Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Upper Deck 1st Edition Basketball

2009 Upper Deck 1st Edition Basketball

108 David West
143 Brandon Roy
155 Manu Ginobili
198 Ty Lawson
BA-11 Troy Murphy - Behind the Arc insert
1007 Michael Jordan Legacy
189 Jeff Teague
88 Jermaine O' Neal
74 Sasha Vujacic
#27 Delonte West

2009 Upper Deck First Edition Football

2009 Upper Deck 1st Edition Football

50 Calvin Johnson
28 Lance Briggs
177 Shonn Greene
102 Domenik Hixon
89 Wes Welker - silver parallel
CT-5 Ed Reed - Crunch Time insert
72 Rashean Mathis
56 Greg Jennings - Lambeau Leap
199 Josh Freeman
129 Frank Gore

2009 Score Football

Being a baseball guy, I actively ignore other sports cards, because it is more simpler to focus on one sport - impulsively, I guess I'd grab cheap base cards of stars from other sports as well as a few of the most cheapest packs [maybe a dollar each] of football and basketball, just so I can casually keep up with the names of the game.

2009 Score Football

177 Ted Bruschi
232 Troy Polamalu
138 Maurice-Jones Drew
280 Barrett Ruud
153 Chad Pennington
387 Ramses Barden
281 Albert Haynesworth - glossy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 Topps T-206

Last night I picked up a retail pack of Topps 206. I've been having a great weekend, which is following a horrible week, the low point of which was a near-snow day. Almost every school in the state was closed on Wednesday, but Milwaukee was caught in a narrow band of rain that just made the three inches of snow heavier to remove from what ultimately is city property. Baseball cards make me happy, and I'll let you know what percentage out of 100 each card makes me smile.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
62 Dan Haren (2%: Nobody receiving this card is happy. Haren is a collecting black hole. Even when his mom opens packs and gets one of his cards, she checks it against her want list and then shakes her head in disgust if she already has it.)

108 Alex Rios (71%: I like his chain, and I like that he's playing a game somewhere in hell, judging from the background.)

293 Troy Tulowitzki (49%: Troy has a goofy, constipated look on his face. I enjoyed the comeback he had in 2009.)

13 Bobby Parnell Mini - Piedmont back (3%: Common ad back, plus a guy I've never heard of. I wish it was a card of Chris Parnell. A state of disillusionment persists.)

159 Rick Ankiel Gold (1%: Not a big fan of the guy.)

46 Cliff Lee (50%: Love the guy, just wish he was still on the Indians.)

OK, so I guess that pack didn't make me that happy after all. But it the proper perspective, a bad day opening a pack of cards beats the hell out of a good day at work. Or shoveling. And having wet feet all day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

1983 Mother's Cookies Giants

Ok.... Here's how this worked. Fans who attended the August 7, 1983 Giants versus Astros game received a small box containing 15 Mother's Cookies San Francisco Giants cards. Unfortunately, a complete set consists of 20 cards. Not to fear, though, 'cause each box contained a redemption card that could be mailed away, and a few weeks later, five more cards would arrive at your very doorstep.

Problem solved, right?

Well, not quite.

You see, each Mother's box was missing five random cards. And when you mailed in your redemption card, you received five more random cards. What are the odds that you'd get the five cards you actually needed to complete the set? (any math geeks out there?) Why the heck was such a scheme tolerated by masses of poor, already-suffering Giants fans?

Who knows.

I've heard that the point of all this was to encourage good old-fashioned trading amongst card collectors, which makes sense I guess. But in reality, it sounds to me like a royal pain in the ass. Regardless, I was strolling through the local monthly flea market in Medford, Oregon this past weekend and noticed a box of these very cards. One minute (and one dollar) later, I was walking out the door with my new prize. Here are the 15 cards I got out of the possible 20:

1. Frank Robinson (Manager). Woo-hoo, the biggest name in the set!

2. Jack Clark. Wow, another bigger name from the team... Looking good so far!

3. Chili Davis. Fans of '80s baseball remember Chili. Dollar well spent!

4. Johnnie LeMaster.
5. Greg Minton (the pitcher who took the 2-1 loss that day against Nolan Ryan).
6. Bob Brenly. Hey, we all know this guy!

