Friday, July 31, 2009

Cali vs World contest - Pack 2

Cali started strong in the first pack with a 6-3 lead. Let's see what happens in pack the second of the contest.

Kevin Seitzer - Led the league with 207 hits as a rookie and could not win the ROY award. Can you guess why? Answer below.
Jose Guzman (PR)
Tom Nieto (Downey, CA)
Manny Trillo (Venezuela)
Jack Morris - Looks like he's wondering what it's like to be in the Hall of Fame. He was so very good, but not quite all-time great.
Eddie Whitson
Les Lancaster
Rick Leach
Mike Henneman - Birmingham on the back. Here we go Barons, here we go (clap, clap)!
Wade Boggs All-Star - The first floating head all-star so far.
Les Straker (Venezuela)
Bill Pecota (Redwood City, CA)
Ken Caminiti (Hanford, CA)
Paul Molitor - 21 years of close contact with a piece of gum has left the back of this card a little bit yucktastic. Click for a high-res view if you can stomach it.
Alejandro Pena (DR)
Tim Conroy (a dupe already?)
Matt Young (Pasadena)
Tom Kelly
Johnny Ray
Tim Raines All-Star - All floating heads will be scanned. Is what I do.
Mel Hall
Stan Musial - Turn Back the Clock - I loved this subset and wish they'd bring it back.

Niekro Brothers Record Breaker - Most Wins by two brothers. This is why I'm sometimes glad I don't have a brother, because if I did, I'm sure he'd be the kind of brother that would make a 22-year, 221-win MLB career good for second place at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Mark McGwire (Pomona) - I had a school folder of this card. I loved it. McGwire's rookie record 49 home runs in '87 are why Seitzer did not win the ROY.
Earnie Riles
Scott Bailes
Jim Rice - Turn Back the Clock

Dave LaPoint


Cali: 5
World: 4
Bama Boys: still none. Where my frogs at?

After two packs Cali leads the World 11-7. Get those guesses in to me by midnight Monday night.

2009 Bowman Retail

I guess I was just trying to be different when I picked up this pack. Everyone is either still talking about O-Pee-Chee (which I refuse to buy) or Allen & Ginter (which I would practically rob your mother for if given the opportunity), and somewhere in between fell a set like this. Anyway, there was no good reason for me shelling out $2.99 for this pack, but I did it anyway. Enjoy.

69 - Daisuke Matsuzaka (He's been pretty terrible this year, which is kind of surprising. I think he ended up on the DL.)
190 - Kosuke Fukudome

58 - James Shields (The enormous space for the autographs really ruins what is almost a pretty solid card design.)

BP45 - Wilson Ramos - Prospect
BW4 - Michel Enriquez - WBC (Apparently he was a member of Team Cuba)

173 - A.J. Pierzynski Gold (The requisite one-per-pack gold parallel.)

BCW7 - Gift Ngoepe WBC Chrome (There are two promised Chrome cards per pack, and both of mine in this pack happened to be WBC players that I've never heard of. I chose to single out this guy because his first name is Gift.)
BCW18 - Tao Bu WBC Chrome (Yeah, I know. I first read his name outloud as Tae Bo. You did it, too. Don't pretend like you didn't.)
108 - Jermaine Dye

212 - Fernando Perez (RC)

Bowman packs have always intrigued me, for some reason. I like the variety of cards you can get, but I think the sort of unfocused nature of this set (I got 5 base cards out of a 10 card pack, for example) makes it a difficult sell to the average person. I might buy another pack or two down the road. I could certainly think of worse things to spend cash on.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1989 Star Minor League

To keep you all waiting with bated breath for the second pack of the Cali vs World contest, here's a pack that should be really awful. This is the first pack from a $9.99 repack box from Championship Collection Trading Cards. I have very low expectations here. This pack will have ten cards. If I recognize a single player, I will be surprised. Keep in mind I played Roto starting in 1993. A lot of those players would have been in the minors in 1989.

