Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Topps Wacky Packages Chrome - Seriously

A few weeks ago I posted a sad photo of the Target card rack showing it overtaken by football cards plus a photo of a box of Topps Garbage Pail Kids Chrome. One of my commentators mentioned that there was also Topps Wacky Packages Chrome. I bought a pack so you won't have to.

The pack had 4 cards for $2.99 plus tax. That works out to $0.81/card. Pretty pricey but you can get the entire 107-card set, plus the 3 checklist cards for about $15 on eBay. Not tempting enough for me, I'm afraid.

There is certainly some appeal here for your inner 10-year-old. The set is a reprint of cards originally issued between 1967 and 1973, when I was considerably past being a 10-year-old. The backs are essentially blank. The wrappers are see-through on one side so you can see the top card in the pack.

The set has parallels (Refractors and Superfractors) insert cards and even artist autograph cards. There are even printing plates. I pulled one of the refractors, not a hard feat since they are inserted 1:2 packs.

I also pulled one of the inserts, called Wacky Ads

There are 36 of these. Based on only one example, and that I saw a full sized Popsie card in another pack, my guess is that the front of this insert features a regular card with another card on the back on a billboard. The cards are a bit narrower than the regular cards.

The best card in the pack was this.
A sophomoric spoof on themselves! Note the altered old-fashioned Topps logo at the top. It you can't read it, it says "APeS" on the cap.

Monday, September 29, 2014

2004 Draft Picks - How did they do? Part 3

There were actually 40 players selected in the first round of the 2004 draft. Here are 21-30. The two winners in this group are Glen Perkins and Phillip Hughes.

2004 Topps Traded #73 Greg Golson
Pick #21 by the Phillies. Golson made his ML debut with the Phillies in September 2008. Although he traveled with the team on the road to the World Series, he was not eligible to play. He was traded in 2009 to the Rangers for John Mayberry, a trade I think went in the Phillies favor. Golson, who spent had 1 AB with the Rangers. He was traded to the Yankees in 2010, had a cup of coffee and released in 2011. He's been in the minor league systems of the Royals, the White Sox, the Rockies, the Braves and the Brewers. He must have quite a cap collection.

2007 Topps Heritage #476 Glen Perkins
Pick #22 by the Twins. Perkins is a 2-time All-Star closer, still with the Twins. He was converted from a starter to a relief pitcher in 2011 and made the closer in 2012. He's saved 88 games since then.

2007 UD Masterpieces #77 Phillip Hughes
Pick #23 by the Yankees. Hughes pitched 7 years for the Yankees, including a stint with the 2010 All-Star team, before becoming a free agent after last season. He signed a 3-year, $24MM contract with the Twins and is currently 15-10 for a team that's on a pace to lose over 90 games.

2009 Topps Update #193 Landon Powell
Pick #24 by the A's. Powell came up in 2009 and had mainly been a backup catcher until 2011. He played minor league ball of the Astros (AAA) in 2012 and the Mets (AAA) in 2013 but is now out of professional baseball. He's had some career highlights. He got a double in his first at bat. On May 9, 2010, Powell caught Dallas Braden's perfect game. He is currently the head baseball coach at North Greenville University in South Carolina.

Pick #25 Kyle Waldrop by the Twins. Waldrop was 1-1 in 24 relief appearances for the Twins in 2011-2012. He has the distinction of sharing my birthday. I've only got one card for him, from 2004, and, sorry, I don't feel like digging it out.

Pick #26 Richie Robnett by the A's. He's an outfielder who spent 7 years in the minor with several years but never got called up. I have a 2004 Topps Chrome card but don't have it scanned.

2007 Topps #579 Taylor Tankersley
Pick #27 by the Marlins. Tankersley spent 2006-2010, and then 2010 with the Marlins in a short-relief role. He managed to go 8-3 with 4 saves. He refused to accept a minor league assignment after the 2010 season and became a free agent. He spent 2011 in the farm with the Mets, and now he's gone.

2008 Bowman Chrome Draft #18 Blake DeWitt
Pick #28 by the Dodgers. After 3 other players got hurt in spring training, DeWitt became the Dodgers starting 3rd baseman, but later lost the job to Casey Blake. In 2010 he was the Dodgers starting 2nd baseman but got traded to the Cubs in July. He had a fair amount of playing time between the Dodgers and Cubs in 2010 and 2011 but has been largely in the minor since. He appears out of professional baseball in 2014.

