Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bully for Blasters: 2008 Upper Deck Goudey 8/8

Hopefully, I'll bother cleaning this up with witty remarks before Sunday.

69 Curtis Granderson

199 Ryan Church - I would suggest that he stop getting concussed if he wants to continue playing baseball.

147 Freddy Sanchez

98 Vladimir Guerrero

211 Al Kaline SP - One of two Baltimore natives in the 3,000 hit club. The other one is Cal somebody or other.
Al Kaline by you.

104 Prince Fielder

182 Michael Young

130 Graig Nettles - If this were a Studio card, his Pet Peeve would be "People who call me Craig".

78 Jeremy Hermida - AAAUGH! He's comin' right for us!
Jeremy Hermida by you.

1991 Score Hockey

For the rest of the packs I will open from the hockey blaster and for all the packs I will open from the baseball blaster(the two I bought last night), I will open them in order from oldest to newest. Because of this format, the next pack I will open from the Hockey box is 1991 Score. I'm, personally, not a fan of 1985-1993 sports cards anymore, although a about two years ago, it was the only I would buy cause it was so cheap. Occasionally, I'll look for some, but not that often. Anyways, the pack says that you could win a special Bobby Orr autograph card(or pull one), but considering that the packs they put in here are pack searched, I don't expect anything. But, usually, I get proved wrong, like the time I bought a $10/10 pack football box and pulled a Reggie Bush auto #'ed 5/50 from 2007 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects, which I sold to my card guy in Massachusets(where my folks live and where I bought the box) for $110. And, a year before that, I bought a $109 box of 06/07 SP Authentic Basketball, which was the last box he had(in fact, it was opened, but all the packs were in there), and I pulled a 1/1 Lamarcus Aldredge Logo Patch Auto which sold for $700. So, anything can happen. But, enough of my jibber-jabber. Here's the pack break vid(ignore my mindless ranting at the end) :

Saturday, August 30, 2008

2005 Donruss Team Heroes

In 2005, Donruss came out with a "Retail Exclusive" set of cards called "TeamHeroes." Growing up in the days when the average set was at least 660 cards, it is laughable that this set is a "massive 440 cards." Gimmie a break... These packs have a whopping 4 cards per pack, and this particular gem was culled from a Target bargain bin for $1.59... Did the original pack even cost that? Well, let's break it open and see what's inside...

First up, we have Mariners pitcher Bobby Madritsch. He was the first Native American to make The Bigs since Aker in 64. He played one game in 2005 after a fair 2004 rookie season.

Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout - Rollie Fingers. Trademark handlebars and all. My 'real life' job is working with schools and their technology departments. One of the superintendents sports a "Rollie." Yes, as in currently wears one. The topic is always on the tip of my tongue but never quite makes to conversation...

Next up, Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers). In 2004, this guy was among the tops in shutouts, strikeouts, strikeouts per inning, complete games, and hits allowed per nine innings. Beside him, we have another Tiger, Bobby Higginson (two Bobby's and a LOT of double consonants in this pack). He and Vlad Guerrero finished 2004 with 13 outfield assists each. It seems to me like there should be some kind of 'bonus' for getting two players from the same team that still play for that team... Oh, wait, here is my bonus:

A specially-coded all-star game card! By the way, now gives you a "403 error." In non-geekspeak, this means that someone out there is still running the site, but you can't there from here. It also means that the site may become active again sometime in the future. The company has not yet given up the domain name. Guess we'll see. A Google search about the site turns up lots of forum requests for people to send their cards or post their codes... That's funny... Kinda like what people want with today's ToppsTown... Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids...

2005-06 Upper Deck Hockey

I went to Concord Mills tonight and, after getting schooled in Tekken 5 again, I bought two more $10/10 pack repack boxes(one baseball and one hockey) that I love so much. To make it better, they were "Buy 1, Get 1 50% off" which made me feel peachy inside. I have never gotten one of the hockey versions of these, so, expecting some older stuff, I decided to open the hockey stuff first. The first pack I will open is 05-06 Upper Deck hockey. You are guarenteed a Diary of a Phenom insert per pack, so lets see what happens! I will post a video of the breaks
I do from now on, just like someone else on here does(forgot the name).

