Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1996 Score Series 2 Jumbo

In all the talk about licenses these days, I don't really see anyone clamoring for a Score revival. Score cards were first introduced as a more "normal" brand from the makers of Sportflics. Anyway, I don't have a lot of Score cards that were released after 1991, and 50 cents seems about right for a jumbo pack that had an MSRP of 1.99. So I present to you, with one of the most hideous pack wrappers ever, 1996 Score - Series 2.

363 - Rafael Palmeiro Star Struck (I see what they did there... with the stars and the like.)

283 - Paul Molitor
318 - Erik Hanson
352 - Roberto Petagine (I think I missed out on this guy's major league career.)

290 - John Franco (I don't even know what to say about this photo.)

325 - Kenny Lofton (The fade helped him steal more bases than the rest.)

367 - Randy Johnson Star Struck (Consequently, I don't think Randy's hairstyle contributed to his success, but something about his overall apperance definitely seemed to distract hitters.)

302 - Ivan Rodriguez (Style.)
337 - Ron Gant (Gant was one of those low-budget stars, someone I always tried to sell myself on. Having four Ron Gant rookies was as good as having a Ken Griffey Jr rookie, right?)

508 - Scott Hatteberg (Hatteberg should take lessons from Pudge.)

487 - Lou Whitaker
407 - Chad Ogea

511 - Marty Cordova AL Checklist (Apparently this set was numbered in League order. Whatever happened to this guy? He and Pat Listach must be laughing it up somewhere in the upper midwest.)
473 - Greg Swindell
389 - Steve Trachsel (If you were to do some sort of free association thing with me and said the words "bad pitcher," I'm pretty sure "Trachsel" would pop out of my mouth without much of a thought.)
420 - Stan Javier
456 - Pete Harnisch

1 of 20 - Frank Thomas All-Stars (This card is fairly shiny, and I kind of like the effect of the old newsprint style picture of Thomas on the right. All-Star cards came in 1 out of 4 packs according to the ugly wrapper.)
480 - Gabe White
479 - Brad Ausmus

Sunday, March 29, 2009

2009 Topps Heritage: History in pairs

I am not a big fan of non-baseball cards. So that begs the question, "Why would I buy a pack of 2009 Heritage, then?" The answer is as simple as anyone with an addiction to anything: it was there. It called out to me. Really. I heard it. "Hey, Dave, buy me. You'll LEARN something..." And the pack was right.

The pack seemed to be a bunch of random cards at first glance. But as I looked closer, I began to notice something... History was being revealed to me in pairs. Take this first example: Susan B Anthony and William Jennings Bryant. How are they connected? They both were advocates for women's right to vote. Sidebar: Why is the right to vote called 'suffrage?' I mean, that makes it sound like it hurts, like some painful process that borders on torture...

The next pair of cards show both the artist and his finished work. I have never been to South Dakota to see the monument, but would like to one day. Of course, it won't be nearly as entertaining without Phineas and Ferb there, I'm sure.

I'm a little slow on the uptake, so when I saw the Meriwether Lewis card, I was thinking Oregon Trail (yes, the computer game). Of course, it doesn't take much to see the words "Louisiana Purchase" on the front of the card. That was paired up with the signing of the deal. Know how much Lewis and Clark were paid to trek all over the midwest to the northwest? $2500. Wonder how much that translates into in today's economy...

These last two were a bit of a challenge to pair up, really. So, I went with "landscapes" as their defining match-up characteristic. See, Church painted them, and Powell explored them... Okay, a bit of a stretch, I agree.

Finally, the checklist. Interestingly enough, the checklist is actually copyright 2008 instead of 2009... Guess they knew the cards before they made 'em...

Do all Heritage packs come collated like this? While it was interesting, I hope they don't all have a common thread among cards in the pack - keep life random. That's what I've never said before, but will say that I always say it because that is what most folks say. Not to keep life random, but rather "That's what I always say..." My brain hurts.

2009 Topps replacement packs

Continuing on the theme of jacked up 2009 Topps packs, I bought a blaster of the Wal-Mart black variations a couple weeks ago and found that they came up a little short. The box only contained nine regular packs and the Commemorative patch card. And the last two packs didn't have a total of eight cards in them. After I seperated the ToppsTown and the Attax cards, there were only four or five cards left. Another pack had a damaged card in it. The patch card was nice, a Ted Williams, but the box was a disappointment.

So I went on to the Topps site, (which is worth a whole seperate rant post elsewhere, but I digress...) and finally found their Customer Service page that said where to write to and what to send them in case of problems. I packed up the wrappers, the box flaps, my receipt (they take copies), the damaged card, and a letter explaining what I had found. I sent it off on the 15th of March.

Around the 24th or so, I got a white puffy envelope with a letter and a bundle inside:

The letter was dated the 19th and thanked me for purchasing their product. It listed several bullet items of information about sending cards for replacement.

Inside the bundle was two packs and a replacement for the damaged card in a toploader.

They were shielded on the outside with what looks to be the raw stock for Masterpieces cards. Pure white textured canvas panels, somewhat oversized. All of this was scotch taped together.

