Sunday, October 24, 2010

2004 Bowman 1st Edition Pack Rip

This pack rip is also featured on A Pack to be Named Later, my first entry on that great blog run by Matt F. of Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius fame.

(Topps censoring Delmon Young’s face from younger collectors.)

2004. What happened in 2004? The world’s largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, made its maiden voyage. The final episode of Friends aired. New Jersey’s finest Jim McGreevey came out publicly as a gay man. One of the world’s worst natural disasters occurred when a tsunami struck Indonesia a day after Christmas. We lost Ronald Reagan, Marlon Brando, Christopher Reeve, Janet Leigh, Reggie White, Tug McGraw, and Johhny Ramone in 2004.

That’s great and all Nick, but what the hell does this have to do with you? 2004 is the year I started collecting baseball cards. And I haven’t looked back. I have many goals as a card collector, and one of them is to collect every baseball card set from 2004. Impossible you say? Yeah, no kidding. But it’s always fun to try, right?

I picked up this pack of 2004 Bowman 1st Edition a while ago and was saving it for a rainy day. These cards were made six years ago, an eternity in baseball card years. To add a little spice to this pack, let’s go through each card and see if that player actually played professional baseball in 2010. And away... we… go.

#93: Jason Phillips
Survey says… no. Phillips last played in 2007 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Great start!

First Year #169: Matt Moses
No. Moses last played in 2009 with the Minnesota Twins organization, a place he’s been since being drafted by the club in 2003.

#114: Marlon Byrd Yes. Marlon played with the Chicago Cubs last year and has two more years left on the three-year deal he signed before the 2010 season. He made a splash at the All-Star Game with a fantastic catch.

#129: Andy Pettitte
Um… yes.

First Year #287: Ryan Hankins
No. Hankins last played in 2005… a year after this card was made. Ouch.

First Year #305: Sheldon Fulse It’s never a good sign when Baseball-Reference takes you straight to the Minor League page after typing in a player’s name. Fulse hasn’t played since 2008.

First Year #174: David Aardsma
Yes. Aardsma was the closer with the Seattle Mariners in 2010, giving M’s fans heart attacks every time he stepped on the mound. He blew five saves in thirty-one chances, or a .839 save percentage rate. Yikes.

First Year #194: Dan Giese No. Giese last pitched for the Oakland A’s in 2009. The name Giese sounded familiar, and I had to dig deep in my brain to remember that he pitched for the Yankees in 2008. And he didn’t do half bad either, going 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP.

#53: Luis Gonzalez
No. Luis last played in 2008 with the Florida Marlins. Many fans remember his monster 2001 season as he, Randy Johnson, and Curt Schilling carried the Arizona Diamondbacks to a World Series championship.

#165: Tom Gorzelanny
Yes. A player drafted by the Pirates, that doesn’t play for the Pirates anymore? Really? Gorzelanny was shipped to the Cubs in 2009 and has been pitching for them since.

Well, we could have done worse. But not much worse. Four out of ten players in the pack were playing professional baseball in 2010, for the people keeping score at home. Damn Bowman First Edition. Sweet 2004 nostalgia.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Late LCS Purchases

Yeah, I remember when my LCS used to have a good owner. I remember when it actually had set store hours, too. Those were the good ol’ days. I picked these up about four weeks ago.

1994 Flair #340: Alex Rodriguez (RC) My first official rookie card of the great A-Rod. Although not as desirable as the SP RC, it’s sure a spiffy edition to the collection.

1973 Topps #258: Tommy John Here’s hoping he reaches the Hall as a pioneer. The surgery that saves pitcher’s careers is only coined after him for Chrissakes.

1973 Topps #80: Tony Oliva Tony Oliva of the Minnseota Twins. Wait, that’s not spelled right… ERROR CARD.

Got some good prices on these cards and would be willing to spend more bucks… but in order to do that, they need to be friggin’ open!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Celebrating with a Sweet Pickup

To celebrate the Yanks advancing to the ALCS, I present to you arguably the greatest card in my entire collection.

