Thursday, January 31, 2008

Topps '52 Hobby

Living near Cooperstown has its advantages -- and disadvantages.The advantages are that you are so close to the baseball mecca, loads of card shops and everything that is baseball. The disadvantages arethe same!

Anyway, went to visit the hall for a little while today, then visitedmy favorite card shop there. That can always be a mistake. Anyway, hehad a hobby box of Topps 52. I couldn't quite pull the trigger on a box(though I think I might collect this set. I really like the look of itand there are some really nice cards).

OK, I know, enough of the jabbering. On with the packs!

(I've opted to post all five instead of one pack at a time as I didn't want to hold it out for five straight days!)

Pack 1:
89 Troy Cate
53 Shawn Riggans
88 Joseph Bisenius (sweet, PC card)
52 Ryan Sweeney (too bad this isn't Sox or no Sox!)
24 Jamie Burke
176 Aaron Laffey
134 Dennis Dove
129 Kevin Mahar

Pack 2:
110 Micah Owens
92 Devern Hansack
105 Kyle Kendrick (PC)
120 Yovani Gallardo
20 Ryan Braun
186 Ehern Wassermann (Sox or no Sox??)
159 Edwin Bellorin
136 Jose Garcia

Pack 3
21 Brian Barden
10 Kevin Kouzmanoff
12 Kurt Suzukuki
50 Daisuke Matsuzaka
TCRC46 Danny Putnam (Chrome 1422/1952)
175 Mauro Zarate
206 Drew Anderson
108 Julio DePaula

Pack 4
49 Travis Metcalf
67 Juan Perez
54 Billy Sadler
217 Mitch Maier
52S-BC Brett Carroll auto (on card)
178 Danny Richar (Sox or no sox?)
135 J.D. Durbin (PC)
165 Carmen Pignatiello

Pack 5
36 Brett Carroll (Look at his reproduced card auto compared to the real one above...)
38 Nick Gorneault
76 Jesus Flores
TCRC14 Alex Gordon (Chrome 1476/1952)
DD6 Okajima/Matsizaka dynamic duos
203 Phil Dumatrait
194 Scott Moore
153 Brendan Ryan

Not a bad round of packs. This was a fresh box that he opened when I was there, so I knew three autos were available. I dug down on each side and grabbed a few packs and all from there. So I was pretty happy to pull an auto. The Gordon chrome was pretty nice, too.

One thing I never knew until a few weeks ago at a card show was that Topps puts an H on hobby packs. Now whenever I'm looking at packs, I look for that H! (You can see it on the pack I scanned at the top). Anyone know if Upped Deck does something like this?

Sox Or No Sox: 1-31-08

Let's play America’s newest sensation, Sox Or No Sox.

The rules are simple. We take one unopened pack of baseball cards that was randomly selected by yours truly. We then go through the pack card by card looking for those hard to find White Sox cards.

Our player in tonight's game is another 2007 Topps Turkey Red pack. The pack contains 8 cards and features a smooth feeling wrapper. Very cool. Let's begin.

#1: Mariano Rivera – 60 - Yankees
I keep running into Mariano lately. I could think of worse things.

#2: Mickey Mantle – 107 - Yankees
Yawn! Another Mickey Mantle card in another Topps product. I never thought I’d ever say that. Not the Mantle SP.

#3: Derrek Lee – 96 – Cubs
A Cubs trap card! Look at him. Taunting me with that home run swing. I can’t truly hate Derrek Lee though.

#4: Lance Berkman – 175 - Astros
He was a tough opponent in the 2005 World Series.

Halfway through the pack. No ex-White Sox players. No White Sox cards. But a dreaded Cubs trap card! 4 cards left to go. Let’s see if we can get a White Sox card!

#5: Phil Hughes – 105 - Yankees
What’s up with all the Yankee cards? What else should I expect with a Yankke on the front of the pack. Nice player though. Not the Ad Back Sp.

#6: Hit Streak (Chase Utley) CL – 168 - Phillies
I like Utley and I like this kind of a checklist.

#7: Vladdy Goes Yard (Vladimir Guerrero) CL – 116 - Angels
Another checklist? At least it looks nice and features a good player.

#8: Ivan Rodriguez – 14 - Tigers
Lil’ Pudge! He made his debut against the White Sox. Ivan symbolizes the chances of me finding a White Sox card have run out.

