Monday, September 30, 2013

2013 Panini Cooperstown - First Look

I picked up 5, 6-card packs of 2013 Panini Cooperstown the other day, since I had liked last year's set. Here's what I said last year. The cards were a bit more expensive this year ($0.72/card vs $0.62/card) and I don't like them as much. They are a bit dark for my taste. I do like the new feature in the back. Last's years cards featured a short player bio, this year's have a line score from a game in which the player made a significant contribution. Pretty much all the inserts are different and there are a lot more parallel cards this year. Not necessarily a good thing. There are relic and auto cards as well which I didn't expect to find in loose packs, and I didn't.

Here's card #2

The fronts are glossy but the backs are not. There are 110 cards in the base set, with cards 101-110 being short prints. Good luck with trying to complete this set by buying packs. In the 30 cards I got, only 19 were base cards. At least there were no duplicates. Here are a few more.

"Big Dan" played from 1879 to 1904. He was 6"2' and weighed 207 pounds. He was a feared slugger. This photo is from an early baseball card which you can see on his Wikipedia page.

I always like getting old Phillies in these kinds of sets.
One more , this terrifying photo of Bob Gibson.
There are several different colored "crystal" parallels. I got this red one (numbered to 399) and a green one which is unnumbered.
The finish reminds me a little of the "cognac' cards from 2011 Topps.

Here's an Orange parallel which looks a little like Topps Chrome. These are numbered to 325.  All of the parallel sets have only 100 cards.

Every pack has one of these in it. Colgin's Chips.
 And good luck getting all of these. There are 165 disks in the set at one per pack.

A new insert this year is "Historic Tickets".
I pulled one of this 25-card set.

Panini Cooperstown Induction is the one insert returning from last year.
And finally the last insert I pulled, Panini Cooperstown International Play
Lots of sets over the years have had similar ideas for subsets but does it make sense to call a player from Puerto Rico an 'international player'?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Song of the Week - Body in a Box by City and Color

My daughter recently brought home the new City and Color CD called "The Hurry and the Harm". I noticed that the songwriter's name was Dallas Green. Any good Phillies phan, such as myself, knows that the Phillies 1980 manager, when they won the World Series, was named Dallas Green.

This Dallas Green performs as City and Color and has 4 albums out. This song is actually from his 2nd album, released in 2008 called "Bring Me Your Love".

So what's with his name?  From his Wikipedia page:

"During an interview at the 2008 NXNE festival with DJ Dave Bookman of Toronto's CFNY-FM, Green confirmed that he was indeed named after the famous major league pitcher/manager of the same name. He stated that, although he was born on September 29, 1980, he had gone without a name at first; his mother was considering naming him Graham-Todd Green, but his father had bet on the Phillies during the 1980 World Series that October and, after the team won, his parents decided on the name Dallas after the Phillies' manager."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Random Cards From My Collection #51

Card #8054
2007 Bowman Orange # 66 Jose Contreras
Comments on the card: The orange parallel to 2007 Bowman. Ugly.
When acquired: September 2007
How acquired: Paid $0.35/card for a blaster box.
Player's season: Jose was 10-17 with an ERA of 5.57 for a White Sox team that was 72-90 in 2007.

Card # 1281
1998 Aurora Pennant Fever #30 Hideo Nomo

Comments on the card: This is from a 50-card insert in 1998 Aurora, one of many sets produced by Pacific in the mid to late 1990s. It has all the 1990s excess you could want.
When acquired: November 2003
How acquired: Paid $0.25
Player's season: 1998 was almost the end for Nomo. He went 2-7 with the Dodgers and was traded to the Mets. He then went 4-5 with the Mets who released him before the 1999 season.

Card #2857
1993 Fleer Final Edition #109 Jim Eisenreich
Comments on the card: 1993 Fleer Final Edition was only available as a boxed set and I wish I had bought it when I had the chance. I always liked the back of these cards.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: The Phillies signed Eisenreich as a free agent in January of 1993. He was an integral part of the the team that went on to the World Series, batting .318.

