Sunday, August 30, 2009

2009 Upper Deck Philadelphia

Upper Deck throws its hat into the football retro ring with 2009 Philadelphia. If heard that it's Always Sunny in Philadelphia so will the sun shine on this pack of Philly?

#93 Mercedes Lewis

#1 Kurt Warner

#89 Dallas Clark

#178 Chris Long

#106 Adrian Peterson

Here is what the backs look like:

#28 Jonathan Stewart

I am usually a sucker for the retro set [Topps Mayo to be specific] but the new color photography with old design doesn't do it for me. I'm passing on this set.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 Upperdeck Football Release

So I went a little crazy; I bought a three dollar pack. I know I splurged and that my money would be better spent on eBay or at a hobby store, but I couldn't resist. Besides it would cost me $10 in gas to get to my nearest hobby store and back, so I went ahead and got a 2009 Upperdeck football back ...retail.

At first when I opened it and flipped the cards over I noticed the lettering on my Calvin Johnson was gold. After opening UD Baseball packs I thought this was going to be a numbered insert. To my dismay this was simply the base design of the card. Don't get me wrong I like the gold lettering; it just would have been nice to have a Calvin Johnson insert. I thought it was odd that an insert would be the first card.

In the Upperdeck packs you get:

  • 18 cards
  • At least 2 rookies
  • No Starquest ?

That's right the beloved foil "insert" (it's basically a subset) was nowhere to be found in my retail pack. It's a little disappointing, because I always liked helping people collect the whole starquest set. Plus, I loved the super rare versions that came every once in a while. Anyway, one of my Rookies was of Phil Loadholt of the Vikings and the other was of Brian Robiskie Cleveland Browns WR. I like the Robiskie; although I generally don't like non-action photography this card is pretty cool and Upperdeck usually pulls this off pretty well.

So far I've mentioned my two rookies and a Calvin Johnson, but there were fifteen more base set cards: Brady Quinn, Jerricho Cotchery, Maurice Jones-Drew (one of my favorite non Ravens),
Frank Gore, Michael Jenkins, Visanthe Shiancoe, Jamal Lewis, Antonio Pittman, Bradie James, Terell Owens (Wish they could have gotten him in a Bills practice jersey or something, but I guess that is hard; he rarely goes to practice) Lance Moore, Albert Haynesworth, Cortland Finnegan, TJ "Who's your Mama?" Housmandzadeh and Marques Colston. Here is what the back looks like:

I don't think I am going to be buying too many of these via retail. Although memorbilia odds are 1:24 I just don't like spending $3 a pack it gets spendy pretty quick. I do like the design and I know that UD rookies generally generate more value than Toppps or any other base set rookie, but it seems like you have to buy a hobby box to stand a real shot at getting anything good.

2009 Topps Kickoff Pack Break

For a measely $0.97 here is what you can get:
  • Cheaper versions of Topps Base set cards
  • 2 rookies per pack
  • Some inserts
  • Slim Odds of pulling anything worth more than $10

Honestly, these packs aren't that bad for a collector. No you're not going to find a Mark Sanchez autographed rookie card, and you're not going to find some amazing dual game used card, which is why they are only $0.97. Really the only highly coveted insert you can get is a printing plate (1:1, 1,992) What you do get is worth the value at least for curiosity. I got a pretty sweet Santonio Holmes, which features a nice photo of him in the Super Bowl and I like that a lot. My next card was a Stars of The Game insert of DeAngelo Williams. This card probably makes up for the buck that I spent on the pack.

Next I got a Reggie Wayne base set card followed by a Brian Westbrook base set card. These cards feature nice photography. They are obviously cheap cards, but still nice photos. The lettering on them is just white as opposed to the Topps base set, which uses foil lettering, but I don't feel bad about taking my chances on a pack that cost less than a pack of Juicy Fruit.

Above is one of my rookie cards (Josh Freeman), who is one of the better rookies I could have pulled. My other rookie was of Ramses Barden a WR for the New York Giants. My expectations for this pack were not very high, but what I received shattered them. A cool insert of DeAngelo Williams and two offensive rookie cards. A pretty nice pick up for a buck. I wouldn't recommend buying these packs too often. I can definitely see how one could be a total waste of money, but if you're at the store and you're looking to spend that last dollar why not pick one up? You never know.