OK, our pack opening is complete. Not that bad. A Cubs trap card and no White Sox cards. These are nice looking cards, so I can’t complain much.

So, that’s ½ point for each card in the pack. –1 for the Cubs trap card.

Final score: 3 points

No White Sox cards in this game, but there's always next time on Sox Or No Sox.

2007 Topps '52 Rookies

I'm not sure if the unwashed masses have tired of the '52 Rookies yet, but I'm even less sure they have a say in any of this.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
76 Jon Knott (Good one for Maryland resident, Kevin; even better one for Mayberry residents, who might mistake this guy for Don Knotts.)

71 Jo-Jo Reyes (Reminds me of one of the best Simpsons jokes of all time:

At Moe's tavern, Homer turns to Moe for advice.

Homer: Moe, I need your advice.
Moe: [bored] Yeah.
Homer: See, I got this friend named...Joey Jo-Jo...Junior...Shabadoo --
Moe: That's the worst name I ever heard.
[A man leaves, weeping]
Barney: Hey, Joey Jo-Jo!

89 Troy Cate (St. Louis needs to pair this guy up with Pujols and hold itself an '80s throwback "Cate & Ally Night," complete with the blue unis I love so much.)
DF12 Paul Lo Duca Debut Flashbacks (Thank God for dayf's checklist post, I can figure out what insert this might be, since it looks exactly like the base set.)
109 Jesse Litsch
151 Matthew Brown

Grade: Meh.

Is this not entertainment?! Are you not entertained?!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2006 Upper Deck Series 2

Ok, after the autograph-laden blasters being ripped right and left, we need to come back down to reality. Here' s a pack of Upper Deck Series two that was harvested from a blaster and stuck in some repack crap box I bought a while back. Let's open 'er up.

909 Jermaine Van Buren RC
1000 Jered Weaver RC
591 Scott Sauerbeck
535 Alex Cora
628 Chad Qualls
692 Luis Castillo
PBDJ-5 Derek Jeter R
870 Ryan Drese

This set really takes the cake for "Most Unreadable Names on the Front of a Card". Here's a note to all card manufaturers: There is a right way and a wrong way to use foil. The bold foil logos on a black background so you can actually see the thing is the right way. Tiny two-point italic font on a busy background is the wrong way. I can't tell if they did it right this year, because base cards are so useless they didn't even put them on this sell sheet. And no, I'm not going to download the powerpoint presentation from here, I'll just assume suckage.

Other than a Jered Weaver RC card and a Derek Jeter contest card, there's not much to speak of in this pack. I didn't feel like squinting to see Jermaine's name when I opened the pack so I just called him Martin and moved on. Other than Luis Castillo who is past his prime, the rest are a collection of middle relievers and utility guys. Not what you want to get for three bucks. This would be a decent pack if there were twice the cards for a buck less. Which if you think about it is about what they cost now as they all sit in repack boxes and dollar bins. The really interesting card is the Jeter contest card. I've never seen one of these before, it looks like if you spell out JETER you can enter a contest and win a night out drinking with Derek at the clubs picking up his leftovers or something. Or a screen saver download, oh goody. Not a terribly original contest but still kinda fun. Any card of the good overexposed Yankee star is nice. You know, now I'm curious. I think I downloaded that powerpoint presentation a while back, I want to see what '08 Upper Deck looks like. The stuff will be out on a week or so and I'm somewhat embarrassed I can't remember what it looks like since I've already written dissertations on the '08 Topps design...

Ah, that's why I don't remember it, because it's not memorable. 1995, anyone? Oh well, at least they are putting more cards in the pack this year.

Paging Brian

I still haven't heard from Brian, who won a prize in last night's '52 Rookies contest. E-mail me to claim your prize.

Update: Brian chose One Topps card from every year 1980-2007.

Thanks for playing!

Prospect time 2!

OK, here's the second break from the TriStar Prospects Plus blasters I bought the other night. Time for some fun!