Matt Campbell Pick #29 by the Royals. Matt was a pitcher in the Royals system from 2004 to 2007. He didn't pitch at all in 2006 which makes me think injury. He never made it out of single A. I have one card of his, a 2004 Upper Deck National Pride.

2008 Bowman Draft Gold #23 Eric Hurley
Pick #30 by the Rangers. Eric, the Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2004, got his major league chance in 2008. He went 1-3 in 5 starts for the Rangers in June-July. Unfortunately for him, that was the end of his major league career. He missed all of 2009 due to rotator cuff surgery. In 2011 a viral infection laid him low. By 2012 he was out of professional league baseball.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Random Cards From My Collection #65

2006 Fleer #272 Bryan Bullington
Comments on the card/player: This was the first year of Fleer after it was acquired by Upper Deck. 2005 was the first year since 1997 that Fleer had issued a card simply called Fleer. 2007 will see the last of cards called Fleer. This 2006 issue hardly seems the effort it took to print it.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #3970
1995 Collector’s Choice Special Edition #100 Cliff Floyd
 Comments on the card/player: Collector's Choice, published by Upper Deck, took it's name from Upper Deck's nickname for themselves back in 1989. They were "The Collector's Choice". The Special Edition, or SE, wasn't exactly a parallel to the regular edition as the set was smaller and featured different photos. There was also SE Gold which was a direct parallel of SE but with a Gold shield and a gold foil facsimile signature.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #43018
2013 Panini Golden Age Delong Gum #24 Nap Lajoie

Comments on the card/player: 2013 Panini Golden Age had several insert sets based on old baseball card designs. All of them were well done. I haven't seen 2014 Golden Age yet.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.39/card for a hobby box in October 2013.

Card #19160
2006 Fleer #267 Randy Wolf
Comments on the card/player: Really, Random Number Generator, we didn't need another card from this set in this post.
How/When acquired: Acquired in my 2010 Summer Clearance Trade.

Card #44084
1998 Topps #168 Mark Grace
Comments on the card/player: Amazing was a pretty consistent hitter. He hit .309 in 1998, one of 8 years (of his 16 year career) in which he hit over .300 for the season.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #44020
2013 Topps Making Their Mark #36 Carlos Martinez
Comments on the card/player: I'm not sure Carlos has made much of a mark so far. He's 4-5 with 1 save since making his debut in May 2013
How/When acquired: My wife always manages to find a few packs of baseball cards for my Christmas stocking. That's where I found this.

Card #12425
2002 Topps Reserve #21 Bob Abreu

Comments on the card/player: After being released by the Dodgers in 2012, Abreu tried to make a comeback with the Phillies this spring. He did not make the team (the Phillies have too many outfielder as is) but did later sign and play for the Mets.
How/When acquired: Another card I acquired in the 2010 Summer Clearance Trade.

Card #35092
1982 Fleer Stamps #111 Fernando Valenzuela
Comments on the card/player: Fernando, with a special guest appearance by Tommy Lasorda. There were two Valenzuela stamps in this set, the other featured him with Warren Spahn in his Milwaukee Braves uniform.
How/When acquired: I wasn't collecting cards in 1982, so if I ever saw these in a store I didn't care. I bought 34 10-stamp strips of Fleer Stamps (along with the stamp book) for $11 in August 2012.

Card #18456
2010 Topps Team Sets #2 Joe Blanton
Comments on the card/player: Joe appears to be pitching right out of his uniform.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.35 per card for the 17-card Phillies set in June 2010.

Card #39117
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter #198 Jhonny Peralta
Comments on the card/player: The year A&G experimented with borders.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.42 per card for a hobby box in August 2009.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2004 Draft Picks - How did they do? Part 2

In Part 1, I covered the first 10 picks of 2004. I think we can agree that Justin Verlander (the #2 pick) is the stand-out player of that group. Let's look at picks 11-20.

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter #117 Neil Walker
#11 pick by the Pirates. Neil played a few games in 2009 but 2010 was his rookie year. As of 2014 he is still with the Pirates. He is mainly a 2nd baseman but played some 3rd base in 2010. He has a career fielding percentage at 2nd base of .989 which puts him 12th in active players. He's a career .274 hitter with some power, with 75 home runs in his career, including a career high this year of 21.