7. Fred Breining.
8. Jeff Leonard.

9. Darrell Evans. Great player in the 70s and 80s. Glad to have 'em.
10. Tom O'Malley.
12. Mike Krukow.
17. Joel Youngblood. The only player in history to get hits for two different teams in two different cities on the same day.

18. Dave Bergman.
19. Mike Vail.
20. Andy McGaffigan.

As any Giants fan will tell you, I'm missing Duane Kuiper, Atlee Hammaker, Gary Lavelle, Bill Laskey and Max Venable to complete this sucka. Until one day, when computers across the globe connect to virtual auctions in far-away places (like San Francisco), I vow to complete this set. Let's just hope that prices stay reasonable and Atlee Hammaker doesn't have the awesome Hall of Fame career I think he will.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2005 Upper Deck

Here's my first 2005 Upper Deck pack, purchased as part of a repack box sometime in the past couple of months. Some of the less interesting stuff that I open tends to sit around for awhile, and I'd probably say that this fits. The design is full-bleed like many Upper Deck sets, but is also fairly forgettable at the same time.

354 - Angel Berroa

315 - David Ortiz (It's hard for me to totally hate David Ortiz, even though he plays for the Red Sox and was a PED user. I'm not sure why that is. It's so much easier to hate Manny Ramirez for whatever reason.)
376 - Jaret Wright
337 - Jake Westbrook
- Upper Deck Rewards ad

344 - Carlos Pena (Pena has turned into a premier slugger.)

493 - Jake Peavy Team Checklist (I have a strange feeling that Peavy will struggle with the White Sox in the long run.)

480 - Todd Helton Team Checklist
450 - Tony Blanco Star Rookies (According to the back of the card, this guy was the heir apparent at 3B to Vinny Castilla. I had no idea Castilla was still around in 2005.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom 14-card pack

2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom 14-card pack [$4.99 each / one pack]
182 Gordon Beckham
114 Bronson Arroyo
153 Troy Glaus
170 Russell Martin
81 Joey Votto
29 Francisco Liriano
193 Robinson Cano
37 Kenji Johjima - deckle edges
116 Jorge Posada
147 Hanley Ramirez
35 Felix Hernandez
99 Paul Maholm
80 Scott Rolen
8 Justin Morneau

I wouldn't normally touch this stuff, but was looking for a card fix at a local Target and through the somewhat see-through cello wrapper - I could make out the letters of Chicago White Sox star rookie Gordon Beckham's name, so I bought the pack.

Monday, November 02, 2009

2008 Topps Opening Day

Keeping this blog alive with another freebie insert I got with a trade. Can't complain about the star content of this pack. Gold foil lettering scans as black. These are very red....

Wrapped in this...

First up, Mr. No-Hitter...

Then Dice K. The red works OK for this one...

Next up, Johan Santana. Three horizontals in a row!..

Now Michael Young. He seems to be the guy I get in every couple packs...

Home town hero Brian Roberts...

And last, former Yankee, now Angel watching from home, Bobby Abreu...

Not a bad lineup even if this set is just the big names. They could package M&Ms on the team letters, like poke through pill packaging.

These are still very red....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball

Actual counting NBA games begin later tonight, including a Blazers/Rockets game that I'll be attending in Portland. Here's my first pack from the new season, which also happens to be from the last licensed NBA Upper Deck base set.

97 - Udonis Haslem (Key cog in the Miami Heat's championship run.)

165 - Greg Oden (Look out! Oden is threatening to have a huge year this year.)
35 - Josh Howard
85 - Sasha Vujavic (Ugh, Lakers.)

62 - Yao Ming (Sorry... not this year.)
48 - Richard Hamilton
128 - Chris Duhon (Duhon had the best season of his career last year with a dreadful team.)
134 - Russell Westbrook (I don't like UCLA and I don't like what they did to the Sonics.)

220 - B.J. Mullens Star Rookies (The third consecutive one-and-done Ohio State center, following Kosta Koufos and Oden.)

263 - Dominique Wilkins Immortals (As you can see here, Dominique played way back in the day before color TVs or cameras. He was known as the Human Reel-to-Reel.)
5 - Marvin Williams
171 - Rashad McCants
139 - Earl Watson (Bleh, another ex-Sonic. I can't blame it on the players, though.)