Pack 1:
32 Devin Mesoraco
65 James Simmons
79 Taylor Grote
PT-ML Matt LaPorta (protential - set need)
91 Jose Tabata
69 Josh Smoker

Pack 2:
5 Casey Weathers
10 Matt Dominguez
100 Yung Chi Chen
FH-CW Chris Withrow (Farm Hands auto)
7 Clayton Mortensen
97 Travis Snyder

Pack 3:
26 Michael Burgess
57 Nick Noonan
50 Jon Gilmore
PT-JV2 Joey Votto (protential)
20 Brian Rike
14 Brandon Hamilton

Pack 4
29 Wendell Fairley (set need)
41 Danny Payne
15 Tim Alderson
70 Aaron Poreda
58 Justin Jackson
37 Jarrod Parker

Pack 5:
89 Brad Suttle (set need)
1 David Price (set need)
18 Kellen Kulbacki (set need)
PT-TS Travis Snider (protential)
36 Michael Main
88 Josh Mayberry

Pack 6:
46 Will Kline (set need)
98 Mitch Hilligoss (set need)
68 Mitch Canham (set need)
99 Cale Iorg
17 Jonathan (J.P.) Arencibia
6 Rick Porcello

Pack 7:
8 Ryan Dent (set need)
61 Joe Savery (set need)
74 Nathan Vineyard (set need)
FH-NH Nick Hagadone (Farm Hands auto)
PT-NA Nick Adenhart (protential)
80 Colby Rasmus

Overall thoughts: After two blasters, my set is nearly complete (three base cards to go). Therefore, this was the final blaster of this product I'll be buying. Though I like the autographs, I need to move on to something new. Four blasters of a small-set product is enough.

However, I can't complain on what a way to go out with this blaster. Thought I got some good cards -- David Price, Joe Savery and others. Two autos, including one (Hagadone) that I wanted to get. Pretty solid.

My next few posts -- whenever they'll be -- will likely not be blasters, rather a pack or two that I'll pick up during my travels over the next couple of weeks.

Sox Or No Sox: 1-29-08

Let's play America’s newest sensation, Sox Or No Sox.

After the massive box break and contest earlier this evening, let's take time out for the simple joys of a pack opening game.

The rules are simple. We take one unopened pack of baseball cards that was randomly selected by yours truly. We then go through the pack card by card looking for those hard to find White Sox cards.

Our player in tonight's game is another 2007 Goudey pack. The pack contains 8 cards and features a smooth, yet gritty feeling wrapper. Very cool. Let's begin.

#1: Barry Zito – 13 – San Francisco Giants
Why did he get that big contract again?

#2: Trevor Hoffman – 97 – San Diego Padres
Great closer! 524 career saves.

#3: Felipe Lopez – 198 – Washington Nationals
Come to Felipe!

#4: Ray Durham – 110 – San Francisco Giants
The White Sox second baseman of the future… in San Francisco.

Halfway through the pack. An ex-Sox player, but no trap cards. Not too bad. It seems to be NL heavy and West Coast heavy. 4 cards left to go. Let’s see if we can get a White Sox card!

#5: Andruw Jones – 9 – Atlanta Braves
I’ve always liked Andruw. So does Ozzie Guillen. By Ozzie’s calculations, Andruw should have arrived in Chicago the same time he did.

#6: Todd Helton – 93 – Colorado Rockies
Todd is the first and only player in MLB history to have hit 35 or more doubles in at least 10 consecutive seasons.

#7: Brandon Webb – 113 – Arizona Diamondbacks
Webb had logged an Arizona Diamondbacks franchise record with 42 1/3 scoreless innings including three straight complete game shutouts.

#8: David DeJesus – 137 – Kansas City Royals
I’ve heard rumors that the Sox liked him. What’s with all the Royals players in the rumor mill attached to the Sox?

OK, our pack opening is complete. A pretty good selection here. No trap cards and no White Sox cards. Only one AL card. I wouldn’t mind if most of these guys ended up on the White Sox. Especially everyone in the second half of the pack.

So, that’s ½ point for each card in the pack.

Final score: 4 points

No White Sox cards in this game, but there's always next time on Sox Or No Sox.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fastest Box Break Ever - Ripping '52 Rookies

Ok, I'm a little shaken by the Santana news, and I'm already fed up with election coverage. I picked the perfect night to rip open the last box of 2007.

One more time for the people stumbling in on this at the last minute. I'm opening a box of 2007 '52 Rookies. I'll be listing the pack contents and a scan live. Keep hitting F5 to refresh and see the new packs as I post them.

