Monday, April 30, 2012

2001 Upper Deck Minor League Centennial

Today we have a pack of 2001 Upper Deck Minor League Centennial!
This is an interesting set... seems similar to Tristar's current offerings, a mix of MILB players and MILB "legends" (usually big league legends in their minor league uniforms).

This pack also advertises the possibility of hitting Michael Jordan baseball cards.

Buying an older Minor League pack/box is a double edged sword. You have a chance of hitting guys who became great players, but pretty much anyone who hasn't made it yet isn't going to.
First, we have Austin Kearns. He has been bouncing around the bigs since 2002, and gained a tiny amount of notoriety for his 2011 DUI arrest.
Next up... Toe Nash! Looks like this is the all-justice-system pack. Toe spent a year in the minors and was, for a while, highly praised and considered to be the next big thing. He was later arrested numerous times and is now a registered sex offender.

Third is Jacob Peavy! Before he was Jake. We all know he went on to be a star pitcher for the Padres (and is seeing something of a resurgence now)... but how stupid is that cap?
Here we have Drew Henson. Drew played a year for the Yankees and a few years in the NFL, not seeing any outstanding successes at a professional level for either sport.
And finally, Andre Dawson! The "Hawk" is one of my favorite all-time players, and a nice way to round out the pack.

If nothing else, this pack was interesting.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites (Hobby)

Today I'm breaking a pack of 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites.

I've always enjoyed this set. It hasn't been produced in a few years but you can still find hobby boxes and packs of these around. The idea is basically reprints with different photos of classic players.

Each box yields two autos and there are also refractors inserted randomly.

Here's my pack!
First we have Charlie Hough. I'm a huge Tim Wakefield fan and have since become a fan of anything relating to the knuckleball... so Charlie stuff is always nice.
Next up is Cleon Jones, who played an important role on the "Amazin' Mets" of 1969, the season during which he was also selected to his only All-Star team.
Third we have Harmon Killebrew! One of the most famous Twins of all time and a hall-of-famer, Harmon was known for his tape-measure dingers.
Next we have Keith Hernandez. Famous for Seinfeld and Just for Men ads almost as much as he is for his baseball heroics.
Fifth is Brooks Robinson, otherwise known as the "human vacuum cleaner" due to his handiwork with a glove at third base. Another HOF'er, and an Orioles legend.
And finally we have Bob Dernier. He is a one-time gold glove winner with less-than-stellar offensive abilities. He later served as a coach for the Cubs.

Overall I like this pack and I LOVE this set. The non-glossy design is great for TTMs (I've got a great one of Don Zimmer on one of these cards) and overall a blast to collect.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2002 Topps Gallery Hobby Edition Baseball

2002 Topps Gallery is today's pack. The package advertises "A SETBUILDER'S MASTERPIECE"!

Autos and Relics fall at 1:44 packs. Let's see what we yield.
Yay, an advertising insert! This tells you all about how to bid on Topps stuff on eBay. Obviously all of this series' stuff was sold long ago.
First we have the outspoken Jurassic Carl. Famous more for his words than his actions, but a good player nonetheless.
Photobucket Neifi Perez is next. One gold glove and about 1,300 hits for him in 12 seasons.
And here's Lance Berkman. I don't like Lance Berkman. I don't really have a reason. Photobucket
Eric Chavez. A guy with a great glove and slightly-above-mediocre hitting, despite the fact that he hit for the cycle.
Hideo Nomo. The first of many Japanese pitchers who were highly paid and had very short peaks in the MLB before fading into obscurity.
Deivis Santos. I can't find any info on this guy.

So there it is.

I will say this... if you were to wipe down these cards to make them less glossy they would make very good TTM autograph cards. The "paintings" look better than the current Gypsy Queen paintings which usually zombify the players, at least in my opinion. I'm overall unimpressed by this pack.

Friday, April 27, 2012

2009 Topps Unique Baseball

I had so much fun with my first post I thought I'd come back for some more!

I decided to bust a hobby pack of 2009 Topps Unique Baseball. I don't honestly know a whole lot about 2009 Topps Unique. In fact, I was rather curious what was so "unique" about this set that it warranted being called that. With an auto and relic per box and a 200 card base set, it doesn't really sound all that unique. Anyhow, I busted the pack. And here is what I got (yes, this is every card).
First, a Wilkin Ramirez RC. This card is serial numbered to 2699, as with all of the RC's. As you can see, there is nothing strikingly "Unique" about this design.

Next, the only other card in the pack:

What the heck is this? Its basically a manufactured bat relic... except with a President on it instead of a player?!?

I don't even know what to think about this hit. I hit a $40 BV relic in a $3 pack so obviously that's a success. But seriously, whose idea was this? "Oh hey, I know what card collectors want, manufactured relics that look like a bat barrel but instead feature an obscure president. Yes, yes they will like that a lot. Lets make some logoman patches and replace the caps with tophats for Honest Abe too! No? No, you don't like that idea? Ok, just the president bat barrels then."

I'll admit. They weren't lying. This is "Unique".

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Bronze Bordered Parallel Pack

These bland designed mini packs are included in the 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen value packs which have three retail packs included.  These are just called "bordered parallel" cards on the packaging and I've added the "bronze" title to them because they look...well...bronze.  We get three unnumbered cards inside and let's see what I got:

#20 Chipper Jones
#137 Jose Reyes
#120 Mickey Mantle
Not too bad in my opinion...the Mantle looks great and I also love me a CHIPPA! card.

