Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012-13 Score Hockey

Stick with me, readers - I am going to do my best in explaining what I have here. I found these cards in the regular card aisle at Target. At first glance, I was quite confused as to what these cards honor, as I am sure I have not witnessed this sport played recently on television. But, as APTBNL's motto states, we will try anything once, so I picked up a pack to share with the rest of you. I spent time on Wikipedia researching this sport, and I will do my best to explain it to you through the photographs on the cardboard. First though, let's just show the pack.

You can see from the bright red and white contrasts why I was drawn to this pack. Again, being that I have not seen this sport shown on NBC, ESPN, Comcast or my local WGN station in recent months, the image on the front has me baffled. This "player" is wearing what appears to be a uniform. The apparatus on his head appears to be some kind of protective unit. You see the strange gloves over his hands. I thought they were to handle some nuclear waste of some sort, but it looks like a weapon in his hand. Don't worry - my research has explained what he is holding and I'll go in detail soon. Interesting item, though: notice there is no mention of the name of this sport on the wrapper. We know we have 7 cards in celebration of the players, yet what is this sport they are playing? Also, what is this foreign language that accompanies the English words? Alright, let me explain.

This is a sport called HOCKEY. You pronounced it almost as it's spelled. The first letters "hock" do rhyme with "lock", and the "y" at the end is silent. A good phonetic spelling of the sport is HAA-kee. It is very popular in Canda, which is the other language on the pack - French. The idea of this game is the players attempt to put a "puck" into the "net", also referred to as "putting the biscuit in the basket".

Here is a better shot of a "hockey" player.

Remember I mentioned a weapon in his hand? You can see it in better detail in this picture. This person, named Max Pacioretty, has a hockey "stick" in his hand. It is basically a much longer and thinner baseball bat that is curved at the end. This curve allows the player to "pass" and "shoot" the puck. The playing surface is not dirt, grass or floor but ice. Here - check out card number 2.

Now Tuomo Ruutu (side note - many names of these haa-kee players are difficult to speak) is skating on the ice. If you look close at the bottom of his stick, you see the haa-kee puck. Mr. Ruutu is skating on the ice towards the other team's "net" to try and score a goal (ie: biscuit in the basket). The puck is a round rubber object, black in color. While there have been attempts to give this piece of equipment a warmer name, it is always referred to as the puck.

Here is another player with the puck at the bottom of his stick. Andrew Desjadins plays for a team called the "Sharks". I wonder if the relation between water and ice inspired the team name.

This is Jordin Tootoo. Remember my comment on the difficult names? Notice the scary cat figure on his jersey. The card, however, seemed to state Mr. Tootoo moved to another team named the Red Wings. The logo is a tire with wings. Whatever this sport is, violence seems to run rampant through it.

Alright, this card has me confused. Not only with the difficult name (Gabriel Landeskog), but I am not sure what he is yelling for. From my research, it is possible Mr. Laneskog in engaged in some ritual chant after scoring a "goal". Yet, with the reference to "biscuit in the basket", I wonder if he is calling for a waitress to get more rolls. I will continue the research and get back to you all with what I discover.

This is a very exciting card to pull for two reasons. Referencing the the above card about a possible goal scoring, this is a picture taken from the inside of the goal. The player with the #50 (Corey Crawford) is the "goalie". Notice the extra padding and drastically different gloves on his hands. Mr. Crawford has the job in the haa-kee game of stopping the puck from going into the goal. I am not sure what that is in the top center of the photo. It may be the same haa-kee game that this picture is from, or maybe not. The other reason I find this card exciting is that I feel drawn to the team that Mr. Crawford plays for. They seem very powerful and fantastic to root for - a much better team than the silly red wheel and wings that the Tootoo guy is playing for.


Here is another Shark player, Michal Handzus. It appears the player with the other team (in white) is attempting to slow up Mr. Handzus from moving around the ice. The game permits players to "check" each other, and it has nothing to do with a bank account. You are permitted to bump, grab and knock over players that have the puck on the end of their stick. I am sure the ice must hurt if you get knocked over. I turned over Mr. Handzus' card to show you the back.

There's that Blackhawks team again. They sound superior to all others. I must learn more about them.