In these packs I'm going to sneak in four cards from the 2006 set, if you spot them and leave the first comment pointing it out (for example: Pack 4 - Hanley Ramirez) you win a prize. If you make a guess here, you're ineligible for the "guess the rip time" contest which is closed now anyway. It's that simple.

Here are the Rules, here are the Prizes. There might even be some online help. Now we're ready to open this box. Box ripping is at 10:00pm Eastern time, 7:00 Pacific. Be there or be square eligible for the "guess the rip time" contest!


I've got the scanner ready, the decoys scanned, an energy drink ready to chug, Hendrix on the radio, and the box ready to rip. Not long now...

All right...
On your mark...
Get set...

Pack 1 -
66 Jailen Peguero
106 Eric Stults
64 Sean Gallagher
TCR60 Jacoby Ellsbury Chrome
181 John Lannan
131 Garrett Olson

Ellsbury Chrome - great start...

Pack 2 -
65 Carlos Gomez
37 Alexi Casilla
55 Billy Butler
TCRC92 Justin Hampson Refractor
193 Dan Meyer
158 Kevin Mellilo

Two chromes in a row! Plus an ex-Brave.

Pack 3 -
83 Yoel HErnandez
99 Jason Miller
121 Melvin Dorsta
57 Sean Henn
DF12 Paul Loduca
167 Manny Acosta
118 Gustavo Molina

Brave! Plus an insert. Melvin Dorta is a great name.

Pack 4 -
75 Josh Fields
30 Hunter Pence
21 Brian Barden
DD4 Kendrick & Bourn
179 Joel Hanrahan
162 Brian Buscher

Another insert, this time of Mario's bane.

Pack 5 -
98 Joakim Soria
84 David Murphy
81 Brian Stokes
170 Justin Upton
DF16 Roger Clemens
186 Ehren Washington
141 Amos Day

Jeez, another insert plus two Sox. Steve hates me now.

Pack 6 -
2 Angel Sanchez
31 Masumi Kuwata
45 Jarrod Saltalamaccia
52S-NH Nathan HAynes Auto
188 Jose Ascancio
216 Melky Cabrera
123Rick Vandenhurk

AUTO!!!!!!!!!!!!11111 Melky! Salty! Brave! What a pack!

Pack 7 -
95 Elijah Dukes
101 John Danks
62 Chris Stewart
211 Jose Diaz
201 JOBA!
161 Ryan Budde

I can't belive my freakin' luck....

Pack 8 -
9 Tony Abreu
32 Ryan Rowland-Smith
16 Jeff Baker
140 Matt Capps
DD3 - Braun & Gallardo
173 Jack Cassell
156 Patrick Misch

Braun & Gallardo insert... Sweeeet. Plus Capps was on my fantasy team last year.


Ok, that was an awesome damn box. Topps IS trying to get me to like this product, aren't they? Ok, Give me a little while to tabulate everything and I'll post the winners later tonight. No fair admins cheating and deleting posts now...


Winner of the "Guess the Rip Time" contest: Thorzul who guessed 23:15. The actual time was 23 minutes. Thorzul claims the 10 Vintage Topps cards prize.

First decoy card: Pack 3 Melvin Dorta (which I misspelled Dorsta like an idiot)
Winner: Kevin who claims 10 Vintage Topps cards.
The card Dorta Replaced:

Second Decoy card: Pack 5 Roger Clemens.
Winner: BeeRad who claims 5 Insert cards.
The card Clemens replaced:

Third Decoy card: Pack 6 Melky Cabrera.
Winner: BeeRad who already won so the prize goes to Brian who got it next. Brian chose the 1980-2007 Topps cards.
The card Melky replaced:

Fourth Decoy card: Pack 8 Matt Capps.
Winner: Brian who already won so the prize goes to burnsee2 who got it next. Burnsee2 claims the Big Pile 'O Heritage.
The card Capps replaced:

Thanks for playing, everyone. The winners should e-mail me using this address. Or just check my profile. I'll need to know which prize you want and a shipping address. Thanks again everybody! I think we got a record for comments on this blog!

'52 Rookies contest prizes

Ok folks, don't forget tonight at 10:00pm eastern (7:00pm for you Pacific folks) I'll be ripping a box of '52 Rookies. If you haven't put in your guess for how long the bust will take, go here and give it a shot. Even if you plan to show up tonight, this way you'll be covered in case your computer blows up.

