Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jumbomania! 1993 Bowman

Next up, a Jumbo pack from a time when Bowman baseball truly was "The Home of the Rookie Card," 1993. There are 22 cards in this pack, and the "money card" is a Derek Jeter RC; which after the SP RC, is probably his "best." There's also the only true RC of Andy Pettitte.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jumbomania! Three Jumbos of 1992 Fleer

I have had a sixteen-year long hard-on for the 1992 Fleer Jumbo Packs. A big, raging, Peter North sized boner for this stuff. I mean, it was the first trading card product where the collector had a realistic shot at pulling a card worth $100.

That card was, of course, the 1992 Fleer Frank Thomas Rookie Sensations. Last year, I wrote a feature on the Jumbo pack exclusive '92 Fleer Rookie Sens and I invite you to check it out, here.

So when Scott and I eyed a box full of junk $1 packs at the Reading Show, and found three '92 Fleer Jumbos, I just had to video bust them.

It's been 16 years since I've busted a Jumbo of '92 Fleer, here's they are. Enjoy!

1988 Fleer Cello pack

If you read my 88 Topps blog, you know I collected a lot that year. Topps was so much easier to find and cheaper than Fleer that year, so it was a rare treat when I could pick up some of these packs. I like the fairly simple design, although it would have been nice if they had varied the colors of the red and blue stripes on different cards. That's sort of what they ended up doing in 1990.

Anyway, here's the pack:

#59 Larry Herndon showing on top

What exactly is up with those wrist bands?

#484 Tony Armas - oh how the mighty have fallen
#466 Scott Fletcher
#98 Robby Thompson
#281 Rick Honeycutt
#593 Eric Nolte
#354 Mike Greenwell - an awesome pull for 1988!

#143 Kevin McReynolds - interesting choice to show him bunting at Wrigley

#203 Rick Cerone - back with the Yankees...
#146 Randy Myers - sporting a wicked mustache
#18 Joe Niekro - late and great

#301 Todd Frohwirth - looking significantly less dorky than on his 1988 Topps card

#615 Cory Snyder - not a bad pull for the day
#227 Buddy Bell - future manager and father of David Bell
Dodgers sticker
Orioles/Braves sticker
#576 Shawn Abner
#366 Jeff Sellers
#130 Gary Carter - well finally a HOFer, although his balding head must have been a bit embarrassing for him

#218 Willie Randolph - I'm not afraid to say it. Randolph is a damn handsome man.

#332 Bob Kipper - Kipper, Knepper whatever
#15 Tim Laudner
#297 Luis Aguayo - part of the powerhouse Phillies teams of the mid-80's. Did I say powerhouse? I meant outhouse.

#604 Tom Candiotti - showing you the equipment for the sport he plays, in case you forgot

#247 Ron Robinson - looking only slightly less clown-like than in the 88 Topps set.

#103 George Bell - reigning MVP at this point but not a very exciting pull
#459 Robbie Wine - never as good as his dad
#395 Jose DeLeon - underrated
#426 Jamie Moyer - fresh faced here but still kicking ass today!

#160 Mark Clear - could almost be Rollie Fingers

Well, not a great pack. No players who were superstars at the time, with Carter, Greenwell, and Snyder coming closest. I guess Myers was pretty hot then. Just one HOFer in Carter.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prime Paks Hobby Edition

Today is going to be the biggest baseball day of my life thus far, and I woke up after a restless night with an idea that will increase the fun factor exponentially. Seeing as baseball is the most superstitious of all sports, I thought I'd play a little game with myself that would add the element of chance to an already decidedly arbitrary game. I beat myself up yesterday thinking that if Prince Fielder had hit a ball another two inches or so on June 15 of this year, the Brewers wouldn't be in this spot, plus the AL Central race would have a different makeup altogether.

