Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cards One Trading Card Investment Series - Baseball Edition

I've read quite a few blog entries over time about collectors finding sports cards in unusual places, or at least away from the typical places that you usually find this type of stuff. One such place that I've heard mentioned by several people were dollar stores. I had visions of neglected treasures or grab bags filled with 1985 Fleer (thanks, Night Owl, for putting that thought in my head) and was feeling somewhat adventurous a couple of Saturdays ago. I hit up a couple of dollar stores and found that these things have small sections for trading cards now. Most of what could be found never retailed for more than 99 cents anyway in all likelihood, but I found something rather amusing from the good people at, er, "Cards One". I wasn't around for the World's Greatest Hobby/Find The Mickey Mantle/Whatever chase that I've only read about and stumbled across on eBay, but this looked like a suitable replacement. I'll let the pictures do the talking for the most part, because who am I to mess with sheer beauty? By the way, I didn't scan the back of the wrapper because the fine print was really tiny and barely readable, but you should know that the odds are 1-in-1 that I will receive a "$5 Off Investment Grading Service Coupon" as well as a 1-in-1 chance of receiving a "Super Star Trading Card".

1988 Topps - 642 - Bob Dernier

1988 Topps - 513 - Tim Flannery

1987 Donruss - 371 - Juan Beniquez (Better than '88 Topps, I guess.)

1985 Donruss - 616 - Joe Carter (This must be my Super Star Trading Card!)

1992 Score - 452 - Al Osuna

1988 Topps - 787 - Bill Almon

1988 Topps - 790 - Dave Righetti

1992 Score - 340 - Bob Kipper

1990 Topps - 422 - Pat Sheridan

1991 Score - 20 - Kal Daniels

1990 Donruss - 426 - Norm Charlton

1990 Topps - 644 - Paul Assenmacher

1991 Score - 572 - Steve Lake

1987 Topps - 608 - Wade Boggs All-Star (I suppose this could be the "star" card as well, but I'd rather have an '85 Donruss Joe Carter.)

2000 Team Best - Josh Hamilton Promo (And here's the, er, promised rookie minor league card. There's just a big logo and a website on the back. I'm guessing there's a whole case full of these laying around.)

Question: Which card from this pack should I submit to the "International Grading Service" for grading? I was thinking Pat Sheridan, but Al Osuna is looking pretty good as well.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2007 Bowman Heritage

I guess I was late to the party. I really liked 2007 Bowman Heritage when I first saw it, but it seems that it wasn't all that popular and Topps had already recycled all of the Bowman designs it could come up with by this point and it was killed. Fortunately, this means that you can still find this stuff fairly cheaply, and I'm currently working on putting the set together as well as the prospects and rainbowy foil cards. In the meantime, here's a pack that came with a repack thing.

66 - Jim Thome (Is Thome back in the A.L.? I don't remember. He should be, though.)

10 - Jermaine Dye (Someone find this man a job!)

99 - Robinson Cano Foil (Here's the one per pack rainbow foil card. My scanner makes them look sky blue.)

BHP95 - Juan Miranda Prospects (I'm not sure who he is, but people probably bought his cards anyway because he was wearing a Yankees uniform of sorts.)

BHP1 - Thomas Fairchild Prospects

3 of 3 - Checklist (I don't usually scan checklists, but I like the way these ones look.)

237 - Kevin Kouzmanoff

27 - Lance Berkman (Will Berkman return to form this season? Will I care? I really don't like the Astros.)

87 - David DeJesus

Alright, now it's time to work on that wantlist...

Monday, March 29, 2010

1990 Topps Cello Pack

My Christmas present to myself this year was six cases of Topps cello packs, one from each year of 1986-1991. I have just recently gotten back into the hobby, and those years represent the majority of the time I spent collecting the first time around, as well as the bulk of my meagre collection.

Amazingly, I haven't opened any of the packs yet. After I got back to my home from Christmas break, it was straight back into school. The term isn't even over, and I probably shouldn't be messing around on the computer when there's a pile of papers on my desk that need to be graded. But the siren song of the pack is too great.

Out of the six years, the 1990 cards are probably the ugliest. I'm not a big fan of the 1988 set, either, but that's more down to the color choices Topps made than the design of the card. So why did I pick a 1990 pack? On the hopes that I pull one of the cards Hand Collated needs so I can trade it to him. Here's the pack:
Let's see...31 cards and one stick of delicious 20-year-old gum. All for the princely sum of 89 cents. There's also a chance to win a trip to Spring Training...nineteen years ago. I think I missed the boat on that one.

