Saturday, July 31, 2010

2005 Leaf Baseball (Hobby)

I recently bought a box of this stuff on ebay. I wasn't collecting during this time period, and it was an absolute blast going through it. Overall, I'd consider the venture to be a success (you can see the results here on the blog), and figured I would share the best pack (in terms of beating the odds) with you.
One of the main reasons I got this is because of the Sportscasters insert set. You average about 6 per box, they feature a great checklist and look really, really cool. There aren't any in this pack, because that would be too easy. But, check out the community and you can see which ones I snagged.

#2 - Casey Kotchman - I always think of him as being older than I just read he is. Turns out he's 2.5 years younger than me. That makes the ol' knee start to ache.

#58 - Sean Casey - You get the same boring picture from the front in a watered down version on the back. Casey has become an okay broadcaster on MLB network. Too much of the ten year old kid talkin' sports comes out in his delivery.

#18 - John Smoltz - I don't think I realized how long Smoltz was a reliever. This is about 5 years into that phase of his career.

#PTT-269 - Frank Thomas - Passing Through Time - Don't let the lettering on the card number fool you, this is part of the 300 card base set. It is, however, supposedly short printed to some degree. I only got 4 in my box.

Here's the back of the same card, showing how the theme works. The back is a picture from the earlier days (possibly the first years of Leaf?) and the front shown above is the current shot.

#FG-3 - Taye Diggs - Fans of the Game Autograph - Here's what makes it the best pack of the box odds-wise. The regular Fans of the Game inserts are seeded at 1:24 packs or 1 per box. The autographs are so rare that they have no odds. Although, they do not list any odds greater than 1:118 for anything on the pack. The checklist in the box shows more people that aren't actually in the product according to Beckett. There were only includes three subjects this year: Sean Astin, Tony Danza, and Diggs. Danza supposedly only signed 50 cards, because he's in control and can do whatever he wants. It's really a toss-up as to whether I'd prefer to have Diggs or Rudy.
#33 - Jason Varitek - Back to boring ol' regular non-autographed cards not signed by non-movie stars.
#92 - Roy Oswalt - He's been with the Astros his entire career until now. I would have liked to see him (and Berkman) stay put, but I understand why he left. There's that extra appreciation for the guy who can go an entire career with one team.

#12 - Luis Gonzalez - Maybe it's because I wasn't following all that closely, but it seems like he assembled a pretty nice career very quietly.

Well, there you have it. Not the best pack in the box in terms of excitement and quality cards that I wanted, but certainly the best in terms of odds beating. If anyone is interested in the auto (or really almost any of the other cards I came away with), let me know and I'll be happy to trade.

Friday, July 30, 2010

2005 Topps Rookie Cup Hobby Edition

Hello again all. I have 2005 Topps Rookie Cup Hobby Edition pack from the Vend-O-Pack to show everyone. Check out the post about the baseball card vending machine I have near me over on my blog BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet. These packs came with 7 cards per pack with 2 inserts and one sn'd parallel as part of the 7 cards.

2005 Topps Rookie Cup Hobby Edition

#122 Bengie Molina (Angels)
#131 Brad Wilkerson (Expos)
#106 Nomar Garciaparra (Red Sox)
#133 Eric Hinski (Blue Jays)

Green Parallel #25 Bill Buckner (Dodgers) sn'd 102/199
Reprint #26 Don Baylor (Orioles)
Reprint #145 Chad Tracy (D-Backs)

Some backs.


Total Cards: 7
Teams Represented: 7
Rookie Cards: 0
Parallels: 1 Sn'd /199
Inserts: 2
Hits: 0
Keepers for Me: 1 (Buckner, the rest are available)
Front Design: 6.5 out of 10. Nice design, decent photos Rookie Cup logo, no team logos, same background logo on all cards.
Back Design: 6 out of 10. Nice design, rookie all-star season and total career stats only, no team logo gray and white only colors.
Player Selection: 7 out of 10. Good variety, all rookie cup winners, some stars.

Single into short right field. I like these cards a whole lot even though the design is fairly simple and I got only one keeper. I like the idea of only all-star rookie cup winners in the set and am always a fan of the reprints of older cards. A different twist is the reprints of rookie cup cards that are usually second year cards of most players. I am thinking of finding a box of these to bust.
Give us your rating on these and check out another pack of these over on my Pack Rip Cafe as I got 2 packs to rip out of the Vend-O-Pack.

Also check out the Vend-O-Pack post over on The Buffet to enter a little contest I am having.

Thanks for Reading!

2005 Topps Batman Begins (Hobby)


I recently won a sealed hobby box of Topps Batman Begins trading cards at a comic show as a door prize. I'm not a Batman fan, or a DC Comics fan, but I am a fan of ripping open packs so let's take a look at the 7 cards in the pack.

#6 Lucius Fox

At least the back of the card features a different photo. Here we find out a little more about the character - which was some what interesting to me since I've never seen this movie.

#46 A Very Special Delivery

The backs of the cards are really nice. As with most movie or TV tie-in sets you get a block of text describing what is going on in the front image. Again though the backs have a different image and the crime scene tape across the bottom is a nice touch.

#89 The Dark Knight Forever

#74 Madman In Custody

#5 Alfred Pennyworth

#13 Fun With Bruce and Rachel

#55 Facing the Fear

#40 Knight Patrol

I believe I may have enough cards to complete this set so if anyone is remotely interested drop me a line. My hit out of the box is a Batmobile Front Tire 'relic' card inserted 1:75 packs. Everything is available.