On the weekly trip to Target, I found a Fairfield repack box that intrigued me greatly. This Prime Paks box boasts six hobby packs. I enjoy opening stuff from a few years ago, so I thought "Why not?" I'll be opening these before and during the Brewers/Cubs game today. I'll be on the lookout for Brewers, of course, which will earn me a certain number of points according to quality. Marlins cards will result in a lower number of points. Mets pulls will equate to massive negative points, and Cubs cards will just be destroyed. All other cards are neutral. A positive score foretells a Brewer playoff appearance, or at the very least a Monday teaser. An overall negative result means the Brewers add to their MLB-longest playoff absence streak. (And, no, I do not take into consideration the Expos/Nationals franchise. The suffering for folowers of either of these autonomous teams has not nearly matched that of Milwaukee fans.) Sure, it's no Cup of Jamshid, but it'll have to do.

First of all, let's see what packs I get to open.

Not too bad, although the 2003 Flair is reaching back a little too far in time. I think I'll begin with the 2006 Sweet Spot.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
54 Chad Cordero
12 Orlando Hudson

84 Matt Holliday
64 Bobby Abreu

22 David Eckstein

Score: Neutral
Grade: F
I've seen piles of material that have been covered with sawdust by school janitors that looked better than this. I hope these packs get better soon. You can follow all of these hobby rips throughout the afternoon over at Thorzul Will Rule.

Jumbomania! 1991 Upper Deck Hi-Series

At Reading, I picked up about $25 worth of loose junkpacks -- all of which I'll be video reviewing over the next weeks. Seven of these are early-90s Jumbo packs, and the first of which is a 1991 Upper Deck Hi-Series.

The last time I saw an unopened Jumbo pack of 1991 Upper Deck, might have been, well, 1991. Each pack contains 27 cards, and since this is a Hi-Series pack, half the cards are from the Lo-Series (Cards #1-700). You also get a Jumbo exclusive "Silver Sluggers" insert, and a shot at one of the 2500 Hank Aaron Baseball Heroes autographs.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

1991-92 Upper Deck Basketball Locker

Today was the kind of, sort of quarterly "Philly Show", a grand card show with 250 or so tables in an Expo Center. It has moved frequently starting in Fort Washington then moving to Reading (hardly Philly) and, in 2009, coming back south to Valley Forge. Either way, today was the last one in Reading, and a great shot at "junk wax". Piling on the excitement, is a chance to hang out with Chris Harris from Stale Gum.

While perusing the rows and rows of stuff I can't afford, I found a 1991-92 Upper Deck Locker Box. This is back when Shaq was making all his money at LSU. I was hoping for one of the plastic lockers but it was plain cardboard. For $2(!!!!!) how can you go wrong. Let's tear into the 7 packs and see what we get.

Each pack has a rookie standouts card! Here we go!

Pack 1
Clyde Drexler All Star
All Rookie Kendall Gill
(I spot something shiny!)
Andrew Lang
Ricky Pierce
Charles Oakley
David Wingate
Detlef Schrempf Sixth Man of the Year Hologram! Yes!
Joe Barry Carroll, he had a better career than I thought
Chris Dudley
David Robinson
David Wingate again, nice collation
Dan Schayes, not a quarter of the player his dad was
Rookie Standout Felton Spencer

Pack 2
John Stockton All Star
Winston Garland
Fat Lever, I always figured he was very wide, 6'3" 175
Fat Lever again
Dennis Scott
LaSalle Thompson, who went to Texas, not LaSalle
Wayman Tisdale
Blair Rasmussen
Kiki Vandeweghe
Kevin Duckworth
Tom Hammonds
Rookie Standout Bo Kimble

Pack 3
Michael Jordan, All Star Checklist. Hell yeah!
Michael Jordan, regular card, double hell yeah!
Gary Payton, 3 for 3 on Hall of Famers or will be Hall of Famers
Charles Smith, so the streak ends
Chuck Person
Marcus Liberty
Larry Krystowiak
Alton Lister
Chris Jackson
Mark Jackson
Buck Williams
Rookie Standout Travis Mays, can we get any more obscure?