Bully for Blasters: 2008 Upper Deck Goudey 7/8

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm actually moving today. This entry appears via the magical, mystical magic of scheduled posting. My, what a time to be alive.

63 Todd Helton - With his bushy goatee, shapeless, baggy jersey, and handsful of lumber, Todd looks sort of like Larry, the technical director from my college's theatre.

11 Chipper Jones - I'm hearing Skip Caray say his name, in that way that no one else could.

193 Troy Glaus - Ah, Tony LaRussa and his steroid amnesty.

89 Alex Gordon - Another unflattering portrait of a Royal.

46 Sparky Anderson - Nice! From the days when he was known as "Captain Hook" for his quick decisions to remove starting pitchers.
Sparky Anderson by you.

124 Hideki Matsui - If he's known as "Godzilla", does that mean that the Japanese were relieved to see him leave for America?

272 Albert Pujols Sport Royalty - At least I didn't get Elway. I hate Elway.

303 Wade Boggs Sport Royalty - Wade Boggs...goes down smooth.
Wade Boggs by you.

1991 Bowman Football

The card shop near me just got 3 boxes full of new cheapo packs so I picked up a few to share. Since college football kicked off this weekend (including a win by my beloved Bulldogs) I've got a pack of 1991 Bowman to get us in the football mood.

17 Michael Haynes
254 Irv Pankey
309 Gary Zimmerman
143 Mel Gray
155 Lomas Brown
32 Nate Odomes
280 Clarence Verdin League Leaders
529 Charles Mann
500 Dave Kreig
20 Scott Fulhage
18 Chris Miller
62 Jim Harbaugh
319 Rich Gannon
37 Butch Rolle

Ok, I have to start out with this: Can someone explain this haircut to me?

A mohawk that gave up? Maybe it makes sense from the front.

I love opening up early '90s football packs, it's like going over a Tecmo Bowl roster. I appear to have picked the Falcons pack, with Haynes, Miller and the punter. Chris Miller is the reason the Falcons didn't need that Favre guy so there's some great memories for me. I spent several years at a therapist trying to repress those memories but hey, nice card. When you take out the "guys hanging out on the bench" shots out there is actually some decent action photography on these cards. Gary Zimmerman taking on the fridge is just classic. It's a shame Topps ripped off the design from Bowman baseball, but they did that with every football set that year. They have the one per pack foil card too, but I got the NFL leader in punt returns, whoopie. I ignored this set when it came out, mostly because of the backs. The fact I was a broke-ass freshman in college didn't hurt, but the wall of text backs just didn't do it for me. I wanted full career stats and cartoons and crap. Now I love it, you open up a pack and it's like reading a book. There's a bunch of gems in there too, like on Michael Haynes' card:

"Wide receiver Michael Haynes attended high school games playing not football, but trumpet!"

Aw, that's just heaven. I'm going back on Tuesday and wiping them out of this stuff. It's ten times as good as any of the crap that's come out this year. I can also get 40 packs of it for the price of one Stadium Club pack.

1985 Topps

I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to buy this pack. Back when I was in middle school, one of the neighborhood kids traded me the entire 1985 Topps set, minus the "good cards" which at the time seemed to include the usual rookies (Clemens, Puckett, even Gooden) and the entire Olympic subset. Along with one of those snazzy Topps binders, I got all those cards for virtually nothing, and to this day I have at least the entire Cardinals team set and plenty of extras. So there was no real reason for me to buy this, yet I bought it anyway, perhaps being caught up in Olympic fever and thinking I might finally get a McGwire rookie card (or at least a Cory Snyder or Shawn Abner.)

So let's check the results here. I have to warn you- it's pretty blah.

