Friday, November 30, 2007

2005 Bowman Chrome

I had a chance to pick this pack up pretty cheap, so I figured what the heck. The chances of me pulling an auto of anyone worthwhile are almost zero, but at least I wasn't paying an arm and a leg for it. Let's rip this sucker.

213 Danny Core RC
43 Mark Teixeira
110 Roger Clemens

Can't do much better on the veterans. Clemens is a dead lock first ballot Hall of Famer with 350 wins, 8 bazillion strikeouts, and 47 full time employees at ESPN trying to find out if he will re-sign with the Yankees next year. One day he will be standing at the podium at Cooperstown at his induction ceremony and will be thinking "How in the world is Greg Maddux still able to pitch? Seriously, dude's got 400 wins, still gets 10 million a year and I've been watching my kids play high school ball for the past five years. What the hell, man?" My man-crush on Mark Teixeira is well documented, but after watching the Andruw Jones free agency trainwreck this offseason I'm already steeling myself for disappointment after next year. I'm pretty certain that the Braves will have no hope of re-signing him after Scott Boras demands an outrageous contract of $10 million per. No, not per season, per at bat. Scott will have a 97 page document at the ready detailing why he deserves it too. Hell, Mark walks about 75 times a year and all those at-bats will be for free! Mark's cards are great right now, but in five years I can see a pile of them gathering dust next to a bigger pile of J.D. Drew cards while I look at cards of Adam Wainright and Jarrod Saltalamaccia and wonder what could have been.

Ok, superstars are nice and all, but this is Bowman Chrome and no one gives flip about veterans in Bowman products. Don't believe me? Open up your copy of Beckett right now and tell me what the Clemens books for. Can't find it huh? Nothing but rookies under the '05 listing eh? Told ya so. And as everyone knows, if it doesn't book in Beckett, it's not worth anything. So far I've got $0.00 out of this pack. Lets look at the rookie, shall we? We got a card of Blue Jays pitching prospect Danny Core. Due to the lines behind the name on the card I originally read it as Danny Cose and was aghast when there was absolutely no English language hits for that name on Google. With the incredible amount of baseball stat geeks on the internet, there can't possibly be any professional baseball player without a page of stats to pore over and analyze even if they were the most marginal prospect in the world. I found my mistake and found his stats for last year. A 25 year old relief pitcher in A ball with a 6.91 ERA. Yikes. Looks like I got the same thing out of this pack this lady got. This is why you should only, and I mean only ever buy Bowman Chrome by the box. That way at least you'll get a autograph of the A ball relief pitcher.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

1988 Fleer Baseball

Turning back the clock to 1988, we're busting a pack of Fleer. Red, white, and blue are the colors of the day. Bush #1 promised no new taxes as a ploy to defeat Dukakis, a drought hit the American west and midwest particularly hard, and Kirk Gibson limped his way to a game 1 home run in the World Series.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
White Sox and Twins sticker/Atlanta Fulton County Stadium back
382 Donnell Nixon (Otis' brother...sweet! Too bad his name wasn't Milo.)

93 Jon Perlman
58 Willie Hernandez
596 Benito Santiago
564 Ray Knight
513 Mariano Duncan
287 Dwayne Murphy
187 Vance Law (Rockin' the glasses. Hard.)

264 Bill Pecota (Rockin' the overbite. Harder.)

229 Dave Concepcion
472 Mike Loynd
149 Rafael Santana
490 Willie Fraser (Possible camel-toe. Too much wiener for one card, although it's probably mostly cup.)

304 Von Hayes
118 Fred McGriff (Seems to be a lot of this guy on the blog lately.)

Grade: C
No real superstars to speak of, a really ho-hum pack. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to corral another Sammy Stewart like the one I got in my Trade Me Anything promotion. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2007 Upper Deck SP Authentic

I bought this pack right before the holiday and lucked into the perfect time to post it. I never ever buy packs of this stuff but I got suckered into it when I got caught up in the moment. I went to the card shop for one last fling before I went on vacation and while I was there a guy was selling off a bunch of cards, mostly autos and jerseys. As soon as he got his money he started attacking this box looking for a letter auto card. I watched him go at it, but he didn't get much of anything other than a Chipper Jones insert. Once he left I got interested. I had five bucks to kill and there wasn't much else in the way of packs. I could have bought a grab bag, but I got greedy and went for the big hit. That guy weeded out all the crappy packs already, right? The box was behind the counter because for some reason Upper Deck decided that in a product where the big guaranteed hits in each box are massively thick cards, that it was appropriate to only include pack searching deterrents in half the packs. I squinted at the box looking for a good one and chose the pack second from the bottom. Woo hoo! A thick pack! Did I get a letter auto? How about an Ex-Rod gimmicky crap card? Let's find out!