Pack 4
Moses Malone
Magic Johnson, nice start
Roy Tarpley
Jeff Martin, who played so little he is wearing warm ups
Sleepy Floyd
Larry Nance
Darrell Walker
Jack Haley
Bobby Hansen
Kenny Williams
Sarunas Marciulionis
Rookie Standout Derrick Coleman

Pack 5
James Worthy All Star, that's 5 for 5 in Hall of Famers on the top... 4 out of 5. Jordan is eligible in 2009. Will he make it?
Michael Adams
Ronaldo Blackman
Cedric Ceballos
Hakeem Olajuwon
Jeff Grayer
Henry James
Drazen Petrovic
Herb Williams
Alaa Abdelnaby
Orlando Woolridge, those old Nuggets uniforms are beautiful
Rookie Standout Loy Vaught

Pack 6
Tim Hardaway All Star, Run TMC representing!
Rick Mahorn
Hersey Hawkins gives us back to back Sixers
Benoit Benjamin
Dominique Wilkins, flying in for a dunk
Cliff Robinson
Jack Sikma
Greg Anderson, on the back he's blocking a shot by our buddy Jeff Martin
Kendall Gill
Rod Strickland
Terry Porter
Rookie Standout Tyrone Hill

Pack 7
Future Hall of Famer Karl Malone. I got it now, there's an all star on top of every pack
Danny Young
Ricky Pierce
Andrew Lang
Reggie Miller
John Starks rookie
Eddie Johnson
Antoine Carr
Tyrone Corbin
Micheal Williams signals a touchdown for the Pacers
Frank Brickowski
Rookie Standout Willie Burton

It seems that the Rookie Standouts were standouts in 1992 but in 2008 are mostly forgotten. Some nice cards, the Magic, the Jordan, but they did print enough of these to block out the sun for 100 years.

2004 Fleer Platinum

I found one of these among those stupid discounted packs of non-sports cards at the Target closest to my house. It's specifically retail, so I'm not holding my breath for either of the "Two Game-Used Levels." Not sure what that means, but at least it's not "Game-Used Layers." The layer of clothing closest to the skin below the waist and above the knees needs to be kept off of all MLB relic cards. Write your local congressperson to ensure this.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
22 Jack Wilson (Old uniform present and accounted for. Hairlip, bucktooth thing not visible.)

34 Joe Randa (Milwaukee native.)
167 Morgan Ensberg Unsung Heroes

127 Bobby Abreu
197 Rickie Weeks/Adam Morrissey (Nice, one of last night's heroes.)

117 Mike Cameron (Excellent, a current Brewer with a Mariners jersey and a Mets logo. The perfect photo to showcase his outfield play.)

182 Greg Myers Unsung Heroes

Grade: B+
I got two 2008 Brewers, which is great. The borrows the look of 1984 Fleer, which is my second-favorite 1980s Fleer set (after 1985). My Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test uses this question as a guideline: "Would I have tried to collect this set if I had been collecting in (insert year here)?" Probably, but who knows?

If you want a biased take on the playoff races...

Friday, September 26, 2008

1981 Baseball Pack War! -- Donruss vs. Fleer

Wasting time is fun. Wasting time with two older packs of Donruss and Fleer, a video camera and MPEG Video Wizard DVD software is even more fun. After all, what's a better way to start the weekend than to have (and film) a bloody battle between two hungry competitors just out of the starting gate? For those interested, the background music is the 1981 classic The Winner Takes It All by ABBA. Wow. This will be a great weekend!

Disclaimer: If you decide to watch this, you'll never get this 10 1/2 minutes back.

I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

1992 Skybox Pre-Rookie (2nd pack)

Yes, I have several of these 1992 Pre-Rookie packs, and this is the second of the packs. At least in this one, we should all recognize some of the names and faces we see!

Jerry Goff (Indianapolis Indians - Expos), Matt Mieske (Denver Zephyrs - Brewers), Eddie Zosky (Syracuse Chiefs - Blue Jays), Randy St. Claire (Richmond Braves - Braves), Jeromy Burnitz (Tidewater Tides - Mets). According to the back of Burnitz's card, he is the "Met's most promising home run-hitting prospect since Darryl Strawberry)."

Butch Davis (Syracuse Chiefs - Blue Jays), Terry Bross (Las Vegas Stars - Padres), Matt Stairs (Indianapolis Indians - Expos), Jose Valentin (Denver Zephyrs - Brewers), Derrick May (Iowa Cubs - Cubs). No way, Jose'! For me, the Valentin is the pull of this group.

