Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee Blaster Pack

Y'all didn't think I could let you go two whole days without another OPC blaster pack, did you? The best part is that this is just pack number six. We're not even halfway done with this bad boy.

Andy Laroche - I like this card a lot. New project: assemble a panorama of cards that show players in their fielding positions moments before the pitch. Preferably all taken from the same angle--looks like a little bit down the first base line. I think I can use the Tejada from the last pack.

Brian Buscher - He may be a baseball player, or he may just be some guy in uniform that found a ball.

Jon Rauch - Erstwhile DBack. At one point in his DBacks tenure I would have been glad to see him go, as he generally stunk up the joint when he pitched. But he's done much better the past few months, so it's a bit bittersweet. Also, he's the tallest player in MLB history. At 6'11", he was one half of the legendary DBack frontcourt last year with power forward Randy Johnson.

Chris Getz (Black Border) - For a dark-gray-background posed studio shot, this one isn't terrible.

Rick Porcello - Looks like a high school senior, but he's much older than that. In fact, he will be old enough to buy alcohol right after Christmas this year. He's also already started 24 games in the big leagues, with an ERA+ of 107. What were you doing the summer before you turned 21?

Joey Gathright - Lighter background = better studio shot. Am I repeating repeating myself?

You know I'll be back tomorrow. You know you can't wait.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee Blaster Pack

This blaster pack pleads the fifth.
Miguel Tejada - 1) I like the card; Miggy looks all intense, ready for the pitch. 2) There's enough scoreboard showing that we should be able to play What Game Is This From. Who is up for it? First one with the correct answer gets a few cards from my collection.

Adam Wainwright - About to throw a breaking ball. Pujols squats in the background.

Randy Wolf (Black Border) - I admit, I like getting one black-bordered card per pack. I have no rational explanation. Apparently the contrived parallels approach can work even on someone as stony and stubborn as me.

Cincinnati Reds Team Checklist - Good lord what a beautiful view.

Francisco Liriano - Conspicuously not showing a slider grip.

Endy Chavez - How is this guy still playing in the big leagues? He's a terrible hitter, and his defense isn't great. He did make one of the all-time best postseason catches in the 2006 NLCS.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee Blaster Pack

Blaster pack number four.
Vernon Wells - It's official: I like the lighter colored background on the studio poses, though I think they pop more with a black-bordered card.

David Weathers - Pitching in his 19th season this year, with an ERA+ of 103 in 1350 IP.

Clint Barmes - This card has a dark gray background, therefore I don't like it.

Atlanta Braves Team Checklist (Black Border) - I hate Turner Field. It's one big advertisement delivery vehicle. Count the number of ads you see here. Eight big ones, plus Mitsubishi gets their name and logo on the bottom of the big screen. I'd rather go to a high school game where I can just watch baseball. And save $100.

Kevin Jepsen - I think this is a rookie card, but it's hard to be sure.

Nomar Garciaparra - Married a world-class soccer player, so he pretty much wins, even if he's not all that great at baseball anymore. Look, he doesn't even remember the right way to hold a bat.

I need to have a talk with my scanner about how to discover the bottom edge of a card.

If anyone cares about these codes, leave a comment. Otherwise, I'll stop scanning them.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee Blaster Pack

This is pack the third from a blaster. My scanner had difficulties finding the bottom of the first two cards. Dunno why. Any scanner experts out there can clue me in?

Matt Diaz - For a backup catcher, you could do far worse.
Grady Sizemore - Young, handsome, talented, and wealthy. I hate him. His early career doesn't look quite HOF-caliber, but if he can turn in a stellar 5-year run and have a long and gentle decline phase, he can get there.

Derrek Lee (Black Border) - I normally don't like studio shots on a card, but for some reason this one clicks for me. Maybe it's the white background and the no-nonsense stare. This just looks like an old-school card.
David Patton - Yeah, it's the gray background I don't like.

Geovany Soto - Three straight Cubbies. There's nothing quite as exciting as a catcher with zero career SBs on the basepaths, wreaking havoc.
Andy Pettitte - Such a shame--if you photoshop the cameraman out of this shot, you have a really nice card. He's looking at the viewer and about to tip his cap. A nice moment to see on a card.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2008 Bowman

This is the last pack from the veryverybad repack.