79 Joe Nathan
42 Trevor Hoffman
Big ol' Hunk-O-Nothin'
99 Roy Halladay
47 Chris Carpenter
AS-6 Brandon Phillips Authentic Speed

Well, that was worth five bucks, wasn't it?? No letters or autos, and no Exes, but I did get two Cy Young winners and a Hall of Fame closer I guess. The insert card looks nice, but I'm not too interested in Brandon Phillips. Actually the thing that bugs me the most is that UD simply recycled the design from 2005 Artifacts and just used a wood grain instead of a marble theme. Laziness! To add insult to injury, the grab bag I would have gotten was about a third full with cards from last years SP Authentic set. I guess I can wait till next year to finish off this set with a grab bag. I'll leave you with a scan of the thick deterrent card, which helpfully has a discount code for Steal that code! Use that code to put these monsters out of business with a 15, 25 or 50% discount! I paid five whole dollars for that thick card, I can use it for nefarious purposes if I wish.

Monday, November 26, 2007

2007 UD Masterpieces Live Box Break

Over on my own blog I'm chugging through the Slowest Box Break Ever, a Bowman Heritage break that so far has taken 3 weeks. Just to show I can do things speedy-like if I want to, I'm going to live blog a UD Masterpieces blaster box break tonight at about 10:00pm eastern. It's been a little slow here lately so it's time to liven things up a bit. Here's what I'm a gonna do:

  • At or around 10:00pm, I will update the post announcing the box break is on, noting the time.
  • I will rip open each pack, list the cards out, scan the best one, and post it, again noting the time.
  • I will rinse and repeat seven more times for each of the packs.
  • At the same time I am doing this, I will place each card in plastic sheets along with the rest of my set.
  • Dupes will be segregated and listed out at the end of the box break.
  • All dupes from the box will be immediately up for trade, first come, first served.
  • To make a trade: e-mail me at dayf13 -at- gmail -dot- com. Just tell me which ones you want and we'll work out what's coming back in return later.
  • If the Collation Gods smile upon me and there are zero dupes in the box (I have 42 cards out of 90 so far, so it's possible, but unlikely) sorry, you're out of luck. No trades this time.
  • BONUS: if I can't break this box and post it in fifteen minutes from the first rip to the last pack, everyone* who comments on this post within 24 hours of the break gets a free Masterpieces card even if I have to buy another box to fulfill the offer.
  • BONUS BONUS: if this box nets a 'hit' of either an auto, gamer, or framed parallel, everyone who comments while I'm breaking the box gets a free prize. I'll be checking the comments as soon as the box is done, so don't try waiting and sneaking in a comment late.
  • BONUS BONUS BONUS: No SASEs! You win a prize, I'll put the stamp on the package!
That's it until 10pm tonight, let's see some action here!

UPDATE: ok, it's ten o'clock, let's do this thing. I have before me the unopened box. How do you know it's unopened? You don't. You'll have to trust me on this one. When I give the signal, I'm ripping. I'll post all 8 packs within 15 minutes or you get a free card. On my mark...

10:05pm - RIP!!!!

Pack 1: 10:06pm
4 Bill Mazeroski
65 Alex Gordon RC
1 Babe Ruth
79 Chipper Jones

All doubles except the Gordon, not a good start.

Pack 2: 10:08pm
82 Tim Lincecum RC
30 Derek Jeter
66 Howie Kendrick
86 Boston Red Sox

More dupes, get your trades in..

Pack 3: 10:10pm
39 Frank Thomas
52 Johan Santana
21 Walter Johnson
8 Lou Gehrig

Big train & Lou!

Pack 4: 10:13pm
26 Sandy Koufax
11 Bucky Dent
73 Justin Morneau
47 John F. Kennedy

Sandy and da Prez!

Pack 5: 10:15pm
37 Miguel Cabrera
24 Jackie Robinson
60 Bruce Sutter
34 Troy Tulowitzki RC


Pack 6: 10:16pm
89 Reggie Jackson
63 Stephen Drew
28 Kei Igawa RC
59 Bobby Doerr

Gotta hurry...

