Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2011 Hall of Fame Candidates - Part 1

Roberto Alomar - 2002 Topps 20617-year career: 210 HR, .300 BA, 1,134 RBI, 474 SB, 12-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove

Carlos Baerga - 1992 Bowman14-year career: 134 HR, .291 BA, 774 RBI, 3-time All-Star

Jeff Bagwell - 2005 Zenith Z-Jerseys15-year career: 449 HR, .297 BA, 1,529 RBI, 4-time All-Star, 1991 ROY, 1994 NL MVP. My favorite guy on the list.

Harold Baines - 1985 Topps22-year career: 384 HR, .289 BA, 1,628 RBI, 6-time All-Star. A certain White Sox fan wonders why this guy isn't already in the Hall.

Bert Blyleven - 1987 Topps22-year career: 287-250, 3.31 ERA, 4,970 IP, 2-time All-Star

Bret Boone - 2003 Stadium Club Born in the USA Relics14-year career: 252 HR, .266 BA, 1,021 RBI, 3-time All-Star, 4-time Gold Glove

Kevin Brown - 1998 Topps Tek Diffractor19-year career: 211-144, 3.29 ERA, 3,256.3 IP, 6-time All-Star

John Franco - 2004 Donruss Timelines Recollection Autograph21-year career: 90-87, 424 saves, 2.89 ERA, 4-time All-Star

Juan Gonzalez - 1997 E-X2000 Hall or Nothing17-year career: 434 HR, .295 BA, 1,404 BRI, 3-time All-Star, 2-time AL MVP

Marquis Grissom - 1994 Upper Deck17-year career: 227 HR, .272 BA, 967 RBI, 429 SB. 2-time All-Star

Lenny Harris - 1995 Score Gold Rush18-year career: 37 HR, .269 BA, 369 RBI. Seems like a pretty long shot for the HOF. He played for 9 different teams. One of the worst baseball card poses ever.

Bobby Higginson - 1996 Collector's Choice Gold11-year career: 187 HR, .272 BA, 709 RBI.

Charles Johnson - 1998 Donruss Collections Preferred12-year career: 167 HR, .245 BA, 570 RBI, 2-time All-Star

Barry Larkin - 1997 Studio Hard Hats12 year career: 198 HR, .295 Avg., 960 RBI, 12-time All-Star

Al Leiter - 1996 Pinnacle19 year career: 162-132, 2,391 IP, 3.90 ERA

Edgar Martinez - 1996 Topps Laser18 year career: 309 HR, .312 Avg., 1,261 RBI. 7-time All-Star

Tino Martinez 1998 Stadium Club Triumvirate Luminous16 year career: 339 HR, .271 BA, 1,271 RBI, 2-time All-Star. 4 World Series rings.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2002 Baseball Cards - The relics

Without doing a lot of research, I think that relic cards, that is, cards with pieces of a players jersey or bat, started to appear around 2000. By 2002, the practice was quite common. If you're not too choosy it's easy to pick up relic cards on eBay or at a card show for little money. Here is a large sampling of the 2002 relic cards I own.

Bowman Draft Picks Freshman Fiber$2.50 at a card show.

E-X Behind The Numbers Game Jersey
A two-toned jersey bit with stitching behind a number cutout. $3.49 on eBay.

Fleer Hot Prospects MBL Hot Tandoms
A completely misleading card name but two jersey bits from good players for $6.24 on eBay

Fleer Tradition This Day In History Game Worn
Although I like buying relic cards on the cheap, I like it even better when I pull a card like this from a box.

Stadium Club World Champions Relics
$12.49 for a piece of Mike Schmidt on eBay.

Sweet Spot USA Jersey
Back in the day I was buying up every Roy Oswalt card I could find. $4.10.

Topps Traded Tools of the Trade Dual Relics
Another perhaps misleading card. Is this supposed to have an Astros uniform and a Cubs uniform worn by Alou? I don't remember the Astros wearing that color blue.

Topps 206 Relics
I like the 2002 Topps 206 set and I like the relic cards. The jersey bit is in a mini card which is inset in a larger card and the whole think encased in plastic, except for the opening which allows you to actually touch the relic. Similar to what Topps will do later with Allen & Ginter. $3.50 in eBay.

Topps Pristine In The Gap
One of the smaller relic pieces you will find but I only paid $3.13.

Topps Reserve Uniform Relics
For some reason, I ended up buying two of these cards, both featuring Rolen. And both have a strip. There was also a card featuring bats.

Topps Ten Relics
$6.49 on eBay.

UD Authentics Reverse Negative Jersey Gold
I was never quite sure what the deal was with the reverse negative feature. This is a gold parallel numbered to 275. Only $5.08 on eBay.

UD Piece of History MVP Club Jersey
The relic cards aren't any better looking than the base cards. But a Frank Thomas relic card for only $3.00 at a card show.

Upper Deck Double Game Worn Gems
I actually pulled this from a repack. It features Jermaine Dye and Tim Hudson. Numbered to 450.