Ryan Howard - This is my favorite card I've opened this year. What is the big fella doing? My best guess is he is telling the runner coming home to slide. But that's not why this card is awesome. Check out the guy in the first row:

It's a freaking ZZ Top leprechaun. Can this be real, or did some photo artist at Topps have a little fun with this one? Help me out, Phillies fans. Is this guy behind the home dugout a lot?

Melvin Mora
Bartolo Colon
Dontrelle Willis - Looks like he's warming up in a dugout somewhere.
Adrian Gonzalez - Is having a career peak year right now. I'm surprised the Pads didn't deal him at the deadline.
Angel Reyes (Prospect) - A baseball nobody with about zero chance of playing in the majors.

Bobby Parnell (Prospect) - An actual big leaguer, but not a very good one.

Wesley Wright (Chrome Prospect) - Shoot yes, a Bama Boy! Not a very good big leaguer, but he's from Montgomery, so he goes in the Bama binder.

Jonah Nickerson (Chrome Prospect) - A 24yr-old doing poorly in AA.

Jason Varitek (Gold) - I like the way the gold signature looks. The scan did not pick it up well. I probably wouldn't mind getting the DBacks set of these.

That's about what I expected from Bowman. I never buy packs of Bowman because I don't want cards of unknown career minor leaguers. That said, I do tend to like the designs and will pick up the DBack vets in trades when I can. I think the golds look rather nice.

That wraps up the repack. I won't buy one from Champion again, but I will buy others, if for no other reason than to have material for APAD. First I have an OPC blaster to make all of you sick of. Stay tuned tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee

The second pack from a blaster.

Mike Gonzalez - Sweet, another closer. And I like this shot. Can someone identify the Phillie in the background, please?
Jeff Clement - Is he posing for a sculptor?
Carlos Delgado--2008 Highlights and Milestones - So a guy goes off for nine RBI in a game, including a slam and a 3-run jack, and you have a picture of him seated on the dirt, with his glove up? In game in which he did not play in the field?
Alex Gordon--Black Border - Pointing the cannon at you.
The back says Alex is "primed to have a breakout year in 2009." I think it's fair to say they missed the mark on that one. He has an OPS+ of 64 in 110 PA. Granted, he missed three months with a hip injury, but still--that is not a breakout. He ain't no fortunate one, no.

Angels Checklist - The stadium view on the front is nice. The checklist on the back shows card number, player, and position. There's no 1B listed. Did they not expect Kendry Morales to show up this year? Or did they just have to have six outfielders make the set? They couldn't do without Reggie Willits?
Rich Aurilia - I'm always impressed by folks who pinpoint a particular game from the photo on a card. This one seems like a challenge.
I'll give mega-double-super sleuthing points to someone who can name the game. Looks like a day game in San Fran in 2008, with Aurilia playing 1B, and making a play in the field that involved an underhand toss. Meanwhile, and this is key, the league scoreboard shows a score of 1 to 1 in the bottom of the 1st inning (I think) for the game in the bottom righthand side of the list. Someone amaze me, and I'll send you a prize package. Perhaps similar to this one that got sent to Zach.

Last but not least, there's this:

Monday, August 24, 2009

2009 OPC Blaster Pack - When Pitchers Attack!

This is the first pack from a blaster.
Chad Qualls - Oh heck yes! First card out of the gate is the DBacks closer. Getting him plus Chris Burke and Juan Gutierrez for Jose Valverde two seasons ago was a pure steal. Burke was a throwaway, but Gutierrez has value as an average bullpen arm, and even Qualls for Valverde straight up is still a win.
Jorge Campillo - Is he trying to look intimidating there? Because that's Randy Johnson's shtick.
Bobby Jenks--Black Border - That's two closers in three cards. I like to keep a stack of all current MLB closers on my desk. This will update them somewhat.
Brian Duensing - Showing us how to grip the four-seamer. It's all about the fingertips, kids.
Jon Lester - The card back says Jon "appears to be emerging into a frontline starter." I hope not, because that would be painful for both Lester and the frontline starter in question.
Rich Hill - Gives us a more complete view of the four-seamer grip. Quite an instructional pack, this one.

Have fun, kids. More of these to come, so keep hitting F5. But not till tomorrow.