2010 Topps 206 Dual Relics AR: Alex Rodriguez (Numbered to 99)
Beautiful design? Check. Elegant texture? Check. Memorabilia pieces? Check. Alex Rodriguez? Check. This card can easily go head-to-head with any other card in my collection, and the fact that I got this for a great price only sweetens the nectar of the card. I shall put this in four penny sleeves, two toploaders, and a bulletproof case and hire a 24-hour bodyguard to personally protect it from any harm. Or I could just drool over it and kiss it goodnight.

Yeah, maybe the last option.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cards from Cards on Cards... Cards

When you receive a package from Kerry over at the excellent Cards on Cards, you can expect something extremely great and something extremely odd. The latest stack of cards he sent over certainly had both. Let's take a gander.

2003 Upper Deck Victory #54: Derek Jeter I have heard of Victory before but never possessed one until this card. It looks to be some sort of game-gimmick, and you know how mad those get me. Let’s ignore that and savor the obnoxious tie-die borders and the flimsy card material. Gee, I’m not liking Victory too much.

2002 MLB Showdown Strategy S34: Mariano Rivera An oddball Mo card? Sure, why not? I’ve never heard of this MLB Showdown thing either, but it looks to be another sort of game-gimmick. Did I do something wrong Kerry?

2009 Topps Chrome X-Fractor #101: Jorge Posada Jorge is actually having a decent postseason, which is coming as a pleasant surprise. In fact, quite a few Yanks that have disappointed in the regular season seem to be picking it up in October.

2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes #88: Andy Pettitte Another first encounter from a particular set, this time 2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes. However, I’m really digging this set. The cards have beautiful designs and a nice feel to them, and after looking up the set, I have a strong interest in purchasing a box.

1998 Pacific Online #505: Derek Jeter Another oddball card just for good measure. This was some sort of online code thing Pacific came out with in 1998 (did people even know what the internet was in ’98) and from the looks of it, it just seems like a pain in the ass. The photo’s nice, though.

1999 Bowman #171: Mario Encarnacion For Card’s Sake favorite Mario Encarnacion. We first saw Mario in the Chrome version of this card, and it’s always nice to add to the small collection. I’m hoping to receive more in the near future.

2008 Upper Deck Heroes Charcoal #169: Roy Halladay (Numbered to 399) Not one…

2010 Topps Heritage Chrome C76: Roy Halladay (Numbered to 1961) … but two numbered Halladay cards. The Heritage card also marks the first serial numbered card in my collection with Doc in a Phillies uniform.

Once again, a very productive trade from Kerry. Thank you, gentle knight.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

206 Pickups

I picked up some stuff off eBay to feed my appetite for 2010 Topps 206.

Oh you wanted to see? Okay.

A whole lot of Mini Historical Events: HE6, HE7, HE9, HE10, HE12, HE13, HE14, HE15, HE17, HE19 What I like about the retro sets is that there is usually a historical insert, and being a major history buff, I can’t complain. My favorites are the inserts with the oddball historical events (the first radio contest?).

And one lone redemption. Okay, so Jeff Francis isn’t exactly the most desirable guy… but the framed autos are just too nice to pass up.

As usual, if you have cards I don’t, let me know!

Monday, October 4, 2010

South Side Trade

I heart packages! Especially ones that come from a handsome White Sox fan named Steve. This was my first time trading with the proprietor of White Sox Cards and it certainly won’t be my last. Let’s look.

1993 Upper Deck Inside the Numbers #451: Jim Abbott This is a neat card that comes from a set within a base set. The back of the card has a blurb that serves as a great reassurance that stats can be easily deceptive (hence the term “Inside the Numbers”). Says Peter Gammons: “Forget the 7-15 record last year; he got the worst run support of any pitcher in baseball. Abbott’s start-by-start performance in 1991 could have earned him the Cy Young; he has a 2.83 ERA the last two years.”

