Saturday, December 10, 2011

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Hobby

I picked up this pack at the card show from two weekends ago. It came from the table of "Overpriced Wax Guy." I always feel a little bad, since he's at every show and all I do is look and run. As it turned out, he had a bunch of 2011 Topps singles I needed, so I added this old hobby pack to round out the lot.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
121 Fausto Carmona

82 Andy Sonnanstine
43 Buddy Carlyle
4 Justin Speier
281 Mark Buehrle
86 B.J. Upton
(Did you ever get a look at the back of this card? Everyone else's name on the back of their cards is written with colored print on top of a white drop shadow. On Upton's, the color starts to crap out at the period. I'll have to run a check to see if anyone else's is like that.)

203 Shane Youman
89 Josh Wilson (Future Brewer.)
11 Roy Oswalt
162 Mike Bacsik
84 Al Reyes
42 Chuck James

81 James Shields
159 Damion Easley
369 Jake Peavy (I've probably pulled this card eight times. and I've opened maybe seven packs.)
306 Jerry Blevins
387 Fred Lewis Season Highlights
324 Joe Koshansky
360 Eric Byrnes

OPC-ER Edgar Renteria O-Pee-Chee

Not an amazing pack, by any means, but still the best photography of any set since I've gotten back into the hobby.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1996 Upper Deck Johnny Quest

The date of my birth puts me in just about the perfect wheelhouse NOT to be a fan of Johnny Quest. The original series aired in 1964-65, and probably lived on through the 1970s through reruns. This was followed decades later by The New Adventures of Johnny Quest, which theoretically should have been on my radar, but wasn't, probably because the series lasted only 13 episodes. The the time the series on which this pack of cards was based, The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest, was on television, I was nearly finished with high school, and the only cartoons I watched were The Simpsons and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. This pack of cards is as problematic as the final TV series. I'm familiar with the broad outline of the show, but none of its intricacies. Adult Swim meta-cartoons have provided much of my knowledge of Hanna-Barbera staples, namely the simmering undercurrent of homosexual tension between Benton Quest and Race Bannon.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
26 Dr. Jeremiah Surd
Good God, these cards are a mess! I cannot tell you how difficult it was for me to identify the subject of each card. With no fewer than seven separate places for text on the front of the card, the design seemed to combine early Geocities elements with a seventh grader's myspace page circa 2005. I don't know where to look, and I feel defeated.

35 Dr. Jeremiah Surd (???) Again?
I'm not sure if this card is part of the base set or not. It doesn't seem to be one of the listed inserts, but the card numbering is of a different style than the first one. Surd's profile is on the back, but we have this URL group shot on the front. I want to track down a laserdisc of this show so I can unscramble my brain.

22 Hadji
Back to the base design, I see. Hadji is a familiar main character, albeit with a rebooted wardrobe. The post-1993 WTC bombing environment most likely dictated a turban-free cartoon. Also clearly a Power Rangers derived look.

HC2 Hadji's Clues - Courage Overcomes Fear
If I rub off a portion of the back of this card, I'll get a clue that will help me while I play the Johnny Quest CD-ROM Adventure. I'm not falling for that one. (Turns out I was wrong on the turban thing, too.) Odds on this insert were 1:5.

47 Villain ^2 -- Ezekiel Rage / Dr. Jeremiah Surd
All Surd, all the time baby!

44 Tools of the Trade - Surd's High-Tech Wheelchair
Seriously, I cannot get away from this guy. And another design shift. Can anyone tell me what the base design even is? I give up. Just watch Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. At least that has more Race Bannon than this pack.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Repack Resurrection: 2007 Upper Deck Series 2

The long, arduous journey comes to a close today with the only pack worthy of the closing ceremonies: 2007 Upper Deck Series 2.
After all, for a blog whose purpose is to open and showcase packs of trading cards, it is certainly fitting that the final pack would be one that serves no other purpose other than to be opened for others to see. Which brings up the philosophical question: Does this blog exist because of this pack, or does this pack exist because of this blog?

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
747 Emil Brown

571 Danys Baez
921 Barry Zito

799 Kevin Mench

654 Joe Borowski

Isn't it great to see the Toxic Avenger signing autographs for the kids?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Repack Resurrection: 2007 Topps Series 2

This is a product I have opened very little of since I bought a complete set of Series 2 at a card show shortly after it came out. I don't know what prompted me to do so. Perhaps it was a side effect of being in the middle of building the '07 Heritage set, my first experience with chasing down a buttload of short prints, and didn't need any other set-building distractions. Or maybe the price was just right. In any case, I probably already have every card in this pack, but let's tear in anyway.

Top to Bottom:
567 Chris Stweart (RC)
520 Adam Dunn

546 Orlando Cabrera
MMS29 Mickey Mantle Story

412 Gerald Laird
384 Alex Gonzalez

Yep, got 'em all, including the Mickey Mantle Story card. I finished that insert a long time ago. Not sure why. It's not like I snuggle up near the fireplace on a cold January evening reading the backs of those cards like a novel.