Upper Deck Game Base
Another card I got in a repack. It's a piece of a base. Did Andruw step on it once?

Upper Deck Ballpark Idols Uniform Sluggers
$3.50 on eBay. A piece of Jeff Bagwell's pants!

Upper Deck Diamond Collection Bat Around Quads
Bat pieces from Robin Ventura, Scott Rolen, Adrian Beltre and Engardo Alfonzo. $2.50 at a card show.

Upper Deck Rookie Update Star Tributs
Josh Beckett jersey with a stripe for $3.10 on eBay.

That concludes my review of 2002 baseball cards. Thanks for following along!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Movie of the Week - Unstoppable

This movie actually had us on the edge of our seats. Ok, it's a movie cliche, a runaway train, and it's filled with cliches. Denzel Washington plays the grizzled veteran who knows everything there is to know about trains. Chris Pine is the wet-behind-the-ears rookie who got his job because of family connections. There's an upper management guy who's forgotten his roots back in the rail yard and is more concerned with damage to company property than anything else.There's the plucky underling who thinks her boss (the aforementioned manager) is an ass and can't get her to just listen to her. And of course it's got a runaway train, an implacable force of nature.

And does that train go. It storms through the beautiful fall Pennsylvania countryside threatening destruction. And just down the tracks is Deadman's Curve (they didn't actually call it that) where the train is bound to derail, spilling it's deadly cargo from the elevated tracks into 100,000 gallon fuel tanks. Did they load the deck too much? Perhaps but it sure was fun to watch.

It all seemed so real. That's because all of the hardware were actual trains, not models. There were lots of real things moving on the screen. The train. Helicopters chasing it. Fire engines and police cars chasing it on parallel roads. Washington and Pine chasing it in another locomotive. It never stopped until the last few minutes. Go see it in the theaters. It may not have the same impact on your TV back home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family moved from Philadelphia to Texas in 1995. Although we've been back home many times, we've not been back for Thanksgiving. Since 1979, Thanksgiving meant dinner with my wife's large extended family. We sure have missed that. But not this year. We're with her family for Thanksgiving 2010.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2002 Baseball Cards Part 3

Part 3 of my series on 2002 baseball cards.

Topps Gallery200 cards. I bought the entire Phillies set on-line. There were 144 Mike Schmidt cards issued in 2002.

Topps Gold Label
200 cards. These are nice looking cards. I have exactly 3 off them and I have no idea where they came from.

Topps Heritage
440 cards. I didn't buy a lot of the early years of Topps Heritage. I wish I did. I have 6 cards from this set, 5 Astros and this card. This I got in a trade.

Topps Opening Day
165 cards. This is a parallel set to Topps with fewer cards and a slightly different color. Plus the big foil shield. The photos are the same as the regular set. This was the last year that Topps used the foil shield. I haven't liked Opening Day as much since then.

Topps Pristine
210 cards. Really, 8-card packs for $40? I about $12 for this, my only card from the set.

Topps Reserve
135 cards. Like, Fleer and Upper Deck, Topps had a lot of pointless sets. I bought 1 pack of this and got lucky that it had a Phillies card in it.

Topps Ten
200 cards. This is an interesting set. Each player featured is in the top ten for some stat. The list is on the back of the card.

Topps Total
990 cards. The first of 4 years for this set which attempted to include every player on every teams 40-man roster.

Topps Tribute
90 cards. Another high priced set (5-card packs for $50). I got this single card on eBay but I don't remember what I paid for it.

UD Authentics
200 cards. Each manufacturer had a set this year using past year's designs. Upper Deck reproduced it's 1989 set design.

UD Piece of History
90 cards. This is just an ugly card.

285 cards. I liked the first couple years of Ultra. After that, I bought very little of this product. I have the Phillies team set and a few other random cards.

Upper Deck
745 cards. Upper Deck's main set and pretty large this year. Not a bad looking set.

Upper Deck 40-Man
1,182 cards. Upper Deck had the same idea that Topps had with Topps Total. They gave up on the idea after only 2 years.

Upper Deck Ballpark Idols
200 cards. I never saw this set for sale anywhere. I got this card in a repack.

Upper Deck Diamond Collection
90 cards. Upper Deck had it's pointless sets as well.

Upper Deck Honor Roll
190 cards. Another pointless set.

Upper Deck MVP
301 cards. Probably the most schizophrenic set produced by Upper Deck. The design would change wildly from year to year.

Upper Deck Ovation
90 cards. An exercise in card embossing.

Upper Deck Prospect Premieres
72 cards. Similar to the Donruss Rookies set, this is a whole set of rookies which looks like the Star Rookies subset from Upper Deck.

Upper Deck Victory
660 cards. This set was around for awhile. Upper Deck's successor to Collector's Choice.

Upper Deck Vintage
300 cards. A blatant rip-off of Topps Heritage, even using an old Topps design.

Upper Deck World Series Heroes

90 cards of World Series heroes.