Thursday, May 28, 2009

2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes

I picked this up at a local card shop for $1 (as you can plainly see) having no idea what it was. I'll buy almost anything for $1.

55 - Cal Ripken Jr. (According to the back of the card, Ripken only batted .167 with 1 RBI in the 1983 World Series, so I'm not sure he qualifies as a "Hero".)

27 - Luis Gonzalez

60 - Cy Young (This is almost certainly my first Boston Pilgrims card.)

33 - Steve Garvey (Now here's a true World Series Hero. Garvey went 10 for 24 in the 1981 Series and possibly made me cry as his rotten Dodgers went on to beat my beloved Yankees. Hey, my dad liked them, so I didn't know any better.)

120 - Steve Bechler Fall Classic Phenoms (This is a bit of a stretch. Upper Deck had to fill this set with a bunch of short-printed rookies, the best of which is probably Reed Johnson or Jose Valverde.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Upper Deck Artifacts A Piece of History Baseball, A Brand With a Name So Long That Footnotes Might Soon Be Required

This blog has been on life support for the last few months, due in no small part to my lack of posts. I guess that's happened mostly because I've become wary of retail and haven't bought that many cards in 2009. Perhaps this will change?

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
33 Miguel Cabrera

17 Kosuke Fukudome

105 Alfredo Aceves (RC) Green Parallel (023/150)

121 Chris Lambert (RC)

157 Discovery of Penicillin

Not the best pack, but not too bad for retail. Unfortunately there wasn't a companion card to the Historical Moments card that would have made good fodder for an STD joke. Oh well. I have to say that I like the design more than the last few years.

Monday, May 25, 2009

2006 Ultra - best pack

Got a hobby box of this stuff at my local shop for less than $20 (Don't ask - that's just how I roll there). This was the best pack. I like the inserts even better than the base cards, which are still pretty decent looking. The silver foil strips with the name and position scanned black here...

Number one in the pack, and #1 in the set - Vlad Guerrero (front and back) Looks like he just schwocked one and is still watching it go on the back.

RBI8 Gary Sheffield RBI Kings - The best looking insert series in the set. This is why Fleer is missed....

162 Johan Santana - Great horizontal photo card. There are a lot of these in the set. And they're oriented the right way. I just started an older Pinnacle set where the horizontal ones face the opposite direction in relation to the backs. That always throws me off.

106 Erik Bedard - Did OK with the O's, but was soon traded off and started slow with the Mariners. Which makes us O's fans smile. Not to be confused with Kris Benson.

93 David Wright - Nice to get a Wright that's not about students. Card back says he's a highly regarded prospect and was a former Virginia High School Player of the Year. I think they have better accolades than that now.

37 Albert Pujols - Nice to get a Pujols that doesn't show him in the squat. Best player of this star-studded pack.

URS5 Chase Utley Ultra Rising Stars - Guess he proved them right last year. Say Utley Ultra five times fast!

151 Mike Sweeney Gold Medallion - Looks more like Rockies playing the Royals in the photo. Frankly, these can be rather annoying if you're trying to build the base set unless you know someone who is collecting all of them.

Great pack overall. All the packs in the box had two inserts, plus the occasional scarcer Retro Lucky 13s. It's a nice set with the typical Ultra trademark photography. I fell into building this one while helping a friend with his set.

A side note about the site ~ Not to steal the thunder of A Pack To Be Named Later (I wish that site all the success), but what's up peeps? Has our habit decreased from A Pack A Day to a couple a week? Just trying to rekindle the fire here....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

2009 Topps Heritage Wal-Mart Jumbo Pack

I've had a lot of problems buying loose packs this year. I got an Obama pack at a Target that was bent in half by an angry partisan. I've gotten American Heritage packs that had the top card scratched all to hell by someone with a bizarre pack searching technique. The worst has been Topps Heritage. I have gotten no less than three packs this year where I discovered the pack had actually been opened in the store by someone peeking inside. I've found quite a few more opened ones too, it's reached epidemic levels. This pack here was in fact, partially opened. The bottom was pulled apart just enough to see inside. I didn't notice it until I had left the store or I would have passed up the pack. I'm glad I didn't notice it, as you will see.