Ok, that is all the cards. I hope you have learned something about this game called haa-kee. Maybe we will be fortunate to see it on the television screen soon because all I have read seems exciting. I didn't even get a chance to talk about "power plays", the "penalty box" or this coffee mug owned by some Stanley guy they call the holy grail.

(Ok -seriously NHL. Stop screwing around and play some damn games already. Geeeeeez.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1993 Donruss Masters of the Game

Here's another pack that I bought for a quarter and opened a long time ago and I'm only know putting up the video.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

2003 Upper Deck Series 1

2003 was a crazy time. 50 Cent was king, everyone was all excited about Lord of the Rings and the Florida Marlins were crowned the World Series champs. I bought a pack from 2003 for a buck. Here it is.

139 - Roy Oswalt - Oswalt is one of those pitchers who has always seemed kind of old to me. Here he is after his second season in the majors, coming off of a Cy Young worthy season where he won 19 games and struck out 208.

160 - Albert Pujols - I've heard of him!

118 - Corey Koskie - He's Canadian!

192 - Adrian Beltre - Beltre has continued to produce into his 30s. Aside from his outlier season in 2004 where he was the runner-up to the MVP, he's actually been better in his 30s than he was in his 20s.

BL1 - Troy Glaus Big League Breakdown - It's a little busy, but these aren't the worst inserts I've seen. They're seeded at 1:8 packs. I also pulled an Alex Rodriguez from this insert set recently.

SS-MA - Michael Aubrey Star Spangled Swatches - Jackpot! I... think? I had to do a little research on Aubrey, who is shown as a member of Team USA. Is there a Team USA anymore now that the biggest international stage, the Olympics, has eliminated baseball? Aubrey was a Cleveland draft pick and went to Tulane, but I'll probably have a hard time getting rid of this unless there are fans of these very specific interests. It would just be easier if there was an Indians logo somewhere on this.

93 - Tony Clark - Clark is an MLB Network analyst. Well, he's no Kevin Millar, but that's a good thing. That Intentional Talk show makes me want to scream. Hell, the name of the show makes me want to scream.

1 - John Lackey - Boston's favorite pitcher!

177 - Luis Gonzalez - Gonzo was pretty likable, even though I rooted against the Diamondbacks most times.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012-13 Panini Threads

Here's some new stuff. I almost mistook this for Panini Prestige because they never show what the stupid cards actually look like on the packaging itself. By the next time I make it down to the card aisle at Target, there will probably be yet another new Panini NBA product on the shelf.

38 - Tayshaun Prince - I have a hard time naming anyone who plays for the Pistons these days, but I tend to forget that Prince is still around.

95 - Chris Kaman - Kaman is trying to restart his once promising career in Dallas.

53 - David West - The card backs feature a cropped, close-up version of the front photo.

125 - Terrence Williams Red - All of these cards have a gold foil logo and trim except this one. You wouldn't be able to tell by the scan. This is apparently a rare retail exclusive red parallel. The rest have gold instead of red. You'll just have to trust me on this one.

148 - Nene - I know they'll never be the Bullets again, but I love these jerseys. If I lived on the east coast, I could see myself rooting for these guys.

124 - Marcus Thornton

 150 - Trevor Booker - Again, nice look.

56 - Paul George - This design has a bit of an early Fleer feel to it.

 14 - Corey Maggette

71 - Zach Randolph - I wonder what the Hoop Family is up to these days.

Friday, November 23, 2012

1989 Topps Doubleheaders All-Stars

There are those who spend hundreds of dollars on boxes like Topps Five Star and Topps Museum Collection.  Then there's me.  The guy who drops $9.95 on a box (24 packs) of 1989 Topps Doubleheaders All-Stars.

If you're not familiar with this product, it was a oddball issue marketed to a generation of collectors who craved rookie cards.  Each pack contains one two-sided card sealed inside of a plastic holder.  One side of the card featured a photo of the player's 1989 Topps base card, while the other side contained their reprinted rookie card.

The cards are a lot smaller than the standard 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".  The holders are 1 7/8" x 2 1/2", while the actual cards are only 2 1/4" x 1 11/16".

There are only 24 cards in the set: 12 American League players & 12 National League players.  The checklist is made up from members of the 1988 MLB All-Star rosters.  According to Beckett, the whole 24 card set books for $8 to $20.  Don Mattingly, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Ryne Sandberg, and Ozzie Smith have the highest book values in the set at $4/card.  Everyone else is listed between 25¢ to $2.50.

