Sunday, March 30, 2008

2007 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
BDP18 Joba Chamberlain (Good hit, right off the bat. There's a little ding in the card near the bill of his cap, but I think I've got this card already, so no big deal.)

BDP28 Doug Slaten
BDPP41 Reynaldo Navarro Chrome

BDPP21 Austin Gallagher Chrome
BDP23 Brandon Wood Gold Border
BDPP8 Darin Mastroianni (Not related to this guy, although their names are close.)

BDPP16 John Ely

Well, that's one real impact player, though I'm not too sure about the rest. These packs are really fun to rip because there's a variety of combinations for each card, none really much more rare than any other. It's kind of like picking out the features of your Mii: "Let's see, I want a gold Joba. I'd also like a Ryan does that come in chrome? Great!" I forget for a second while opening these packs that I'm not at Dunkin Donuts staring wide-eyed at cases of crullers.

2008 Upper Deck "Super Star" Blaster

I was in Wally-World this morning and found this, thing.

It looked like a Blaster, or was it? I've never seen anything quite like it before. Instantly my curiosity was piqued and picked up two.

You get 75 cards plus a three-card "Super Star Pack" that's exclusive to this packaging type. What those 75 cards are, (i.e. what, if any, inserts you get) is not explained anywhere on the box. There is a mention of the Yankee Stadium Legacy mirror set, but it does not say how many (or even if you get one) there are in each box. I guess the only way to figure these out, is to bust it up. I've already posted the first box to YouTube, so here's the second.

Base Set: 72 cards

3 Super Stars: P. Fielder, D. Wright, D. Jeter
1 Presidential Predictor: Stewart and O'Reilly

2 Yankee Stadium Legacy

The Super Star Pack exclusive inserts are a ten-card pseudo-parallel. The designs look similar, the card numbers on the reverse side are the same, but the pictures on the obverse are different. In other words, it's just another half-assed made-for-retail insert.

I should also be noted that each pack had a card explaining the retail-exclusive StarQuest insert program. However neither of these boxes yielded one. (WTF?)

If you're just looking to build a base set as quickly and cheaply as possible, I highly recommend these Super Star packs. They are in essence, a $10, 75-card pack. Buy about six of these, and you've got your set. Other than that, there's no reason to bust these.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

1994 Fleer Ultra Series 2 pack that was run over by a truck

Here's the third pack from my "Card storage case and value pack with a bunch of old reject packs that didn't initially sell that you would have never bought if you'd just gotten that Braves team set last year you big dummy" box. I'm opening them from what I thought would be the worst to the best. '94 Ultra beat out '06 Upper Deck and whatever that Pastime pack was by virtue of it being the oldest pack in the box and the guaranteed mid nineties gaudy insert. Unfortunately, when I took a look at the pack it was obvious that it had been sorely abused. There's a big warp right in the middle of the Ultra logo and the pack is hard as a brick. I don't think this one will end happily, folks.

Yep. There's our solid mass o' cards, stuck together like glue. Bad, bad, things happened to this pack. At the bare minimum it got wet and fused all the cards together at some point, but it also looks like someone maybe used it to even out the legs on a table. The cards are just loose enough on one corner so I can make out the name and card number on some of them, so here are the former cards that make up this pack.

486 David Nied
520 Chan Ho Park
526 Larry Walker
554 Curt Schilling
572 Derek Bell
stuck together
stuck together
stuck together
somebody on the Red Sox
stuck together
somebody on the White Sox
somebody on the Indians
somebody on the Royals
somebody on the Brewers
Kirby Puckett
Jim Abbott
5 of 5 John Smoltz Stikeout King
Aww, man. The wrecked Smoltzie hurts. Of course that is the only card that looks salvageable out of the pack. The others are fused together pretty tightly. It's a shame too, there seem to be a lot of stars in this pack. Puckett, Schilling, Walker, Abbot... dang. Oh hell with it, I'm gonna chuck it anyway, I'll try to rip the cards apart to see who else is in here.
Revised list after successful prying apart of fused cards:
486 David Nied
520 Chan Ho Park
526 Larry Walker
554 Curt Schilling
572 Derek Bell
586 Todd Benzinger
354 Eric Davis
308 Rafael Palmeiro
320 Frank Viola
328 Chuck Finley
333 James Baldwin
345 Dennis Martinez
362 David Cone
372 Tyrone Hill
394 Kirby Puckett
397 Jim Abbott
5 of 5 John Smoltz Stikeout King
Dangit, the pack actually got better. Eric Davis in the Tigers uniform. This will probably be the best pack out of the box and the cards are all mangled. Some good pitchers in Martinez, Finley and Cone. The Chan Ho Park, James Baldwin and Tyrone Hill Cards are stamped as rookie cards. And I know Rafael Palmeiro is as popular as Judas nowadays, but I don't care if he failed a test I'll always respect him for telling that congressional panel off. Those hearings were a showboating waste of time, and they had better things to do than play MLB commissioner even if the actual commissioner is a gibbering fool. There are 800 wars going on, the banking industry is about to go belly up, jobs are being outsourced, the gray wolf is endangered, Britney done lost her mind, Hillary's still in the race, giant radioactive starfish found in Antarctica, Hertiage has supershortprints, Georgia's in a drought, frikin' sharks with laserbeams on their heads, superbugs, genocide, terrorism, racism, housing bubbles, religious extremism, the New York Mets, all these problems in the world and do they address any of them? Do they sit Britney's ass down in front of the committee and tell her: "You get wise! You get to church!" Nope, they chastised some athletes for having the gall to go out and entertain people. Meh, feh, and bleh on all of them. The whole lot in Congress is as worthless as my dinged, warped and mutilated Chan Ho Park rookie card.