Pack 7: 10:17pm
76 Bill Clinton
50 Carlos Beltran
35 Joe Mauer
46 Michael Jordan

90's special, Bill & Mike

Pack 8: 10:20pm
36 Travis Hafner
44 Hideki Matsui
22 Babe Ruth
85 Mets

Post! No scans!

Final: - 10:23. The posts got in on time but the scans got all jacked up. Stupid scanner. I'm typing up the dupes now, Everybody who gets a comment in before I post a comment myself, gets a free card. I said fastest box break, not fastest scanner.

10:33 - Here's the list of dupes, claim yours now in the comments section or by e-mailing me. First come first served! Cards in bold are still available for trade, the rest have been claimed.

1 Babe Ruth - Claimed by nmboxer
4 Bill Mazeroski - Claimed by Thorzul
8 Lou Gehrig - Claimed by Kevin
24 Jackie Robinson - Claimed by shanediaz82
30 Derek Jeter - Claimed by mmosley
39 Frank Thomas
66 Howie Kendrick (2)
73 Justin Morneau
79 Chipper Jones - Claimed by Brian
86 Red Sox (2)
89 Reggie Jackson - Claimed by tc

These cards are available too, I just found my stash of doubles. If you've already claimed a card, feel free to change your mind.
51 Delmon Young RC
70 David Wright - Trades pending
83 Billy Butler RC
- one claimed by darkship, one left

10:53 - Post-Mortem.

All in all a pretty good break. No big hits, but I got 21 cards to fill out my set and a few to trade. I really wanted that Ruth Red Sox card too. If you are eligible for a card, claim the one you want in the comments and send me an e-mail telling me where I can send it to. I'll try to have them sent by Friday. This break went fantastic, look for another one in December. Next time maybe I'll give you more than a few hours notice!

*THE FINE PRINT: Free Masterpieces offer limited to the first 32 commenters. I'll buy a blaster and a book of stamps to fulfill my bet, but I'm not risking this getting posted on Digg or Fark and ending up with 800 comments.
The 'hit' offer is unlimited, but if we somehow get 50 unique comments in 10 minutes, it may take a while to send them all out.

2007 Topps Baseball Updates and Highlights

I found myself in enemy territory this Thanksgiving. All of the talk radio stations were discussing some team called the "Vi-keengs." I decided to try my luck at one of the small, local establishments that went by the name "Wall Mart." Never heard of it before. Anyways, I was surprised to find a 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights blaster. Here's the first pack.

57 Carlos Marmol
315 Edward Mujica
309 John Wasdin
86 Kevin Thompson
83 Tom Mastny
263 Alfonso Soriano All-Star

Not great, but the pack gets an A because I need all of those cards to help finish my set. Pretty boring, yes, but here's the fun part. Included in the blaster was a pack of 6 special cards. Sweet stuff.

WM51 Justin Verlander 1972 Topps
WM43 Hideki Okajima 1950s Japanese Caramel
WM52 Akinori Iwamura 1950 Japanese Karuta Card
WM44 Dan Uggla 1887 Gypsy Queen
WM53 Adam Laroche 1959 Topps
WM45 Jake Peavy 1909 Ramley

Not sure why Topps continues to shoot itself in the foot here by calling your attention to cards cooler than ones they could think of this year. My favorites are the Uggla and the Okajima (which reminds me of this Japanese exploitation film):

Good stuff. Wish I had more.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

1989 Collegiate Collection Georgia Football Trading Cards

The long weekend is over and it's time to open some packs. I went up to north Georgia for Thanksgiving and I stopped off at Dahlonega on the way back. The Dahlonega General Store had packs of Georgia Football cards, so I snagged a few. These were made by Collegiate Collection, who produced a bunch of college themed sets in the late 80's including a North Carolina Tarheel set that was pretty popular for people trying to pull a Michael Jordan card. The Georgia set has Herschel Walker, Vince Dooley and not a whole lot after that. I bought a bunch of this stuff as a freshman at the UGA bookstore and was somewhat bewildered by all the old black and white photos of players from the 30's I'd never heard of. Nonetheless, they were the only cards I saw all weekend and they were only 50 cents to boot! Let's get a' openin.

