Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Random Cards from My Collection #68

I expect to get back to a more normal blogging schedule after Thanksgiving. Here's hoping that all my readers have a great Thanksgiving Holiday - eat too much turkey, watch too much football (Go Eagles!) and don't get trampled shopping.

Card #18041
2010 Topps Vintage Legends Collection #2 Johnny Mize
Comments on the card/player: The idea behind this 25-card insert set was to take some past great, pick some year in his career and put him on a card from a year in that player's future. Then make some half-hearted attempt to compare the stat's from the past player's year to the stats of the year the card was from. Clear? They also took some more recent players, like Eddie Murray, and put them on a card from before their career.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.26/card for 2 Series-2 blaster boxes of Topps in July 2010.

Card #17756
2008 Topps #264 Byung-Hyun Kim

Comments on the card/player: Is this the best photograph they could find for Kim? There is so much going on in the background that he's literally lost in the crowd. Horizontal cards are a good fit for a pitcher in full windup but only if the photo is cropped closer than this. I'm only two cards into this post but I expect this will be the worst looking card in the post.
How/When acquired: Don't know

Card #21529
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Double Header #16 Scott Rolen
Comments on the card/player: Yet another attempt to make a baseball card insert that can be used to play a baseball related game. Unlike most of these games, it looks like you only need one card to actually play the game. Go ahead and read the rules. It would be easier, and probably more fun, to just use the dice to play craps.
How/When acquired: I got this with 40 other cards for $0.28/card from a fellow blogger's group break.

Card #34255
1992 Pinnacle #189 Mark Portugal
 Comments on the card/player: What Pinnacle looked like in the very early days before it flamed out in a blaze of full-bleed printing, gold-stamping and optical effects in the later 1990s.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #14963
2010 Topps #48 Joey Votto
Comments on the card/player: This set is generally known as The Wave set, for obvious reasons. When the Topps designers were putting this design together did they stop and think, "Yeah, this looks OK, Joey Votto about to be engulfed in a tidal wave of blood"?
How/When acquired: Paid $0.24/card in a 'cereal box' (remember them?) in March 2010.

Card #2706
1979 Topps Burger King Phillies #4 Steve Carlton

Comments on the card/player: This was a 23-card set available in Philadelphia area Burger Kings. Having never been fond of Burger King, I never saw these cards when they were distributed. The cards look exactly like the player's card in the regular set with one exception, the card number.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.36/card for 22-card set on eBay in November 2009.

Card #6267
1993 Upper Deck #814 Dennis Eckersley

Comments on the card/player: Although I've always liked these team checklist cards from 1993 Upper Deck, I never really looked that closely at the signature on these cards. The artist is Vernon Wells who, according to his web site, is "The most commissioned sports artist EVER". He's also the father of baseball player Vernon Wells. I'm sure everyone already knew that.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #40094
1993 Donruss #446 Will Clark
Comments on the card/player: Let me tell you my Will Clark story, which coincidentally happened in 1993, the year of this card. I was in San Francisco for a business conference in September 1993. I saw the Giants play twice and the A's once. The second Giants game was on 9/24 against the Padres. The Giants record was 95-57 going into the game. They were in 2nd place, a game and a half behind the Braves. Considering the closeness of the pennant race I was surprised that I could get a ticket to the game, in fact the stadium seemed half empty. Maybe it was because Candlestick Park was cold that night. I mean bone-chilling cold. Or maybe it was that the Padres were 39 games out of 1st place.  The game went 10 innings. Will Clark won the game with a walk-off home run. Amid the cheers I hear a guy in front of me say "It's about time that guy did something for this team". Clark was playing for the Rangers in 1994.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #5737
2000 Topps #460 Jesse Orosco

Comments on the card/player: This is a card from the Highlights subset in 2000 Topps. The highlight was that on 8/17/99, Orosco broke Dennis Eckersley's (see card above) record for mound appearances at 1,072. Orosco played for several more years eventually ending with 1,252 games. This seems like a record that will stand for a long time. The only pitcher in the list of top 50 appearances is Francisco Rodriguez, with 799.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #14112
2007 Topps Generation Now Chase Utley