Larry Walker sez:
"Aw crap, Dayf's ranting again. It's only a pack of baseball cards, man..."

Friday, March 28, 2008

2006 Upper Deck Series 2

Here's pack 2 from that box thingy I got. You've seen them before, a big plastic unwieldy card case with some junk wax in them. This one happened to have the '07 Topps Braves team set in it so I succumbed to temptation. I may as well show off the crummy packs to get my money's worth. Well, not that crummy... no Opening Day, First Edition or TriStar junk in there. 2006 Upper Deck is pretty crummy though. Here are my crummy cards.

841 Phil Nevin
889 Khalil Greene Padres Checklist
975 Reynel Pinto RC
505 Jeff DaVanon
553 Scott Eyre
631 Mike Lamb
798 George Sherrill
657 JC Romero Gold #210/299

Well, I got a gold parallel, unfortunately it's of JC Romero... Romero was on the first Press Plate I ever pulled, it was him and some other guy from Topps Total. JC is in the Phillies pen now. George Sherrill has an impressive beard going. The Greene checklist card shows just how scroungy the player selection is in this series. I don't think Reynel Pinto is even still in the league. Aaaaaaand that's pretty much the pack, folks. How did Upper Deck get away with charging 3 bucks a pack for this crap? Oh wait, they didn't. that's why it's in repack boxes now. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see a comprehensive 1000 card set with full team rosters offered, but at 15 cards for a buck not 3 bucks for 8. What I'm saying is BRING BACK TOTAL DAMMIT.

Ahem, sorry that's just the medication talking.
(no it isn't)
(Upper Deck, you suck)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

2005 Fleer America's National Pastime

The cold has turned nasty to the tune of four prescriptions so once again I'll be brief. I think this set sucks, but it was in a box I got so I may as well point and laugh at it on the internet. Why does this set suck, you ask? It's an 80 card set where 30 of the cards are short printed to 699 each. When it is almost five times easier to pull a game used card (1:24) than a short printed base card (1:110) from a pack, your set is officially broken. The wrapper looks nice though.

48 Mike Piazza
10 Jason Schmidt
34 B.J. Upton
Fleer Collectibles ad
8 Adam Dunn
46 Greg Maddux

Not a terrible group of cards, but I'd be pissed if I dropped three bucks on the pack. The design is attractive but unremarkable. It's the same ol' stuff you always got from these mid-00's Fleer five card pack oddball sets. It's like listening to a new Linkin Park song. Sure it's new, but let's face it, you've heard it all before. I think I increased my Greg Maddux Collection by one though, so I got that going for me. Which is nice.

At Least It Ain't Heritage: 2006 Topps Series Two Jumbo

Now that I've been glutted on 2008 Topps Heritage, I thought I'd return to the slowest box break in history. As a reminder, I bought this jumbo hobby box back in February to get free shipping on my 2008 Topps Series One. This is pack number seven, kicking off the second half of the box. As I'm posting this, North Carolina and Washington State have tipped off and I'm rooting for the Tar Heels for office pool purposes. I feel so dirty...