Willie Mota - Never made it past AA. The stats on the back support my expectation of the quality of this set.
Bert Heffernan - Made it to the majors. For 11 AB. Got 1 hit, which was a double. I'm guessing that ball is on display in his house.

Matt Current - Never made it past A ball.

Dan Segui - I assume he's related to David Segui, who had a 14-yr big league carreer. Dan, though, retired after 4 seasons of Rookie and A ball.

Julian Yan - More like Who?lian Yan. This guy I respect. He played minor league ball from 1986 to 1996, the last 4 seasons in AAA. Then, at age 30, no major league organization needed his services as a AAA benchwarmer any more. So he played in the Independent Leagues, and in the Mexican league, for the NEXT. ELEVEN. YEARS. For the love of the game, this guy. I believe I am going to hold on to this card. This guy is a baseball lifer, even though he never made it to The Show.
Bruce Schreiber - Made it to AAA in the Pirates organization, but never cracked a big league roster.

Pete Rose, Jr - Okay, this so doesn't count as a player I recognize. But guess what? This guy once hit on my sister at a dance club in Birmingham. She says he was a jerk. True story. I think I'll give this card to her for her b'day.
Doug Piatt - Made the bigs in 1991, and pitched well for the Expos. six more years in the minors, and he hung up the spikes.

Beau Allred - Got 200 PA for the Indians from 89 to 91.

Tim Nedin - Never made it past A ball.

I've shown you the only halfway-interesting photos. Here's the uniform lot of the rest of them:
So, yeah, that was about what I expected. Keep an eye out for the second pack of the contest tomorrow.

Cali vs World contest - Pack 1

Here's the first pack of the contest. Get those guesses in to me before the clock strikes midnight Monday night.

Brett Butler (L.A.) - Nice. A leadoff hitter to lead off the contest.
Jim Sundberg
Eric Show (Riverside, CA)
Lloyd Moseby - Decent hitter, but this pose tells me he was a Hall of Famer with the ladies.

Jack Clark - Jack the Ripper with a classic follow-through shot.

Mario Soto (Dominican Republic)
Don Mattingly - Donny Baseball gets honorific card number 300 in this set. He wields the bat more like a pistol here.

Tim Conroy
Jim Traber
Bo Diaz (Venezuela) - One of the first cards I ever pulled was an 86 Topps Bo Diaz. Just seeing the name brings back memories of being ten years old and discovering this whole baseball card thing.
Dave Clark
Dale Murphy - Can't pass up the chance to scan a Murph.

Kirk Gibson - Looking like he just laid waste to a backdoor slider.

Shane Mack (L.A.)
Jose Cruz (Puerto Rico) - P.R. is a "self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States" (wikipedia). This counts as The World.
Rick Aguilera (San Gabriel, CA)
Mickey Tettleton
Jerry Reuss - Check out the small print. That, my friends, is called a career. He finished with 3600+ innings pitched in the big leagues with an ERA+ of exactly 100. Major league average starter for twenty-two seasons. Dunno about you, but I'd trade my day job for that one.

Darryl Strawberry (L.A.)
Jeff Hamilton
Danny Heep
Roger Clemens - Kids, you finish your motion with your weight over your front leg.

Graig Nettles (San Diego)
Nolan Ryan Record Breaker - 11th season with 200+ K's. He was a machine.
Bill Madlock
Ron Karkovice - Birmingham on the back. Let's go Barons (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)!

Bob Patterson
Bobby Bonilla


Cali: 6
World: 3
Bama Boys: (none. Where my dogs at?)

Cali leads 6-3 after 1 pack. In fact, L.A. equals the output of the world so far. Tune in soon for pack #2.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cali vs World contest

Is this A Pack A Day or is it A Pack Every Other Week? Let's break out of the season-long slump with a contest. Nothing cures all that ails ya like a good contest.

Here's the situation. I recently scooped ten unopened Cello packs of 1988 Topps off of the Bay for all of $0.99, shipping included. Don't ask me why. I plead Twinkies.

Here's the contest: I will bust these over the next couple weeks, about one pack per day. I will post each one, and I will keep two running tallies: players born in the state of California and players born entirely outside the U.S. Your job is to guess which side will win, and by what margin.