Comments on the card/player: I don't know how anyone else felt about this insert set, but I hated it. It was simply a pack filler. Here's how this worked. Topps picked some random stat, like Utley's 2006 35-game hitting streak. They then produced 35 virtually identical cards, one for each day of the streak. The Utley set had only 2 poses for the 35 cards. As near as I can tell there were 1,210 cards in this insert set.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.20 in a repack in December 2009.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Reference Cards #8 - 2000 E-X and Finest

2000 E-X (a Fleer product) and Finest (from Topps) are both higher-end sets that I typically don't buy a lot of. Therefore, my collection is pretty weak in this area.

2000 E-X

Fleer had the E-X brand (with a few name changes) from 1997 (when it was called E-X 2000) until 2004. In the early years the cards were printed on plastic but by 2000, the cards were printed on more conventional white card stock.

The cards feature a hard glossy finish. Although it's hard to tell in the scan, the colored sections on the front are refractive. The center of the card is, I think, meant to be evocative of the days when the cards were printed on plastic. The backs are rather plain featuring a reverse of the front photo, again evocative of the plastic days when you could see the front photo through the back of the card. I have exactly three cards from this 90-card set. This one and another I pulled from repacks. Coincidentally, in 2000, a 3-card pack sold for $3.99. Pretty pricey.  The other card I have is this Biggio card I got in a trade.
There weren't a lot of inserts in this set. Of the 90 cards, the last 30 are prospects, serial numbered to 3,499.

There was a 15-card set called E-Xceptional, which came in three flavors, Blue (numbered to 250), Green (numbered to 999) and Red (numbered to 1999). I don't have any of those.

2000 E-X E-Xciting
This 10-card set was inserted 1:24 packs. The cards are die-cut in roughly the shape of a tee-shirt and have a similar finish to the base cards. The printing on the front is gold foil stamping. I only have this one which I paid $2.50 for in eBay in 2005.

2000 E-X Generation E-X
A 15-card set with a similar finish, only with silver foil on the front. I paid $3.00 for this card in 2004. The set features young, up-coming players. As to the predictions on this card, the closest Burrell came to hitting .300 was in 2002, when he hit .282. He finished his career with a .253 average. He did hit 30 or more home runs in 3 years, finishing with a respectful 292 dingers.

2000 E-X Genuine Coverage
Relic cards were still pretty rare in 2000. This 10-card set was inserted 1:144 packs. It would have been a tough pull, especially at $3.99 a pack. I paid $2.50 for this at a card chow in 2010.

OK, let's shift gears.

2000 Finest

Topps introduced Finest in 1993 and it caused quite a stir in the hobby. A super glossy card with weird backgrounds, the set still exists today with much the same formula. These cards have always been hard to get for me since they usually are only available in hobby shops. In the early days I could always score a pack or two, but I haven't had easy access to a card store in 10 years. Consequently I don't buy much of this product, and most of what I have is stuff I specifically targeted on eBay. Here's what the 2000 version looked like.

Since I have 35 cards from the 286-card set, I probably bought a few packs back in the day. 6-card packs went for $4.99 so they were a little cheaper than the E-X cards.

2000 Finest Refractor
Refractors were also introduced in 1993. In 2000, they were inserted 1:24 packs. I paid $4.99 for the Bagwell on eBay on 2000. 

In 1993, insert cards, in general, were rare and 1993 Finest didn't have any. By 2000, there were 5 inserts, including a autographed card.

2000 Finest Ballpark Bounties
This is a 30-card set inserted 1:24. I don't know where I got this but I probably pulled it from a pack. It's the only one I have. I thought this card was kind of purple because Helton was a Rockie, but looking at some images on I see they're all purple.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Random Cards From My Collection #67

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've gotten involved in a non-baseball card Project which is taking a lot of my time.  Here are some random cards so people don't think I've gone dark.