639 - Ed Hodge
624 - Benny Ayala
325 - John Denny
786 - Enos Cabell (yeah, nothing even scan-worthy so far...)
369 - R.J. Reynolds

133 - Ray Boone / Bob Boone Father - Son (a fine baseball family that would go on to include Bret and Aaron)
470 - Steve Sax
576 - Jamie Cocanower (if you had asked me a simple true/false question as to whether "Jamie Cocanower" was the name of an actual major league player, I would have responded with a resounding "no!")

-Instant Win insert (woo! 4 runs!)

40 - Phil Niekro (here's where the gettin's finally good. a Knuckle Brother!)

80 - Keith Hernandez ("Mex" in the pre-Just For Men days)
239 - Tim Teufel
596 - Jerry Hairston (original version)
774 - Dennis Lamp (truly a target for literally-interpreted altered cards, like they used to have pictures of in old Beckett magazines. I'm picturing a table lamp throwing a heater.)
684 - Bill Doran (I hate all things Astros right now)

611 - Ozzie Virgil (the requisite vintage gum stain)

Ah yes, and don't forget the main attraction: 1 STICK BUBBLE GUM. 23 years old, broken, but still not beaten... refusing to die.

Friday, August 29, 2008

2008 Upper Deck Series 2

I recently won a contest from 88 Topps Cards and I received this pack as a bonus. There's no UPC symbol on the back and there was no StarQuest card, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is a pack from one of the Stars And Stripes blasters.

408 Chad Tracy
501 Marcus Thames
563 Pat Neshek
686 Rod Barajas
414 Mark Kotsay
741 Jake Peavy Season Highlight
783 CC Sabathia Season Highlight
PP-12 John McCain & Barack Obama

As topical as the McCain and Obama squabble is right now, Barack is too damn skinny to effectively represent Lou Piniella. If Barack ate McCain, he might be able to approximate the paunch. I'd like to see someone throw a base around at the debates though. The back of the card highlights their vastly different views on Immigration, specifically "they agree citizenship should eventually be granted for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements". Um... yeah. Upper Deck would have been better off detailing Paris Hilton's energy proposal on the back. It's a typically good pack photo wise for UD. Chad Tracy is in full swing, Rod Barajas is trying to throw out a player stealing second and Marcus Thames is laying out for a diving catch. I got Mark Kotsay in his spring training Braves uni a few days too late. He had an RBI for the Sox today so he's contributing for a team in a playoff run at least. Both Cy Young winners from last year are featured on highlight cards. I'm thinking Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb have locks on this year's award. #17 Pat Neshek is also in this pack. He has one of the nicest signatures around, but I still haven't sent him a card to get signed. This is complete stupidity on my part since he is practically asking for stuff to sign on his website. I always feel like a pestering mooch when I ask people for autographs though. I'm also just a lazy procrastinating bum, as everyone who tries to trade with me is well aware.

Bully for Blasters: 2008 Upper Deck Goudey 6/8

Whew, Friday at last! I'll be packing up all of my belongings and moving for the second time this summer. Not my idea of fun, but at least it's a long holiday weekend. If you're headed somewhere special, travel safe! I'm headed for another pack of Goudey.

37 Aramis Ramirez - Aramis: Not just a crappy cologne.

167 J. J. Putz - Insists that it's pronounced "Puts". Suuuure it is.

115 Carlos Beltran - Heh. Card back shows his stolen base total as 230 for the 2007 season. Woops!

157 Khalil Greene Mini - Now I have his creepy in miniature form as well.

20 Jeremy Guthrie - I cannot describe just how beloved Guts is in Baltimore. If the offense gave him any support in the first half, he'd be a Cy Young candidate.
Jeremy Guthrie by you.

150 Ralph Kiner - The things he could have done if he hadn't served in World War II and had a back injury. The guy hit 369 home runs in 10 seasons.

98 Andruw Jones - Gee, who says Andruw's put on weight?
Andruw Jones by you.

YSL 5325 Bernie Williams Yankee Stadium Legacy: 08/31/1991 - If I have to pull these, I'd at least like to see an old-timer like Yogi or Whitey Ford. At least it's another Yankee loss, with Jimmy Key stifling the New York bats two years before joining them. Blue Jays win 5-0.