Turning the pack over to open it, I can see through the cello that the top card is Giants manager Roger Craig. One down, 30 to go. Let's bust some, um, cellophane:
 351 - Roger Craig

204 - Bob Dernier (Doesn't this picture just scream "spring training"?)

161 - Harold Reynolds (Must have been cold that day in Seattle)

231 - Jack McKeon (Another manager card! How lucky can one guy get?)

Now we reach the portion of the pack where I started to pull a bunch of commons. Oh, who am I kidding? They're all commons:

95 - Todd Worrell
513 - Mark Eichhorn
421 - Greg Minton
446 - Dan Pasqua

288 - Greg Briley
Fans (all two of 'em) of my blog, RGB Cards, will know why I posted this card separately - it's a Mariner! (Ignore the fact that I lumped the White Sox in with a bunch of commons) Greg Briley, All-Star Rookie. Whoops! Seems like there was another Mariner youngster in 1990 who was pretty good. Can't put my finger on the name, though.

Don't worry, there's even more rookie disappointment to come. But first, some more commons:

473 - Joe Price
124 - Dave Dravecky (who had already retired when the 1990 cards came out)
313 - Gus Polidor
481 - Garry Templeton
101 - Shane Rawley
169 - Rich Dotson (I don't care what the card says, he's "Rich" not "Richard")

We interrupt this pack break for a sweet offer on a Topps sweatshirt:

I mean, come on! It's a puffy-lettered sweatshirt! What more incentive could you possibly need?
Okay, back to the cards:

332 - Paul O'Neill
The only card in the pack coming even remotely close to the definition of a star player. I've always liked O'Neill, but even I think of him as more of a Yankees player than a Reds player now.

568 - John Smiley
Smiles! The subject of my very first blog post on my blog, RGB Cards.
(Okay, that's two shameless plugs for my blog. I'll stop now.)

171 - Russ Nixon
Really? Three manager cards? Look at it this way - I'm 3/26 of the way to completing my 1990 managers set. Fun fact - this is the last Braves manager card that doesn't have Bobby Cox on it.

229 - David Wells (Look how young he looks! And relatively thin!)

314 - Donald Harris
According to the card, he was a No. 1 draft pick. Guess that didn't work out too well for Texas.

129 - Ron Jones
472 - Jose Uribe (That's two dead shortstops in this one pack - RIP Jose and Gus)
648 - Jim Clancy
26 - Don Slaught
265 - Pete O'Brien
651 - Rafael Santana

627 - Jose Rijo
I love Jose. Every Reds fan does. How can you not love a player who was so instrumental in bringing your team a championship? So he gets his own separate mention.

And we'll wrap things up with four more commons:

67 - Scott Sanderson
267 - Mark Davidson
284 - Mark Gardner, Future Star (I don't think so!)
492 - Ron Oester

Oh well. Not the most successful pack break ever conducted. I won't discuss the overall looks of the cards since that's been done to death in the blogosphere and, let's face it, 1990 Topps isn't the most popular. I still think it looks better than 1988, though. Nothing for Hand Collated, either. I'll have to try again next time.

So what should come next? 1986, 1987, 1988 (shudder), 1989 or 1991?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2009 Fan Pak

I know I've seen these posted elsewhere and I was surprised to find out that it might not have been here where I first read about them. I believe these Fan Pak "packs" were originally found in big box stores over near toy sections and/or sporting goods until someone came to their senses, marked them down to about half-price (99 cents instead of $1.99) and put them with trading cards. Despite their storage issues and their kid-friendly quirks, I think these are kind of a fun diversion. At the very least, I wouldn't mind some Pujols Fan Pak stuff or any other Cardinal-related fare.

60 - Ryan Zimmerman Standees (There are no insertion odds listed on these pack wrappers. Rather, each pack is stated to contain 2 "standees", 2 "headline cards", 1 "trivia/mini-game card" and 1 "tattoo card". The theory here is that you could fold up Zimmerman and make him stand on something.)

48 - Jim Thome Standee (The standees are numbered - this one is 48 - but the backs say "collect all 35 standees of your favorite players". I'm guessing the numbering sequence includes all of the different varieties of cards.)

12 - Brandon Webb Headlines (These "headlines" cards are more straight-forward and contain a fake newspaper article on the back of a real MLB event.)

25 - Johnny Cueto Headlines (Here's what Cueto's "article" looks like.)

77 - Trivia Card (I'm not really sure what to say about this. There's a lot of stuff going on here.)

T11 - Cubs FanTats (I'm guessing there's at least one of these for every team. I have no idea, though. I would put this straight in the trash, but there's actually an alarming number of Cubs fans who I have traded with in the past and hope to do so with again.)