2000 Upper Deck MVP Second Season Standouts SS5: Bernie Williams We want Bernie!

2008 Upper Deck The House That Ruth Built HRB-17: Babe Ruth This little subset was featured in UD’s Series 1 release to commemorate… you guessed it, the closing of Yankee Stadium. Of course, UD went on to (much) bigger inserts to celebrate the occasion.

2007 Topps DiMaggio Streak JD17: Joe DiMaggio Another collectable insert from 2007 Topps. I just love the inserts from that year… hint, hint.

2007 Topps Moments & Milestones #96: Hideki Matsui (Numbered to 150) The lure of a low-numbered card in every pack drew me to the 2008 set… and now I see why it is hated amongst the collecting community. How annoying, these things are!

2008 Donruss Threads #34: Don Larsen Baseball cards aren’t the same without a license… and baby if it isn’t licensed it isn’t fun. Oh, oh, oh.

2003 Upper Deck #501: Hideki Matsui (RC) I love getting excited over rookie card! Didn’t you already know that? Aside from Jeter and now Matsui, I don’t have many rookies of big Yankees (Posada, Mo, A-Rod, Pettitte, etc). I mean, do you expect me to cough up nearly $300 for this? Well, of course, but when I have $300 to spare.

And looky here… cards from the lone wantlist I have up! I like it.

A great package from a great guy. Thanks Steve!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

2008 UD Masterpieces Hobby Box Break

I can’t remember the last time I broke a box. Maybe two months ago? A lot of differing factors contributed to the lack of breaks. My time has been consumed by everything from school to football, and money isn’t exactly flowing out my butt. I was mocked by Blowout Cards specials coming through my e-mail twice a week. I needed to bust something! Anything! So I got this… a cheap hobby box of 2008 UD Masterpieces. Two hits with a great looking base set for close to nothing… um yeah. I’m all over that. Let’s roll.

Pack 1:
#59: Jay Bruce (RC) And the first card of the box is… a hyped rookie that everyone wanted to desperately collect in 2008. Reminds me of someone…

#110: Yogi Berra (SP) And the second card of the box is… a short print of a Yankee! Box breaks recover oh so quickly.

Stroke of Genius Signatures SG-EV: Edison Volquez And the third card of the box is... a hit! Volquez has a nice lookin’ signature and of course nothing beats on card.

#21: Derrek Lee
#51: Justin Morneau
#37: Hanley Ramirez

Pack 2:
#36: Miguel Cabrera
Black Border #99: Ken Griffey Jr. I love this picture. Not to mention its bordered and a short print. Holla!

#99: Ken Griffey Jr. (SP) Two Griffeys in a row? Two short prints in a row? I’ll take it. By the way, I love this picture.

#13: Curt Schilling
#77: Jake Peavy
#63: Hideki Matsui

Pack 3:
#92: Cal Ripken Jr. (SP)
Yankee Stadium Legacy Collection Memorabilia YSM-SL: Sparky Lyle Case hit! Case hit! Case hit! Case hit! Sweeeeeeet. I was fortunate enough to pull a Chien-Ming Wang a few years ago from a pack of Sweet Spot, but accidentally chipped the border while trying to stuff it in a top loader. It’s nice to pull another one, this time without damaging it. While Lyle isn’t the biggest name to come out of the checklist, he’s still an important part of Yankee history and a great addition.

Yankee Stadium Legacy Collection #4228: Reggie Jackson Yup, these are here again. Not as exciting as pulling a memorabilia card, but it satisfies this Yankees fan.

#46: Robin Yount
#32: Justin Verlander
#18: Alfonso Soriano

Pack 4:
#24: Adam Dunn
Blue Border #82: Felix Hernandez (Numbered to 125) Dominate against the Yankees, mediocre against other teams. Seriously look up the splits, it’s ridiculous.