The pack above is the first one I pulled from the box and it contained #6 Mike Greenwell.  In 1988, Greenwell had the best season of his career with career highs in hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI's, and stolen bases.  That season he set the American League record for Game Winning RBI's with 23 and finished second to Jose Canseco in AL MVP voting.

Although he'll never make it into Cooperstown, he had a solid 12 year career for the Boston Red Sox and eventually went on to play a few games in Japan.

After playing around with the holder, I was surprised at how easy these cards pop out of their holders.  It's actually a stretch to call these cards, since they're paper thin.

But overall, if you're a fan of 80's oddball... I definitely recommend you tracking some of these down.  I mean... for less than 50¢ a pack, can you really go wrong?

Happy Friday & sayonara!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2005 Topps Series 1


Hope everyone's doing well.  Everyone ready for Turkey Day the crazy shopping days that follow?  My wish is for all the readers out there to have a fun, safe, and full Thanksgiving.

Here's another one of those packs that I figured was up on the site, but it ain't...until now.  Here's some 2005 Topps Series 1!

There were 366 cards in Series 1, with the big rookies being "That ain't Milk" Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and Andre Either (Verlander is in Series 2).  I'll keep this's what I got:

#46 – Brandon Webb
#105 – Joe Borowski
#171 – Rob Mackowiak

The card fronts aren't too bad, although I'd rather they have swapped out the 2005 in the bottom left and replaced it with something like the position.  Rob must be playing in a sandlot or something...that appears to be a whole lot of dirt to me.

#141 – Aaron Guiel
#157 – Ryan Freel
#76 – Jimmy Rollins

Bah, almost got all of them to rhyme.

#346 – NL RBI Leaders
#335 – Season Highlights
#11 – Randy Wolf (back)

I like the layout of the card backs.  The picture and the vitals, along with the player's best stat, work for me.

#244 – Travis Hafner
#100 – Albert Pujols
#310 – Ryan Goleski
No # - Checklist 2 of 3

Albert likes that his name is easily located on the card.

Anyway, that's the pack.  Again, enjoy the holiday and the short work week.  More later...thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2009 Upper Deck SP Authentic

A long time ago, on a blog...well, on this blog in fact, a pack of this bad boy was opened, with the hope of a Stephen Strasburg rookie hiding within. Lets see if the pack that was expected to be opened then is opened now. Strasburg Stephen Strasburg Stephen Strasburg Mike Trout.

I'm being told I won't find a Trout in here.

Here's the front of the pack for those that dig looking at that kind of thing.

And away we go...

It's a pitcher but his name is not Strasburg.

Hmm...this guy hasn't even batted against Strasburg.

Another pitcher not named Strasburg. I like it's a White Sox, though.

YES YES YES It's...a tease. Dangit. Right team. This guy has showered with Strasburg.

More non-named Strasburg pitchers. His last name starts with "S". Maybe if I grab a ball point pen...

Friday, November 16, 2012

2007 Topps Flashback Fridays

Hey all - it's Jeff. When I hit a card show this past weekend, a dealer was selling packs of these cards at 2 for a buck. It was only later that I realized why both packs I bought had the same five cards. And you can see for yourself when I show you the wrapper. So without further delay, let's take a gander at Topps 2007 release called "Flashback Fridays".

It starts off pretty well with an old timey pack design, even if it is celo. But notice at the bottom. This is a starter set with cards 1-5. So that's why both packs were the same. A quick search through the tubes of the net tells us this is a whopping 25 card set that would be released in waves. I can say I never even HEARD of this set, and being that it was only 25 cards and lasted just one year, most people probably haven't either. And the cards?


That is one brutal looking card. Again, the net says they are based on the 1933 DeLong Gum cards. Maybe it's the really bright white that makes these hard to handle. Ok - so card one is Howard.

Jeter in spot 2.

Junior going third.

Tejada in the clean up spot.

And the hot seat playing Wright taking the back of the starter set pack. And how about the backs?

Very simple. The silhouette in the upper right is a nice touch. The back makes reference to a different tip on each card. Hmmm - not sure how blurbs about Griffey's career is a "tip".

Anyway, there ya go. Go hunt and find yourself a pack to rip.