1988 Topps American Baseball

Long ago in 1987 there was an attempt (albeit a very short one) to introduce the world of card collecting to the English masses. In 1987 and 1988 Topps Ireland produced two sets of American Sports Picture cards. In 1987 it was American Football and in 1988 it was American Baseball.

There was 88 cards to collect in the whole set. Cards came 5 per pack and enclosed in a sealed see through cellophane plastic wrapper.
There is a seller on eBay UK selling an empty display box of these for £4.99.(not inc postage/packaging) It clearly says on the front that the packs cost 15p each in 1988, however you can also see a 'special price' sticker where they were trying to offload them for a princely 3p each.
I think I know why they weren't popular!
Look at this bubble gum.
That is not the pink, lovely looking, flavoursome, delicious gum they serve in the US of A. No! This is a greyish, beige looking stuff you might mistake for another card.
We want the American Gum! Just like in the War.

The cards are small too. Here is the comparison with the Topps US edition in 1988.
The one on the left is obviously the more inferior UK card. About the same size as the album stickers being produced at the same time.

The cards in the pack were:

16 Vince Coleman Cardinals
70 Larry Sheets Orioles
79 Alan Trammell Tigers
88 Checklist
51 Lloyd Moseby Blue JaysI think the most enjoyable part of these cards is the back and the section called 'TALKIN' BASEBALL. A short definition, a dummies guide to baseball for those unknowing Brits.

On the back of Vince it's Stolen Base,
Alan is Dead Ball,
Larry is a Save -

"In order to earn SAVE, a pitcher must finish game won by team, not earn Win and (optional) enter game leading by 3 or less runs and pitch one inning. (See#69and #71 for other save conditions)"

I need to see those other cards!

But my favourite is on the back of the Lloyd Moseby card - Throw.

"A Throw is the act of propelling the ball with hand and arm to a given objective. A throw is to be distinguished from and not to be confused with a pitch.(See #52 for PITCH definition)"

Hope you enjoyed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Pack(et) A Day: 2006/07 Magic Entertainment Shoot Out Update & Panini EURO2008

The other two packets of soccer cards sent to me by John in England.

Yes, I fully realize that I'm ripping English football packets while wearing a Celtic kit.

2005 Upper Deck All Star Classics

Here's the last type of pack I got from Shane Diaz in the package he sent. This set appears to be a contemporary players and legends hybrid set with an All Star game theme. There's 50 all stars, 25 "future" All-Stars and 25 Legends in the set. Inserts include All Star Matchups, All Star MVPs, All Star Box Scores... you get the point. I got three of these, here's the first one I ripped.

9 Curt Schilling
16 Greg Maddux
11 Derek Jeter
MSC-1 Derek Jeter Midsummer Classics
76 Al Kaline
58 Grady Sizemore
81 Cal Ripken Jr.
67 Jose Capellan

Looks like I ripped the Jeter pack. This was a really nice group of players with a couple of Hall of Famers and a bunch more who are knocking on the door. The only clunker in this pack (and all three packs to be honest) was Capellan, who has never harnessed that flamethrower arm of his. Out of the three packs I opened all the "Future All-Stars" cards other than Jose actually are All Stars. Alex Rios, Jose Reyes, Ryan Howard, Johan Santana and Grady Sizemore. None of 'em are rookie cards or anything, but it is nice to see some future stars that actually pan out in a set. All the Legends were Hall of Famers and the 'worst' base card was Sean Casey who is a fan favorite at least. The Jeter insert is just gravy on top of all this. I even pulled a Tim Hudson card that I didn't have already which is nice. I ignored this set when it came out, but if you find a pack or two floating around I'd suggest you give it a try. There's some pretty good stuff in there by the look of these packs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1990 Hoops Basketball

Inspired by my friend Mike over at Bad Wax, I bring you this. 1990 Hoops Basketball Series I.
In 1990, Hoops was the basketball card of choice, unless you preferred the computer generated backgrounds of upstart Skybox. But for genuine action photos... Hoops was it.

