Thursday, April 30, 2009

1995 Topps Stadium Club Series 2

14 Super Premium Baseball Cards. 50 cents. Series 2. Let's go back 14 years and see what living was like.

430 - Kevin Mitchell (Mitchell was pretty huge in the late '80s, but then he floated around a few ballclubs in the '90s. He's probably best known for that 1-handed catch.)
389 - Juan Castillo

274 - Todd Zeile (I wish this photo didn't have most of the baseball cropped out of it.)

288 - Paul Shuey (This is both Shuey's "MLB Debut" card and his "League Leader" card. The card fails to mention exactly what he led the league in, however.)
432 - Brian Anderson
293 - David Hulse
335 - Devon White (Devo was a pretty solid player.)

413 - Josias Manzanillo (Not only am I not convinced that Josias was a real player, I'm fairly sure that's not even a real Mets uniform.)

318 - Frank Thomas Best Seat in the House (Wow.)

309 - Cecil Fielder (Cecil is feeling contemplative, wondering what his relationship with his son will be like in the future perhaps.)
365 - Bill Swift
- Club Membership form

188 - Pedro Astacio Virtual Reality (Last time I posted a pack from this era someone explained to me that "virtual reality" meant that a player's stats were extrapolated for a full season as if the strike of 1994 never happened. Maybe that was "cyberstats", though. I'm confused. In any case, I don't understand these parallels.)
379 - Jesus Tavarez

403 - Carlos Baerga Cover Story (The cover is better than the story, I think. I wonder if Baerga has ever been to wherever he's supposed to be perched in front of.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2008-09 Topps Basketball

Ah, the NBA Playoffs. Killer of dreams, crusher of... holy crap, that's embarrassing. I suddenly feel a lot better about the Blazers series.

Here's some basketball cards.

113 - Nate Robinson (Shamefully participated in obviously scripted 2009 Slam Dunk festivities.)
1 - Chris Paul (Couldn't they have found a better picture for the Topps coverboy? I wonder if Chris Paul is in hiding after last night.)

9 - Tony Parker (The lights are almost out on the Spurs era. Tony Parker is now basically their best player.)
82 - Corey Maggette (I'm absolutely shocked that this guy has spent 9 consecutive seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.)

47 - Andrei Kirilenko (The Jazz were eliminated last night. I was hoping they'd at least make the Lakers sweat a little bit.)
154 - Eddy Curry

IGIO - Taurean Green / Sidney Green In The Genes (Taurean Green was drafted by the Blazers and then sent to Denver late in the season for Von Wafer when the Blazers were short on shooting guards. Wafer apparently had a lousy work ethic and didn't stick with the Blazers, but found a way to get back at them by playing for lousy rotten Houston in the playoffs this season. Meanwhile, Taurean spent the entire season playing in Spain and his father Sidney was just a solid pro.)
- Checklist 2 of 2
96 - Kirk Hinrich (Hinrich has been relegated to backup PG duty, but has been heavily involved in the Bulls bid to knock off the defending chumps Boston.)

192 - Alex English (I got to witness English score his 25,000th point in person. He was playing in his final season, with Dallas, and it happened to be my first NBA game. The Blazers won, of course!)
105 - Cuttino Mobley (I think he retired.)

195 - Hakeen Olajuwon

184 - Jo Jo White (Solid!)
- Students: Work Hard, Get Cards. Greg Oden: Work Hard, Get Fouls.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

2008 Upper Deck Spectrum

These cards came 4 in a pack in a repack box. I forgot to check the wrapper to see if they really were four to a pack or if that is just what *I* got when I opened the repack. I did say at one point that I was swearing these off, right? Ah, but that is where true addiction comes into play, isn't it?

We've got J.J. Hardy (Brewers) and Don Mattingly (Yankees - Stadium Legacy). According to the back of his card, Hardy was being compared to Robin Yount. I don't follow the Brewers (or much of things in general) so I have no idea if that still rings true or not. Mattingly's card recounts his 100th home run in old Yankee Stadium on 5/15/90.

Ex-triber Brandon Phillips (Reds) and Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) are depicted here. Phillips was on a fast track of self-improvement at this time, giving the Reds a hand in hits, homers and batting average. Ramirez was doing something similar in Florida, focusing on hits, steals, doubles and batting average. In 2007, he was one of two players to get 200 hits for the team in a season. Not too shabby.

As for the cards themselves, I like the colors and design of the Spectrum, I guess. The player pics should have been bigger though. I mean, that *IS* why we buy these little bits of cardboard in the first place, right?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1994 Score Select Series 2

I've had a fairly fond appreciation for 1993 Score Select over the years. To me, it was a much better attempt at a "premium" type set for Score than the Pinnacle brand and it played off of the fairly recent trend of throwing in horizontal card designs along with the traditional vertical cards. 1993 was the cutoff period in my card collecting days, however, and after purchasing this pack I'm wishing it was from the previous year. The design gives me a headache.