Tom Goodwin (Albuquerque Dukes - Dodgers), JT Snow (Columbus Clippers - Yankees), Jeff Conine (Omaha Royals - Royals), Ozzie Canseco (Louisville Redbirds - Cardinals), Jeff Richardson (Buffalo Bisons - Pirates). Snow and Conine! Very nice finds in the pack.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the selection in this one. No Indians, but some interesting fodder for future giveaways...

2001 Pacific Baseball

It shouts it on the front of the pack 'Pacific Ornaments'.

I was really hoping that this pack would contain one of the 24 Christmas ornaments cards. The pack says 2 in 37, so the chances are not bad. To some it is probably a stupid idea but the oddball in me was hoping....

Lets see-

113 Pokey Reece Reds

425 Bill Haselman Rangers

146 Larry Walker Rockies

450 David Wells Blue Jays

40 Javy Lopez Braves

178 Moises Alou Astros

354 Mike Matheny Cardinals

108 Danny Graves Reds

205 Blake Stein Royals

287 Glenallen Hill Yankees

440 Jose Cruz Jnr Blue Jays

319 Travis Lee Phillies

No Luck. Not even a seasonal name.

Maybe next Christmas.

On an additional note
I am trying to find good homes for some of loose cards I have. Trades have been arranged with some of the teams but the Expos, Tigers, Angels, Twins, Yankees, Athletics, Mariners, Bay Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, D-backs, Cubs, Rockies, Marlins, Dodgers, Pirates, Padres, Giants and Nationals are still begging to be place in a friendly environment.
I cannot guarantee they will be worth a fortune but they may fill some of the holes you have in your team sets.
E-mail me a line if your interested.

1980 Topps Football Wax Fun

Which treasures are inside this 28 year-old pack, patiently waiting to see the long-lost light of day? Well, there's certainly one way to find out...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1986 Topps

I was a freshman in high school when this prolific set came out. With 15 cards and one piece of gum for less than a $1.00 per pack originally. The set had 792 cards and Beckett lists it at $25. You can pick up a box for $15 or a set for $15 on Ebay pretty easily. Cards to look for are #1(Pete Rose), #100(Nolan Ryan), #180(Don Mattingly), #200(Mike Schmidt), #254(Ozzie Guillen), #300(George Brett), #329(Kirby Puckett), #340(Cal Ripken), #386(Cecil Fielder), #661(Roger Clemens). Subsets include Pete Rose Tribute, Record Breakers, Turn Back the Clock, All Stars, and Team Leaders. The Parallel sets were Tiffany and Opeechee. These boxes also came with box "bottomers" instead of box toppers, so four cards were part of the bottom of the box. I remember opening a lot of packs back in the day to complete my set. Let's get to ripping.

Manny played for the Athletics, Cubs, Phillies, Indians, Expos, Giants and Reds during his career.

Awesome, a Cardinal who also played for the Mets, Royals, Mariners, Reds and Tigers. Vince and Lou Brock are only two of four players to steal 100 bases in one season. He was National ROY in 1985.

Carlton played for 24 years for the Red Sox and White Sox. He is a HOF player (2000) and had his numbers retired by both the Red Sox and White Sox. He was American ROY in 1972.

Doc played for the Mets, Yankees, Indians, Astros and Devil Rays in his infamous career. He was the 1984 National ROY, who also pitched a no-hitter in 1996 against the Mariners.

Steve played for 14 years with the Dodgers and his last with the Mariners. He was the 1981 World Series MVP.

Rusty played for the Colts, Astros, Expos, Mets, Tigers and Rangers during his 23 years in professional baseball. The Expos retired his #10.

Juan played for a lot of teams including, the Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees, Mariners, Angels, Orioles, Royans and Blue Jays.

Charlie played his 14 seasons for the Brewers and Blue Jays.

Dave, a HOF player (2001) played for the Padres, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jans, Twins and Indians during his great 22 year career. I have to mention that ESPN named him the third best all-around athlete of all time for any sport, wow. He was selected for 12 All-Star games as well as amassing many other awards. The Padres retired his #31.