Collage set order form
186 Tony Flack
65 Wayne Radloff
59 Buck Belue
12 Joe Bennett
22 Aschel M. Day
155 John Bond
164 David Rholetter
54 Donald Porterfield

Not a bad pack at all, I recognize two players right off the bat. Buck Belue was the guy who got to hand the ball off to Herschel and is best known for his pass to Lindsey Scott at the World's Largest Cocktail Party. He's currently broadcasting afternoons on 680 the Fan in Atlanta, paired up with the unlistenable John Kincade. Wayne Radloff was a center for the Falcons who was the guy that replaced Jeff Van Note after his long career. Flack & Porterfield were drafted by the NFL, but I can't find any indication they played. Aschel M. Day's card is interesting in that his photo was obviously ganked from a team photo collage and looks like an FBI most wanted mugshot. Aschel (or "Bum" as his friends called him) was quite a mercenary. He starred for Ga. Tech in 1917 and 1918 because Georgia didn't field a team during the war years. He then bolted to the Bulldogs in 1919 after an All-America season and captained the Dawgs to an undefeated season in 1920. I'm sure an old-time Tech fan has a dartboard with this card on it somewhere, but Bum worked for the Coca Cola company so he's all right with me.

I really wish I had ordered the Collage set back when I was in college. Basically the collage set is a fancy way of saying 'uncut sheets' of the entire 200 card set. I'm not sure how they divided up 200 cards onto three sheets, hopefully they double printed the good players. The ad sheet also has a nice little illustration of what your dorm room could look like with the Collage set hanging on the wall that brings back way too many memories of my friend Jon's big squashy couch. I miss that couch. Unfortunately the Collage set cost 33 bucks which would pay for a pizza and several pitchers of beer or half a textbook, so I didn't shell out for the sheets. They probably would have gotten wrecked in one of my many moves from apartment to apartment, or worse, lost forever like my 1995 Topps set. The ad card for the set also mentions that these cards are dedicated to the memory of Fannie M Burnett (Mama Jesse). Godspeed Mama Jesse, wherever you are.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

1992 Pinnacle Series 2 - Glavine wrapper

Here's the last one of the Pinnacle packs, this one features Tom Glavine, who won the Cy Young the year before. The ad on the back is for their Rookie Idols insert set. I was about to make fun of the Todd Van Poppel/Nolan Ryan card advertised, but I checked the price guide and it doesn't book too badly. The odds on these cards are no greater than one in 125 per the back of the pack. Let's see what I pulled.

573 Hector Fajardo
588 Willie Stargell and Dave Justice The Idols
618 Nolan Ryan blueprint
603 Jose Lind Shades
544 Jarvis Brown
444 Jay Howell
456 Carlos Hernandez
464 Jeff Johnson
476 Reggie Jefferson
484 Russ Swan
417 Tom Henke
314Tom Brunansky
326 Von Hayes
334 Craig Grebeck
346 Luis Rivera
354 Scott Aldred

This pack wins. Between Pops and Justice on the same card and a cool as hell Nolan Ryan, there's no need to look over the usual group of relief pitchers, role players and forgettable rookies. The Shades cards were pretty popular back in '92 if I remember correctly. Jose Lind should have been wearing these cool shades in the 7th game of the '92 NLCS to keep the moon out of his eyes. If you see any '92 Pinnacle series two packs out there and decide to pick one up, remember that you'll get a couple of cool looking subset cards and probably not a whole lot else.

1992 Pinnacle Series 2 - Mattlingly wrapper

Here's pack three of my Pinnacle haul, this one features #23 Don Mattingly. The ad on the back of this wrapper is for the SCOREGUARD™ AUTHENTICATOR™ LENS that was thoroughly discussed in the comments over here. This is too good not to share so here's a scan.

That's right, this thing is so bad-ass it requires two trademarks. For only one dollar, you too can see the unscrambled Score logo through the secret decoder lens. I do have one question though... if the coded SCORE logo cannot be duplicated, then how did they print it on all the cards? The offer is good while supplies last, so I'm sending a buck to El Paso. I bet there's still a pile of these things sitting next to the checklists. Ok, onto the cards.