73 David Price RC
8 Gil Meche
319 Mike Aviles Rookie Cup
282 Chris Volstad
263 Dioner Navarro
198 Chris Dickerson
C51 Rich Harden Chrome #0318/1960
WME-AP Albert Pujols
363 Coco Crisp
386 2008 World Series Game 2
369 B.J. Ryan
54 Jonathan Papelbon
24 Marco Scutaro
158 Gregor Blanco

David Price rookie sitting nicely on the top of the pack and the searcher passed it up since there was no jersey card inside. Ha!

Plus there was a Mayo Cut plug card of Prince Albert. How could the guy not notice that? The card is pitch black. Both sides.

Oh, yeah. There was also a Chrome card. So the dork opened up the pack in the store and missed a David Price rookie on top of the pack (and the wrapper is see though, take a close look at the next one you buy), a black as night card of Albert Pujols and a card that has a chrome metal finish. What a doofus.

No worries, I picked it up instead and the opened, rejected pack ended up being a home run.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Topps Attax

Yes, I gave in. I have no excuses. Oh, I tried to come with a few such as, "I've been busting a lot of oddball stuff for APTBNL," or "I was standing in the line at Wally World and it just... spoke to me..." or "Hey! How about the newest baseball-themed TCG!!" But, really, I just walked over, picked the pack, and threw it on the conveyor. And this is my penance (as opposed to pennants).

Justin Upton (Diamondbacks) and Kevin Kouzmanoff (Padres) start things off. The cards are colorful and I actually like the pictures on them. I have never played the game or bought a starter box or whatever, so I only have a vague idea as to what the numbers are for across the bottom.

Yunel Escobar (Braves), Albert Pujols (Code Card - Cardinals) and Bobby Abreu (Foil Hot Streak - Yankees) come up next. The packs have 10 cards and collectors are 'promised' one foil and one code per pack. I thought about blanking the code, but really, why spoil someone's fun? Have at it.

Javier Vazquez (Braves), Edinson Volquez (Reds), and Lastings Milledge (Nationals) usher in the middle of the pack, or the not-quite-end of it anyway. The card backs are red with "Topps Attax" in huge letters and the team's logo. There's also to the address for good measure.

Vernon Wells (Blue Jays) and Rick Ankiel (Cardinals) finish out the lineup. If Topps could figure out something else to put in place of the three stats at the bottom, these wouldn't be too awful for base-set cards.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2009 Goudey

Hey, what can I say? The wrapper sucked me in. This is easily the best looking baseball card wrapper of 2009. I don't hate Goudey as a whole or anything, so I ran the pack through the checkout line at Target.

77 - Dan Uggla
72 - Miguel Cabrera

93 - Howie Kendrick (This represents the ugly side of Goudey... the scary painted face look.)

184 - Evan Longoria Mini

35-82 Jack Cust / Kurt Suzuki / Johnny Cueto / Jay Bruce 4-in-1 (I'm not sure what the logic is for this combination. Two Reds players and two Athletics? I know that they met in the 1990 World Series, but this is kind of a stretch.)

238 - Chien-Ming Wang Sport Royalty Blue Mini (It's been a rough year for Wang, but I snagged him on one of my fantasy teams because I have five DL slots for some crazy reason. I'm not sure how rare a blue mini version of a Sport Royalty card is supposed to be, since Upper Deck is still totally against providing odds on their pack wrappers. Sneaks.)
135 - Alex Rodriguez
162 - Ryan Doumit (Fortunately, Doumit has his catcher's mask on, so you are not subjected to his demonic eyes.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2008 SP Rookie Edition football

Stopped by Target yesterday (on company time....sssssh!) and picked up a blaster of these. I had been to my local shop last weekend and had seen some of the base cards to this set in a monster box I was digging through. So I figured I'd try a blaster to see how much I liked them.

It's a nice looking set, but they repeated the "rookies in retro designs" concept from UD Timeline baseball. Blaster contained seven packs of six cards and a clear cello pack of six Legends (also in foil retro designs). Got my Bo Jackson for my player collection at least. The base cards are all horizontally oriented photos with the name, position and team info at 90° across one end (or the top depending on your point of view). In about half the packs, the first card had a bashed or layered corner.