Once again, here's how the game works:

People who can't be at the break can guess how long the break will take. The person closest who isn't at the box break wins.

Everyone at the live break tries to find out which four 2006 '52 rookie cards decoy cards I sneak into the box break. The first person to post a comment for each card wins.

Simple enough, right?

Ok, now here's the prizes. I have seven to choose from. The person who guesses the time correctly gets the first pick of the prizes, then the person who guesses the first card gets the second pick, then so on down through decoy cards 2, 3 and 4 .

Prize 1: A Really Bad Autograph Card

And when I say bad, I mean Bad. I'll give you a choice between bad cards, but needless to say they are all bad. Minor leaguers who didn't make it, hand signed cards with no COA, autos from other sports, I might even have my OWN autograph in there. These are bad cards. This is my sociological experiment phase of the contest, I want to see if the allure of an Autograph is so strong that people will choose that card even if they are told up front that it's really really bad.

Prize 2: Five insert cards

Five inserts that are all pretty good. no mid 90's no name one a pack inserts or parallel junk, these will all be players you have heard of before on nice, shiny cards. I might even take a request for a player if you ask nicely.

Prize 3: 10 Vintage Topps cards

These will all be from 1979 or before and at least half will be from the 50 's and 60's. No beater cards either with creases and holes and mustaches drawn on the cards (unless you specifically request it). All will be in good shape.

Prize 4: One card from each Topps set from 1980-2007

That's right one type card per year for every single Topps set from 1980 until today. If you want to wait another week for me to ship it, I can throw in a 2008 card as well.

Prize 5: A Big Pile 'O Heritage

This is exactly what it sounds like . A big Pile 'O Heritage cards. They could be from all years and brands.

Prize 6: 20 Legends cards

Twenty old-school players from sets like Archives, Legendary Cuts, TCMA and Pacific.

Prize 7: 20 Oddball cards

Weird and obscure stuff from non-mainstream issues.

In additon the winners will get the 2006 decoy card and the one it replaced, a team goodie bag and a pack of cards. That's what you can win, so be sure to show up tonight!

Bustin' Vintage Hockey

Ok guys,

Due to a snafu with an online card dealer who sells through Amazon, some of the boxes I ordered were out of stock (but showed up as in-stock on the web site) so I cancelled the order and took my business elsewhere. I'm hoping to have these by Saturday. I got a scanner so I can actually get pictures of the cards up here as well. I will open 1 pack of each for variety sake. Here are the revised choices:

1991/1992 Topps Canadien Edition Hockey

1999/00 UD Gold Reserve Series 1 Hockey

1993/1994 Topps Premier Series 1 Hockey

1993/1994 Topps Premier Series 2 Hockey

1991/1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey

1987/1988 Topps Hockey

1990/1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey

1990/1991 Bowman Hockey

I apologize for the mix-up. I won't be using this dealer again. But if you dig hockey, you will go nuts over these breaks.


Prospect time!

Hello all. Before I get to ripping some packs, allow me to intro myself. I'm P.J. and thanks to Ben for inviting me on board.

Cliff notes version: I'm a Phillies fan, collect pretty much only baseball cards, work as a sports writer and cover a minor league team. Because of that, I enjoy collecting prospect cards. Recently I got into the Tristar Prospect Plus set and am building it.

So, tonight I went into Wal-Mart, found a couple of blasters and figured I could possibly finish off my set tonight (well base, the Protential will take a little longer as they are inserts).

However, I'll be staying away from any major purchases that involve baseball cards for a while. I've been a little nuts with them lately and need to save some cash. So, I'll just be peeking around looking to get a pack or so each week to rip on here.

About this blaster: Seven packs, six cards in each pack. One guaranteed auto per box (I've gotten two in each of the other two blasters I've done). I'll do one tonight and then the other sometime soon.

Anyway, on with the break.