To play, just send an email to me ( {my posting name} at gmail dot com) with the subject line "Cali vs World". Your email should specify which side you think will win, and what the winning margin will be. Whoever guesses the correct side and comes closest on the margin will win fabulous prizes. Don't worry, you won't win the 280 cards of 1988 Topps. Unless you want them. Instead, you will win a bunch of cards of your favorite team, pulled from my collection. If you have a wantlist I'll see if I can't fill some holes in it, otherwise I'll pick some cards of your team at random. Don't expect the world here, folks. Expect some fun.

Of course, we need a tiebreaker. How about the total number of players pulled who were born in Alabama? Why Alabama? Because, well, Alabama! Alabama, Alabama, Alabama, Alabama. If you say it out loud several times in a row it stops making sense.

So, include in your entry email the total number of Bama Boys found in all ten packs.

Sidenotes: 1) I will count dupes. If I pull him twice, I count him twice. 2) The birthplace listed on the back of the card is final, even if further research may prove it wrong. 3) If the back of the card does not list a birthplace, the card will not count, no matter where the subject may have been born. 4) Entries must be in my inbox by midnight Central time Monday night, Aug 3rd. 5) Alabama!

Here's a grasshopper's-eye-view sneak peek from the first pack:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2009 Allen & Ginter

Has everyone abandoned this blog for the newer one? Apparently so. Well, I'm still here and I want to make a post. I'm shocked that no one has bombarded this site, like every other one, with 2009 Allen & Ginter. I guess I'll have to be the first.

I stopped by my favorite shop on Tuesday, for the first time in about two months. I soon came to realize that the previous owner sold the store one month ago. He wanted to spend some more time with his family. I can't say that I blame him. He was the only employee.

The new owners are a family and are long time customers of the previous owner. The family was actually looking into opening a shop in 1994, but the previous owner beat them to it. It's a natural fit and I'm still satisfied with the place.

I picked up two packs of 2009 Allen & Ginter to ease my craving for new product pack opening. The other pack was nice. I laughed out loud when I found the Hoaxes mini card of the collapse of the Wisconsin capitol building in 1933. This pack was more catered to my taste, so I'll show that one.

Let's begin.
138 - Garrett Atkins

I believe he was in the first ever Allen & Ginter pack I opened in 2007. In fact, I'm sure of it! Look at those squinty eyes. It's as if Garrett is thinking, "Not this guy again". Yes, Garrett, this guy. Again. The feeling is mutual.

7 - John Smoltz

I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but I really like this card. The splashes of red in the uniform really pop against the green. It doesn't hurt that green is my favorite color and this particular shade is pretty darn close to my favorite shade. I look into Smoltz' eyes and I see a man who can't believe he's that close to Delaware either.

116 - Charles Darwin

The well informed know this guy. The less informed seem to favor torches and pitchforks, right out of a Simpsons episode and of course from the Mary Shelley classic, History of a Six Weeks' Tour through a part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland; with Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva and of the Glaciers of Chamouni.

Why, what were you thinking? Look into his eyes and you could almost make out Roddy McDowell's Cornelius.

176 - Ramiro Pena

Wow! He's got some talented people blocking him. Does he become the next Jeter or the next Stankiewicz?

112 - Millito Navarro

The first Puerto Rican to play in the Negro Leagues and the oldest living Negro League player at 103!

295 - Brett Gardner

Another Yankee. Another generic Ruthian pose. Yawn. But wait. What's going on with those eyes? Spooky.

200 - Carlos Quentin (Mini A&G back)

Sweet! My first White Sox Allen & Ginter for 2009 and it's a mini! There is celebration in the streets!

NP60 - Stephen Drew

An American. I was hoping for a cool foreign flag, but this is cool too.

All in all, not a bad pack. I love the Quentin mini and the Darwin card. There's something mesmerizing about the Smoltz card. I was hoping for a Negro League player and I got one. I was secretly hoping that it would be a player from the Chicago American Giants. You can't have everything. Maybe next time.