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Series 1

Collector's Choice seems like it was kind of like Upper Deck: Trapped in Time. The thin card stock, the white borders and on down to the backs of the cards look like they were some sort of natural progression from the 1992 Upper Deck base set, whereas 1993's base set took off on some sort of higher quality plane. As is usual, I have a hard time resisting any mid-'90s stuff with the price tag of 50 cents. Let's take a look.

25 - Frank Rodriguez Rookie Class (Not to be confused with Francisco Rodriguez.)

40 - Greg Maddux All-Star (I'm not sure if this was some sort of Topps-like subset for all-stars or if Maddux got a special label slapped on his regular card.)

40 - Greg Maddux All-Star (I'm not sure if this... wait a sec! I expect better QC for my half of a dollar.)

355 - Paul Molitor Tribute (It seems like this "tribute" would be reserved for the end of his career but he went on to play for a few more seasons.)

99 - Mark Portugal

48 - Jason Schmidt

47 - Mark Wohlers (Agh, so many Braves. And I have really bad feelings about the Braves in 1996. Really bad.)

56 - Ben McDonald (Maybe Ben McDonald was unjustly labeled a bust. Through the 1995 season, as shown on the back of this card, he had a career 3.89 ERA with a 2:1 K:BB ratio and more wins than losses for a pretty lousy franchise. That's not saying that he was amazing by any stretch, but a pitcher like that can be pretty useful to most teams.)
- You Make the Play How To Play card (No idea.)

79 - Jim Bullinger

353 - Alex Gonzalez

26 - Paul Molitor You Make the Play (These are one-per-pack inserted attempts to get you interested in some sort of playing card game.)

121 - Jose Mesa All-Star Silver Signature (These were also probably one per pack. I need to check to see if this is in the TribeCards collection.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1994 Score Select Series 2

The Score Select line kicked off on a high note in 1993, but I'm not so sure about the sophomore year. I've seen others who have praised this set, and I do appreciate the photography, but something really bothers me about the gold bar with the player's last name in all caps splitting up the card. Anyway, here's a pack of the stuff, series 2 style.

309 - Tim Salmon (Great slugger in his day.)

371 - Ken Hill

332 - Pedro Martinez (Eventually, the Ex-Expos player is going to become extinct. I'm sure that it's in no danger of happening anytime soon, but we know that Pedro's career can't carry on a whole lot longer despite his recent signing with the Phillies.)

387 - Greg Colbrunn

319 - Will Clark

416 - Tim Hyers Rookie Prospect (Am I the only one who liked the two-toned SD cap?)

392 - Rich Rowland Rookie Prospect

297 - Kenny Rogers (Cheater!)

217 - Lee Smith (should be in the Hall of Fame is the end of that sentence.)

290 - Erik Hanson (I like to show the backs of the cards if they look halfway decent, and these do. I was never fond of the weird Pinnacle stripe thing at the bottom of the cards on their products back then. I think it was supposed to be their anti-counterfeiting version of Upper Deck's hologram logo, but I don't really understand it. Also, counterfeiting cards from this era seems pretty hilarious in retrospect.)

268 - Fred McGriff (I always thought McGriff was an underappreciated legend in the making.)

232 - Gregg Jefferies (Great way to end the pack with a Cardinals card.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More 2009 Topps Chrome Hobby

These are my first two Chrome packs of the year and come from Al's Sports Cards in Topeka.

If I could do a little industrial espionage I would love to see what the price points are for Topps to make Chrome cards...specifically the X-Fractor versions. Does it really cost nearly double to make a chorme card versus a standard card?

Pack #1

#177 James McDonald Rookie Card

#W38 Cheng-Ming Peng
Outfielder for Chinese Taipei

#38 Tim Hudson

#31 Kevin Youkilis

I think I'm voting for this to be my favorite card of 2009. I think I might try to put together a master set of this out Youk fans...

Pack #2

#161 Rick Ankiel

#84 Alex Rios Refractor

#213 Andrew McCutchen Rookie Card

#163 Robinson Cano

Alas, no X-Fractor.

1988 Topps Big Baseball

This set was released in three 88-card series. A total of 264 cards were released. These are nice-looking cards. The card stock is a bit flimsy. Although they were made in the era of overproduced cards, I still like them.

#85 Ron Darling #73 Pete Incaviglia

#37 Gary Carter

#13 Jose Canseco
#11 Dwight Gooden
#67 Juan Samuel

#61 Mike LaValliere

Nice 1950s-style backs.