Thursday, April 30, 2009

1996 Part 10 - Score

For 1996, Score issued a 517-card set in two series. The cards were printed on white card stock and are pretty thin. Score first appeared in 1988 and I've never really cared for them. This set is no exception. I think it's pretty boring and very derivative of other sets from the period, such as Collector's Choice. The cards are glossy and feature a large picture on the back. The base cards mostly featured vertically oriented cards with horizontally oriented backs. The base card I chosed to represent the set also has a horizontal front. I have a number of Ripken cards celebrating his milestone consecutive games played streak. Score also included an insert card of the milestone inserted at 1:300 packs.

I never bought much of this when it was new. I guess that about half of the 1996 Score cards I have now I got in repacks. I suspect there is a lot of unopened packs of this around.

Cal Ripken Jr. #60
Mark Wohlers # 202. One of several subsets, this one featured pitchers.
F. P. Santangelo #256. The rookie cards featured a different design from the base card for the front and back.
Jim Edmonds #359. Another subset, the Star Struck cards featured players who had a good year in 1995.
Greg Maddux #275. A Chase Program Checklist card. This was a listing of the insert cards available. I think this is Greg Maddux.
Dante Bichette #271 National League Checklist Card. I always prefer checklist cards which are part of the set and feature a player photograph.
Score Dugout Collection

This is a parallel set with a gold foil border and the Dugout Collection logo on the back. These were inserted 1:3 packs. The parallel set only had 110 cards in it.

Barry Bonds $65. I'm pretty sure I pulled this from a pack in 1996. According to Beckett the Dugout Collection cards are worth up to 4x the regular cards.

Johnny Damon #103. Remember when Damon played with the Royals?
Jason Isringhausen #105. Jason was 9-2 in his 1995 rookie year as a starter but only 6-14 in 1996. In 1999 he will be converted into a full-time reliever and save a lot of games for Oakland and St. Louis.

Score Dugout Collection Artist's Proof
Another parallel set. The Artist's Proof was a common theme in Pinnacle cards in 1996. These look pretty much the same as the regular Dugout Collection with the addition of the Artist's Proof label on the front. These were inserted 1:33 packs and I don't have too many of them.

Jim Thome #6. I actually have all three versions of this card.
Score Big Bats
This insert set was randomly inserted at 1:31 packs. It features a dufex foil background on the front and glossy back. There are 20 cards in the set. I'm pretty sure I pulled this from a pack back in 1996.

Score Diamond Aces
A 30-card insert set (1:8) found in Series 1 jumbo packs. I'm not sure where or when I got this. No, Bonds wasn't a Pirate in 1996, this card celebrates his 1986 season.

Score Dream Team
A 9-card insert (1:72). This would have been a hard pull. I bought this for $4.00 on eBay in September 2004. Beckett lists this card at $15.00 and therefore one of the top cards in the Score issue. It features a refractive foil background and is an attractive card.

Score Future Franchise
A 16-card insert set (1:72). Another tough pull which I paid $4.00 for in September 2004. Chipper was coming off is 1995 rookie season when he finished 2nd in the ROY voting. In 1996 he hit .309 and had 33 home runs. I think the future had arrived.

Score Gold Stars
A 30-card set inserted at 1:15 in Series 2 packs. I probably got this from a pack. It features a large gold foil bar and star on the bottom front. 1995 was Sanders best year. '96 ' and '97 saw limited playing time and he never really returned to the stats he had in 1995.

Score Numbers Game
Another 30-card set inserted at 1:15 packs. The back features a collection of impressive numbers from the player's career.

Score Reflexions
A 20-card set inserted at 1:15 in Series 1 packs. I paid $3.99 for this in September 2004. The background is dufex. I only have the one card but I think they were trying to stress the similarity of these two pitchers, Mike Mussina and Greg Maddox. Both had won 19 games in 1995.

There are 3 other insert sets which I don't have: Score All-Stars, Score Power Pace and Score Titanic Taters. eBay here I come. 5 minutes later: I've got one of each coming in the mail.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Manny Ramires 2000 Pacific Prism Premier Date 33/61

After cataloging the cards I got from Jim at gcrl, I realized that I had a card from every set that Pacific had published in 2000, except for Pacific Prism. Pacific had really gotten into the parallel set game by this time and I had no problem locating any number of parallels to the base set on eBay. So I bid on a bunch of them. The only base set cards I could find was the Pirates team set (only four cards). I won this bid and several for the parallels I'd bid on.