One pack to go and Repack Resurrection is over!

Repack Resurrection: 2007 Topps Opening Day

This is the pack I was least excited to find in the repack thingy. I liked this set enough to collect the whole thing along with all of the inserts, so unless something amazing emerges, there is literally nothing new I can get from this pack.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
217 Andre Ethier
146 Alex Rios
6 Adrian Gonzalez
31 Chad Tracy
25 Chipper Jones
136 Chris Capuano

What a miserable pack of junk.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Repack Resurrection: 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

With a four-card pack, there's not a whole heckuva lot to write about. To keep things interesting, I will share my favorite thing about each card.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
75 Carlton Fisk
Favorite Thing: The funky design element behind those red red socks

102 Curtis Granderson
Fave: Flip-ups

66 Buffalo Bill Cody Mini
Fave: The push-broom 'stache/wily Van Dyke combo and the 5"x7" picture frame belt buckle (tie)

62 Yogi Berra
Yogi's disproportionately small head.

Four cards per pack? No wonder I didn't buy this stuff.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Repack Resurrection: 2006 Topps '52 Rookies

As with any five-year-old pack of a rookie-centric set, it's probably a good idea to track down each of the players in order to gauge the success of that pack. We shall do the same tonight.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
212 Paul Hoover
Since his old Marlins days (and his really old Devil Rays days in '01 and '02), Hoover got picked up by the Phillies for a few games in both 2009 and 2010. He is currently in the Red Sox minor league system.

24 Matt Smith
Matt last played in MLB with the Phillies in 2007 and was released by the Cubs organization after spring training '09.

184 Nick Masset
Masset is currently a reliever for the Cincinnati Reds.

DD14 Dynamic Duos Melky Cabrera/Jeff Karstens
Karstens is a starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cabrera is enjoying a .267 batting average with the Royals. There was a rumor following the 2008 season that the Brewers were going to try to deal Mike Cameron to the Yankees for Melky, but it never materialized.

93 Ty Taubenheim
Taubenheim last played in the bigs with Pittsburgh in 2008, and was released just before the start of the season by the Rangers. The back of Ty's card alerts readers to a "staph injury" suffered in 2006. Not staph infection, staph injury. Weird.

137 Wil Nieves
Wil is a backup catcher with my Brewers this season. He is splitting time with George Kottaras and isn't seeing a lot of action because starter Jonathan Lucroy is tearing it up.

Good pack, nothing to write home about. I'm giving it a B-.

Repack Resurrection: 2007 Fleer

2007 Fleer... its last year as a baseball brand. You tend to find a lot of '07 Ultra in repack boxes and as discounted loosies, but regular Fleer not so much. How will this pack turn out?

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
307 Marcus Giles

223 Carlos Guillen
181 Juan Rivera
141 Justin Morneau
218 Joel Zumaya Mini Die-Cut

358 Fred Lewis (RC)
336 Alexi Casilla (RC)
RS-FL Francisco Liriano Rookie Sensations

7 Ryan Zimmerman
YR-AP Albert Pujols Year in Review

This pack gets an A-. The only thing holding it back was no Brewers. Plus, you have to leave a little wiggle room at the top of the grading scale for possible relic cards or autographs. I'd say that two inserts and a parallel make this a very nice pack, with Pujols to boot. And the Liriano insert makes this even better than it would have been a couple of weeks ago. Both of these inserts highlight Fleer's dominance over Topps when it came to inserts in 2007:
Rookie Sensations > Generation Next
Year in Review > Any one of the endless Mantle mirrors

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Repack Resurrection: 2009 Upper Deck SP Authentic

All y'all thought Thorzul had quit this project and wasn't going to post again until Guy Fawkes Day, didn't you?
Y'alls were wrong.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
48 Joakin Soria

20 Carlos Quentin

158 Mat Gamel

29 Adrian Beltre

85 Brad Hawpe

That Gamel rookie makes the pack for me. On eBay you will have trouble getting one of these for less than four bucks shipped. I looked at the checklist, and it seems as if base cards #130-170 are all rookies. I don't know the first thing about SP Authentic, but would I be wrong in assuming the high-numbered rookies are SP's? Just a hypothesis. Feel free to correct me if it makes you feel like a big man.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Repack Resurrection: 2008 Topps Opening Day

Here's the first of the non-visible packs from the repack pack, 2008 Topps Opening Day. Is it the most famously red design since 1990 Donruss? We'll let history be the judge.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:

220 Nyjer Morgan
"Tony Plush" is now a Brewer. A hurt Brewer. I guess he has more of a chance to use his gentleman's name at the Water Street bars.

3 Jeff Suppan
Pictured as a Brewer, but a Brewer no more.

133 Carlos Delgado
No connection to the Brewers whatsoever.

83 J.J. Hardy
Brewer. Then, not now.

194 Troy Tulowitzki
Finished a close second to Brewer Ryan Braun in the 200l NL Rookie of the Year voting.

146 Fausto Carmona
Again, no Brewer connection.

All in all, I have to say I liked it. This pack has aged well.