Pack 1:
71 Eddie Kunz
2 Peter Kozma
44 Wes Roemer
75 David Kopp (set need)
95 Bubba Bell
39 Duke Welker

Pack 2:
63 Brett Cecil (set need)
55 Tommy Hunter
92 Pedro Beato
Travis Snider (protential insert)
43 Ben Revere (set need)
52 Jonathan Bachanov (set need)

Pack 3:
83 Casey Crosby
96 Jake Arrieta
21 Mike Moustakas
69 Josh Smoker (set need)
13 Kyle Lotzkar (set need)
27 Nick Hagadone (set need)

Pack 4:
15 Tim Alderson
26 Michael Burgess
59 Josh Donaldson
FH-MB Madison Bumgardner - Farmhands Auto
PT-NA Nick Adenhart (protential)
91 Jose Tabata (set need)

Pack 5:
79 Taylor Grote
38 Matt Mangini
77 William Middlebrooks
14 Brandon Hamilton (set need)
7 Clayton Mortensen (set need)
97 Travis Snider (set need)

Pack 6:
100 Yung Chi Chen
32 Devin Mesoraco
65 James Simmons
PT-SE Scott Elbert (protential - set need)
37 Jarrod Parker (set need)
20 Brian Rike (set need)

Pack 7
50 Jon Gilmore
5 Casey Weathers
10 Matt Dominguez
88 John Mayberry
70 Aaron Poreda
58 Justin Jackson (set need)

Overall thoughts: Not a bad blaster break. Could I have gotten the individual cards cheaper? Probably, but would it have been as fun? No way! A little disappointed I broke my two-autograph box streak, but I still have another box to break and plan on doing that soon!

Monday, January 28, 2008

2003? or something In The Game Toronto Star Hockey

Ok, I know eveyone's sick of Hockey around here, but I just won this pack from Awesomely Bad Wax and I wanted to show it off. He's given out one other pack so far and he's desperately trying to give away this one, so claim it while you can! The pack came in the mail today and when I opened the envelope, this is what I saw:

I guess this is a Promo or something from a Toronto newspaper and it has five cards plus a foil card. Flipping the pack over shows this:

Dominick Hasek on the back, not too shabby. I don't know if this is the foil card or what, but it looks pretty foily. It's nice to see a hockey pack that's not from Upper Deck, but it looks like this pack may be from 2003. Is In The Game still making cards? No matter, time to rip this pack open.

Toronto Star redemption card
13 Jeff O'Neill
23 Patrick Roy
66 Marian Hossa
78 Barrett Jackman
F-5 Dominck Hasek

Sweet! I got a Thrasher even if he is still in a Sens uni. Two hall of fame goalies in Patrick Roy and the aforementioned foil Hasek is pretty nice too. Jeff O'Neill is meh and I've never heard of Jackman before in my life. He's probably won a bunch of awards but I don't care. I never played him in EA Sports NHL '95 so he is nobody as far as I'm concerned. He's got a goofy look on his face too like he's surprised that it's so cold and what the heck is this slippery stuff he's on anyway? The cards themselves are boring. The pictures are dark, the design is blah and they recycle the picture on the front and use it on the back. Booooooooring. I like three out of the five cards though and I got the thing free so what the hell am I complaining about. The top card in the pack can be redeemed for a chance at a Team Sponsorship for a local school or junior team so that's pretty neat. That's one way of getting kids interested in cards, too bad the cheapskate manufacturers down here in the States would never do something like that for a little league or high school team. These boring ass cards of players I've never heard of is why I quit collecting hockey in the first place. If I found myself buying a pack of this stuff I'd be as surprised as this guy:


Sox Or No Sox: 1-28-08

Let's play a pack opening game that I play on White Sox Cards, Sox Or No Sox.

The rules are simple. We take one unopened pack of baseball cards that was randomly selected by yours truly. We then go through the pack card by card looking for those elusive White Sox cards.

Along the way, there are two tricky and abundant traps to look out for. The first trap is the Cubs card. While hailing from Chicago, it is definitely not a Chicago White Sox card. The second trap is the Red Sox card. While technically a Sox card, it is vastly different than a White Sox card. Both traps are not necessarily bad things, but they get in the way of the games true goal: to find White Sox cards.

1/2 point is awarded for each card in the pack. 1 point is deducted from the score for each trap card. 1/2 point is taken away for each pointless mirror card. 2 points are awarded for each relic or autographed card (only 1 point awarded for a relic or autographed trap card). Any Fisk or Baines card on a non-White Sox uniform is found, then 1 point is awarded. 2 points are given for each White Sox card.

Our player in tonight's game is a 2007 Goudey pack. The pack contains 8 cards and features a nice looking wrapper. Very cool. Let's begin.