2007 Topps Turkey Red #142 Jered Weaver
#12 pick by the Angels. Jered came up with the Angels in 2006 and is still playing for them. He is a 3-time All-Star with a 130-68 record over that time. He as 1,393 strikeouts and a career ERA of 3.27. In 4 post-season games he has a 2-1 record with an ERA of 2.61.

2007 Topps Heritage #376 Bill Bray
#13 pick by the Expos. I have earlier cards of Bray but this is the only one I have scanned. He spent most of his career with the Reds anyway. Although drafted by the Expos, by the time he came up in 2006 he was with the Nationals. He was part of an 8-player deal between the Nationals and Reds in July 2006. In his 2006-2012 career he compiled a 13-12 record as a middle reliever. He picked up 3 saves as well.

2005 Bowman #277 Billy Butler
#14 pick by the Royals. Billy's had a pretty solid career with the Royals since coming up in 2006. His career batting average is .294 and he's hit 127 home runs. His numbers in 2014 have dipped considerably however. He's listed on the back of this card at 3rd base but he's spent almost all his time in the field at 1st base. He's also used quite frequently as the DH (725 games compared to 400 games in the field).

2005 Bowman Draft Picks Chrome X-Factor Autograph #166 Stephen Drew
#15 pick by Diamondbacks. Drew was a highly touted prospect and I was pretty happy to pull this card in 2005. Beckett valued it at $100. He's unfortunately not had the great career expected of him and has been a part-time player since 2011. I should have sold the card in 2005. Today, it's got a Beckett value of $15-$30 although there are several being offered on eBay for much more than this.

2008 Stadium Club #110 David Purcey
#16 pick by the Blue Jays. Purcey started 21 games with the Blue Jays in 2008-2009 but has only been in 44 games since, all in relief. He was released by the White Sox this year.

2004 Topps Traded Chrome Refractor #79 Scott Elbert
 #17 pick by the Dodgers. Elbert has been used for short relief by the Dodgers since 2008. And by short I mean he's appeared in 123 games but only has 94.3 innings pitched. He does have a 3-3 record with 2 saves.

2008 Topps #457 Josh Fields
#18 pick by the White Sox. Josh hit a home run during his first at bat on 9/13/06. It may have been the highlight of his career. 216 games later he was out of the major leagues. After catching on with several teams in the minors, he currently playing in Mexico.

2009 Topps Heritage #118 Chris Lambert
#19 pick by the Cardinals.  Chris made his major league debut on 8/23/08. He pitched his final game on 9/27/09. He was 1-3 with a 7.86 ERA in that time. He did not return to the majors and is out of organized baseball.

2011 Topps Update #279 Trevor Plouffe
#20 pick by the Twins. Plouffe didn't make it into the majors until 2010. Plouffe seems to be the ultimate utility player. He gets into a lot of games, primarily as a 3rd baseman, but has also made appearances at SS, 2nd, 3rd, RF, LF and DH. He's hit 62 home runs since 2010.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Players in the dugout

I've done themed posts with players signing autographs, players blowing bubbles and players breaking bats. Let's look at players captured on cardboard while they sit in the dugout. I have over 400 cards scanned that I've identified as dugout shots so I should get a few posts out of this theme.

1978 Topps #15 Tony Perez
After 13 years with the Reds, Tony seems to be thinking "How did I end up with the Expos"? Cheer up 1978 Tony Perez, you'll make it back to the Reds eventually.

1981 Donruss #415 Dallas Green
Classic manager pose, hanging from the dugout rook while leaning on the railing.

1981 Topps #700 George Brett
George, waiting for the hot-foot he's given another player to go off.

1982 Fleer #254 Mike Proly
Mike is thinking, "Hey, wasn't I a Cub in 1982"?

1982 Flee#396 Greg Minton
After the photographer yelled "Hey, Minton"!

1982 Topps #183 Mike Proly
"Man, I'm sure was with the Cubs"!

1983 Fleer #48 Gorman Thomas
Stormin' Gorman is apparently one of the most popular Brewers of all time. It must be his refined appearance.

1983 Topps #246 George Bamberger
I guess he's not actually in the dugout but just near it. I don't think George had much to smile about in 1983.

1984 Fleer #42 Joe Morgan
Joe appears to be sitting in some subterranean tunnel. What did they paint those walls with anyway?

1984 Fleer #44 Tony Perez
Tony looks like he's ready to give someone a punch. Tony, you're actually back with the Reds by 1984 like I said. And you got to the World Series with the Phillies in 1983.