For your enjoyment, the packaging and the best pack....

The box panel:

and the uncrumpled wrapper:

The base cards:

#92 Anquan Boldin - will he or won't he be traded?

#42 Derrick Johnson - not Brooks (formerly of Tampa) or Thomas (passed away 2000)

#64 Brian Urlacher - Kinda overrated, at least when I've seen him.

#77 Roddy White (back of card) - Teamed with Matt Ryan, did pretty well for the Falcons (and my fantasy team).

The Rookies:

#109 Jake Long (left) and #116 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (right). Long is Howie's son, and Dom wins the Jarrod Saltalamacchia Nameplate Stitcher's Wristcramp award (NFL version). These cards are the "New SP design". Gold foil didn't scan so well.

Inserts and Legends appear in the 1993, '94, '95, and '96 SP designs.

Jury's still out on building this set. Even that will probably be only the base cards, since I'm a contrarian and don't care about rookies that much. But the horizontal design almost commits you to storing these in the eight pocket sheets (that they'll fall out of), but since the other info is at a right angle, it makes them a little awkward to really view as a whole. Maybe I'll browse EvilBay for a cheap base lot....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2008 Topps Heritage

I found myself in a Toys 'R Us recently on a quest to find some basketball packs to open. This is when the Blazers were still alive, so I think I was a lot more excited about basketball than I am now. Fortunately for me, I didn't find any basketball other than some beat up looking Topps Murad blasters, but I did find this lonely neglected 2008 Topps Heritage pack. I am nowhere near close to finishing this set and it's probably my main priority right now. Hopefully there's some stuff in here that I need. Oddly, this was a repack of sorts (it has a Vintage Sports Cards logo on the back) but the price wasn't discounted at all.

63 - Eric Chavez (Needed it.)
239 - Zack Greinke (I wish the Cardinals had somehow traded for this guy before the Royals knew what they had or something.)
147 - Cubs Clubbers Lee / Ramirez / Soriano (Bleh. But I needed it.)
377 - Chris Capuano (I wonder if this guy is coming back at some point.)
282 - Jose Vidro

82 - Carlos Beltran (Needed it. Beltran had a big start to this season. Somehow he's always stuck on my fantasy teams and he doesn't usually start fast.)

483 - Orlando Hudson All-Star (Nice! I definitely needed this SP. Hudson is pondering what it would take to get him out of a D-Back uniform and into one of his division rivals'.)
90 - Hideki Matsui Black Back (Already have it, unfortunately.)

All in all, it was a pretty good pack. Four of the eight cards were ones that I needed, including an SP. I'm probably going to have to turn to eBay or other potential traders to make any headway on this set.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

2008 Topps Chrome

I am staying the night at a hotel in preparation for a training I am helping to lead on Friday. Yes, I'm in a hotel and I'm busting wax. What can I say?

I bought one of those 'cheapy' packs at Target, randomly selecting the 2008 Topps Chrome from the box full of 'older' packs. I only have access to a very low-grade camera that does not take very good pictures indoors, so please excuse the quality (or lack thereof).

First up, we have Troy Glaus (Cardinals). He is playing at Busch Stadium and it looks like he is playing against the Mets, maybe?

Next up, Prince Fielder (Brewers) comes to us on a "Trading Card History" insert. The back of Fielder's card says "1934 Diamond Stars" and then goes on to talk about Fielder. Wait, what? If this is a TCH card, then why would you not discuss the history of the set you put on the back of the card!? Truly, it boggles the mind.

Adrian Beltran (Mariners) refracts his way into (or maybe out of) the pack. I am not very good at discerning refractors of late issue. In the 'early' days, the refractors were much more, well, refracting... I just happened to have noticed that his name did weird things in the light. Turned the card over, and sure enough, refractor city.

And the last card in the pack is Rickie Weeks (Brewers). Man, if only I had been playing "Brew or no Brew!" Rickie looks like he lost the ball somewhere in the logo overhead. Or perhaps he is hoping one of the letters in the team name will find its way into his glove...

I don't know about you, but I feel much better now that my pack-busting habit has once again been satisfied!! Now, about those movies on the hotel television....