I had already traded for a replacement for the damaged card. So I opened the packs, hoping for a majority of singles I didn't already have. I got a CC and a Halladay among the base cards, and a gold parallel, plus Chipper and Josh Hamilton ToppsTowns. Not spectacular, but it'll do. I ended up with four cards that I needed for my set.

I was most impressed by the turnaround time. Topps Customer Relations may officially award themselves one bonus point for this case. They messed up a box, but made it right in a timely manner. This is the first time I've sent something back like this. I hope the future occasions are rare, and they all go like this one...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2009 Topps Fat Pack: What the Fungus?

I'm sure we've all seen our share of 2009 Topps already, but I got two fat packs at Target and something was odd. Check out the the following scans:

So, as I said..."What the Fungus?". You'll notice that all of the affected cards are horizontally oriented. I pulled about six others like these. Each fat pack had two separate runs of three misprinted cards in the middle of the pack. It looks like some of the colored ink didn't make it onto the cards; maybe yellow? At any rate, the backs of the cards are fine. You'll also notice that no less than three of the affected cards feature Josh Hamilton. Weird, huh?

Has anyone else found similarly gerfunct cards? (Yes, these are so weird looking that I had to use a fake word to describe them.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

1992/93 Pro Set Hockey Jumbo

I picked up a box of these cheap like borscht. Let's see what's inside. 20 packs per box, 31 cards per pack.
Alexander Mogilny - Sabres
Dave Ellet - Leafs
Jeremy Roenick - Blackhawks
Mike Vernon - Flames ( Local boy!!!)
Donald Audette - Sabres
Bernie Nicholls - Oilers
Geoff Sanderson - Whalers
Igor Ulanov - Jets ( J! E! T! S! jets! Jets! JETS!)
Don Beaupre - Capitals
Claude LaPointe - Nordiques
Jaromir Jagr - Penguins
Michel Goulet - Blackhawks
Ray Ferraro - Islanders
Al Iafrate - Capitals
Dave Manson - Oilers
Nelson Emerson - Blues
Jeff Hackett - Sharks
Mike Hough - Nordiques
Bobby Holik - Whalers
Ted Donato - Bruins - ROOKIE
Glen Murray - Bruins - ROOKIE
Bobby Smith - North Stars
Bobby Smith - North Stars (WTF?)
Viacheslav Kozlov - Red Wings - ROOKIE
Mike Modano - North Stars
NHL Newsreel - insert
Marc Fortier - Senators
Luc Robitaille - Kings ( this is hockey! look at that hair! that face!)
Dominic Roussel - Flyers - ROOKIE
Brad Shaw - Senators
Doug Gilmour - Leafs - Team Leader
there you have it. Hockey junk wax. These cards are available as part of a giveaway I'm doing. Lots of other junk wax too... if interested, head over to Waxaholic, read the post, and shoot me an email.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2002 Fleer Tradition

Taking a step up from the last few baseball packs I've posted on this blog, here's a pack of 2002 Fleer Tradition that I forked over a whole dollar for. I'm a sucker for anything "heritage", "traditional" or "retro", so I was pretty excited about this one.

455 - Jason Romano Prospects

454 - Ryan Drese Prospects (Hmm, I'm not so sure what's "traditional" about these first two cards. Nothing says tradition like a guy with 191 career ABs and another guy who has a 5.31 career ERA. At least Drese is still kicking around AAA in the Pirates organization, or at least was as of last season.)

278 - Brian Jordan (Ahh, this is starting to look familiar now. I have a couple of these in my collection already. I'm not sure what the USA flag is for. This being released sometime in 2002 does explain it a little, I suppose.)
372 - Jeff D'Amico

336 - Gary Sheffield (For some reason I thought he had retired, but he's still a part of a questionable Tigers team.)
358 - Billy Wagner (Wagner will make 10.5 million dollars this season and not pitch at all.)
406 - Ruben Quevedo

166 - Derek Lowe (I have this guy on a couple of fantasy teams this season. I hope that he's solid.)

4DH - Tony Gwynn This Day in History (Nice! I wish the picture was a bit bigger, but this is a pretty nice card to pull. This card commorates his 3,000th hit in 1999, which was barely history at the point this set came out. These apparently show up at a ratio of 1:18 packs.)
255 - Edgar Martinez (Edgar should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame. He's one of the greatest, if not the greatest DH of all-time. I think the DH rule is terrible, but since it exists, the Hall should honor the best DHs. And honestly I can't think of anyone else who has hit as well as Edgar Martinez has hit from the DH spot. Most players go into decline at that phase of their careers, either because they're no longer actively on the field the entire game or... more likely... because they were already heading into decline in the first place.)

As always, all of these cards are up for grabs. 10 days until real baseball!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2008 Bowman Chrome...Sigh

Alright, I'll post a pack of baseball cards. I think I'm up to the madding challenge. This one has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of weeks, though. My wife had her friend stay with us for a weekend, and I was goaded into buying some cards on a trip to Target. Whenever you're coerced into buying cards, the decision-making process becomes compromised, and bad things happen. I give you...Bowman Chrome.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
145 Joba Chamberlain (Coverboy.)