465 Joel Piniero - Card back says that scouts convinced him to switch from shortstop to pitcher. *Rolls eyes* Good call, guys.
470 Jeremy Bonderman
456 Brad Lidge - I figure he'll turn his career around as soon as Pujols' home run from the 2005 NLCS lands.
636 Matt Cain RC

445 Jeff Francoeur Topps All-Star Rookie - "Francoeur" is French for "Dayf's Forbidden Love". True story.
490 Magglio Ordonez
513 Ervin Santana - I believe he lost 38 games on the road last year, give or take a few.
384 Toby Hall
OD-JT Blue Jays vs. Twins Opening Day

SC-BF Ben Franklin US Constitution - Awesome! These inserts are totally getting me in the mood to watch 1776. Also, John Adams. Alas, I am without HBO.
522 Jason Isringhausen - Fire up the dupes!
349 Jason Jennings
463 Todd Walker
493 Eddie Guardado
546 Andy Sisco
596 Buddy Bell MGR - Yep, still dupes...
583 Craig Counsell
575 Roy Oswalt
333 Ryan Langehans
455 Dontrelle Willis
408 Jon Lieber
Checklist 1 of 3
MHR38 Mickey Mantle Home Run History #38 - I think he hit all of these off of the Tigers and Red Sox.
348 Reggie Sanders
447 Jacque Jones
424 Tony Womack - Sigh, still dupin' it up.
504 Phil Nevin
643 Willie Eyre RC
532 Scot Shields
416 Roberto Hernandez
426 Dustin McGowan - Come ON.
658 Up the Middle: Ivan Rodriguez and Carlos Guillen
614 Padres Team Card
650 Philly Phanatics: Pat Burrell and Mike Lieberthal - Hey, a card I didn't have yet!

604 Nationals Team Card - Another newbie. It's a team card, but I'll take what I can get at this point.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2007 Topps '52 Rookie Card

Quick and Dirty 'cause I have a bad cold. I bought this pack out of the blue mainly because there were no blasters worth getting. I ended up hitting the Joba Jackpot.

76 Jon Knott
71 Jojo Reyes
89 Troy Cate
190 Joba Chamberlain variation
201 Joba Chamberlain
138 Curtis Thigpen

This pack beat the odds in more ways than one. Pulling the Joba base and Joba variation in the same pack is ridiculous enough, but this pack probably shouldn't have ended up in one piece. The blister pack caught the side of the wrapper and crimped the side, you can see the shadow on the right side of the scan is where it got completely fused together. Another centimeter to the left and the pack probably would have been ruined instead of merely snugly wrapped. Of course lucky bastard here pulls two Jobas and I'm more excited about Jojo Reyes, who is headed to Richmond. Anyone know that the Jobas book? The last Beckett I have is the Rookie Card issue and there's no '52 listings in there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2005 Topps Total

Topps... Heritage...

You wouldn't LIKE me when I rip ...



GRAAAAAAAARRRR-oh hey, look a pack of 2005 Topps Total! Let's open it!

673 Jason Grimsley & BJ Ryan
26 Yadier Molina
484 Doug M. (you know who it is)
AW20 Manny Ramirez Total Award Winner
11 Joel Piniero
477 Shea Hillenbrand
225 Orlando Hernandez
577 Tim Redding & Brad Baker
121 Ricky Ledee
351 Einar Diaz

I love this stuff. I hate that this is gone and lousy phoned-in Opening Day is still around polluting the shelves. 770 card set, a bunch of combo cards of relief pitchers and scrubs, a handful of ok insert sets and a neat little game on the back for a buck a pop. Gotta love it. I'm not sure if I ever completed the set because I have it sorted into teams. Yeah, I actually played the game. I had some long late night shifts under heightened internet monitoring conditions so you do what ya have to. This pack was actually pretty crappy other than the Manny insert Since I don't have anything more to say about the pack, let's play the game. We'll match up El Duque and a very stoned looking Ricky Ledee since Ricky's the only one in the pack capable of hitting a homer.

All right here's the match up. The colors match up in a stop light fashion:
Yellow beats Green
Red beats Yellow
Green beats Red .
There's an Orange on the seecrit special shiny cards that beats everything but I didn't pull one of them.

Underneath the card number you'll see a number from 1 to 10 in a gray box. That's the number for the pitch. Let's use BJ Ryan's card.

8. Don't worry about the Rating number, that's used when building teams.

You check the cards and #8 shows both results are Green. Tie goes to the pitcher and Ricky strikes out. Here's Yadier's number:

Yellow beats Green so we go with the result on Hernandez' card which is a fly out. Ok, it's the same result on both cards, but you get the point. Here's Doug's card:

Ricky strikes out again. El Duque's throwing the heat. No number on Manny, so Piniero's up next:

Green beats Red so Ricky wins the matchup. A Pyhrric victory as he turns a single into a ground out. Ledee can't catch a break. If you look carefully at the two cards, you'll see that the only favorable result for Ricky is a number 7, which results in a bomb to right. Since I didn't get a 7 in this pack, we'll mercifully end Ricky's batting practice.