#1: Jake Peavy – 49 – San Diego Padres
Not too bad. Peavy has some pretty good stuff. Nice looking card.

#2: Bartolo Colon – 14 – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
An ex-White Sox player. Bartolo’s arm is extended. My pitching arm hurts here… and here. Things are looking up!

#3: Jorge Posada – 175 – New York Yankees
Not a bad looking card. Jorge seems to be caught in a moment of pondering.

#4: David Ortiz (Heads Up) – 283 – Boston Red Sox
A trap card! But a nice trap card of a great player.

Halfway through the pack. An ex-Sox player and a trap card. Not a good way to start. It could be worse though.. 4 cards left to go. Let’s see if we can get a White Sox card!

#5: Carlos Zambano – 24 – Chicago Cubs
Another trap card!! Carlos’ stern look says I am out of luck for this card. Maybe he can come up when somebody hit a Whammy. That look would make me avoid the Whammy!

#6: Grady Sizemore – 43 – Cleveland Indians
Good player, not a White Sox. At least this didn’t make three trap cards in a row.

#7: Rickie Weeks – 172 – Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie looks like he’s auditioning for the remake of Taxi Driver. You lookin’ at me?

#8: Juan Pierre – 196 – Los Angeles Dodgers
I’ve been everywhere, man. I’ve been everywhere. He could be competition for Kenny Lofton someday.

OK, our pack opening is complete. Not a bad selection. Two trap cards and no White Sox cards. I love the design on this set! But style has no point value in this game.

So, that’s ½ point for each card in the pack, -1 for each trap card.

Final score: 2 points
No White Sox cards in this game, but there's always next time on Sox Or No Sox.

Fastest Box Break Ever - Part 2 '52 Rookies

A couple of months ago I did a live box break of a UD Masterpices blaster, it's time for another one. Behold - the object of my ripping:

Once again I will rip the packs, type out the pulls and post a scan all live in the shortest period of time I can muster. No time limit this time, but there will be a contest. Here's the details:

People who cannot make the live break get to guess how long the break will take. I will post a comment stating the start and end of the break. I'll use the time difference between the two posts to determine the box break time. Whoever is closest wins a prize. To enter this contest, post a time in the comments here. This is only open to people who can't make the live break though, if you post in that thread your guess is disqualified. Even if you plan to join the live break go ahead and post a guess anyway, it won't hurt anything.

There will be two contests at the live break. Both involve distinguishing between the 2006 and 2007 cards.

In two of the 8 packs I am going to replace one of the cards in the pack list with a card from the 2006 set. Also in two of the 8 packs I bust I will be replacing a scan of a pull with a scan from the 2006 set. The sharp-eyed people who pick out the card first win a prize Here's how it works:

  • I post the bogus card in the pack rip.
  • You smart people spot the card.
  • You post a comment stating the pack number and the card. It should look like this:
    • Pack 4: Hanley Ramirez
  • The first person to post the correct answer wins.
  • This is important: ONE WINNER PER PERSON. So if some guy has the 2006 52 rookies checklist memorized and gets them all right, he wins one prize pack. Only his first correct guess counts and all the rest of his guesses are thrown out. That means if someone has guessed, post your guess anyway, because second place might be good enough to win. That's complicated, but I'll explain down below.

Here are the prizes:

The card from 2006 plus the one from 2007 that was replaced in the pack plus,
One pack of random and possibly really crappy cards plus,
A small goodie bag featuring the team of your choice plus,
A super special secret card that the winner will be able to choose out of a group of prizes. They are super special secret because I haven't actually chosen them yet.

So there it is, I will be ripping the box tomorrow evening at 10:00 pm Eastern.
10:00 will be a little easier for me and it won't screw over the left coasters.

I will further elaborate how the contest works shortly to keep things from being too confusing. But the basics are:
Guess the time it takes to bust the box in this thread.
Guess the 2006 cards I sneak into the box break.

Guess the time Contest:

Ok let's say Ben, David and Mario all make guesses for the total time, here are the times they guess:
Ben: 15 minutes
David: 18 minutes
Mario: 15 minutes and 1 second.
When I start the break I make a post, and it is stamped 9:59:36pm.
When I stop the break I post that it's officially over, and that post is stamped 10:16:02pm
The total time of the break would be 16 minutes and 26 seconds.
Mario would be closest and would win in that case.
However, if Mario posts in the live box break, his guess is disqualified (only offline guesses in this contest) and Ben would win. Got it?

