Thursday, January 28, 2016

Random Cards From My Collection #80

Card #1951
2000 Stadium Club Chrome #1 Nomar Garciaparra

Comments on the card/player: Over the years Topps has applied their Chrome technology (or technologies, as the treatment has changed over the years) on many of their brands. I always thought that 2000 Stadium Club Chrome was one of their better attempts.
How/When acquired: I liked this product enough that I bought a hobby box of it at $0.46/card back in 2000. I don't buy hobby boxes often.

Card #20848
1994 Pinnacle #468 Pete Incaviglia

Comments on the card/player: Incaviglia joined the Phillies in 1993, the year they took an improbable trip to the World Series. Phillies fans like to think of the 1993 Phillies as a likable group of misfits and oddballs, and they were, but to give them credit, nearly everyone on the team had career years in 1993, including Pete. It was fun to watch.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #49220
2015 Topps Heritage #154 Chris Johnson

Comments on the card/player: This 31-year-old former Astro infielder, was traded by the Braves in mid-season to the Indians for another former Astro, Michael Bourn, and Nick Swisher. He didn't see much playing time with either team. The Indians released him at the end of the season and he is now signed with the Marlins.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.35/card for a blaster of Topps Heritage in March 2015.

Card #31576
1996 Pinnacle Foil #240 Terry Pendleton

Comments on the card/player: The last few years of Pinnacle really went overboard with the gold foil. This 1996 Pinnacle parallel card which marries all the gold foil with a foil board background makes for an oddly unattractive card.
How/When acquired: On the other hand I only paid 5 cents for it in a 100-card Fairfield repack and I could add it to my reference album since I didn't have one.

Card #40723
2006 Ultra Feel The Game #FG-BA Bob Abreu

Comments on the card/player: This is a nice colorful relic card, and the uniform bit even has a stripe. I always enjoy reading the relic descriptions on the back of cards like this. According to Fleer (or maybe Upper Deck) this bit of cloth was certified to them as having been used at an actual Phillies game. What it was used for, and perhaps more importantly, who used it, is not explained.
How/When acquired: I paid $5.00 for this at a card show in June 2013.

Card #37819
2013 Topps Heritage #18 Adam Lind

Comments on the card/player: Perhaps my least favorite of recent Topps Heritage releases. The front is OK but I don't care much for that orange Popsicle colored back.
How/When acquired: I paid $0.32/card for loose packs at Walmart in March 2013.

Card #13614
1987 Donruss #630 Charles Hudson

Comments on the card/player: In 1987, Hudson was pitching for the Yankees, where he preferred to be called Charles Hudson. He was a respectable 11-7 with a 3.61 ERA for the Yankees in 1987, the only winning season of his 7 years in the majors.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Card #35131
2009 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relics #CC-CU Chase Utley

Comments on the card/player: I always like the Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relics. This uniform fragment was presumably worn by Utley during a game in 2008, which is the year the Phillies won the World Series. And a stripe!
How/When acquired: I got this during my 2012 Summer Clearance Trade. I promise only junk wax of your favorite team in these trades and sometimes I get back cards like this. Thanks. It's probably about time I do another one.

Card #29791
1994 Topps Gold #480 Albert Belle

Comments on the card/player: In 1994, gold foil and parallel sets were not so common. Topps was a trendsetter then. Nowadays, both are common. I don't mind a little gold foil on a baseball card, but I don't care for multiple parallel sets.
How/When acquired: Don't know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The 1990s Baseball Card Face-off

Continuing with the Red playoff level of the 2nd quartile of the Babe Ruth Division. Here's the current position.

By the way, if you can't read this, click on the chart to see a larger version. I'm sure you knew that. And while I'm by-the-waying, you can find all the posts in this series by clicking on the tag at the end of the post. You probably knew that as well.

Today we've got 1997 Ultra (a set I didn't buy much of) and 1998 Zenith (a set I don't have any of).

1997 Ultra #406 Kenny Lofton

1997 Ultra #256 Curt Schilling

There is certainly nothing wrong with 1997 Ultra, but as a product, I never much cared for the Ultra line. On reason may be is that year after year, the designs looked pretty much the same to me. You have your full bleed glossy photo on the front with the player name in large print (usually something cursive) at the bottom. You have your multiple photos on the back, and player stats, sometimes full career sometimes not. This year is pretty typical of a lot of years of Ultra. An attractive card but it just doesn't grab me.

1998 Zenith #14 Mike Piazza

1998 Zenith #32  Roger Clemens

These are literally the first cards I've ever seen of this 100-card set. It's one of the last sets produced by the Donruss/Leaf/Score/Pinnacle mash up of the late 1990s. It's not bad looking. I always like the design feature where the parts of the front photo extend into the border of the cards. Having said that, I think the front borders are too wide and the logo is too obtrusive. The cards are kind of dark as well. only has 7 cards from the set scanned, which leads me to believe it wasn't very popular. The color scheme depends on the team colors. There's an Orioles card that's orange where these cards are blue. Still dark. The wheel 'o stats on the back is a bit weird and hard to read.