First, the pack for posterity.... (that's geniune plastic folks... no wax here)

Lakers Coach and Coach of the Year, Pat Riley....

Orlando Magic guard Scot Skiles. Did I scan Scott's card because he holds the NBA record for assists in one game with 30? No. Was it because this was the year he won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award? No. Was it that he went on to be a head coach with Chicago, Phoenix, and currently Milwaukee? No. It is because at 6' 1" he is the shortest player in the pack.

Mitch Richmond - Golden State
Alvin Robertson - Milwaukee
Joe Klein - Boston
Ken Norman - Clippers
Mel Turpin - Washington
Why is every other card upside down in these packs? Annoying.

Seattle Supersonics Olden Polynice. Seattle does not have a team anymore. What does Martin Crane think of this?
Olden is also one of three 7' players in the pack...
Armon Gilliam - Hornets
Roy Hinson - New Jersey
Mark McNamara - Lakers
Ron Anderson - 76'ers
Jerome Kersey - Trail Blazers
Dave Hoppen - Hornets
and the best card in the pack........... A James Worthy All Star insert!!!! Wow! An insert from 1990!!! (okay, they were one per pack, and part of the base set.) Still, it's Worthy.

I must confess... I have an ulterior motive for posting this pack. I was digging through my garage (I recently moved) and found a box with 6 sealed boxes of this stuff. 3 of each series. I don't collect basketball, but I know a lot of you do. So here it is...
Most of you know I'm a big Braves fan (and Adam LaRoche), so..... send me any Braves cards. Anything. Regional cards, oddballs, stickers...Heck, I'll even expand it to include Blue Jays cards (my father in law loves 'em) Send me whatever, and a pack or two... or three will be on their way to you. And I'll probably find some other goodies to send along...
Want some old basketball wax? It's just that easy. Send me an email, and I'll give you my address, then soon, Bird, Magic, MJ, and Olden Polynice may be showing up on your doorstep.
For those of you who already have sent trades to me, or are in the process... relax. Don't stress. Hoops wax is a comin'!

2008 Allen & Ginter N43

Next up on the box topper tour is some Allen & Ginter N43 packs. These are throwbacks to the large sized cards released by Allen & Ginter in 1887. These cards have been in all three Topps A&G sets, and all three include Ryan Zimmerman. Three Zimmermans and no Chipper. Grrrrrr. In the lot I bought I got Ryan and three unopened packs. Here's one of the three.

What secrets are you hiding Old Planter?

Hanley Ramirez, he'd be a solid MVP candidate if Albert Pujols wasn't completely destroying the league right now. Hanley is only 2 homers and a stolen base away from joining Grady Sizemore in the 30-30 club this year. I love the old timey border on this design that was swiped from the original Allen & Ginter set. The good news is I now have a third of this insert set. The bad news is I'm probably going to try to complete it now. Maybe I should finish off the 2006 and 2007 sets first.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bully for Blasters: 2008 Upper Deck Goudey 3/8

Movin' right along...

13 Tom Glavine - He looks suspiciously smooth-faced here. Portraiture must suit the wily old lefty well.
Tom Glavine by you.

143 Shane Victorino - Mahalo! I hear that Shane was thrilled to see his little buddies from Hawai'i win the Little League World Series on Sunday.

105 Ryan Braun - This is a relic card featuring Thorzul's drool. Just kidding, of course.

1 Eric Byrnes - To complement the Mini-Me I pulled in the first pack.

140 Ryan Howard - What are the chances that the Phils trade him this winter?

36 Kosuke Fukudome RC - Now they're working overtime to make Topps look bad.

166 Felix Hernandez - Ha! The card back mentions his impressive eight shutout innings in Baltimore on April 6 of this year...while neglecting to mention that since-fired Seattle skipper John McLaren pulled him and watched the bullpen blow a 2-0 lead. The winning run was driven in by Luis Hernandez for one of his three RBI in 2008. Not that I'm gloating.

246 James K. Polk - Oh, hooray, the President who championed westward expansion. Give me Taft any day.
James K. Polk by you.