95 Austin Kearns (Got paid $5,000,000 in 2008 to bat .217.)

BCP168 Zach Britton (Got as high as regular-A with the Delmarva Shorebirds last year.)

Here are five things I could have more wisely spent my money on at Target:
5. Three things from the Dollar Spot, the crapstravaganza located just inside the door of most Targets. Lord knows I need a new Spiderman activity book.
4. A package of Easter candy. Easter is a very underrated season for candy. Putting aside the disgusting Peeps, there are a lot of good candies out there that Easter-fy their offerings, many of them involving peanut butter.
3. A St. Patrick's Day greeting card. These were purchased before the 17th, so those things were available a-plenty. SPD might soon overtake Christmas in the card sending arena.
2. Some sort of frozen treat.
1. A bottle of store-brand dishwashing liquid. Not very fun, but at least it can clean your dishes. Apparently, part of the "Joba Rules" called for no washing dishes. Lucky fuck.

2008-09 Upper Deck First Edition Basketball

Several years ago, when I succumbed to buying baseball cards again, I decided I would commit to buying cards from one sport and one sport only. Back in high school, when I worked for a hobby shop for a time, I collected three sports and had no idea what self-control was. However, I really do like basketball, and recently I've allowed myself to purchase one basketball card pack whenever I am making a decent sized baseball purchase. Upper Deck's First Edition is great for me, because it only costs 99 cents a pack and doesn't make me feel guilty. Not only that, since I don't really collect basketball cards anymore, I don't even notice how crappy the product is.

28 - Sasha Pavlovic (Pavlovic is a Bruce Bowen-wannabe who doesn't really do a whole lot of good things on the basketball court. Sorry, Cavs fans, I just don't see it.)
21 - Andres Nocioni (Nocioni is a decent player, but isn't quite the player that fellow Argentine Manu Ginobili is. Unlike Ginobili, however, Nocioni has stayed reasonably healthy.)

55 - Baron Davis (Highly talented, selfish scoring guard - the NBA has a lot of them.)
224 - Karl Malone UD Legends (I'm not sure how difficult it is to get these cards. Malone is one of my least favorite non-Lakers of all-time.)

237 - Kosta Koufos (Rookies are one-per-pack according to the wrapper. Koufos apparently played with Greg Oden at Ohio State and his name reminds me of doofus. That's all I really know.)

53 - Tayshaun Prince Gold (Here's a gold-ish parallel card. Once again, I have no idea how difficult these are to pull. Nice variety in this pack so far.)

SQ-1 Carmelo Anthony Starquest (The Blazers are one game behind Denver, who is in 1st place in the Northwest Division. That alone is enough for me to hate the Nuggets, but their players are reason enough. Starquest cards are one-per-pack, I think, and don't have parallel versions unlike the regular set.)
193 - Ronnie Brewer (This is an anti-Blazers pack. Two Jazz cards on top of the Nuggets card.)

103 - Michael Redd (Check out the look on Redd's face. Maybe he got a sign from the future that he was going to miss a huge chunk of the 2008-09 season and put his team at risk of missing the playoffs.)
165 - Mikki Moore

So... who wants to post a baseball card pack?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2008-09 Upper Deck Champs Hockey

I guess I really haven't been keeping up with recent releases, as I wasn't even aware that 2008-09 Upper Deck Champs had been released earlier this week. This set looks like Upper Deck's answer to Allen & Ginter baseball, it's incredibly similar as you'll see. I very nearly picked up a hobby box on eBay last night for just over $100, but at just 24 packs and 5 cards per pack I wanted to see what it looked like before going for it. Here's one of the two packs I picked up...

#1 - Alex Hemsky - Edmonton Oilers - From the quick breakdown I saw of the set, there is a 100 card base set of regular sized cards, like this Hemsky card. I think you typically get 2 of these per pack. Pretty cool that the first card I pulled from a pack of this stuff was card #1.

#140 - Alex Goligoski - Pittsburgh Penguins - I believe the rookie cards are short-printed. Not a bad looking card, but I think I like the simple design of the base cards better. Goligoski did see a good deal of action with the Pens this year, but was recently sent down to their AHL affiliate.

#C141 - Paul Stastny - Colorado Avalanche - These mini cards were what really drew me to the set. They're roughly the same size as A & G minis. I'm pretty sure these fall two per pack as well, although I could be wrong about that.

#C332 - Cave Bear - Awesome. I'm a sucker for oddball cards. This one comes from the Natural History Collection subset, and it's a mini as well in case you couldn't tell. Some experts think the Cave Bear grew as large as 2,200 lbs. and most seem to agree that it went extinct somewhere around 27,000 years ago.

#97 - Vesa Toskala - Toronto Maple Leafs - My final card was one from the full-size set. I seem to pull Vesa Toskala cards in every product I buy, even products I seem to only pick up a pack or two of. Unfortunately for me I don't think this guy is in the picture for the Maple Leafs' future. I've watched 3 or 4 Leafs games this year where he started and have not been impressed.

I'm really liking this set. I may have to pick up a hobby box after all...