I've got some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that I've come up with a new game to play when opening packs: Leader of the Pack, which I'll explain below.
The bad news is that I think this will be my last contribution to A Pack A Day, for various reasons. The biggest reason is that I've got too many other demands on my time, including 78 Topps Cards and a couple other blog ideas I am cooking up. I will likely post some more of these 1993 UD S2 packs on my 78 Topps blog, though, so check that out for more of the same.
Now, here's how Leader of the Pack works.
The goal is to determine the best card in the pack that is opened.
Each card gets a score, made up from 4 different categories:
1) How good is the player?
2) How good is the photo (or photos)?
3) How cool was it to get this card at the time the pack was issued?
4) Are there any intangibles?
Each of the 4 categories can get up to 5 points, so a perfect card would score 20 points.
Without further delay, here is our Leader of the Pack for this pack of 1993 Upper Deck, Series 2. Incidentally, this pack is part of my prize winnings from Night Owl Cards. Thanks Greg!
#807 Kelly Gruber - well past his peak in 1990, Gruber was a decent player, so Player 3/5. Photos on the front and back are both casual non-action shots, so Photos 2/5. At the time, this card was nothing special to get at the time, so At the time 1/5. And Intangibles 0/5. Total = 6/20
#776 Benito Santiago - Player 4/5. The photos are weird. The front one is quite distinctive, showing Santiago signaling one out but with his face almost entirely invisible. They should have put a closeup of him on the back to compensate but didn't. At least it's an action shot. Photos 3/5. At the time, Santiago was still considered a great catcher and was starting out with the brand new Marlins franchise. At the time 3/5. Intangibles 2/5 for being a first-year Marlins card and the very unusual photo. Total = 12/20
#806 Tom Brunansy - Player 4/5 Underrated but pretty good. The photos on this card are awesome, with a huge billboard ad behind Brunansky exactly matching his Brewers' blue and yellow. The back is an up-close action shot. It doesn't get any better for Photos 5/5. At the Time 1/5 as Brunansky's cards were never much sought after. Intangibles 0/5. Total = 10/20
#A1 Ken Griffey Jr - Jesus, what a pull for the 4th card in my first pack! Player 5/5. The photo has got to be a 5/5 because it was so iconic and sought-after. At the time, in 1993, this particular card was a great pull, 4/5. Intangibles 4/5 for being a cool insert. The only thing that keeps it from getting a 5/5 for intangibles is that it's the same image as used 5 years ago. I realize that's the point, but the fact remains that there is nothing new on this card. Total = 18/20
#630 Checklist 526-630 - Player 5/5 for featuring Roger Clemens. Photos are 1/5 because they are very light (so the checklist is readable.) At the time this card was of only minor interest 1/5 and it has no intangibles. Total = 7/20
#730 Stan Javier - Player gets a 2/5 mainly for longevity and utility. Photos get a 3/5 bceause the card is horizontal, which I love, and the back is a nice closeup. At the time, nobody cared much about this card for a 1/5 and there are no intangibles. Total = 6/20
#698 Jimmy Jones - Player gets a 1/5 for a pretty disappointin career. Photos also get a 1/5, mainly because there's something screwy that was done to Jones' face, making the photo creepy and weird. (That's not a joke, UD smudged it or something.) At the time is 1/5 and Intangibles is a 0/5. Total = 3/20
#698 Jimmy Jones - I SHIT YOU NOT that the very next card is another Jimmy Jones. Doubles are lame. Total = 0/20
#618 Billy Hatcher - Player 3/5. Photos - the one on the front is kickass, showing Hatcher trying to steal second base, with a very intense look on his face and his gold chains flying. But the photo on the back has his head down and face obscured. 3/5. At the time, this card was nothing special 2/5. No intangibles. Total = 8/20
#611 Francisco Cabrera - Player 2/5. Photos - another unusual catcher photo on the front that is ruined by a White Sox player right behind Cabrera. The back is another photo of him catching...bad. they should have put a close-up or action batting shot on the back. 2/5. At the time, this card wasn't worth anything 1/5. However, this card gets a 5/5 for Intangibles since Cabrera was coming off the game-winning pinch-hit in the 1992 NLCS that scored Sid Bream. Total = 10/20
#539 Greg Hibbard - Player 3/5. Photos - a nice standard action shot on the front, and an awesome action shot on the back showing the baseball in the foreground. 4/5. At the time, this was a common 1/5. No Intangibles. Total = 8/20
#577 Fred McGriff - Player 5/5. Photos: the front one is a decent action shot although it looks like McGriff has a weak follow-through, likely indicating a pop-up. The back, however, includes HOFer Tony Gwynn. 4/5. At the time, McGriff was perhaps the top power hitter in the game, although his cards didn't carry that much value. 4/5. Intangibles are zippo. Total = 13/20
#431 Cliff Floyd Top Prospect - Player 4/5. Photo: a standard batting shot, but cool bceause of Floyd's uniform number of 68, indicating that he really was a raw rookie when the photo was taken. Plus, the 68 is visible on the head of his bat. 3/5 At the time, Floyd hadn't done anything yet so this was merely a cool "what-if" card, 2/5. The intangibles are 2/5 for a cool full-bleed insert. Total = 11/20
#473 Red October - Players 4/5. The only guy here who had a long, excellent career was Larkin, although all 5 of the guys were great players. The photo is pretty neat, although I would have preferred if they got all 5 guys either to smile or not smile, instead of 3 smiling and 2 not smiling. But the background and special Red October logo are pretty cool. 4/5. At the time, this was a pretty neat card, especially for Reds fans, 3/5. Intangibles are 3/5 for a cool insert card featuring a team just 3 years removed from winning the World Series. Total = 14/20
#464 Jose Offerman Inside the Numbers - Player 2/5. Overrated. Photo is a nice action shot of Offerman plus has Terry Pendleton, then a major star, as a bonus. 4/5. At the time, this card couldn't have been worth much(1/5), and the only intangibles this card has going for it are including Peter Gammons. 1/5. Total = 8/20
So, there you have it, the Leader of the Pack is the A1 Ken Griffey Jr. card, to nobody's surprise!
Want to trade for these cards? Email me at 78topps at gmail dot com.