2003 Topps Series 2

I recently had the opportunity to pick up a couple of 2003 Topps packs, one from Series 1 and the other from Series 2. I'm trying to collect the whole set, traded set included, but I have yet to commit any serious money to it. It's not that the design is the best thing ever, but I am really drawn to the dark blue borders as you just don't see that a lot.

506 - Ryan Dempster (Dumpster is a Cub now and I really don't like Cubs. Hey, they aren't paying me to impartial here... or paying me at all.)

560 - Gary Glover (Gary Glover sounds more like an actor's name than a baseball player.)

458 - Josh Fogg (Ah, the Dragonslayer. Did that name ever stick, or was that just something that bored Rockies announcers came up with a few years ago?)

599 - Carlos Lee (Lee has really, really hurt one of my fantasy teams. Of course, he then has to go and hit 2 HRs when I had him on the bench. Also, I hate the Crawford Boxes. Just throwing that out there...)

665 - B.J. Upton Draft Pick (Unlimited potential. Time-limited uniform.)

696 - Todd Helton NL Gold Glove Award Winner

546 - Bartolo Colon

496 - Shane Spencer (Spencer was the Kevin Maas of 1998, when he hit 10 HRs in 67 ABs for the Yankees before turning into... well... Kevin Maas.)

602 - Ryan Drese

440 - Adam Hyzdu
- Checklist 3/3

Unlike most of these posts, none of these cards are up for grabs because I needed them all. If you have any spare 2003 Topps cards, especially Series 2 or the Traded stuff, feel free to send me an e-mail. I won't even complain about your favorite team.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

1994 Pacific

Here's another pack from the Junk Wax Giveaway. Pacific was still getting their feet wet and it shows. This design is pretty unattractive, even for junk wax standards, although I will give them credit for full bleed photos.

275 - Greg Swindell (Considering what was to come next, these Astros uniforms are a bit of a relief to see.)

299 - Hipolito Pichardo

305 - Tom Candiotti (Was this knuckleballer "The Candy Man" or was that John Candelaria?)

327 - Alex Diaz (Gold trophies on a rookie... what a novel concept.)

235 - Jack Armstrong (Armstrong lost 17 games in the Marlins first ever season.)

370 - Carl Willis

391 - John Vander Wal

400 - John Franco (I didn't realize how long the Mets went with that cursive "New York" look on their road unis, unless this is an outdated photo.)

211 - Danny Bautista

262 - Chris Donnels

285 - John Habyan (Here's a look at what the card back design looks like. It's nice to see such a huge photo, but the stats are lacking. A lot of Pacific sets, or at least the earlier ones, were bilingual.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2010 Tristar TNA The New Era

Wow, the pack ripping just continues here @ APTBNL! I'm back with another pack of wrestling cards - 2010 Tristar TNA The New Era. If you're not a wrestling aficionado TNA is a smaller professional wrestling circuit. The roster of athletes consists of former NWA, WCW and WWE personalities as well as new talent. TNA doesn't stand for what you think it does either - Total Nonstop Action. Yeah, it is rather cheesy if you think about it. TNA however got a huge bolster earlier this year when Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair joined the TNA family. This New Era trading card set tries to capitalize on each of these legends of the squared circle.

Other than a random pack of minor league baseball cards I've not had much exposure to Tristar product, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened a pack of this earlier this year for a first impressions look on my blog, Cardboard Collections. I've got a fresh new pack so let's rip it open.


#8 Ric Flair

Come everybody, let's say it together. Whooooo! It's the Nature Boy. Stylin' and profilin'.

Granted Ric is a wrestling legend and he calls home my home town of Charlotte, NC - Ric is really starting to show his age. I've only seen a few episodes of TNA Impact with Flair so far and I can report he is still "the dirtiest player in the game". I like the character and it's good to see him still in touch with the wrestling business, but I wonder how much longer he can last.


#23 Sting

He hasn't been around as long as Flair has, but Sting is still a legend of sorts. Ever since the old WCW and NWO days he's dressed in black and hung around in the rafters of the buildings, attacking randomly with his black baseball bat. When he came to TNA I hoped he'd actually wrestle again (Scorpion Death Drop anyone?), but it's been more of the same.

#16 Mr. Anderson

Mr. Kennedy, I mean, Mr. Anderson joined TNA in March 2010. I'm guessing he had some sort of dispute with the WWE and had no where else to go so off to TNA he went. As you can tell from the photo he still has the same ring entrance where a microphone is lowered from the ceiling into the center of the ring and he does his own ring introduction.

#50 Rob Terry


#87 The Band: Off Key

It's the core of the old NWO from the WCW days. Syxx-Pac (or the 1-2-3 Kid as I remember him) , Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) & Kevin Nash (Diesel). Apparently Syxx-Pac and Scott Hall think Nash has sold out as he doesn't want to be associated with them anymore. I don't keep up w/ TNA so I can't say more other than all 3 of the guys look like they need to hang up their boots.

From what I know TNA is having a hard time competing with the WWE and I wouldn't be surprised of they go under at some point - or bought out as the WWE seems to do to their competition, but Tristar has produced a very nice trading card set. Sure at only 5 cards per pack and a MSRP of $1.99 it can be expensive to hand build the 90 card set, but I like the base design. There are parallels of some sort serially numbered to 1, 10 & 30 along with the popular OBAK inserts that are short printed and round off the base set (10 cards). Autograph cards are also randomly inserted and from what I've seen on eBay some of them are very nice. Overall a great wrestling set. Topps could take a few pointers here in my opinion.