Wednesday, April 02, 2008

2004 Fleer Ultra Update

Here's the fourth pack from my Storage Box, Braves set what I oughta bought last year and 10 random-non Opening Day pack box. To recap, the '05 America's Pastime pack was meh, The '06 Upper Deck pack was Bleargh, and the '94 Ultra pack was great except for the whole mangled and destroyed bit. This here is a pack of 2004 Ultra Update, which was a one time deal by Fleer to get Roger Clemens on a pack wrapper in a 'Stros cap. They did a factory update set for Ultra in 1991, but this set kinda came out of nowhere. It's rookie driven for sure... 75 base cards, and 100 rookies in the set. 87 of the Rooks are inserted 2 per pack while the "Lucky 13" are numbered to 500 each (1:2000 packs). Next time you complain about stupid Rookie Logo cards, focus your venom instead on crap inserts like Lucky 13 that caused the whole mess in the first place. I can't find a checklist anywhere and they're not listed in Beckett, so I guess those rookies weren't so lucky to begin with. It looks like my colleague concurs, 2004 was particularly bad for stupid rookie sets. Let's rip.

261 Derrek Lee
225 Alex Rodriguez
281 AJ Pierzynski
268 Bobby Crosby
356 Lino Urdaneta rookie
302 Ian Snell rookie
247 Nomar Garciaparra
263 Craig Wilson

Dang, talk about a star studded pack... I forgot how many stars switched teams in 2004. It looks like I got most of them here in this pack. A-Rod in the Yankees uniform, No-Mah and Derrek Lee with the Cubs (tell the truth, who did you think would be the Triple Crown threat out of those two at the time?) and AJ in the Giants uniform is probably a Twins fan's most cherished card. Bobby Crosby makes two appearances in this pack, on his own card and on Derrek's as he looks helplessly as Lee slides in with a double.

Since this set is all about the rookies, lets look at the rookies. Ian Snell's a nice card and it looks like it's a genuine rookie card... imagine that. Snell was the Opening Day starter against the Braves on Monday and pitched a good game. Unless the Pirates ruin his arm, he looks to be their ace until the Yankees sign him for 15 mil a year. The other rookie is a little less spectacular, Urdaneta is a Mets farmhand who got pinched for the juice last year and got a 50 game suspension. He 's pitched one inning in his career and might not pitch a second. Still, I gotta say this is a damn good pack to be pulling out of a junk box. Up next: 1994 Flair.

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