I lose eBay bids all the time but rarely am I as surprised by the final price as I was for this card. Beckett would have you believe that this card is worth in the neighborhood of $15. I was willing to pay $4-$5 for it and figured I had a good shot at that. The bidding opened at $0.99 and I bid the minimum. This was back on April 21. It's been busy at work and busy at home so I wasn't paying much attention to the auction. I got a notice I'd been overbid but forgot to rebid. Today I got notice that the bidding was over and that the winning bid was $104.50! I was flabbergasted. Here's how the bidding went:

w***i US $104.50 Apr-28-09 17:00:20 PDT
a***r US $102.00 Apr-28-09 16:58:22 PDT
a***r US $66.00 Apr-28-09 16:48:49 PDT
w***i US $59.99 Apr-28-09 10:53:59 PDT
a***r US $55.00 Apr-28-09 16:48:40 PDT
w***i US $48.87 Apr-23-09 20:17:15 PDT
w***i US $31.40 Apr-22-09 08:01:14 PDT
m***6 US $15.00 Apr-26-09 10:49:55 PDT
m***6 US $8.00 Apr-26-09 10:49:37 PDT
a***a US $1.49 Apr-21-09 17:58:24 PDT
o***p US $1.04 Apr-21-09 18:21:06 PDT
Starting Price US $0.99 Apr-21-09 17:00:23 PDT

In the last 12 minutes of the auction, the bid went from $55.00 to $104.50 with only two people bidding. I guess w***i just wanted it more.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oddball cards from Jim

Over the past few weeks I've posted a number of cards I got from JIm over at gcrl. I sent him a box of random Dodgers this morning. Hopefully he'll enjoy that as much as I enjoyed the box he sent me. All in all, over 50% of the cards he sent me were cards I didn't have. Since I've got a lot of Phillies and Astros cards, I think that's a good ratio. There were a few oddball cards in the box including these. It took some digging to figure out what they are.

This 24-card set was published by the Sports Star Publishing Company (SSPC) in 1975. The cards measure 3-9/16" by 4-1/4" and have a glossy photograph like finish.The back of the card is a puzzle which when put together reveal a black and white photograph of Nolan Ryan and Catfish Hunter. The back of the Luzinski card features Ryan's head. The back is rotated, it's not really wider than the front of the card.
The cards have no identifying information on them whatsoever. No copy write, no date, no name. One of them has the word Publishing on the back. It looks like it says Sports Star Card Publishing at the top of the b/w photo on the back.

Jim also sent this card of Dave Cash.
And this one of Cesar Cedano.
So how did I figure out what these were? I used this book.
This is a great resource for card collectors. Beckett publishes a similar book which I had purchased in 2004 but I think the Sport Collectors Digest is better. I have yet to come across a card I couldn't identify with this book.

To identify these cards I first had to figure out what year they were from. Dave Cash only played for the Phillies from 1974 to 1976 which narrowed the field down to probably 1975 to 1977. I ran down the index for 1975 cards, looking up sets which were likely candidates. The catalog includes a photo of the front and back of each card. And a full list of all the players in the set. It took me maybe 10 minutes to identify the set.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Song of the Week - Drunken Angel by Lucinda Williams

This song is from her breakout album in 1998, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Primarily known as a country singer, this album fused country, rock, blues and folk into one great sound. My relatives back in Philadelphia think she sounds too twangy so maybe I've been living in Texas too long. If you don't own this album, you should.

Sun came up it was another day
And the sun went down you were blown away
Why'd you let go of your guitar
Why'd you ever let it go that far
Drunken Angel
Could've held on to that long smooth neck
Let your hand remember every fret
Fingers touching each shiny string
But you let go of everything
Drunken Angel
Drunken Angel
You're on the other side
Drunken Angel
You're on the other side
Followers would cling to you
Hang around just to meet you
Some threw roses at your feet
And watch you pass out on the street
Drunken Angel
Feed you and pay off all your debts
Kiss your brow taste your sweat
Write about your soul your guts
Criticize you and wish you luck
Drunken Angel
Drunken Angel
You're on the other side
Drunken Angel
You're on the other side


Some kind of savior singing the blues
A derelict in your duct tape shoes
Your orphan clothes and your long dark hair
Looking like you didn't care

Drunken Angel
Blood spilled out from the hole in your heart
Over the strings of your guitar
The worn down places in the wood
That once made you feel so good
Drunken Angel
Drunken Angel
You're on the other side
Drunken Angel
You're on the other side
Sun came up it was another day
And the sun went down you were blown away
Why'd you let go of your guitar
Why'd you ever let it go that far
Drunken Angel Drunken Angel

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2001 Fleer Platinum

This was supposed to be a Thursday Night at the Movies post. Last week we had a choice of either Duplicity or Knowing. Both had been in the theater for awhile but I thought that Knowing would go first. So we saw that last week. Wouldn't you know it, the theater pulled Duplicity first. There's nothing else playing we wanted to see. The Soloist opens tomorrow which we're looking forward to.