311 - Alex Fernandez

373 - Sean Berry (I'm not sure who Sean Berry is, but he played for the Expos and that's all that matters.)
334 - Eddie Taubensee (Eddie is wearing a white Reds hat. When is the last time the Reds had those?)

389 - Steve Trachsel 1994 Rookie Prospect (Whenever I hear the phrase "worst pitcher in baseball" for some reason Steve Trachsel's name always comes up. Maybe it was the McGwire home run, or maybe it's the fact that he hung around so long without ever doing anything well. Er, yeah, let's go with the latter.)

321 - Omar Vizquel
412 - Rob Butler 1994 Rookie Prospect

401 - Rikkert Faneyte (This is photographic evidence that someone actually named Rikkert Faneyte played a baseball game at some point. The. Next. Barry. Bonds.)

299 - Jim Thome
219 - Dave Hansen

261 - Kent Hrbek (It's sad to say that I actually think I like the backs of these a lot better than the fronts.)
247 - Greg McMichael (McMichael was the Braves closer for at least a portion of the 1993 season.)

234 - Jeff Bagwell (Bagwell must have a pack of Bubble Tape in his rear pocket.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier

This is the final pack of 1991 O-Pee-Chee cards that I got from Motherscratcher at the beginning of April. Now, THIS pack features some greats!

Jeff Conine (Royals), Eddie Murray (Dodgers), and Luis Sojo (Angels) come out of the pack first. Eddie Murray!? Sweet. Jeff Conine!? Cool. I have him (and Murray of course) in my non-Indians collection. I really have no rhyme or reason for a lot of the players I have in there.

Pat Tabler (Blue Jays), Barry Bonds (Pirates), and Vince Coleman (Mets) are up next. Anyone remember Bonds when he was thin and one of the most hated, er disliked, players in Pittsburgh? It's a shame, really.*

And, the last card in the pack is ..... Dale (expletive) Murphy (Phillies)! Holy friggin cow! That is awesome. I do have to say, though, he does not look right when he is shown in anything other than a Braves uniform...

*No reason for the asterisk, other than there seems to always be one whenever his name is mentioned... Wonder why that would be? (Yes, Sheldon, that's sarcasm)

Monday, April 20, 2009

2007 Topps Opening Day

Can you go wrong with two-year old gum? It's even still in the wrapper. Surely gum has a longer shelf life than a couple years, right? The gum lost some of its flexibility, as it bent one direction, but when I tried to straighten it back out, I broke it. It certainly has that powdery sugar coating on it. The small piece I broke off and popped in my mouth crumbled as I tried to chew it. It's a lot like eating a Razzle - with about the same flavor. What didn't disintegrate in my mouth actually formed a small bit of chewable gum with very little flavor. I spit it out. Well, I suppose I could get some cards for my good grades. If only I had a participating location near me. Better yet, if I had ANY location near me...

Adam Lind (Blue Jays), Adrian Beltre (Mariners), Bernie Brewer (umm, I'll let you guess which team)

Drew Anderson (Brewers), Chad Billingsley (Dodgers), and Checklist card. Wow, the whole set, including inserts, fits on one card. That is some seriously small font sizing we got there, Tex.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1992 Fleer

More 1992 Fleer from Motherscratcher!

Break out the blue and orange and book your stay, leading off is Howard Johnson (Mets). Glenn Sutko (Reds), John Ramos (Yankees), and Kevin Appier (Royals) are up next. I always did like Appier, but have no real reason for it. Weird. Jeff Russell (Rangers), Jim Thome (WAHOO! Indians), Ivan Calderon (Expos), Mark Davidson (Astros), and Pat Clements (Padres) finish up this first group. Thome sure looked young then...

Edwin Nunez (Brewers), Don Slaught (Pirates), and Carlton Fisk (White Sox) lead off. I have to say, the black text on these cards is sharp. Too bad Fleer didn't just use black text for all the cards. How cool to pull a Fisk!! Gary Carter (Dodgers), Cal Ripken/Joe Carter (Orioles/Blue Jays - The Indispensibles II), Willie Banks (Twins Prospects), Jack Morris (Twins), and Gerald Perry (Cardinals) finish things up.

Dang, Fisk followed by Carter and Ripken plus Joe Carter... This is 90's collecting heaven here... Well, close anyway, right?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2008-09 Upper Deck Lineage

The NBA Playoffs are underway. In honor of this, I picked up an Upper Deck Lineage basketball pack at Target today. I have no idea what this set is all about, but I assume from the wrapper that it's some sort of NBA equivalent of Upper Deck Timeline. You can also apparently collect some Michael Jordan legacy cards. I think if you have a "legacy", it should include your washed-up Wizards years, Mike. The Blazers/Rockets series starts tonight - let's see if I get a Blazers or Rockets card. It could be a sign!

22 - Alonzo Mourning (Nice card using the design of the first set from 1991-92.)

13 - Dominique Wilkins (I love 'Nique. I wish they could have showed him dunking or something, though. The Hawks are pretty much my go-to Eastern Conference team now that Patrick Ewing is long gone.)

65 - Michael Redd (I guess all of these cards have the same design. That's kind of boring. Redd suffered a season-ending injury.)

116 - Andres Nocioni (Here's the back design. No text other than stats, really. The Bulls beat the Celtics in Boston this afternoon, which is great. Kevin Garnett is out for the playoffs, though, so they didn't have much of a chance anyway.)

190 - Al Horford (Another Hawk, Al Horford. I get Hawks like crazy, at least in the few packs that I've purchased this season. I always get Al Horford and Al Thornton mixed up.)

179 - Acie Law IV (I'm not sure how Acie Law made it into this set. Maybe it's a huge set. Maybe it's just very Atlantacentric.)

Now, back to your regularly scheduled baseball card postings, already in progress. (Go Blazers!)

2004 Upper Deck 1st Pitch

Brent Mayne in Royals white and blue makes a play at the plate, or so it seems. Doesn't matter, as the card says he was signed by Arizona. If I had to guess, it looks like maybe Delgado is the player on the ground. Jay Payton moved from the Rockies to the Padres, but not before breaking a bat for all posterity.

Derek Jeter (Yankees), Danny Bautista (Diamondbacks), and Delmon Young (Devil Rays Star Rookie) are the last three players in the pack. I never saw the problem with calling them 'Devil Rays.' To me, it sounds more impressive than just 'Rays.' To me, that makes it sound like a bunch of guys with the same name all play for the same team. In fact, I think they should aim for that - only hire players named Ray.

Oh, and if this was any date prior to September 30, 2004, we could add this "D" to our collection to 'Spell and Win.' We could have won an auto'd baseball from an unnamed person. Maybe I'm missing the incentive to play here...

Friday, April 17, 2009

2007 Topps Series Two

A lot of the packs I've been breaking this month and showing on here came from a 16-pack re-pack box that was put together by "Beckett Associates." I have to say, this is one of the worst re-packs I've had. Several packs did not even have the number of cards PER PACK in them. I don't subscribe to the whole 'mojo' thing, so if I get game-used or not has no bearing on my pack-opening experience. Having said that, at least one serial/auto/game-used would have been a nice touch.

The other thing I noticed is that in several "series One" packs, there were actually cards labeled "Series Two." This, to me, can only mean some sort of re-pack shenanigans going on. I don't care if the boxes these cards came from were 'searched' but I have a real problem with PACKS that have obviously been opened, searched and repacked then resealed to appear factory-new. That's flat fraud in my book. Of course, until I get "Bipped" there is no way to 'prove' it's happening to the District Attorney. So, instead, I'll just post what I found.

Jeff Cirillo (Twins - not to be confused with Chris Pirillo), Kei Igawa (Yankees - one for Dinged Corners!), Kenny Lofton (Rangers - before his brief appearance with the Tribe later)

Jay Payton (A's-to-Orioles Trading Places) and an Opening Day White Sox vs Indians at US Cellular. Hey, It's technically a Tribe card, right?

Work Hard, get cards. Anyone have kids that have actually cashed in on this little program? I should have. And, finally, Sean Casey (Tigers). He had a brief stint with the Indians, but even I have to admit he seems most out of place when not donning a Reds uniform.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2008 Topps Series 1

It's funny now to think how "old" the 2008 series cards seem already. I don't know if that's a by-product of card blogging or what. In any case, here is some 'old skool' '08 Topps Series One:

Roger Clemens (Yankees), Jeff Kent (Dodgers), and Byung-Hyun Kim (Marlins) are the first three cards out of the pack. For what its worth, Kent is featured on some pretty cool Indians cards...

Brad Penny (Dodgers), Kevin Kouzmanoff (Padres), and Mark Grudzielanek (Royals) complete a trio of blue and gold dots. Kouzmanoff walked on the field for the Tribe, hit a grand slam on the first pitch, and was promptly sent to the Padres. Go figure.

Hanley Ramirez (Marlins - 50th Anniv card), Felix Hernandez (Mariners - YIR card), and a checklist... The 50th Anniversary cards are kinda cool for the whole retro thing that card companies seem to be stuck in. The 'Year-in-Reivew' is one of those cards the girls at Dinged Corners like 'cause it's kinda 'newspapery!' (I'm pretty sure I just made that word up unless they used it before me)

Jamey Carroll (Rockies) and Wladimir Balentien (Mariners) close up the pack. I have to admit, I had to check the back of the card to make sure Balentien's name actually started with a "W..."