The rest of the cards are Checklist, "Spring Fever Baseball", Randy Ready, Rick Sutcliffe, Ernie Whitt, Frank Dipino, and Barry Bonnell. I have to admit I have thousands of 1986 Topps cards laying around, but I couldn't resist opening a pack and smelling that old gum. I am glad I pulled the Coleman, Fisk, Gooden and Winfield cards, all amazing players.

2007 UD Goudey Hobby Pack

As I was driving around Texarkana, looking for one of the school sites I was supposed to be visiting in order to install computers for the 3-5 year old kiddos, I buzzed past "Excalibur" comics, sportscards, collectibles... I made a mental note to go back after I was finished with the job.

He had a gazillion "Magic: The Gathering" cards and a ton of comics. I asked about baseball cards, and he looked at me like I was from another planet, telling me that, basically, the hobby was dying (not in so many words). I looked over the handful (literally almost) of cards he had in a case tucked back around a corner, saw nothing of interest, and looked over the small selection of hobby boxes he had open for display.

For $6.95, I bought a pack of 2007 Goudey Hobby cards. I don't know what I expected, but I guess it's not a bad pack....

Maddux (Padres - Green), Renteria (Braves - Green), and Delmon Young (Rays - Green)

Lou Brock! (Cardinals - Green), Maddux (Padres - Red), Renteria (Braves - Red)

Thomas (Blue Jays - Red) and Gary Matthews (Angels - Red)

Obviously, pulling the Brock was the card of the pack. If I collected Maddux, Renteria, Braves, or Padres, I would have had a nice hit with this one. I have no idea what the difference between the hobby packs and the retail packs are, so I can't really say if I got a "good deal" or not. That is a very subjective (and, judging by some blog posts out there - touchy) thing.

(edit: I have corrected the year of the pack. It was previously listed as 2008, incorrectly.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1982 Topps Baseball Stickers -- What's not to like?

Thanks to Ben for allowing another new contributor to this fine site. I'll do my best to further the great cardboard spirit invoked by the likes of Thorzul, David, and maybe even dayf if I'm really on a roll...

The beauty of Topps' 80s sticker campaigns is this -- You won't find a Rickey Keeton. Or a Denny Lewallyn. Or, heaven forbid, a Mark Budaska.



Topps would go on to include several "rookie card year" players in the '83 sticker set, but the glorious year of 1982 was all about the veteran starters.

So with no further ado, let's get nasty with two packs of '82 Topps baseball stickers (what the heck, we're only talking 'bout a total of ten stickers here...)

Pack One

Larry Parrish, Expos -- a solid player for fifteen years, and a two-time All-Star as well. Right off the bat, Larry shows what this set has to offer.

Ron LeFlore, White Sox -- an up and down mix of quality playing time versus personal problems helped shorten poor Ron's career. A Tigers cult figure to this very day.

Paul Molitor, Brewers -- greatness has arrived! And it's resting on a bat and one knee!

Carlton Fisk, White Sox -- okay, now we're really talking... Two Hall of Famers in a row -- and this one lives on a plane of golden foil!

Rickey Henderson, A's -- we know this set focused on starters, but Paul, Carlton AND Rickey? Who knew that so much talent could fit between two aging wrapper halves?

Pack Two

Ray Knight, Reds -- like Larry Parrish, Knight played in the bigs from 1974 - 1988, and also made the All-Star Team twice. Looking good so far...

Johnny Bench, Reds -- Wooooooohoooooo! Everyone should feel what it's like to pull a J.B. out of a 26 year old pack.

Steve Trout, White Sox -- the third White Sock in eight tries. Steve lasted 12 years and logged just over 1,500 innings for four different teams.

Jose Cruz, Astros -- a Houston fan favorite, as I should know. Now batting: Jose CRUUUUUUuuuuuzzzzzzz!!!

Chris Speier, Expos -- so the last three stickers are commons. But ya know, I like these guys. I'm ten years old again. And best of all, everyone except Rickey Henderson and Jose Cruz seems thrilled to be here.