So here's a short post about one of the myriad of confusing sets that Fleer put out over the past 10 years or so of their existence. I got the following two cards in the big box of cards that Jim at gcrl sent me. You may notice right away that the design is from the Fleer 1981 set. Fleer Platinum ran a few years and used some past year of Fleer as the design.Notice that the second card has a different logo. Here's where the confusing part comes in.
The Lugo card is from Series 1, the Redding card is series 2. They changed the logo on the 2nd series. More confusion. The 1st series had 301 cards. Cards 210 to 300 and 501 to 601 were short printed but not serial numbered. Card 301 was an Albert Pujols card which was not only short printed but also serial numbered to 1500.

Then there was a parallel set, serial numbered to 201. The cards which are short prints in the base set are numbered to 21 in the parallel set. Card 301 does not exist in the parallel set. I've never seen any of the parallel set.

This kind of stuff is one reason I'm not a set collector.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2009 A Piece of History

I paid $20 for a blaster box of this. There are 35 cards in the box. That works out to about 60 cents a card. I'm sorry but there's not much of value here. The cards look pretty much like last year's cards but the player photos are maybe 20% smaller. They've got gold foil this year and more of it.

This is the best card in the box.The only real star. I like Wright but he's not my favorite player by a long shot (sorry Lucy). The only card I got of a player I actually collect is this.
I collect Beckett but this is at best a 25 cent card (the Beckett catalog lists commons and minors from last year's set at 50 cents).

I got one Phillie card, Lou Marson (who?). This was among 5 rookie cards in the box).
And I got 8 Historical Moments cards. 22% of the cards in the box were not even baseball cards.
At least I did get my one in every box (on average) memorabilia card, making me 1 for 3 so far with Upper Deck this year. And look, Derrek Lee! OK, he's a pretty good player but is this what I paid $20 for? Derrek Lee jersey cards are going for less than 3 bucks on eBay.
I also got two parallel cards: an Adam Dunn blue (numbered to 199) and a Michael Young red (not numbered).

All in all, I think I dislike this product more than I did last year. Let's hope Upper Deck dumps it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Upper Deck First Edition - Shafted by Upper Deck Again

The box makes two promises (or one promise and a semi-promise). First off there is this:
There were 4 Star Quest cards in a separate cellophane wrapper. Jeter, Matsuzaka, Berkman (one of only three Astros in the box) and Johan Santana. I really don't care for these cards but at least three of them were players I collect.

Here's the semi-promise. 1 bonus pack in every box! On average. Are you kidding me? A bonus pack on average? My box only had 10 packs. This is the second Upper Deck box in a row (the other was Spectrum) where I got shafted by the average.
What about the card selection? Pretty poor in my opinion. There were 90 non-Star Quest cards in the box. Should be 3-4 cards of each team in the box (on average, argh). I got two Astros and two Phillies. Of the other 88 cards, only 6 were players I collect. Since I collect a lot of players, this is a poor selection. 7 of the 14 Star Quest were collectible. At least I only paid $10 for the box.

I also bought a box of Upper Deck Artifacts. Less cards, more money. I'll post that tomorrow.

Weird Card File - 2005 Topps Team Photo Cards

Pictured below are the 2005 Topps Heritage and Topps Indians team cards. Without looking too close, you would probably agree that these cards have the same photo. The color balance is different, but if you look closely, each player is posed the same in both pictures.
But look a little closer. On the Topps card there is an extra guy in the back row, on the far right. Did they take the shot and everyone held their breath while this guy stepped into or out of the frame for a second shot? Or was he photoshopped out (or in)? If so, why? Does anybody know who this guy is.

Now look at the Red Sox team cards.

Again, the color balance is different but the Topps card has 3 more guys, one on right side of each row.

These are the only team cards where I have both the Topps Heritage and Topps versions. Did they do this on every team card?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Song of the Week - Lawyers in Love by Jackson Browne

I have 6,640 songs in iTunes. This is one of them.

From the album of the same name. Sometimes you have to wonder how we survived the 1980s. I think the yodel is the best part.

I can't keep up with what's been going down
I think my heart must just be slowing down
Among the human beings in their designer jeans
Am I the only one who hears the screams
And the strangled cries of lawyers in love

God sends his spaceships to America, the beautiful
They land at six o'clock and there we are, the dutiful
Eating from TV trays, tuned into to Happy Days
Waiting for World War III while Jesus slaves
To the mating calls of lawyers in love

Last night I watched the news from Washington, the capitol
The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, like Russians will
Now we've got all this room, we've even got the moon
And I hear the U.S.S.R. will be open soon
As vacation land for lawyers in love

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday Night at the Movies - Knowing

The Houston Chronicle said if you see only one bad movie this year, make it Knowing. I expect we'll see worse movies this year but it will take some doing. In many ways, this was not a bad movie. The acting was perfectly adequate. If you like Nicholas Cage, you'll like him in this. The special effects were great. The way this movie was bad was the fact that it absolutely made no sense. The entire premise of the movie was negated near the end.