143 - Jameer Nelson (Nelson also had a career year last year.)
126 - James Posey (Posey was not the difference maker that the Hornets hoped he would be as they fell off a bit last year. I always thought he was pretty overrated when he played for Boston.)
94 - Mario Chalmers

70 - Troy Murphy
124 - Tyson Chandler

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1992 Skybox Garfield Premier Edition

While checking out a card shop in Skokie, Illinois, I found a huge bin of picked over packs of junk wax for fifty cents apiece. I struggled to find something to pick up. I finally chose a pack of baseball cards and this pack of Garfield cards.

I'm a sucker for most things Garfield. I was a collector of anything I could get my hands on, Garfield-wise, when I was younger. If it was in some way connected with the comic strip, I had to have it! I still appreciate Garfield, but my collecting lust for all things Garfield has waned.

At fifty cents, I couldn't pass this pack up! Let's see what I found in the pack.

#5 - Pooky
First appearance: 10-23-78
I love the fact that there are facts on the back of the card. This was not a set that phoned it in. Garfield found Pooky in a dresser drawer.

#90 - "I'll rise, but I won't shine"
I'm sure this made it on to a poster or at least a coffee mug at some point.
The back features a full color lounging Garfield and the caption, "Some say, 'Go for it!' I say, 'Make it come to you!'"

#47 - Garfield: The Cliffhanger Scene 2
"It's a swarm of killer gerbils!"
Apparently, there is a story somewhere among the card set.

#21 - Jon's Grandma
We've seen Jon's grandma in "A Garfield Christmas", where Garfield presented letters from her deceased husband as a present and in "A Garfield Thanksgiving", where she whipped up a Thanksgiving meal for Jon to impress Liz. I figured this would be a good opportunity to showcase the back of the card. It's very eye pleasing and chock full of information.

Bonus Tattoo
Moisten hand slightly. Apply "tattoo" color side down, pat gently. Peel off carefully. Now you are tattooed!

#71 - Virgo
Even horoscopes made it into this set!
August 23 - September 22
You are quick-witted... and you'll be the first to admit it. Industrious and meticulous, you always do a good job-- and look good doing it. But don't overdo it. Remember to take time to stop and eat the flowers.

#6 - Nermal
First appearance: 9-3-79
"The World's Cutest Kitten" was originally a kitten belonging to Jon's parents, but now he just wanders into Garfield's house from time to time.

#91 - Likes/Dislikes
Front - Favorite TV Show: Bowling For Donuts
Back - Least Favorite TV Show: Lassie's All-Night Theater

#48 - Garfield: The Cliffhanger Scene 3
A continuation of the storyline from earlier in the pack. The town was struck by an earthquake and the gerbil horde plunged into the bowels of the Earth, along with Garfield.

I am a huge Garfield fan and I had no clue that this set existed! There is some great artwork on display, some thorough information and new drawings. Good stuff!

I think sometime in the future, I may track down the complete set. I didn't get any of the randomly inserted holograms, but this was not a big, fat, hairy deal of a pack. It was a treat.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2009 Topps Chrome Baseball

One of the things that made Topps' 2009 flagship product such a critical success this year, but has gone mostly unheralded because of its position on the back of the card, is the bevy of interesting stats Topps included in an arching graphic on the back of each card. I'd like to share something interesting from each card in this pack of 2009 Topps Chrome (retail).

207 Mike Hinckley (RC) - According to this card, the Nationals lost no fewer than 11 games in 2008 due to a cause labeled as "league-wide indifference."

26 David DeJesus - In the off-season, David's family plays a variation of the game known as "Australian Rules Baseball," depicted in the photo here.

W65 Greg Halman - "Did You Know... that Greg is third in line of succession to take the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands?" As it turns out, the only citizens standing in his way are Johann Cruyff and Paul Verhoeven.

55 Daniel Murphy - Oddly enough, the Six Degrees of Mantle factoid is replaced on this card with the original Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Daniel Murphy plays with David Wright who once rented Zoolander starring Owen Wilson who tried to kill himself on the same day a home run was hit by Jason Bay who once fantasized about Denise Richards who was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon.