Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2003 Fleer Flair

Either the 2013 season ends tonight, or somehow the Cards extend it until Halloween. I am hoping for the latter, cuz I really just don't like the BoSox that much. Sorry, but I have to be honest. Really, it's more of a "lesser of two evils" kind of choice. Let's go into my scan folder and step into the wayback machine to 10 years ago. Remember when the Marlins were good, teal and played in a football stadium? One of Fleer's offerings was Flair. Flair was Fleer's first high end product.

This came from a Walmart repack if I recall. One in five chance of getting a relic. Doing the math, you should have gotten 4 or 5 relics per hobby box. Did I luck out? one busy card. Not mid 90's Fleer busy, mind you, but a cluttered front for sure. Did you know the product line was "Flair", cuz they tell you 3 times on the front? The shadowed portrait at the top is a bit scary. Washed out background so the player pops, but I think the overall design just loses him.

Name at the bottom is in foil, and the colors change in regard to the team. The washed out background takes on a whole new level of creepy with plays like this.

Here's a time the washed out look works. It makes for a decent looking card.

What would be a post from me if I didn't get all nit picky about the uniforms, right? Well, not so much the uniforms, but the card colors in regard to the uniforms. Yeah - we got blue here on the Royals card. Same blue as on the Dodger above and the Cubs at the top. Here's the thing - their team colors do not match. Yes, the Dodger blue and the Cubs blue are the same pantone shade. But their blue is not the same as the Royals blue. I understand I'm getting a little deep and over the top in dissecting the cards, but I got a lot of space to fill in the post, and are still reading. :)

Last card in the pack. No hit for me in the pack. And the card backs?

Five years and a career total. Far too much wasted space because of the design. At least no recycled image (since they already used it on the card front).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2010-11 Panini Rookies and Stars Basketball


Hope everyone is doing well.  How nice of the NBA to schedule their Opening Night in-between Games 5 and 6 of the World Series.  Unfortunately, Marv Albert (YES!) didn't tell the Bulls that there's a game to be played.  Bummer.  Opening Night cannot pass without a pack to open, so here's some 2010-11 Panini Rookies and Stars Basketball!

To be honest, I don't know why I picked up a pack of this at Target.  I must have been going through some serious basketball card withdrawals at the time.  I've become reliant on the quick, $2 Topps pack for my cards fix.  For now, I'm stuck with Panini if I want a pack of basketball cards.  Hurry up NBA and spread the wealth a little...otherwise, there'll never be a single card that will have Derrick Rose's complete lifetime stats.

There was 170 cards in the set, with several subsets and the usual lack of a natural background.  Here's what I got:

#49 - Kirk Hinrich
#66 - Richard Jefferson
#24 - Ben Gordon
#58 - Marc Gasol

4 cards in, and no rookies or stars.  I guess you can make a case for Gasol, 3 years after this set.  Gordon was beginning his decline, Jefferson was too erratic to be considered to be a star, and Captain Kirk would get hurt if you looked at him funny.

Stardom #10 - Steve Nash (15 / 99)
Dummy Card (not pictured)
#102 - Joe Dumars

Finally, some stars.  Too bad it comes in the form of an insert and a retired player.

#56 - Luis Scola
#20 - Luol Deng
#88 - Chris Kaman
#97 - Grant Hill

I think Deng can be considered to be a star.  He's all the Bulls had before Derrick came along.  Kaman was supposed to be a star, until he didn't become one.  We close the pack with a former star.  Close enough, I guess.

Here are some card backs.  Hey look, it's recycled images and one line o'stats!

Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy the NBA season!  I'm counting down the days until the Paniniopoly ends.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Topps Fright Flicks

With Halloween coming up in few days how about busting packs? I found pack of these in hole-in-a-wall shop in downtown Austin. Topps produced these in 1988 featuring movie still shots of certain horror movies.

 18 - It's Freddy of A Nightmare on Elm Street lifting his shirt.

