Friday, December 07, 2007

2005 Hot Button Baseball

I recently made a trade with Chris Harris of Stale Gum that knocked out a big chunk of my Allen & Ginter and Goudey Sets. Included in the trade was a random pack chosen by each of us. Chris apparently missed how I totally ripped off Thorzul by sending him a pack with an expired Gary Sheffield redemption card, while I pulled a beautiful 1990 Donruss Mark Lemke. When I received the package, I opened it up and found this:

Coolness! I remember this stuff from '05. I'm a sucker for baseball cards that double as games. I have lots boxes of Topps Total and MLB Showdown sorted into teams and leagues (hey, you work the 2nd shift for 6 years and see what crazy stuff you do to stay sane). These packs were prominently displayed at Wal-Mart with a couple of racks of these boosters and a starter set that included 20 cards making up two teams and an electronic doodad that allowed you to play the game. A picture of the doodad with a big red button can be seen underneath the pack on the blister:

Apparently you put the player cards into either side of the doodad, press the jolly candy-like button and then stuff happens. You scoff, but I almost bought one of these. The thing was, boosters were 4 bucks a pop and the starter game was 20 or 30. Topps Total was out at the same time, also had a baseball game on the back, and you could buy enough blasters to create an entire league for the price of this game and enough boosters to make a couple of teams. Oddly enough, I don't think this stuff sold very well. Now two years later, a pack has landed in my lap and I'm having to power off the computer and hide in the closet to prevent myself from doing a search for the game on eBay. It's really hard to write a post under such conditions, so let's open this thing already.

19 Benito Santiago
17 Corey Koskie
57 Carlos Zambrano
69 Carl Pavano
29 Johnny Estrada Refractor
42 Alex Gonzalez
106 Adrian Beltre

Sweetness! a Johnny Estrada Refractor! I didn't even know there were refractors in this, but according to the package they are one in 3 packs. That's one Braves card I sure don't have. You can barely see it in the scan, but it has little shiny squares all over it kind of like a superfractor. The rest of the pack is kinda meh, which is actually normal for boosters of this type. All the good players are usually horrifically short printed to drive up pack sales and make the actual game boring and unplayable. Hooray, I pulled an Alex Gonzalez card, I finally have that cleanup hitter I've been looking for! The design is also typical for a gamer card, half the card is cluttered with gameplay design which in this case means a home plate with a "Hot Rating", a gold star that says Defense on some cards and a whole bunch of red and green bars with an at bat result on them. The backs are equally weird. The cards are plastic, so they kind of look like Topps Tek on the back with a silhouette of the player on the front and a large circle with stats and a bio. Even the stats are oddball, pitcher stats show singles, homers and stolen base percentage instead of wins and ERA. Benito Santiago actually has all percentages on the back of his card, the only one in the pack to do so. Don't even ask how the game is played, because I can't figure it out from the cards. The green and red bars looks very similar to the Topps Total game, and I'm sure the Hot Rating has something to do with it, but it looks like it's more of a "press the red button and get a random result" type of game. What kid would want a Wii if they had this? I mock, but I'm maybe one of three people in the universe who could properly appreciate and enjoy a goofball pack like this. And I didn't have to pay four bucks for it! Thanks, Chris!

1 comment:

--David said...

I stumble across the Hot Button cards while looking for some other Tribe cards (notice, I do that a LOT). Anyway, I think I have all the Tribers now, at least! :-) Cool stuff!! BTW, I'll look through my recent 6000+ card purchase for Braves and let ya know what I find...