Ok, not that fun. But ten bucks for a blaster meant ripping 11 packs full of good looking cards you could build into teams to kill a couple of hours. A blaster of Opening Day gets you red retinal burn, a rehashed set and eternal sorrow. BRING BACK TOTAL!!! Or at the very least a cheap 700+ card decent looking set to build that isn't from the 1980's. Is that too much to ask?

Denouement: 2008 Topps Heritage Box Break, Part Six

Okay, I'd better finish this box break before dayf goes Incredible Hulk and starts smashing 2008 Topps Heritage displays in his local hobby shop. No worries, my next few packs after this will be of the non-2008 variety.

Pack 21
374 Baseball Thrills: Kenny Lofton breaks postseason steals record - The photo is recycled from 2008 Topps Series One. Sheez.
100 Jack Cust - Deadspin compared him to Rob Riggle, which I can kind of see.
163 Brad Ausmus
249 Jonathan Papelbon - His batting average against was .146 last year, which is unfair.
346 Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett: Batter Bafflers - Say that five times fast.

363 Chris Duffy
180 Jorge Posada - Hip, hip, Jorge!
12 Curt Schilling black variation

Pack 22
184 Bronson Arroyo - He reportedly does a great cover of Pearl Jam's "Black", which is enough for me.
318 Jarrod Saltalamacchia - His last name is so long that the first and last letter are stitched on the front of the jersey.

110 Homer Bailey - His first name is actually "Homesworth". No it isn't.
219 Orlando Hudson - Back of the card calls him "O-Dog". Do we have a ruling: is it O-Dog or O-Dawg?
421 Jamie Moyer - Used to babysit Satchel Paige.
7 Joey Gathright
498 Josh Beckett All-Star SP - According to the card back, he "has owned" many thousands of baseball cards. "Has"? Where are they now?
301 Ronnie Belliard black variation

Pack 23
272 Aaron Harang - He's a San Diegan. The card back told me so.
1 Vladimir Guerrero - Vlad appears to be towering over the light standards.
48 Orioles Team Card - My second O's card of the box. Not a great ratio.
250 Felix Pie - I'm rooting hard for him, because no one deserves to endure this. Yow.
352 Carl Crawford - He and I share a birthday. We're joined by John Wasdin, though we don't often admit it.

383 John Maine and Willie Randolph: Words of Wisdom: I had box seats for Maine's ML debut, in which he was battered by the Twins. It's all in my new book, "Disappointing Memories".
BF8 Mickey Mantle Flashbacks: Mick's 11th Hour Heroics - A double. At least I didn't get another Antarctica card.
224 David Wright black variation

Pack 24
27 Greg Maddux - Another of the hallowed "all stats on the back" old-timers.
101 Carlos Ruiz - Won the "Rookie with the Most Chins" Award in the NL.
154 Bobby Abreu - His name was destined to be enunciated by Harry Kalas.
341 Vernon Wells - I will be strong. I will NOT draft him, no matter how weak my outfield may look.
396 Joe Blanton - I approve of the thickness of his goatee.
179 Austin Kearns
C67 Lance Berkman Chrome Refractor 343/559 - At least I think it is. What's the difference between Chrome and Refractor? It looks like a Chrome, but the serial numbering is lower.

267 Xavier Nady

Consider this hobby box broken, relic or auto? Dudes, I got hosed. I've had some lousy luck with guaranteed pulls lately. Oh well, let's see how the box treated me otherwise:

Base cards (green backs): 156/500 31.2%
Black back variations (1:1): 24/110 21.8%
Short Prints (1:3): 7/75 9.3% (Okay, so they stiffed me on a short print as well. ARGH.)
Total base cards (black or green): 163/500 32.6%

Baseball Flashbacks (1:12): 2/10 20%
News Flashbacks (1:12): 2/10 20%
New Age Performers (1:12) 2/15 13.3%
Then & Now (1:12) 2/10 20%
Chrome Parallels (1:12) 3/100 Chrome (3%), 1/100 Refractor (1%)

Right, so my box was loaded up with Chrome, which I could give two figs about, and I got gypped out of an auto/relic and an SP. Well, crap. On the plus side, I get to do some trading to finish this between a few pack and blaster buys, of course.

Topps Heritage Pack-Akkake! Target Blaster, Packs #6 & #7 (AND #8)

Wait, what's this? An eighth pack of Topps Heritage in a seven-pack Target Blaster? SCORE!!!