Card #23538
1998 Pinnacle #22 Darryl Kile
Comments on the card/player: Kile actually played for the Rockies in 1998. He was a free agent after the 1997 season with the Astros and signed a 2-year, $14MM contract with the Rockies. The thin air at Coors Field didn't agree with him and he had the worst 2 years of his career, going 21-30. He lost a league high 17 games in 1998. This was also the last year for Pinnacle before being revived by Panini.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #31420
2012 Topps Gold Standard #10 Reggie Jackson

Comments on the card/player: This was a 50-card insert set in Topps that I never really much cared for. It's a card that's clearly designed for a relic and/or auto and looks dumb without the relic and/or auto.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.20/card for a hanger box of Topps in February 2012.

Card #10847
1987 K-mart #15 Steve Carlton

Comments on the card/player: The first Kmart store opened on March 1, 1962 in Garden City Michigan, so this 33-card set commemorates the 25th anniversary of K-Mart. In 1987 I believe that Sears and Kmart were the 1 and 2 largest retail stores in the US. In 2004, Kmart bought Sears and today, the combined company is the 16th largest retailer in the US.
How/When acquired: I actually have two copies of this card, both acquired in trade with fellow bloggers.

Card #10005
2008 Topps #532 Tim Lahey

Comments on the card/player: Lahey was the Twins 20th round draft pick in 2004. He never appeared in the major leagues and his minor league stats shows he spent 7 years in the Twins minor league system. So why is he in a Phillies uniform on this card? After the 2007 season, Lahey was selected by the Rays in the Rule 5 draft and then traded to the Cubs for cash. He was waived by the Cubs in March and picked up by the Phillies. He actually was on the Phillies opening day roster in 2008 but was designated for assignment on April 5 without appearing in a game. He was the offered back to the Twins who took him. Whew!
How/When acquired: I paid $0.15/card for a blaster of Topps in March 2008.

Card #9421
1986 Topps #302 Greg Gross
Comments on the card/player: Gross was in the 14th of his 17-year career in 1986. He'd been with the Phillies since 1979. As an outfielder he had a tough time getting playing time when the Phillies outfield consisted of guys like Greg Luzinski, Bake McBride, Garry Matthews and Lonnie Smith. In 1986 he only appeared in 87 games with 101 at bats, hitting .248
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #23316
1996 Fleer #406 Tony Eusebio
Comments on the card/player: The random wheel is turning up a lot of Phillies and Astros this post. 1996 Fleer was an odd card. In an era when all cards were glossy, Fleer went with a very thin white card stock with no gloss, front or back. But they did go with gold foil stamping like everyone else.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card# 37980
1990 Upper Deck #558 Mike Fitzgerald

Comments on the card/player: Fitzgerald was mainly a catcher, playing 748 of his 797 games behind the plate. He occasionally played 1st, 2nd and 3rd base and this looks like he's taking infield practice. I like the back photo with him in catching position, with no catching gear, and blowing a bubble.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.04 for 100-card Fairfield repack in January 2013.

Card #2368
1995 Leaf #1 Frank Thomas

Comments on the card/player: The Big Hurt was a formidable ball player in the 1990s. In 1995 he hit .308 with 40 home runs. He walked a league high 136 times while only striking out 76 times.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #17880
2010 Bowman Topps 100 Prospects #90 Anthony Gose

Comments on the card/player: Gose was the Phillies #2 pick in 2008 but never played for them. He was part of the trade with the Astros that brought Roy Oswalt to the Phillies in 2010. The Astros immediately traded him to the Blue Jays for Brett Wallace. After three mediocre years with the Jays, they traded him to the Tigers for a minor league player.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.27/card for 6 20-card rack packs of Bowman in June 2010.

Card #34351
1992 Upper Deck #796 Butch Henry

Comments on the card/player: Henry was the 16th round pick of the Reds in 1987. In 1990 he was part of the deal with the Astros that sent Bill Doran to the Reds. He was 6-9 for the 1992 Astros before being picked by the Rockies in the 1992 Expansion Draft.
How/When acquired: Don't know.