 46 - Oh my! What big teeth you have. (Alien)

61 - Freddy gets shot (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

40 - Who wants fried alien for dinner? (Alien)

52 - She gets eaten (scene of A Nightmare on Elm Street)

 Sticker card of Freddy vs Dream Warriors. Back of the card is a picture puzzle

21 - Fear the cross! (Fright Night)

14 - Never seen Poltergeist before

 80 - Scene from Poltergeist 2

82 - Scene from Fright Night

Back of the cards feature "Did It Ever Happen?" stories. All these stories are fictional and used to fill up back of the card.

Have safe Halloween.

Friday, October 25, 2013

2002 Topps Series 2 Hobby


Hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for the weekend.  Two years ago today, I followed up my inaugural post with a pack of 2002 Topps Series 1.  Well, imagine my surprise when I realized there was no Series 2 representative on APTBNL.  This injustice must end, so here it is:  2002 Topps Series 2!

There were 354 cards in the set.  Joe Mauer was the big rookie card.  My over two year old Beckett says Rich Harden and Josh Barfield were big names too, but not so much nowadays.  Get ready for orange borders and ribbon's what I got:

#653 – Houston Astros
#643 – Atlanta Braves
#624 – Jose Offerman

Class pictures of the Astros and Braves start the Hobby pack.  Is it me, or are the seats the Astros sitting in seem to go on forever?

#435 – Jose Canseco
#433 – Matt Lawton
#713 – Larry Walker (Gold Glove)

Wait, what?  Canseco was an Expo?  I gotta look this up...

...OK, per, he was signed and released by the Expos in February / March 2002 
before being signed by the White Sox, his final team; he never played a game for Montreal.  Looks like the 
Angels did the same thing to him a year earlier.  I wonder if there's a picture of Jose as an Angel.  Yeah, that 
sounds odd.

The Lawton card is one of those serial-numbered cards, but I forgot to note the number before filing the card
away.  If I remember to find out, I'll update the post.

#614 – Troy O’Leary
#635 – Pokey Reese
#596 – Luis Rivas
#675 – Taylor Buchholz (Prospects)

Poor Pokey a dinged corner as well as some scuff marks.  Here are some backs for you:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Nothing that screams Hobby pack about this one, oh well.  Have a fun weekend...thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes

When all is said and done, it really should be me ripping and opening a pack with "heroes" in the name. 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes is a jumbo packs only release - you get a handful of cards with each purchase. We have the usual lack of logos, but it's such a fun set that most of the cards don't bother me.

Such a good retro-ish look to the wrapper. 24 cards in a pack and inserts galore. I'm not up for 24 scans, so let's triple our eye candy with each pass of the scanner.

With the pennant, you have the feel of 1965 Topps, but the background has a bit of '58 in it. Throw the bright colors of Delong Gum and here you have '13 Hometown Heroes. Good mix of current with some of the 2nd tier stars of the late 60's through today.

Case in point. When is the last time Walton, Samuel or Coleman had a release in a set? The lack of logos is pretty evident, as well as a city only designation for each player.

The La Russa is one of the few where the lack of a full MLB license can produce a really bad card.

Andre Thornton. Does it get more B "celebrity" than that?

There are times I wonder who was cropping these pictures. Sheets, Heyward (and Utley in the last group) are way too far left and it feels like the card will topple over.

Hit the Yankee New York trifecta with those three cards.

Sorry LA fans - get your own Lopes. Here are a couple backs.

As you see, it doesn't matter your length of MLB service, you get one line of your career totals with a nice bio paragraph. So that is the base of the pack. Of the packs I have bought, it seems to be 21 base and 3 inserts. The inserts for this pack...

I have bought 9 packs (10 to a box) and have pulled a total of 4 autographs. They come three to a box, so I am ahead of the odds. Some autographs are stickers, but a far amount are hard signed. I like this set. I hope to complete it via dime boxes. Nick - let me know where you find some.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Topps Best of WWE 2013

Topps with another WWE product. It's called Best of WWE 2013 Edition. Decide to be make this different featuring cards of top 10 "moments" of this fed voted on and stuff that happened on shows from 2012 and 2013.

Top Ten Rivalries - Triple H vs Randy Orton - no. 7. I remember this feud in 2009 because Randy Orton booked like a psycho attacking every McMahon including Stephanie who finally revealed to be Triple H wife in real life. After a great build (who didn't enjoy Orton RKOing Stephanie or kissing her in front of Triple H who was handcuffed to the ropes?) they proceed to have a boring main event at Wrestlemania 25.

For those who don't keep up both are now friends (don't ask, its wrestling where friendships are broken and remade) because Triple H thinks Randy Orton is best for the business.

 Top Ten WWE Champions (Modern Era 2002-2013) - Eddie Guerrero - No. 8 on this list. A feel good story after escaping his personal demons. I enjoy his championship run on Smackdown and help made JBL whom he lost the title to. Sadly he passed away in eight years ago.

Top Ten WWE Champions (Modern Era 2002-2013) - The Miz - really? Other than main eventing Wrestlemania 27 he been on downhill slide. He's currently on ill-fated babyface (that's good guy) run.

Ted DiBiase Rejects The Prime Time Players - footage from RAW Classic episode where RAW went retro with classic old logo and blue ring, ropes, and apron. DiBiase was on ringside with PTP who end up losing to Team Hell No. After the match DiBiase shoved $100 in mouth of Darren Young. I'm pretty sure Young has more things enter his mouth than bills. Just a nothing moment.

Mick Foley Pins Chris Jericho at the Hall of Fame Ceremony - another lame nothing moment

 Triple H defeats Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 29 - strangely I still haven't seen WM29 to this day. I heard this match was good. This was second of third match they have within 9 month span.

CM Punk vs Vince McMahon - now this moment deserves to on Best of set.Cocky champion who claims to be the best in the world vs owner of WWE. Both had fun match together which was throwback to Attitude Era.

Promising set but missed the execution of it. Maybe they add extra "useless" best of moments to fill out a card set.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2001 Topps Archives Series 2

Long ago, Topps Archives was a beautiful thing, rather than the floppy mess of a tribute set that it is today. I think we're still better off with it in its current state than without it, but it's never going to be my favorite set to collect until they somehow find a way to not make it seems like it's a compromise. This set is all about thick reproductions of older Topps cards with a glossy finish for some reason. And there's the gold logo. Not bad!

348 - Clete Boyer (1971) - Like many of these cards, the classicly fickle 1971 design looks a little weird with all of the gloss.

398 - Bill Buckner (1988) - When you think of Bill Buckner, you think of him as an Angel on an '88 Topps card, right? No? Didn't he do something in the playoffs at some point?

397 - Cecil Cooper (1988) - It's weird that 1988 Topps was considered worth "archiving". I have a full 1988 Topps set that I would sell to anyone for $5 if it didn't cost triple that amount just to ship.

433 - 1961 AL Batting Leaders (1962) - I think I got the card number right. They are seriously hard to read as Topps tried to make them as small as possible as to not intrude on the design of the original card they were remaking. Floating heads = always great.

449 - Robert Clemente World Series (1972) - Such a great card and... hey, look, that's somebody's blurry backside!

231 - George Kell (1952) - George Kell was a famous broadcaster and Hall of Fame player. The 1952 design never gets old... just ask Topps!

242 - Roy Face (1953) - I do prefer the 1952 set design to the first(ish) Topps issue. My girlfriend loves Roy Face, or his name at least, for reasons which I cannot really explain here.

229 - Bob Feller (1952) - Whenever I think of Feller, I think of an article from an old Beckett magazine that I had when I was a kid that was titled "He was a pretty fast Feller".