Card 37147
2013 Topps #149 Yovani Gallardo
Comments on the card: One of my favorite baseball card cliches, the pitcher throwing the ball right at ya.
When acquired: January 2013
How acquired: Paid $0.15/card for a rack pack at WalMart
Player's season: Gallardo was 11-10 in 30 starts for the Brewers this year.

Card #3182
1989 Upper Deck #720 Tommy Herr

Comments on the card: Upper Deck's premier year. The first really premium baseball card at a time when the very concept of a 'premium baseball card' was unknown.
When acquired: July 2006
How acquired: Paid $0.07 card in a repack box. These are pretty common these days in repacks.
Player's season: After a long career with the Cardinals, the Phillies signed Herr as a free agent after the 1988 season. He hit .287 with 35 doubles. The Phillies traded him away during the 1990 season.

Card #9224
1991 Topps #141 Nick Leyva
Comments on the card: Nice set with the 40th anniversary logo.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: After 2 previous terrible years under Leyva, the Phillies fired him just 13 games into the 1991 season with a 4-9 record.

Card #38875
2009 O-Pee-Chee #460 Roy Halladay

Comments on the card: The pitcher equivalent of the batter card where the batter holds the bat straight out towards the camera. Halladay can pull it off.
When acquired: June 2009
How acquired: Paid $0.22/card for a blaster box.
Player's season: Roy was 17-10, with a 2.44 ERA. He led the league with 9 complete games and 4 shutouts.

Card #751
1989 Donruss #159 Dave Winfield
Comments on the card: Nice photo of Winfield just starting into his swing. 1989 Donruss is another set I've completed by getting cards I needed from repacks. These cards have yellowed badly from age. Luckily Photoshop can fix that with one click.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: After a 1988 season where he hit .322 with 25 HR and an All-Star berth, Dave spent the entire 1989 season on the DL with a back injury.

Card #42352
1990 Topps Big #205 Julio Franco

Comments on the card: This was the second and last year for Topps Big. The slightly over-sized cards were not popular with collectors.  These have also badly yellowed.
When acquired: July 2003
How acquired: Paid $0.03/card for 57 unopened packs on eBay
Player's season: Franco's batting average dipped a bit in 1990 (to .296 from .311 the year before) but he stole 31 bases and scored 96 runs.

Card #33479
1969 Topps #206 Larry Hisle/Barry Lersch
Comments on the card: This card back scanned badly. They are more orange than pink. I also removed the yellow. Notice that Lersch's pitching stats are labeled "Minor League Lifetime Batting Record".
When acquired: June 2012
How acquired: Paid $0.50 at a card show.
Player's season: Hisle, the Phillies 2nd round pick in 1965, hit .266 with 20 HR, good enough for 4th place in the ROY voting for 1969. Lersch was 0-3 in 10 games in relief with 2 saves in his rookie season.

Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 Topps Chipz

This post may go far in answering the question "Will I buy any damn thing that has a baseball player on it"?

My introduction to Topps Chipz came with the promo card in packs of Topps.

My first thought was "Pogs!" Remember pogs? Unless you (or your kids) are of a certain age this is a fad you might have missed. For a brief moment, around 1991-1992, pogs were popular. My kids were just the right age and we had hundreds, it not thousands, ot them around the house. Then, all of a sudden, they were gone. Pogs were circular pieces of cardboard with various images on them. There was some kind of game played with them that involved the use of a thicker, heavier disk, called a slammer. These Topps Chipz are more like slammers.  They are an eighth of an inch thick, made of metal and weigh almost a half an ounce.

Seen one, you've pretty much seen them all. I bought 4 packs, for $1.98/pack. Each contained 4 Chipz. Among the variations are Gold and Silver. I pulled one gold (odds 1:3 packs).
Some of them are magnetic. They don't look any different. The magnetic ones are inserted 1:4 and I got 2.

Glow In The Dark Chipz are inserted 1 in 2 packs.
These are not shiny but have a glow in the dark finish. I can affirm that the do indeed glow in the dark, but just barely. I got 3 of them.

Every pack has a 'game board'.
Instructions for several games, each involving some different method of getting one of your Chipz on a number, are printed on the back. My guess is that this could provide minutes of fun for a 8-year-old.