613 Rod Beck
539 Jim Abbott
554 Ben Rivera
569 Scott Hatteberg Draft Pick
584 Rod Carew & Don Mattingly The Idols
470 Jeff Brantley
475 Mike Flanagan
490 Scott Livingston
495 Bob Kipper
510 Archi Cianfrocco
515 Juan Berenguer
352 Trevor Wilson
368 Brian Downing
372 Luis Salazar
388 Rich Delucia
392 Pedro Guerrero
Mattingly has a card in his own pack, a really awesome one with Rod Carew. Jim Abbott is the closest thing to a star that was not in a subset that I've seen in one of these packs. It's got a great shot of his follow through on his delivery. It also has another floating baseball in the border. Once I finish opening these packs I need to count the number of cards with the floating baseball. I bet it's over 25%. Brian Downing does the floaters one better. His photo catches him in mid-swing and it looks like he's slicing through the border with a katana. Senior Smoke is cool, the Scott Hatteberg rookie isn't bad and I always liked Pedro Guerrero as a player. Not much else in here though. I looked through the checklist (no not the dollar one, the price guide one) and there are a few stars in here. Bonds, Griffey, Gwynn, Murray and a few others. The Jeff Kent rookie is the key to the whole set, booking at three whole dollars. We'll see what Glavine brings us tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

1992 Pinnacle Series 2 - Sierra wrapper

Here's the second of my Pinnacle packs, this one has Ruben Sierra on the wrapper. Ruben is in a Rangers uni where he belongs even though he was a big contributor for the A's and Yankees. Sierra was apparently George W's favorite player for the Rangers back when he owned the team, which explains why he got traded to the A's for Jose Canseco around the time this pack was on the shelves. No anti-drug PSA on the back of the wrapper, there's an ad for a 1992 Baseball Player list for the low low price of one dollar. Who the hell buys a checklist for a dollar? I wonder how many of those things sold, there can't be that many floating around right now. Time to rip.

592 Orel Hershiser Sidelines
607 Jack McDowell Grips
533 Jeff Branson
548 Bobby Jones Draft Pick
563 Pat Hentgen prospect
466 Paul Assenmacher
474 Bryn Smith
486 Ken Hill
494 Joe Magrane
506 Cory Snyder
514 Dante Bichette
333 David West
347 Al Osuna
353 Mark Eichhorn
367 Chris Bosio
373 Lance Johnson

Three Cy Young winners in the pack. Pat Hentgen beat out Pettitte for the award in 1996. Bulldog's looking sharp on the links. Jack McDowell is showing off his split finger. Jack was one of my favorites back in the early 90's. I've got a binder with a bunch of pages filled with his cards somewhere. I liked that Sox team with Fisk, Ventura and Big Hurt and Black Jack was dominant for a few years. Plus he plays in a band, so how cool is that? It sucks that his arm got screwed up. Bobby Jones was supposed to win a Cy Young but it didn't quite happen. There's another Sox player in the pack, Lance Johnson. One Dog and Raines were lethal in that lineup. There's a lot of pitchers in this pack, Assenmacher, Eichhorn, Magrane, Bosio, West... sheesh. This is definitely a series 2 pack. Dante Bichette and Cory Snyder look a little weird in their Brewers and Giants unis.

I'll have to give the nod to Bagwell so far in the battle of the best pack, although it's pretty close. Flying Belliard pushes Bags over the top. Next up: #23 Don Mattingly.

1988 Topps BIG Baseball Series 3

I can't believe I've never opened one of these, but I guess that on my trips to the two card shops that were within walking distance of my house, there was always something else better to be had. Truth be told, I was never really one to give in to gimmicky cards. Sure, I longingly fingered packs of Topps Coins (which, if I recall correctly, were similarly packaged to Sixlets candy), but never broke a dollar on the stuff.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
242 Dave Parker

185 Matt Nokes
241 Mike Moore
180 Bert Blyleven (Never knew his full name was Rik Aalbert Blyleven. Guess I don't pay much attention to Donruss backs, either.)
264 Gene Larkin
248 Mark Bailey
232 John Franco (With no moustache, or maybe just the beginning of one.)

Grade: C
This is series 3, after all, so I'm presuming all of the big stars were already scooped up in series 1 and 2. On the plus side, "The Cobra Swirl" is wearing a sweet jacket, Mike Moore is praised for his virility...

...and cartoon John Franco insults himself.

Where it says, "John is a 2-time Reds' pitcher of the year," Franco refers to himself with the derogatory term "two-timer." Does this mean that if Mrs. Franco was named Cincinnati Mother-of-the-Year twice, she would be a "two-timer"? Guess so.