Monday, October 29, 2012

Random Cards From My Collection #30

Card # 31637: 1991 Donruss #483 Mike Scott
1991 was the last year for this basic design from Donruss. They'd been doing this for years with the oddball front borders and the plain stats on the back.

Card # 3104: 2002 Upper Deck MVP #260 Randy Wolf
A largely forgettable set from the early 2000s.

Card #27505: 1995 Donruss #483 Todd Zeile
One of my favorite sets from the mid-1990s. Good photography, nice glossy full-bleed printing front and back and a nicely designed stat box.

Card # 18594: 2001 Topps #785
The gold-foil 50th anniversary logo really popped on this set.

Card #4964: 2005 Topps Heritage #50 Jim Thome

Card #9499: 1985 Topps #763 Kiko Garcia
1985 - the year I started collecting baseball cards.

Card #32197: 2012 Topps Heritage #234 Alejandro De Aza

Card #20106: 1990 Leaf #52 Von Hayes
Donruss' entry in the new (at the time) category of premium baseball cards.

Card #16885: 2009 Topps Chrome World Baseball Classic #31 Shunsuke Watanabe
He's 44-47 in 6 years with the Cibba Lotta Marines in Japan. At 36, I don't expect we'll see him drafted by an American team.

Card #14772: 2010 Topps Heritage #270 Vin Mazzaro

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Song of the Week - I Would Do Anything For Love by Meatloaf

Noted foreign policy expert Meatloaf has thrown his much sought after endorsement to Mitt Romney. This changes everything!

Friday, October 26, 2012

1997 Fleer/Skybox Circa

It's been at least 3 years since I've made any serious effort to organize recent card purchases. Consequently, I've got piles of cards everywhere. While I'm putting stuff away I'll be making posts about some of the cards I'm handling.

Circa was a short-lived set released by Fleer/Skybox in 1996 through 1998. In 1998 it was renamed Circa Thunder.  In 1999, Skybox released Skybox Thunder, maybe a descendant of Circa Thunder, who knows. Circa's design is very much in keeping with the odd, almost surreal designs that Fleer put out in the late 1990s.

1997 Circa #12 Mickey Morandini
The cards feature players in game situations but with backgrounds completely devoid of reality.  There were also a number of different backgrounds, each one weird in it's own way. This Morandini features the flaming a vortex motif.

1997 Circa #113 Donne Wall
Here we have the rip-in-time-and-space background.

1997 Circa #263 Chris Holt
Here's Chris Holt pitching his way into Mordor (one does not simply walk into Mordor without a good fastball).

There was a good selection of insert cards as well.

1997 Circa Boss #13 Mike Piazza

1997 Circa Super Boss #13 Mike Piazza
This card has an all-foil background with raised foil lettering.

1997 Circa Fast Track Alex Rodriguez
Gold-foil printing and a green flock background.

1997 Circa Icons #10 Alex Rodriguez
 This features a holographic foil background.

1997 Circa Limited Access Mark McGwire
Except for the gold foil, this doesn't look too exciting.  But the card opens up showing the die-cut goodness of the front.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1996 Fleer Ultra Inserts

By the mid-1990s, most sets boasted insert sets. It is still a staple of cards being made today. In 1996, nobody embraced the insert set more than Fleer Ultra. I'm pretty sure that they advertised that there was an insert card in every pack. They way to do this was to have lots of insert sets. In 1996, Ultra had 17 different inserts, each having 10-20 cards and each having a gold parallel version. I'm including in this count the ultimate insert set, a parallel of the base set itself, which had 600 cards.  I've got 11 of them, including one of the gold parallels.

Ultra Gold Medallion #600 Mark Grace
The Gold Medallion parallel had been around for a few years and was a part of every Ultra set produced after this. They used different techniques every year to make the parallel different. In 1996, the technique was to make the background of the card gold foil. The back of the card was the same as the base set.

Ultra Call To The Hall #7 Cal Ripken
This 10-card set was inserted in a 1:24 ratio in Series 2 packs, this was a relatively tough pull. I bought this one on eBay in 2003 for $2.75 (including shipping). Today you'll pay at least $4 (plus shipping) for it.

Ultra Call To The Hall Gold Medallion #1 Barry Bonds
The gold parallels were much harder to pull, this one was inserted 1:240. I paid a hefty $12.89 for this in 2004, when Barry Bonds wasn't the pariah he is today. There is only one currently on eBay at $19.95.

Ultra Checklist #10 Matt Williams
Even the checklist cards were inserts. At 1:4 packs, this 20-card set (10 in each series) was an easy pull. I got this one in a pack. There are a lot of these on eBay, in the base and Gold versions. On eBay it looks like the the base card has gold foil and the Gold version has silver foil.

Ultra Diamond Producers #9 Cal Ripken
This was a 12-card set, inserted 1:20 packs in Series 1. I pulled this from a pack. Right now, the entire set is going for $12 on eBay. Fleer used a lot of different printing techniques on these sets. This one features a holographic foil background. I haven't looked at the entire checklists of these sets, but, based on the ones I have, I suspect that the same group of players is featured in most of them.

Ultra Fresh Foundations #1 Garrett Anderson
A 10-card set inserted at 1:3 in Series 1. You can get the whole set for $6. Chipper Jones looks to be the only worthwhile card.

Ultra Power Plus #2 Barry Bonds
This gaudy card is from a 12-card set inserted 1:10 packs. I bought the entire set in 2003 for $5. The background is multi-colored foil. The whole set is $21 now. Not too many of the Gold versions available.

Ultra Prime Leather #9 Tim Salmon
The card front is textured to simulate leather and the Prime Leather logo is embossed to suggest a brand. I pulled this from a pack. The 18-card set was inserted 1:8 packs. Lots of these available at reasonable prices.

Ultra RBI King #5 Jim Edmonds
A 10-card set, inserted at 1:5. Another one I pulled from a pack. Nothing special beyond silver-foil lettering on the front. A large selection available on eBay.

Ultra Respect #7 Cal Ripken
Another 10-card set, this one inserted at 1:18 in Series 2. I bought this for $6.02 in eBay in 2003. The text on the front is printed in raised holographic foil. The little sparkles in the print are the holographic effects. There are a lot of these up on eBay right now and you can get the whole set for about $8.

Ultra Season Crowns #8 Cal Ripken
This looks like an elaborate die-cut, or perhaps, laser-cut card but it's actually printed on clear acetate. This was a 10-card set inserted at 1:10 in Series 1. I paid $2.00 (plus shipping) for this in 2004. It's about the same price now on eBay.

That's all I have. While I was looking these up on eBay I found the Gold versions of most of them at reasonable prices so maybe I have another post later.