Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fairfield Baseball Blister Pack Madness - Part 1

Oh, Fairfield. Your inexpensive jumbles of cheap old cards redeem my faith in the hobby. I like getting a random sampling of stuff without having to spend actual money on full packs or boxes. This way, if I find something I particularly like in the mix, I can focus my future collecting dollars on that. Getting five random wax packs is also fun, especially when one of my favorite sets is included.

But first, we turn to stack one. Your face cards in this episode are Edgar Renteria ('04 Skybox LE) and Miguel Tejada ('99 Victory). I'm not a huge fan of Tejada, but I'll take any card featuring an A's player.

These are listed in order first by year, then by set. I'm not going to attempt to go card-by-card here, as it's simply too many cards to do quickly. Also, a note: my scanner likes to crop white borders, so you'll know why some of the pics look funky.

1987 Topps:
16 Pat Clements (Pirates)
16 Pat Clements (Pirates). Is it too much to ask to not give me doubles for my $6.99? Yeah, it probably is.
19 Matt Young (Mariners). "He enjoys handball as a means of relaxation."
75 Ron Darling (Mets). "Ron is co-chairman of New York State Youth Drug Prevention Campaign. He played 2 years of football at Yale while working on Degree in History."
539 Reid Nichols (White Sox)
552 Larry Sheets (Orioles)
559 Lance McCullers (Padres)
564 Larry McWilliams (Pirates)
566 Tim Hulett (White Sox). Damn, those old ChiSox uniforms were odd.
587 Eric Plunk (Athletics). This has to be an RC, even though Beckett doesn't list it as such. Not an auspicious debut for Plunk, who went 4-7 in 1986 with a 5.31 ERA. And yet, "Eric was All-California pitcher in high school."
632 Rob Woodward (Red Sox)
647 Tom Lawless (Cardinals)

1988 Fleer:
299 Jeff Calhoun (Phillies)

1988 Topps:
711 Bill Gullickson (Yankees)

1988 Topps American Baseball (I love this set and I don't know why):
1 Harold Baines (White Sox)
3 George Bell (Blue Jays)
3 George Bell (Blue Jays). Yep, more doubles.
51 Lloyd Moseby (Blue Jays). "Lloyd was nicknamed 'Shaker' in high school."
56 Larry Parrish (Rangers). "Larry is the owner of 50 head of cattle in Florida."
75 Dave Stewart (Athletics). Did you ever see the man pitch? Pure, unmitigated EVIL. Just nasty stuff. Followed up by the closing skills of Dennis Eckersley, this was a combo that made the A's a team to be rightly feared during the late 1980s.
75 Dave Stewart (Athletics). So nice, they gave him to me twice. I'll accept that double.
75 Dave Stewart (Athletics). Okay, now it's getting ridiculous.
75 Dave Stewart (Athletics). Seriously? Four times? Honestly, I like this card, but come on!
81 Andy Van Slyke (Pirates). Fairfield packs seem to be full of Van Slyke cards; this is possibly because he was heavily hyped during the 1980s and then kinda fell off the hobby's map.

1989 Fleer:
366 Craig Reynolds (Astros)
390 Pascual Perez (Expos)
448 Ken Dayley (Cardinals)

1989 Topps:
93 Ken Howell (Dodgers). "Also pitched for Cotuit, champions of 1981 Cape Cod League."
437 Andy Benes "#1 Draft Pick" (Padres). Lots of good rookies in the 1989 Topps set.
761 Dante Bichette (Angels). Rookie issue for one of the original Blake Street Bombers. So this stack is instantly a winner.
3 of 22 Tim Belcher "1988 Rookies" (Dodgers)
14 of 22 Ricky Jordan "1988 Rookies" (Phillies)
16 of 22 Melido Perez "1988 Rookies" (White Sox)
17 of 22 Chris Sabo "1988 Rookies" (Reds)

1990 Score:
159 Bob Welch (Athletics). Welch was 17-8 in 1989 as he helped the A's to their "Earthquake Series" victory that year. Score says that Bob was "strong and durable". I'd agree with that.

1990 Star Lakeland Tigers:
20 Dan Raley (Lakeland Tigers). Having not heard of Raley, I am forced to Wiki him...and I find nothing. Another "interesting" curiosity for my big ol' box of unsorted cards.

1990 Topps:
523 Jay Bell (Pirates). Jay began his MLB career with the Indians, then bumped around the league for quite some time before finally landing with the D-Backs, proving to be a pivotal player in their World Series win against the Yankees in 2001. Though never regarded as an impressive fielder, Bell did earn a Gold Glove in 1993 while still with the Pirates.

1990 Upper Deck:
787 Matt Young (Mariners)

1991 Donruss:
206 Bryan Harvey (Angels)

1991 Fleer Ultra...Football? (Yay! Random football cards!)
127 Gary Plummer (Chargers)

1991 Topps Toys 'R Us Rookies (this kind of set is the reason I even bother with Fairfield packs)
8 Travis Fryman (Tigers)
9 Marquis Grissom (Expos)
21 Chris Nabholz (Expos)

1992 Topps Stadium Club
706 Tony Pena (Red Sox)

1993 Topps:
379 Mike Munoz (Tigers)

1996 Pinnacle:
364 Tim Raines (Yankees)

1996 Score:
192 Roberto Hernandez (White Sox). Score managed to remain relatively consistent with their proven methods throughout the 1990s, while other card brands went nuts with over-amped designs and card backs stuffed with useless filler. Score retained large obverse photos, full statistics, and well-written copy that actually told you something about the player. For instance, Roberto "comes right at batters with an intimidating overhand 95-mph sinking fastball". I miss that kind of quality in a basic product these days.

1999 Upper Deck:
203 Kevin Young (Pirates)

1999 Victory:
282 Miguel Tejada (Athletics)

2004 Skybox Limited Edition:
83 Edgar Renteria (Cardinals). Pictured in a throwback uniform, which is cool. The die-cut design of this set is also nice, but the multi-line border is distracting.

Coming up next: Section 2 of the blister pack. I like to save the wax in the middle for last.

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