The only saving grace of the 4 packs is that I got two Phillies.
One final thing. One Chipz in each pack had a plastic cover over the heads side, like this.
The logo cover comes right off. There's no adhesive, they are like those plastic film things you can put on your car windows.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Random Cards From My Collection #50

2013 Topps #260 Giants 2012 NLDS Game 5
Comments on the card:With only 660 cards in the base set (over 100 less then the Topps sets used to have), every card like this means a player has to be cut from the set. You need 780 cards to show everyone on the regular roster.
When acquired: January 2013
How acquired: Paid $0.27/card for a blaster box.
Player's season: In 2013, the Giants beat the Reds, 3 games to 2 to win the NLDS, they beat the Cardinals, 4-3 to win the NLCS and then beat the Tigers in 4 straight to take the World Series.

1998 Topps #316 Will Clark
Comments on the card: Since there is a catcher in the background, it looks like The Thrill is being congratulated on scoring. I always like the gold-bordered 1998 Topps.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: In his last of 5 seasons with the Rangers, Clark had a pretty good year, batting .305 with 28 home runs and 102 rbis.

1970 Topps #186 Rick Joseph
Comments on the card: This was not an attractive year for Topps.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: In 4 years with the Phillies, Rick was never more than a utility infielder for the Phillies. Looking at the number of ABs compared to games, he may have mainly been used as a pitch hitter who then stayed in the game. In 1970 he appeared in 71 games with 125 at bats. He hit .227 with 3 home runs. It was his last season.

2001 Royal Rookies Futures Limited Edition #19 Rainer Olmedo

Comments on the card: I don't know too much about these cards. Royal Rookies Futures was a 40-card minor league set. This is the "Limited Edition" parallel version. I have no clue how "Limited" they were. They are not serial numbered.
When acquired: March 2005 in a Fairfield repack
How acquired: $0.10
Player's season: In 2001, Ray was in the Reds system playing for Mudville (really, there's a team called Mudville?) in the California League. Although he's had some major league experience since 2003, he appears to be a career minor league player. He's currently playing Triple A ball in the Twins system.

2004 Just Rookies #57 Justin Orenduff
Comments on the card: Another minor league set. Just cards show up pretty regularly in repacks.
When acquired: June 2013 in a Fairfield repack
How acquired: $0.04
Player's season: In 2004, Justin was the Dodgers #1 draft pick. He was 2-3 that year for the Ogdon Raptors. He hung around the low minors until 2011, never making it to the Bigs.

2004 Bowman Gold #155 Chien-Ming Wang

Comments on the card: The Gold parallels were thick cards.
When acquired: June 2004
How acquired: Paid $0.24/card for a blaster of Bowman
Player's season: Wang was 11-6 in split Double A/Triple A action in 2004. He also won a game in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

1992 Donruss #208 Tony Pena

Comments on the card: 1992 represented a radical design change for Donruss. Since 1985, Donruss had featured colored borders with crazy designs while the backs were virtually the same each year.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: In his 13th big league season, Tony it .241 and appeared in 133 games and maintained a .933 fielding percentage.

1987 Topps #778 Jack Morris
Comments on the card: This card comes with a gum stain!
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: Jack was 18-11 for the Tigers in 1087 and made the All-Star team. He also led the league in wild pitches with 24. It was not an unusual year for him. He is #13 on the all-time list for career wild pitches with 206.

1992 Topps Gold #394 Dennis Martinez

Comments on the card: The first year for Topps Gold. The cards were not numbered (an innovation that won't come for a few years) but production was limited to 12,000 sets. Makes you wonder how many regular sets they issued.
When acquired: Don't know
How acquired: Don't know
Player's season: In his 17th season, Denny was still going strong, compiling a 16-11 record with the Expos with a 2.47 ERA and 226 innings pitched.

1993 Conlon TSN #811 Johnny Vergez
Comments on the card: This set, which was issued over several years, featured photos taken by famous baseball sports photographer Charlie Conlon.
When acquired: March 2013
How acquired: Paid $0.04 in a Fairfield repack
Player's season: Vergez was a 3rd baseman who played from 1931 to 1936 for the Giants, Phillies and Cardinals. He was a member of the 1993 Giants team which won the World Series, late-season bout of appendicitis kept him from playing in the series. Tough luck.