The Results: In the last post I gave the edge to 1993 Stadium Club over the gimmicky 1998 Topps Stars. I'm going to do the same here and go for 1997 Ultra.

That leaves us near the end of the Red level of this quartile.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Repack Madness 2015 - Part 2

This is another repack from early in 2015 which I got around to late in the year. This was one of those Fairmont boxes with 10 packs of cards in it.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Blue #95 Ian Kinsler

This is a product I didn't buy much of (one blaster with 35 cards) because I really didn't like it. There were only 120 cards in the set and usually when I find a pack of this in a repack I have all the cards in the 5-card pack. This was unusual in that I "needed" all 5 cards. This was the blue parallel.

Upper Deck 20th Anniversary Retrospective #406 George H. W. Bush

This was the 5th card in the pack. This 2500-card set was scattered across all of Upper Deck sets in 2009.  Someday I will have a complete set of presidents found in baseball card packs. I already had Mr. Bush, but snagged his VP, ole' what's his name.

2012 Triple Play #124 Albert Pujols

2012 Panini Triple Play was a horrible set. The art work and no team logos was enough to turn me off but this pack made me realize how horrible it is. I hadn't really looked at the checklist before. This card is a puzzle card. There are 9 cards in the puzzle. The front of each card is exactly the same except for the number, the back is a section (1/9th of the card). Maybe if they did one player like this, OK. But there are 16 players given this puzzle treatment. That's 144 cards of a 300 card set. Who would want this?  There aren't any other cards from this pack worth the effort to upload, except this.

2013 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP16 Archie Bradley

This product was pretty pricey in 2013, about 65 cents/card retail. I guess this is the best card in the pack. Bradly was called up in 2015. He was 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA for the D-Backs. 

2014 Bowman Prospects #BP73 Jacob DeGrom

The way Topps gets minor league cards into their sets is to call them prospects and make the prospects cards not part of the main set. Bowman came out in early May in 2014, and De Grom was called up in mid-May. He was 9-6 with a 2.80 ERA for the Mets in 2014 and named the NL Rookie of the Year. He had a better year in 2015, was an All-Star, and was 3-1 in the playoffs as the Mets went to the World Series.

2014 Topps #543 Alexander Guerrero

There were two packs of 2014 Topps in the box. No especially notable cards except for this one. I like a lot of moving parts in a baseball card. You don't see 3-player cards that often.

2014 Topps Update #22 Kendrys Morales

I also like cards of batting players where the ball is in the frame. Is the ball coming or going? Since Morales eyes seem to be looking toward the field and not at the ball, I think he's already hit this one.

2014 Topps Update World Series Heroes #WSH-FV Fernando Valenzuela

Outside of some cards in 1998, this is the first post-career card of Valenzuela I've seen. I pulled 4 of his cards in 2015.

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Black #21 Rafael Palmeiro

There was one pack of A&G. The mini in the pack was this so-called black-bordered card.

2014 Topps Heritage #439 Jose Fernandez

One happy fella for sure.

2014 Topps Heritage Baseball Flashbacks Juan Marichal

I'm always happy to pull a card from a repack that I can put in my reference binder. I didn't see any of this insert set in 2014.

I'd say this was another successful repack. Of the 84 cards in the box, I needed 49 for a 58% success rate, just about the same as Repack Madness 2015 Part 1. And the reference card makes it even better.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The 1990s Baseball Card Face-off

We're into the Red playoff level of the 2nd quartile of the Babe Ruth Division. Whew, still a long way to go.  Here's the current position.

Today we've got 1993 Stadium Club vs. 1998 Topps Stars

1993 Stadium Club #195 Vince Coleman

1993 Stadium Club #203 Andre Dawson

1993 Stadium Club got here by beating some pretty weak competition, 1991 Bowman. In it's 3rd year, Stadium Club hasn't changed much since 1991. It still combines great action photography and great posed shots with a glossy front and a minimal design and not too much gold foil. I love the Dawson card because it reminds me of the TV commercial where Dawson gets hauled out of the ivy in Wrigley Field. Another great portrait shot is Kirby Puckett's card, #283. The biggest design change for 1993 is to go with a vertical card back. The back also minimizes the player's rookie card (this will be the last year they will use that design feature) and adding another player photo, which will become standard.

1998 Topps Stars #146 Travis Fryman

1998 Topps Stars #109 Manny Ramirez

1998 Topps Stars is what I call a gimmick set and it beat out 1999 Bowman's Best, another gimmick set to get here. Topps Stars is really a set with too many gimmicks. Let's list them: the card is textured on the front with vertical parallel lines; red foil; a background of stars (get it?); a serial numbered base set; and multiple parallels. In 1998 multiple parallels was still a gimmick; it's standard today.  I didn't buy much of this, and in fact, along with the previous post where 1998 Topps Stars appeared, my supply of the base cards is exhausted. 

The Results: In isolation, 1998 Topps Stars may be a nice looking card, even with all the gimmicks, but it just can't stand against 1993 Stadium Club in it's simple, but effective, design.