#108: Joe DiMaggio (SP)
#84: Jason Varitek
#70: Jimmy Rollins
#42: Andruw Jones

Pack 5:
#8: Jim Palmer
#78: Barry Zito
#38: Lance Berkamn
Yankee Stadium Legacy #653: Lefty Gomez
#35: Magglio Ordonez
#56: Jose Reyes
#7: Evan Longoria (RC) We now know that Evan Longoria investors are far smarter than Stephen Strasburg investors.

Pack 6:
#10: Nick Markakis
#73: Freddy Sanchez I’m not sure how this picture is even possible. At what angle could Freddy Sanchez be on deck and nothing but Pittsburgh’s skyline is in front of him? If anyone could provide some insight, it would be greatly appreciated.

#52: Ken Griffey Jr,
Yankee Stadium Legacy #603: Tony Laggeri
#81: Ichiro Suzuki
#67: Eric Chavez
#53: Carlos Beltran

Pack 7:
#87: Michael Young
#17: Manny Ramirez
Black Border #67: Eric Chavez
#28: Travis Hafner
#14: Daisuke Matsuzaka Cover boy alert!

#49: Harmon Killebrew

Pack 8:
#45: Hunter Pence
#31: Todd Helton
#3: Randy Johnson “I guess everybody’s happy that I threw at Jon Kruk.”

Yankee Stadium Legacy #628: Bill Dickey
#9: Brooks Robinson
#30: Matt Holliday
#72: Bill Mazeroski

Pack 9:
#12: Wade Boggs
Red Border #96: Ernie Banks (SP) (Surprisingly not numbered) You’d think a nice red bordered card would be numbered… but alas. Actually, the red bordered cards that are numbered are 1/1s, so you may guess I was pretty excited to pull a red bordered SP. Regardless of its numbering, or lack of, it’s nice to pull a legend like Mr. Cub.

#119: Dave Winfield (SP) Interesting choice to depict Winfield on the Blue Jays. Sure he won a championship with them and had a good season… but do people remember Winfield as a Blue Jay?

#58: Ian Kennedy (RC)
#44: James Loney
#25: Joe Morgan

Pack 10:
#80: Tim Lincecum
#66: Robinson Cano
Black Border #89: Roy Halladay Roy! I think I already have a black border of Doc, but you can’t have too many of those.

#11: Carl Yastrzemski Do Sox fans get pissed when people can’t spell or pronounce Yastrzemski?

#74: Luke Hochevar (RC) Oh man… definitely a candidate for “Unintentionally Hilarious Cards”.

#4: Chipper Jones

Pack 11:
#12: Wade Boggs Double alert! Double alert! And the first card in the pack again. And the first card in the pack again. C’mon UD… C’mon UD…

#107: Lou Brock (SP) Okay, UD, I may understand Winfield, but why in God’s name do you put Lou Brock in a Cubs uniform? Why, why, why? Name me three people that remember Lou Brock in a Cubs uniform. I dare you.

Captured on Canvas CC-CF: Carlton Fisk Holy snikes that’s sexy! This card is extremely thick… the way I like my women. The jersey piece actually has some sort of originality; a stitch is going straight through the middle with the upper part looking like mesh. Nice to get the original Pudge instead of… Kelly Johnson. Yikes.

#80: Tim Lincecum

Pack 12:
#89: Roy Halladya
#61: Mariano Rivera I don’t know what I’m going to do when Mo retires. Honestly… I’m scared.

Black Border #40: Alex Gordon
#88: Frank Thomas
#60: Whitey Ford
#39: Roy Oswalt

That was a nice little break to get back into the groove of things. Definitely one of my better breaks. I was stoked to get the Yankee Stadium Legacy hit and the nice bordered cards of short prints. 2008 UD Masterpieces has eclipsed 2007 UD Masterpieces in my book, and I’m seriously considering collecting everything in the set. And I mean everything.