A Pack(et) A Day: 2007/08 Topps EPL Match Attax

APAD's new contributor, John in England (a.k.a. "jackplumstead"), sent along a care package stuffed with soccer cards. A couple of months ago, I spent two weeks in Ireland looking for some of these things, and was unsuccessful. A couple of months later, some guy in England who I've never met before, sends me a pack of Panini Euro2008, a pack of 2006-07 Magic Box Shoot Out Player Update, five packs of 2007-08 Topps Match Attax, and a Match Attax Fulham team set.

Damn it feels good to be an APAD contributor.

The Hobby over there is a little different than it is over here. For one thing, "sports cards" as we know them in this country don't really exist. There are no autographed cards, no game jersey cards, and no $100 lotto-packs. Instead you'll find a lot of what we had in this country 20 years ago: cheap base sets and Panini stickers.

2007/08 Topps Match Attax is actually a CCG; but despite this, it's pretty comprehensive -- which is more than what you can say about most baseball card sets these days. The set has 360 cards (18 players for each of the 20 EPL teams) with 40 of those (two for each club) designated as "Star Players." Each of the Star Players are printed on foil-board and are short-printed at the rate of 1:2/packs. In addition, there is a sixty-card (three per side) insert called "Man of the Match." MotMs are 1:5/packs.

There's also one other difference -- a big one if you ask me -- between European and American sports cards: cost. Each six-card packet (and that's what they call them over there, "packets") cost only 35p. That's about $0.65US.

Unfortunately, I opened all five packs packets and collated them without duly noting (as I usually do) what each individual pack packet had. So here's what I got in all five:

Base: 29 of 360 (8.06%)
short-set: 28 of 320 (8.75%)
Star Players: 1 of 40 (1:2) S. Bywater
1 Man of the Match (1:5) C. Ronaldo

I received, perhaps, the worst possible Star Player and the best possible MotM insert.

First, the worst: Stephen Bywater started last season as the #1 goalkeeper for newly-promoted Derby County. Derby finished the 2007-08 season with a record of one win, eight draws, 29 losses and a goal differential of -69 -- the worst in the 16-season history of the EPL. Bywater was loaned out to Ipswich Town during the January transfer window, which in footy-speak is the equivalent of being sent down to Triple-A. "Star Player?" Ha!

On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player on the planet. There is no better card to pull out of a pack, errr..., packet of Match Attax than a Man of the Match of Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro.


2008 Bowman Chrome

Here's the second annual "Bowman Chrome Is A Crappy Rip" memorial post. Three cards per pack and this year there isn't even a prospect in every pack. What the hey? It's got Joba on the pack though so buy it up kiddos, don't worry about that injury at all...

71 John Maine
BCP194 David Bromberg
112 John Lackey

I've seen worse... Lackey is a good pitcher but so were Pat Hentgen and Mike Scott and no one cares a flip about them anymore. John Maine will probably go to Dinged Corners where he'll be appreciated. I did manage to get a prospect at least although they are one in every other pack for some reason. Isn't Bowman home of the Rookie card? Or at least home of the Prospect Loophole To Get Around The New MLB Rookie Logo Rules card? The card #194 spooked me too, until I realized that Bowman already had cards 1-110 for Bowman Chrome. 200 short printed cards in one set would be cruel. The prospect I got is pretty good at least. David went 9-0 in the rookie league he pitched in last year. The record is not as good in the A-league he is pitching in this year but 169 strikeouts in 143 innings sure is. In five years or so after Dave has had his mandatory trip to Dr. James Andrews he might be a pretty good rookie pitcher! Unfortunately for me the only one of this cards that will be worth anything then are his autographed LudicrousFractor cards, this is just a lowly base card and base cards are for chumps according to Beckett and the message boards. This was a good pack rip though for one reason: While searching Google for David Bromberg I found a cool blues/jazz/country/weirdness guitar player that I wasn't familiar with before. The three bucks I spent on this pack is well worth the cool music I'll be listening to the rest of the day.