Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball

Actual counting NBA games begin later tonight, including a Blazers/Rockets game that I'll be attending in Portland. Here's my first pack from the new season, which also happens to be from the last licensed NBA Upper Deck base set.

97 - Udonis Haslem (Key cog in the Miami Heat's championship run.)

165 - Greg Oden (Look out! Oden is threatening to have a huge year this year.)
35 - Josh Howard
85 - Sasha Vujavic (Ugh, Lakers.)

62 - Yao Ming (Sorry... not this year.)
48 - Richard Hamilton
128 - Chris Duhon (Duhon had the best season of his career last year with a dreadful team.)
134 - Russell Westbrook (I don't like UCLA and I don't like what they did to the Sonics.)

220 - B.J. Mullens Star Rookies (The third consecutive one-and-done Ohio State center, following Kosta Koufos and Oden.)

263 - Dominique Wilkins Immortals (As you can see here, Dominique played way back in the day before color TVs or cameras. He was known as the Human Reel-to-Reel.)
5 - Marvin Williams
171 - Rashad McCants
139 - Earl Watson (Bleh, another ex-Sonic. I can't blame it on the players, though.)

143 - Jameer Nelson (Nelson also had a career year last year.)
126 - James Posey (Posey was not the difference maker that the Hornets hoped he would be as they fell off a bit last year. I always thought he was pretty overrated when he played for Boston.)
94 - Mario Chalmers

70 - Troy Murphy
124 - Tyson Chandler

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1992 Skybox Garfield Premier Edition

While checking out a card shop in Skokie, Illinois, I found a huge bin of picked over packs of junk wax for fifty cents apiece. I struggled to find something to pick up. I finally chose a pack of baseball cards and this pack of Garfield cards.

I'm a sucker for most things Garfield. I was a collector of anything I could get my hands on, Garfield-wise, when I was younger. If it was in some way connected with the comic strip, I had to have it! I still appreciate Garfield, but my collecting lust for all things Garfield has waned.

At fifty cents, I couldn't pass this pack up! Let's see what I found in the pack.

#5 - Pooky
First appearance: 10-23-78
I love the fact that there are facts on the back of the card. This was not a set that phoned it in. Garfield found Pooky in a dresser drawer.

#90 - "I'll rise, but I won't shine"
I'm sure this made it on to a poster or at least a coffee mug at some point.
The back features a full color lounging Garfield and the caption, "Some say, 'Go for it!' I say, 'Make it come to you!'"

#47 - Garfield: The Cliffhanger Scene 2
"It's a swarm of killer gerbils!"
Apparently, there is a story somewhere among the card set.

#21 - Jon's Grandma
We've seen Jon's grandma in "A Garfield Christmas", where Garfield presented letters from her deceased husband as a present and in "A Garfield Thanksgiving", where she whipped up a Thanksgiving meal for Jon to impress Liz. I figured this would be a good opportunity to showcase the back of the card. It's very eye pleasing and chock full of information.

Bonus Tattoo
Moisten hand slightly. Apply "tattoo" color side down, pat gently. Peel off carefully. Now you are tattooed!

#71 - Virgo
Even horoscopes made it into this set!
August 23 - September 22
You are quick-witted... and you'll be the first to admit it. Industrious and meticulous, you always do a good job-- and look good doing it. But don't overdo it. Remember to take time to stop and eat the flowers.

#6 - Nermal
First appearance: 9-3-79
"The World's Cutest Kitten" was originally a kitten belonging to Jon's parents, but now he just wanders into Garfield's house from time to time.

#91 - Likes/Dislikes
Front - Favorite TV Show: Bowling For Donuts
Back - Least Favorite TV Show: Lassie's All-Night Theater

#48 - Garfield: The Cliffhanger Scene 3
A continuation of the storyline from earlier in the pack. The town was struck by an earthquake and the gerbil horde plunged into the bowels of the Earth, along with Garfield.

I am a huge Garfield fan and I had no clue that this set existed! There is some great artwork on display, some thorough information and new drawings. Good stuff!

I think sometime in the future, I may track down the complete set. I didn't get any of the randomly inserted holograms, but this was not a big, fat, hairy deal of a pack. It was a treat.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2009 Topps Chrome Baseball

One of the things that made Topps' 2009 flagship product such a critical success this year, but has gone mostly unheralded because of its position on the back of the card, is the bevy of interesting stats Topps included in an arching graphic on the back of each card. I'd like to share something interesting from each card in this pack of 2009 Topps Chrome (retail).

207 Mike Hinckley (RC) - According to this card, the Nationals lost no fewer than 11 games in 2008 due to a cause labeled as "league-wide indifference."

26 David DeJesus - In the off-season, David's family plays a variation of the game known as "Australian Rules Baseball," depicted in the photo here.

W65 Greg Halman - "Did You Know... that Greg is third in line of succession to take the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands?" As it turns out, the only citizens standing in his way are Johann Cruyff and Paul Verhoeven.

55 Daniel Murphy - Oddly enough, the Six Degrees of Mantle factoid is replaced on this card with the original Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Daniel Murphy plays with David Wright who once rented Zoolander starring Owen Wilson who tried to kill himself on the same day a home run was hit by Jason Bay who once fantasized about Denise Richards who was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon.