Monday, April 24, 2017

1996 Collect-A-Card Corvette Heritage Collection

While searching for cards and unopened packs to buy, I came across a pack of Corvette cards I had not seen before so I grabbed them up. Ever since I was a kid in the early 70's, I have dreamed of owning a Corvette. The dream still holds, and these cards - especially one of these cards, as fate would have it - take me to that dream world.

There are 8 cards in each pack. The cards are 2-1/2" x 4-11/16" so they are closer to old school Bowman than to standard issue baseball cards. According to the wrapper (which highly foiled), these cover 'Vettes from 1953-1996 and may contain Milestones Chase Cards or Fast Lane Chase Cards. There are also inserts for Factory Tour and Duntov.

The fronts of the cards themselves feature high-gloss, full color pictures of the featured car, along with the Corvette logo that adorned the car, the year of the car, the Chevy logo, and a gold shield proclaiming "Heritage Collection." Each card has a border that extends into the card in a photoshopper's dream of a project.

In our pack, we pulled a 1995 yellow convertible (one of my all-time favorite combos), a "Factory Tour" card of a C4 (1984-1996), a 1965, a 1974 (which I will talk about in a moment), a 1977, and a 1991:

The very first Corvette I ever actually rode in was my uncle's 1974 brown Corvette. It is the car i would love to start my Corvette ownership with (not his, but a 1974 for sure). My uncle ended up selling his, but I will never forget what it was like to be an 8-yr old riding in that machine.

We also pulled another "Factory Tour" card. This one of a C3 (1968-1982) car and a killer 1957. Okay, in full disclosure, of the cards we pulled, I have to rank the '74 as top due to nostalgia, the '65 next and the '57 in third. I mean, seriously, check out the pipes on that '65. Holy smokes!

The card backs provide information about the featured car, including production run and base price. Wow, the base price sure has changed since the days of the cars featured here... Though, I suppose comparatively speaking, they are probably not too far off. Then again, today's base 'Vette runs about $55,000. Not sure how that compares to the base price of a 1965.

Back of the wrapper:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

1994 Upper Deck World Cup

1994 was the year. I had been married just shy of five years. My mind wasn't on soccer. Er, football. Sorry.

The 1994 FIFA World Cup games were held in the United States.  I don't remember them.

Madding wondered what the second pack of the "2 packs for a $1 Buck" was.  This is it.

A multi-lingual mish-mash celebrating players I don't know.

There appears to be some sort of discoloration on the front and backs of these cards.  It is actually where I had to pry them apart.  Almost like they got wet and stuck together.

The Great Platini.  Starring Robert Duval as Erwin Sanchez.

You know you've made it in the soccer world when you have just one name.  Think Pelé.  Or Messi.  Or Branco.

Ah, the mighty powerhouse of soccer that is Switzerland.

Adrian Knup, from the land of Fonts.  He "is a lethal finisher."  Put that and the White Branco (see above) and it sounds like OJ.

Fun fact about Aron Winter?  He has never been see without his warm up jacket.

Ally McCoist.  Rhymes with McMoist.  This insert set was in multiple languages.  English with German.  English with Italian.

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena is where the final game was held.  Hence the name of the insert set.

A nice mix of action shots and stills.  A plus is a different photo for the back of the cards.  Typical glossy card stock and finish for Upper Deck cards of that era.  I have no clue what a Lithogram card is.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen

The latest Topps product to hit the shelves in 2017 is Gypsy Queen, which they've rolled out for the 7th consecutive year. This is a product I typically ignore, seeming to be at worst a replacement for the vastly superior Turkey Red and at best desperately trying to cram one more product into America's already bloated card hole. They've had some nice design concepts here and there, mostly with some of their inserts. This set is actually pretty nice looking in that the base cards don't really look like anything they've tried before.

153 - Logan Forsythe - This set is clearly cobbled together early in the Topps calendar, because Forsythe was dealt in the offseason to the Dodgers. Again, I like the design, though the team name sans nickname makes it look a bit like Panini's licenseless offerings.

116 - Robbie Ray - The backs aren't bad. Large font size helps the old eyes, though this is also starting to look at bit like what would happen if members of The Decemberists designed a baseball card.

95 - Carlos Rodon - I can never keep Carlos Rodon and the other Chicago (Cubs) reliever, Hector Rondon, straight.

39 - Jacoby Ellsbury - Ellsbury is one of the greatest baseball players to ever come out of the state of Oregon, so it's rough to see people see him as The Contract now, even though I'm far removed from the Yankees/Red Sox rivarly. Still, his 2011 season has to be one of the weirdest one year blips of offensive greatness, on the level of Brady Anderson or something.

175 - Gregory Polanco - The Pirates outfielder who didn't do steroids or get bent out of shape over getting bumped out of center field.

225 - Jose De Leon - In a bit of coincidence, this is the guy that the Dodgers traded to get Logan Forsythe.

Friday, April 14, 2017

1990 Collegiate Collection Arizona State Sun Devils

Yesterday I stopped by the Dollar Tree store. I needed to get some AAA batteries. And some cards. Mostly the cards.   The feeder towers by checkout lane number 1 had the usual.  Stickers from current and older movies, baseball card repacks (with a shiny card on top), other major sports that I don't care too much about, and these "2 Original Trading Card Packs - Only $1 Buck".  A $1 Buck?  Okay, I'll bite.

I selected the ASU Trading Cards.  I attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.  ASU wasn't our rival.  They were in a different conference.  They were not looked upon very favorably.  But gotta root for the state teams.

I thought that this pack might be similar to the Collegiate Collection Notre Dame packs from the same era.  Football, football, football.
I guess Collegiate Collections signed a deal and asked the athletic department to ask the archives and special collections department to provide photos of teams, players, and facilities.  So we get a photo of the 1970 football team.  More text than photo.

If the thing behind Art Becker's head is the backboard glass, that's one tall dude.  The card says he's just 6'8".  Hmmm.

Fan / Assistant # 81, just to Wood Green's left, is ready to go into the game and pick up some extra yards.  No helmet?  Now that's dedication.

Ah, when ties were wide and students were named Norris.  He was good enough to be signed by George Halas.  See, reading the backs of cards is educational.

In my mind I've never thought of ASU as women's basketball powerhouse.  But I live in the shadow of Thompson-Boling Arena, the home to so many of Pat Summit's wins.

I've got nothing.  Good for Ms. Webb.

I've only known of a few people named Curley.  The Stooge, and Mr. Culp.  Wait, the Stooge didn't have the "e"?  How about Curley Neal, from the Harlem Globetrotters?  No "e" there, either?  I only know of one person named Curley.  That would be Mr. Culp.

Always good to have a pool shot.  That should be in landscape mode.  Sort of like the 1970 football team card.

Looking at these cards on COMC, I see that there were variations.  Either a gold back or a black back.  The biggest player to be featured in this set was Barry Bonds.  I have no desire to collect this set.  I bought it on a lark.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

2016 Topps Update Series

The new baseball season is in full swing, so let's look at some baseball cards! I spent pretty much all of 2016 ragging on Topps for their weak flagship design. This 8 card pack (must be from a blaster) came to me in a repack box, which will make this the first 2016 Topps pack I've ever opened. Enjoy.

US194 - Eric Hosmer All-Star - Hosmer is holding up his bat like he won something.

US19 - Max Scherzer - Scherzer has a serious case of pitcher face.

US172 - Kenley Jansen - I can't even remember if I watched the All-Star Game last year. I'm sure the AL won.

US200 - Alex Colome - Colome is wearing the event jersey and not a game jersey, so he must be warming up or something? Pitching to someone in the Home Run Derby? The back of the card mentions that he didn't appear in the game.

TF-17 - Hanley Ramirez Franklin - Topps treads down a dangerous slope here with a sponsored insert set. It's... not very exciting.

There's a coupon on the back of this, but it's already expired. I do like Topps giving us poor retail buying chumps some coupons, though.

US227 - Aaron Sanchez - Sensing a theme here? It's another All-Star card. Sanchez "worked the fourth inning" but apparently all the cameras were broken.

US291 - Dellin Betances - Betances is a 3-time All-Star somehow. I seem to recall that he fell off a cliff after Chapman was traded, but now he's back. Maybe a 4th straight appearance is on the horizon?

US44 - Aledmys Diaz Rookie Debut - Finally, the first and only non-All-Star card. It's also a subset card, however. Diaz had a fantastic but abbreviated rookie season, and has crushed two HRs so far today. I like him. He's good.