Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1993 Fleer Ultra Series 2

Here's another pack from a box in my free Fleer Group Break. I feel like everyone who collected in the early '90s went through an extended love affair with all things Ultra. So much gloss and so many inserts!

308 - Greg McMichael

387 - Walt Weiss (Rockies and Marlins are all over the Series 2 release. The problem with this is that almost every player on these teams was, at best, mediocre. And don't get me started about Nigel Wilson or David Nied, each team's #1 expansion picks. That's right... expansion teams get players no one else wants.)

342 - Willie Blair

555 - Lou Whitaker (Cool card backs, for the most part. I don't like the lack of full career stats, but you get two additional full color pictures of the players.)

8 of 20 - Larry Walker Ultra All-Star (This has to go down as one of the weirder insert set designs. I don't really even know what to say.)

521 - Torey Lovullo

573 - Carlos Maldonado

561 - Phil Hiatt

548 - Cecil Fielder (Cecil "slumped" his way to a .244 season with 35 HR and 124 RBI in 1992. I remember everyone being seriously disappointed in that season, but in retrospect his .783 OPS that season wasn't the worst thing in the world and served as an outlier in a big 7 year run that saw him eventually win a ring with the Yankees when all was said and done.)

532 - Ozzie Guillen (Speaking of OPS, Ozzie Guillen had a career OPS of .626, yet played for 16 seasons all the while appearing on 3 All-Star teams. His best offensive season saw him drive in 50 runs, hit .280 and turn in a .666 OPS. You could knock the bat out of his hands, literally.)

511 - Greg Harris

612 - Kevin Seitzer (I make fun of Kevin Seitzer on an almost regular basis when talking about baseball, but the truth is that he was an above average player who lasted for an above average 12 years in the majors.)

623 - Tino Martinez (Seattle probably should have hung on to this guy.)

638 - Matt Whiteside

Monday, August 29, 2011

1996 Fleer (Hobby)


Fleer tried something different with their 1996 release...an all matte design.  They dropped the UV coating on the fronts and backs.  Unfortunately all of the letters on the card's front were still gold foil stamped.  Each hobby pack contained 11 cards.  There were 10 different insert sets with one card per pack.  Glossy Tiffany parallels could also be found one per pack.

#369 David Nied

#14 Joe Carter - Team Leader (Hobby exclusive)


I personally love this set.  If I didn't already have so much on my plate I'd attempt to build it.  In this day and age of every set having bells and whistles it was refreshing opening something plain and simple again.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011 Topps MLB Sticker Collection

It's back! After 21 year hiatus Topps brought back baseball stickers. For a $1 you get 8 stickers while $2 for sticker book. In this pack....

122 - Elvis Andrus

212 - Humberto Quintero - yay! Astros player!

173 - Jimmy Rollins

23 - Derek Jeter - latest member of 3000 hit club

224 - Andrew McCutchen - face of the Pirates

245 - Stephen Drew

20 - Curtis Granderson - hitting those homeruns

243 - Justin Upton

Pretty good pack of stickers.

Friday, August 26, 2011

1997 Fleer (Retail)

I was a huge fan of Fleer when they decided to go with a matte feel on their cards in 1996 and 1997.  So much a fan that I searched for a box of each year to feature in one my Affordable Group Breaks.  Today I bring you one pack from 1997 Fleer.

#251 Steve Avery | #172 Ramiro Mendoza | #354 Billy Wagner

I like the little 1996 World Series stamp on the Avery & Mendoza cards.

#204 Joey Cora | #250 Mike Timlin | #163 Mariano Duncan

Does anyone still collecting bunting cards?

#494 Chipper Jones (Checklist)

Oh come on, do you really think Chipper was going to share his space with 2 other players?

#430 Jeff King | #140 Bob Wickman | #271 Mark Wohlers

The backs aren't flashy, but then again neither are the fronts.  I like that.  Plain and simple.  Other companies could take note...wait a minute...there are no "other companies" anymore.  Topps, are you reading this?  We want plain and simple cards again!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1993 Fleer Series 1 Jumbo

I picked up a jumbo box of 1993 Fleer Series 1 at a recent card show and decided to dice it up as part of a free group break. This was the first year that Fleer went with a glossy coating on their cards. Here's a random pack from the box.

87 - Eric Hillman

217 - Derek Lilliquist (Lilliquist is the current bullpen coach for the Cardinals as well as acting pitching coach in Dave Duncan's absence.)

262 - Chili Davis

96 - Anthony Young (Young is checking to see if anyone noticed his 2-14 season.)

219 - Charles Nagy (Fleer tilted the card backs, a first for them. I do like the added touch of the second full color photo.)

85 - Daryl Boston

264 - Greg Gagne (More than anything in life, Gagne enjoys throwing down a good bunt.)

98 - Juan Bell

236 - George Brett

115 - Jose Lind

127 - Ray Lankford (Here's Lankford sporting some flip shades and some goofy straps.)

117 - Orlando Merced (Merced is apparently allergic to bats.)

300 - Walt Weiss

125 - Bernard Gilkey (Coming up in the Whiteyball era, it took awhile before Gilkey developed much power.)

302 - Willie Wilson

129 - Donovan Osborne

232 - Scott Livingstone

304 - Bret Boone (Boone drove in 147 runs in 2001, finishing 3rd in MVP voting while his own teammate took away the crown.)

234 - Mickey Tettleton

113 - Jeff King

355 - Ivan Rodriguez and Kirby Puckett Super Star Special (I always enjoy the Fleer Super Star Special cards, but I appreciated them more when they'd have a cheesy title on the front. This card is called "Power Packs".)

182 - Jody Reed

5 - Brian Hunter

40 - Tim Pugh

197 - Tim Salmon (Did anyone call him The Jammin' Salmon? No?)

357 - Roberto Alomar, Chuck Knoblauch and Carlos Baerga Super Star Special ("Infield Trifecta")

168 - Chris Hoiles

3 - Ron Gant

7 of 10 - Reggie Sanders Rookie Sensations (I seem to remember Rookie Sensations being a bigger deal in Fleer Basketball, at least in the early days. Sanders had a nice career playing for a lot of teams.)