Spot the 2006 card contest:

Now let's say we have five people post during the break: Mario, Kevin, Steve, Thorzul and Chris. All of them make correct guesses, here are the order they are in:

Card 1: Steve, Mario, Kevin, Chris
Card 2: Thorzul, Mario, Steve
Card 3: Steve, Chris, Mario
Card 4: Steve, Chris, Kevin, Mario

The winners are all in bold. Here's how they won:
Steve is the know it all who memorized the checklist and got the first post in three of the four cards. Only his first win counts though, all the rest of his guesses are discarded.
Thorzul wins the second contest and as a result he quits guessing.
The third contest goes to Chris because Steve's guess is thrown out.
The last contest goes to Kevin because Steve and Chris already won and their guesses are thrown out.
Poor Mario gets screwed. Sorry Mario.

Any questions about this, ask them in this thread. If I missed something I'll change it but once the break goes down I am the judge and jury and what I say goes.

So go ahead and make your guesses! See you tomorrow night!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

2005-06 Topps Basketball

This one's for Brian...

This is the first time in years I built a basketball set, but I would still pick up a pack or two a year when the baseball offerings got slim for old time's sake. Back in the day though, the NBA was my favorite sport. I'd go to at least 3 or 4 Hawks games a year and this is when 'Nique and Doc and Moses and Willis were roaming the court, not the current trainwreck of a franchise. I bought basketball cards back before they were cool and have several vintage Fleer sets to show for it now. Ever since Dominique got traded to the Clippers though, my interest in hoops has dwindled to almost nothing but for some damn reason I still got the urge to open a pack every so often. Then they usually end up just like this one, filed away still in the wrapper in a box full of other unappreciated basketball packs.

154 Rasheed Wallace
12 Cuttino Mobley
184 PJ Brown
165 Nick Collison
9 Rafer Alston
39 Mike Dunleavy Black parallel numbered 455/500 (1:19)
239 Hakim Warrick RC
55 Jason Kidd
199 Dikembe Mutombo
68 JR Smith
169 Josh Howard
124 Speedy Claxton
Checklist card

This set mystifies me. The wrapper is pitch black. Allen Iverson is the featured player, complete with tats, cornrows and a dark Sixers uniform. To top it off, the Topps logo itself is totally blinged out in so many diamonds Tom Shane had to make a second trip to Antwerp. Anyone seeing this pack on the shelf would immediately think this set is hard core. All Black borders, platinum foil stamping, relic cards of 50 cent's bloody gauze from the last time he got shot, this set has total street cred. Then you open the pack.

The best way I can think to describe the design of these cards is that it's like a pattern you'd see on a set of brightly colored tumblers you'd find in the outdoor/garden department at Target during a "Spring into Summer" sale. Kind of a wavy, bubbly, watery motif in bright colors on an extremely white background with shiny foil stars and a basketball floating in the upper right corner so you don't confuse this for a pack of invitations to a wedding shower. I think this is the first set to include celebrities in the base set, further adding an Entertainment Tonight feel to it. This is a really nice, pleasant looking set. That looks absolutely nothing like the wrapper it's in. I guess what I'm saying is this set is NWA Ice Cube on the outside and "Are We There Yet" Ice Cube on the inside.

The pack isn't too bad. Jason Kidd's not a bad pull. Rasheed's a good player and his stat line of one game with the Hawks amuses me. Speedy Claxton needs to be in Leavenworth for stealing cap space though. I've heard of most of the players in the pack which is saying something. The rookie is not one of them however, and I have no clue if he's still in the league to be honest. The Mike Dunleavy parallel card comes closest to the promise of the menacing wrapper as it is thick as about three regular cards and has a black border. Well, dark gray border at least. It looks like it was the pack searcher deterrent card for the set. I'll take a numbered parallel over a chunk of worthless cardboard every day of the week. I'm not sure why Topps is the only company out there that realizes that the thick cards inserted to fool people looking for jersey cards can actually be something useful. I do wish I hadn't looked over the checklist card though, now I really want a Jenny McCarthy or Carmen Electra card. I'm a big fan of their, erm, work in various periodicals.