gone skydiving without a helmet before taking his seat on the sideline.)

520 Packers Team -- "A Bit of Packer 'Majik'" (More on this later.)

2 1000 Yard Club Christian Okoye
252 Jonathan Hayes
88 Jerome Brown (Solid DT.)
164 David Grayson
38 Vance Johnson
407 Vinny Testaverde (Yes!)

359 Jason Phillips
263 Neil Smith
274 Tim McGee

Grade: C-
The Packers Team card raises the grade a full letter, but that ain't saying much. This might actually be the perfect time of year to reflect on the 1989 NFL season and the way it introduced me to the heart-breaking realities of sports fandom and, to a different extent, life in general.

Monday, December 25, 1989, Vikings v. Bengals. Playoff spots are on the line for four teams based on the outcome of this game, the last one of the regular season. Both of the teams on the field need the win to eke their way in. At home wait the Green Bay Packers, a team who has not gotten even a sniff of Lady Playoff's panties since 1982, and that doesn't count because it was the strike season. To find a real playoff appearance, you needed to reach back another decade to 1972, and to top that, the Packers' last real playoff victory was Super Bowl II. Suffice it to say, my lifetime was one without any Packer success to speak of. On the other side of the coin sat the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were hoping the Vikings would defeat the Bengals so they could back into the playoffs. Packers fans crossed their fingers that the Bengals could pull off some more Boomer Esiason magic and allow the Pack to win the NFC Central.

ABC television was smart enough to capture footage of the respective Monday Night Football parties. On the one hand, we got to see Tim Harris' house, where he was playing pool with the guys. Halfway across the country you had a sorry-looking group of Steelers and their families crowded onto a single couch, spilling things, wearing bad sweaters, and cursing at children. Well, maybe not the last one, but I knew which party I'd rather be at.

In the end the Vikings (an organization rated on my Vile-O-Meter just behind the KKK) came out on top, depriving me of experiencing my team in a meaningful NFL game for another few years. Still, it was a wonderful time to cheer on Don Majkowski and his magic mullet.

For more on another Christmas NFL miracle, visit Thorzul Will Rule and its Card-vent Calendar, to be updated sometime later today.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

2007 Bowman

Yesterday, I went to an old fashioned card show at a Quality Inn in Lancaster, PA: twenty dealers, thirty tables, all in an old motel ball room. It was as if I stepped into a time machine, and it was 1994 again!

I was looking for another box of '07 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as it were) I had spent about half my bankroll on singles, and the $65 the dealer wanted for BDP&P was out of my price range. But he did have leftover boxes of regular Bowman.

Earlier this year, I spent $100 for an HTA box. This particular dealer had HTAs for half that price, but I went with the regular Hobby for only $35. No, that's not a misprint. $50 for HTA, and $35 for a Hobby box of current-year Bowman. Here's the first pack:

A. Soriano
J. Johnson
P. Burrell
R. Furcal

Prospects (2:1): C. Fermaint, B. Knox

A-Rod Bullshit Waste of Space (1:6): #149

Gold (1:1): D. Uggla
Chrome Prospects (2:1): B. Knox, B. Roberts

I will not be posting a full break; however, I will tell you what "hits" this Hobby box yielded.

I got a Blue parallel autograph of Tyler Colvin. Tyler who? Well, he was the thirteenth player selected in the 2006 draft, and hit .299 with 16 HRs and an .812 OPS between the Cubs' Single-A and AA affiliates this past season. Not bad. However, even though this is his first autographed card, Colvin's first Bowman card was in last year's BDP&P. Which begs the question: If Tyler Colvin's "1st Bowman Card" was in 2006; then what's the point of including him in the 2007 set? (especially since this is not a "true" RC?)

In addition to the parallel autograph of a non-rookie, I pulled four more worthless A-Rod Mirrors, and an X-Fractor of Greg Smith -- the 15th best prospect in the Diamondbacks organization (according to Baseball America).

I guess being rated the 15th-best prospect in your organization by Baseball America, is a lot better than being rated best in anything by the Greater Almaty Chamber of Commerce.

(Fast forward to the 3:30 mark to get the reference.)

So why has 2007 Bowman been relegated to the "Junk Wax" pile already? Topps still bills Bowman as "The Home of the Rookie Card," but there aren't nearly as many "Rookies" as there used to be. Granted, it's not all Topps' fault (the MLBPA saw to that). But "Rookie"-wise, there's nothing here anymore.

Working with the new MLBPA rules, Topps had to "do something" with Bowman. And "do something" is what Topps did alright. However the results -- the inclusion of autographed base set/Prospect cards and the bundling with Bowman Chrome -- have clearly hurt the brand more than helped it. Bowman collectors don't want autographed base set cards (much less parallels of autographed base set cards), and have never been interested in Chrome. And the Chro-morons still won't touch this stuff.

All of which explains why current-year Bowman Hobby boxes are in the Junk Wax pile. I guess doing something for the sake of "doing something," is worse than doing nothing at all!

2007 Score Football

I miss Score. Score had some mighty nice baseball sets and for my money, '88 Score is the best looking base set of the 80's bar none. Donruss resurrected the brand when Pinnacle went belly up, but they never made another baseball set, only football. I like this year's football cards although the only way to go is to buy the jumbo packs. More cards and more inserts, it's a no brainer. However, there's a guy at the flea market I go to that had a box of these and every time I stopped by his table he always asked why I never bought any of his Score. He's a real nice guy who'll talk your ear off if you let him, and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I didn't buy any Score because the packs sucked. I finally broke down last weekend and bought this one out of charity.