Pack #6

Base: P. Hughes, A. Ramirez, L. Milledge, F. Garcia, R. Sexson, R. Zimmerman
Variations: D. Lee, D. Willis

Pack #7

Base: R. Hill, J. Damon, A. Cook, J. Fogg, Y. Gallardo, F. Thomas (SP)
Variations: J-Roll, M. Ordonez

Pack #8

Base: Young & Zimmerman, O. Cabrera, B. Zito, D. Roberts, Delmon Young, Delwyn Young, K. Suzuki, J. Bartlett

What are the odds of getting a Delmon Young and a Delwyn Young in the same pack?

Blaster Stats

Base Cards: 54 (3 SPs)
Variations: 8
Parallels: NONE
Inserts: 1 Frank Robinson Baseball Flashback, 1 Antarctica News Flashback
Autogamers: NONE

Monday, March 24, 2008

Enough Already! 1981 Fleer

Ok, I was saving this pack, but good Lord people, even I hate Heritage now. Here's a pack of the late, great Frank H. Fleer Co.'s 1981 "let's stick it to Topps" Premier Edition Base Ball trading cards. With bubble gum! I don't know if this is an error pack or a non-error pack or even if there is such a thing as a 1981 Fleer pack without errors. Let's open this sucker though.

Well, here's some very rare Non-Topps Baseball card bubble gum. Sadly it didn't survive the years in one piece, but it looks a hell of a lot fresher than any vintage Topps gum I've pulled out of a pack lately. It's also absolutely covered in bubble gum dust. Fleer was a little sloppier when cutting their little strips of gum, so it has more of a punk, DIY feel to it. Anti-establishment bubble gum, right on!

Here's the wrapper advertisement, damn I want a Giant 3" Reggie photo button. Aw hell, there's a Bob Horner pin too. Crap, I want half of those pins! Billy, Yaz, Schmidt, Carew, Pops, Winfield... dang. That's a helluva checklist.

Here's the key to the whole thing: OFFICIAL LICENSEE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. Fleer finally getting one of these was either the beginning or the end of trading cards, depending who you ask.

Ok, now to the cards:

66 Denny Walling: complete with rainbow pullover and copious amounts of bubble gum dust.

299 Dick Tidrow: I tried to grow a 'stache like that but my wife started looking up divorce lawyers in the yellow pages, so I shaved. Quickly. And why's Dick in the same dugout as a dude with a Reds cap?

363 Willie Stargell: POPS! I love me some pops. This pack is a success no matter what now.

386 John Milner: Another Pirate, John strikes a pose in front of the lineup card.

53 Vern Ruhle: Gotta love the 95-5 centering, not to mention the crease in the top left corner.

303 Cliff Johnson: Blech, another Cub. Cliff has shadow people staring out at him from the crowd on either side of him. it's creeping me out.

367 Chuck Tanner: I apparently ripped the Pirate pack. Arrrrrr. Chuck was supposed to be the guy to lead the World Series parade down Peachtree. Not quite.

486 Gene Richards: Fro+Mutton Chops+Face in Shadows+Oppressive Yellow and Brown=Stuff of Nightmares.

393 Jack Brohamer: starts out his bio with "Small, gutsy and bowlegged". That's just not right. C'mon, the man was a Topps All-Star rookie, give him some respect.

170 Steve Stone: This has the "Pitcher of the Year" line on it, I'm not sure if that's a variation or not. I'm going to hit the SCD after I've scanned all the cards and check for errors.

458 Joe Strain: You have to strain to see the dude's face in all that shadow. His nose glows brightly, like he's about to lead Santa's sleigh.

44 Frank White: I remember Frank White being a lot better player than his stats on the back make him out to be. I might be crazy though.

397 JOE CHARBONEAU FREAKIN ROOKIE CARD HOLY CRAP: This pack just went from "good" to EPIC.

174 Scott McGregor: Scott looks really angry for someone fresh off a 20 win season.

339 Ed Farmer: A White Sox for a game of Sox or no Sox. About time after two Cubs... Believe it or not, the back is as blurry as the front.

452 Rich Murray: I saw "Murray", immediately thought "EDDIE!" and was quickly deflated.

402 Gary Gray: Indians come out of nowhere to tie the Pirates for most cards in the pack at three each. The back of Gary's card is lovingly slathered with wax.

Ok, time to see if any of these suckers are errors...... Nope, not a single one even has a variation. Oh well. I'm stoked I pulled the Joe C rook. I know it's worth about a quarter but tell that to the old-timers who insist this is a five dollar card. Nice rip. I need to find an '82 Fleer Pack now.