If you've seen the trailer (go ahead and watch it again, I'll wait) then you know that the premise of the movie is that a list of disasters was buried in a time capsule 50 years ago and that Cage's son ended up with the list. There are 3 disasters on the list which haven't happened yet but are going to happen in just a few days. Cage manages to be present at the first two, the plane crash and the subway crash. The circled numbers on the list are the dates of the events and the number of people killed. He figures out that the uncircled numbers on the list are the latitude and longitude of the event. The last event has no location but he finally figures out that the EE after the date (instead of a number) means "Everyone Else". There is no location. He does figure out the location but he believes it is where he has to take his son and the granddaughter of the girl who made the list so they will be safe. Safe from what, you ask? Safe from a massive solar flare which is going to wipe the earth clean of life. Did I mention that Cage is an astrophysicist? This whole complicated plot was to get Cage to bring the kids to a certain location so that aliens (yes, that's right, aliens) could rescue them. What happens that negates the whole plot? Cage is too slow to figure out the final location. So the aliens (the kids know them as the 'whisper people') kidnap the kids and bring them there themselves. If that was always an option, why this obtuse mystery that took a stroke of luck for Cage to even recognize? Also, it is clear at the end, that there were other alien ships, presumably rescuing other pairs of children. How many complicated schemes did they hatch to get the kids to the rescue points?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Phillies cards from Jim

Here are a bunch of Phillies cards from Jim at gclr . He sent me way too many to post or even list. Here are some of my favorites that I didn't have.

2000 Topps Gold Label Class 2 - Mike Leiberthal #67This was a nice set. The cards have a hard plastic finish. The Class 2 cards are like refractor cards.

2000 Upper Deck Legends Millennium Team - Mike Schmidt #3
An insert set to the Upper Deck Legends set. It has a refractive foil background and lots of silver foil. I had the Nolan Ryan from this set. Any Mike Schmidt cards are always welcome.

2001 Topps Reserve - Mike Lieberthal #94
I didn't have any cards from this set except for a couple of jersey card inserts.

2001 Upper Deck Reserve - Travis Lee #162
Another set I didn't have any cards from. Both Topps and Upper Deck put out a set called Reserve in 2001. I think I like the Topps card better. Travis Lee was so popular with the Phillies fans his nickname was "Travis Leave".

2001 Upper Deck Vintage - Bruce Chen #303
I think this set was Upper Deck's answer to Topps Heritage. But since in 2001, Upper Deck didn't have much of a heritage they had to invent a 'vintage' card design.

2002 Donruss Originals - Eric Junge #118
The Donruss answer to Topps Heritage. At least they had some history to draw on. I only have a few of these in my collection. In addition to the 1984 set, there were also cards with the 1982 and 1986 designs. There were probably other designs as well.

2002 Topps Archives Reserve - Robin Roberts #59
This set features reproductions of cards from previous years. Topps has not been shy about mining its long history for card designs. The Archive Reserve set was a refractor version of Topps Archive. Jim also sent me the Archives version of the Roberts card. Does anybody have any idea of how many card sets that Topps has issued with this 1952 design?

2002 Topps Ten - Jose Mesa #168
I had a couple of relic cards from this set but didn't understand the idea of the set. On the back of this card is a list of the top ten major league save leaders. Mesa was number 7. I guess there were cards for the top ten leaders in a number of stat categories. A pretty good theme idea for a set.

2003 Sweet Spot - Pat Burrell #52
This will go nicely with the only other card I have from this set which is Astro Roy Oswalt.

2003 Topps Opening Day Go The Distance
This is the back of one of these (Pat Burrell is on the front). Each pack of 2003 Opening Day came with one of these. The card is a miniature version of the Opening Day card (the picture has a gray background) with a trivia contest on the back. If you got the right answer you could mail it back to Topps for a chance at a fabulous prize (I don't remember what). You had to send it back one card to an envelope. I mailed a bunch of these back but didn't win a thing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Some more cards from GCRL

Jim, over at gclr sent me a bunch of cards. Among them were some real oddballs. What dies this look like to you?

It looks like the Phillies team card from the 1979 Topps set. But look at the back.
The color is off. And so is the card stock. It is printed on much thinner stock than the 1979 set. Based on a little research, I think this is from an uncut sheet of team cards which Topps offered via mail order. Here is the Phillies card from the 1980 sheet. The color difference on the back is very pronounced when compared to the regular set (which was a very dark blue).