2009-10 Fleer Ultra Hockey

After a rough couple of days of being sick and then watching my favorite hockey team, the Boston Bruins, get eliminated in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final match-up against Washington last night, I'm hoping a pack of hockey cards will help to cheer me up.  I always keep a stack of 10 or so packs in my card closet for a rainy day, and this one's been there for at least a couple of years now.  I don't particularly care for this set, and I don't even recall buying the pack.  It's a hobby pack, so I must have picked it up at the shop when I was grabbing supplies or something.  Anyway, 8 cards included, here we go...

#100 - Nikolai Zherdev
Nikolai spent the 2011-12 season playing overseas in the KHL.

#16 - Thomas Vanek
Vanek's 2011-12 season wasn't exactly stellar.  His 26 goals made for his lowest total since his rookie season.

#27 - Ray Whitney
Here's one of those older players that you just have to root for.  At age 39, Whitney appeared in all 82 games this past season and scored an impressive 77 points (good for 12th in the NHL)!  He chipped in with a goal and two assists in round 1 of the playoffs, where his Coyotes triumphed over the Chicago Blackhawks.

#12 - Tim Thomas
So much for getting over last night I guess.  I still can't get over the goal that won it in overtime for the 'Caps.  I think it would have been much easier to take had Semin or Ovechkin just sniped a corner or something.

#219 - Jay Beagle Ultra Rookie (Gold Medallion Parallel)
Alright, I've had it with this pack.  My Gold Medallion parallel is a rookie card of Jay Beagle, who was a thorn in the Bruins' side during the entire series, especially at the face-off dot.  He actually seems like a great, scrappy third or fourth line forward and in time maybe I'll appreciate pulling this rookie parallel.  Right now I feel like taking a pair of scissors to it though.

#187 - Niklas Kronwall

#183 - Jack Johnson

#68 - Anze Kopitar
The final 3 cards all had badly dinged lower left corners, so they were tossed.  If anyone wants or needs any of the first 5 just let me know.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fairfield Co. Authentic Memorabilia: Autograph Edition (Baseball)

First off, as this is my first post I should introduce myself! I'm Sam and I write the blog Wax Pack Geek. I'm pumped to be posting here on APTBNL. 
So if you have been to Target you have probably seen these. They are packaged by the Fairfield Company (they package a lot of the grab-bag and assorted retail pack boxes). The package guarantees one autograph and 4 assorted MLB packs. On the package we see a bunch of awesome autographs, none of which anyone ever pulls, most likely... including Griffey, Nolan Ryan, A-Rod, Longo, Han-Ram.

I busted two of these. They both had the same offerings for the packs: 2010 Upper Deck, 2011 Opening Day, 2008 UD First Edition Update, and 2007 Fleer Ultra. Each also features two little white envelopes with the autographs. I won't list every base card I pulled but I will hit the highlights (and low-lights).

First, I'll bust the 2010 Upper Deck. This set is somewhat infamous for the fact that it had no MLB team licenses leading to a lawsuit (Upper Deck decided to display team uniforms without removing any logos.) Here is a Ryan Franklin base card. Nothing too special.
The Upper Deck "Supreme" inserts are somewhat similar to the previous "Starquest" offerings (we will see some of those with the 08 UD Break later).

This is one of the more hilarious cards I pulled... I'm actually thinking of sending it for a TTM Auto... its Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor!
Next, we'll break the 2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update. Each pack boasts a "Starquest" insert. I've been noticing with these first Edition Packs a pattern... every single one I've opened is a "common"... with other UD products I have seen a wider variety, which leads me to believe that all (or almost all) of the First Edition packs feature the common inserts. Honestly, this is not a product I would buy on its own.

The Yankee Stadium Legacy Continuity series is present in 08 UD First Edition Update. I pulled this Bucky Dent.
Next we have the 07 Fleer Ultra. They must have made a LOT of these packs because, honestly, I still see them in just about every Target and Wal-Mart I go to.

These are a couple parallels from the set. The only difference is the gold (looks like blue on the scan) printing. I pulled no other inserts in these.
Finally, we have 2011 Opening Day. Opening Day, much like UD First Edition, is a lower end set with very little in the way of AU/GU inserts. The cards look like the regular base set but cheaper... almost as if someone scanned the base design and then printed it with a household printer.

Here is a Richard Nixon insert (should I try this one for TTM too? oh wait...) a base card, and a Cliff Lee/Rangers Insert.

So, finally, the two autos:

Photobucket First, a Cesar Izturis auto. 2002 Leaf Rookies. He is a one-time all-star and gold glove, so I guess that makes it better than average.

..and next, a Matt Tolbert 08 Topps Chrome RC Auto. I actually like this set a lot. They are smooth looking... especially the blue refractors.

So there's my first post here! Hope you liked it. I have an assortment of hobby packs coming in the mail I plan to break in the next couple weeks including some we haven't done yet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2005 Topps Wacky Packages Series 2

Two packs of 2005 Topps Wacky Packages Series 2 are ripped:


And here is a slide show of the cards I pulled:


Thursday, April 19, 2012

2010 Topps Update Blaster Pack Patch Card


Hope everyone's doing well.  Not a whole lot of energy this evening, so here's another quick one.  Here's the bonus patch card that came with a 2010 Topps Update blaster box I picked up a while back.

Here's the pack:

Just like with the Series 2 patch card, the player's name is along the top of the card, so here's the patch:

Well, this could be one of the what, 100 players who were chosen to participate in the Mid-Summer Classic?  For the record, the National League won the game and Brian McCann was the MVP.  Got your guesses in?  Let's pull back and see who it is:

#MCP150 - Albert Pujols

It's the circle of life!  How often do you get a card of a player who would eventually play for the team who hosted the All-Star Game, commemorated with the manupatch on that card?  Not often, I think.  Here's the back:

I'll have a much longer post next time.  Thanks for reading!