241 Lendale White
258 Trent Green
274 Derrick Burgess
240 Vince Young
330 Justin Durant Rookie
381 Marshawn Lynch Rookie
85 Glossy DeAngelo Williams

Not bad, the Marshawn Lynch rookie is worth the price of admission alone. Plus there's a couple of Titan stars in here too. I'm keeping a close eye on the Titans because when the Hand Of God finally reaches down from heaven and smites the entire Falcons franchise, leaving only a smoldering toxic crater where the Georgia Dome used to be, I'll end up adopting them as my team. I don't think God is through tormenting Falcon fans though, so that's probably off a little ways in the future. This pack was ok, but it's no Jumbo. Thirty cards, two shiny Atomic parallels, an insert and you get to pick the rookie on the front of the pack. How can you beat that? I made flea market dude happy though, so it's all good.

A sad update - I went back to the flea market yesterday and found out from one of the other dealers that the guy who sold me the pack was in the hospital. He's had heart problems before, hopefully they caught it early this time. I'll gladly buy another pack of Score from him when he gets back on his feet next year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2007-2008 Upper Deck Basketball First Edition

We now bring you the continuing story of Cardboard Junkie is a Lucky Bastard. I wanted to get a pack of First Edition Basketball for a while since I really liked the baseball and football versions. I never did get around to actually buying a pack though, even though I had every opportunity. The one time I actually picked one up it fell out of the shopping cart somewhere around the cereal aisle. So yesterday I was at Target looking for last minute presents. My wife didn't get everything we needed and I had to have the rest of them for a party this weekend. I looked around and found bupkis, not a dang thing I was looking for was there. That meant I was going to have to go down the street and go to The Avenue. Anyone not familiar with The Avenue, think a high class strip mall filled with overpriced yuppie stores like Pottery Barn, Abercrombie & Fitch and Williams-Sonoma. Plus it's the Holiday season so it's packed with mindless consumer drones taking up all the good parking spaces. I hate The Avenue. I went to the card rack hoping to find a pack of Bowman Draft to steel my nerves for the journey into Shopping Hell. Nope, not a single pack. Hey, there's First Edition, I could get that, it's only a buck.

32 Sarunas Jasikevicius
60 Nene
67 Craig Smith
50 Shawn Marion
157 Antoine Walker
126 Amir Johnson
117 Thabo Sefolosha
142 Maurice Williams
229 Gold Carl Landry Star Rookies
203 Al Horford Star Rookies

I have to admit, any pack with Sarunas Jasikevicius and Thabo Sefolosha is by definition full of awesome. Nene's another gem, what exactly has he done to warrant being a one-namer? I got a Gold rookie and The Matrix so that's good at least. None of that matters because I got the one card I really wanted out of the first and only pack of this stuff I'll buy. Al "Not a Bust" Horford. Al is kicking ass so far in his rookie season, all while playing out of position at Center because Billy Knight has no idea how to build an NBA roster. I would have bought this card outright anyway and here I go pulling out of a pack. Between this and pulling an auto out of a Topps Blaster, I'm on a roll. Time for me to go to Vegas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2000 Pacific Private Stock

This is the baseball version of the football pack I opened this weekend. This set is the same deal as before, the base cards are really thick with a computerized photo that looks vaguely like a painting and two mini T206 size cards per pack. There's not a whole lot in this set other than short printed Alfonso Soriano and Rick Ankiel prospect cards, but I'm a sucker for the mini cards. This pack was cheap though because it's the retail version instead of hobby. Plus Tony Gwynn's on the pack. How could I pass up Tony? Time to open.

114 Jason Kendall
104 Jason Giambi
PS-2000 14 Manny Ramirez
PS-2000 34 Alfonso Soriano
16 Cal Ripken Jr.

Sweetness. A gorgeous Ripken card and two superstar minis. Plus Jason Kendall as a Pirate. A real, actual bloodthirsty pirate. Arrrrrrrr...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2006-2007 Upper Deck Mini Jersey Collection Hockey

I've always wanted to buy a pack of this stuff in any sport but the $7.99 price tag for three cards and a Barbie-sized jersey scared me off. For some inexplicable reason though, the a few of the Quik Trips around here got a bunch of boxes of this stuff last year, sometimes two or three boxes per store. Without fail every one of those boxes gathered dust. One station dumped the cards somewhere and is using the box for holding keychains. The day I bought up a bunch of packs to bust open here I saw one of them when I got gas and just couldn't resist any longer. To my surprise, it rang up at $2.99! Of course this is the same place selling packs of Upper Deck First Edition for $4.99, so maybe it's not that big a surprise after all. In any case, lets see what jersey *ahem* sweater I pulled.

Penguins sweater with an alternate captain "A" on it
3 Chris Pronger
8 Brad Boyes
15 Dion Phaeneuf

The cards are completely superfluous to this set so I'm not even going to bother talking about them even though Chris Pronger is a good player. I got a Penguins home jersey with an alternate captain "A" on it. At least I think the white jerseys are the home jersey... I think they switched it up a couple years ago as a gimmick... It's a white jersey in any case and I don't know which player it belongs to because of the way it's wrapped up. Who is this? Could it be Mario? Gotta open it up...

Sidney Crosby! Kick ass! A hockey player I've actually heard of! This will go great with my Burger King Alge Crumpler Jersey.

Waaaay back here, I busted a pack of the NFL jerseys that were giveaways in Burger King kid's meals. A few hamburgers later, I finally pulled the Alge jersey that I really wanted (but not before getting a Packers jersey that ended up as trade bait). There's one problem with it though as you can see from the back:

Ouch. That's gonna be a fine. Somewhat prescient of BK to have that on the jersey way back in September. This kind of stuff doesn't happen in hockey.