Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2009 Upper Deck Series 1

I know what you're thinking, but we really haven't covered 2009 Upper Deck Series 1 here before. This one is a staple of the repack boxes and bargain bins, and comes equipped with the familiar $1.59 sticker on the back. We're coming up on 5 years since these hit the shelves, so let's play the "where are they now?" game.

48 - Clay Buchholz - Buchholz pitched for the Series-winning Red Sox (grumble, grumble) this year, but suffered from some sort of fatigue/suck that announcers seemed to be worried about.

62 - Derrek Lee - Lee last played in 2011 and is presumed retired.

29 - Nick Markakis - Markakis has had an up-and-down career, but he still calls Baltimore home and has a regular job there.

90 - A.J. Pierzynski - Pierzynski spent 2013 as a Ranger after finishing up his lengthy White Sox career, and he'll likely find a new team in the offseason.

159 - Jose Valverde - Valverde is an internationally famous toothpaste designer.

103 - Jay Bruce - Bruce is one of the cornerstones of the Reds offense and drove in a career high 109 runs last year.

432 - Ryan Howard / Cole Hamels / Jimmy Rollins Team Leaders - Shockingly, this entire group is still in Philadelphia. Howard set the stage for the big contract buyer's remorse era, while Hamels has been solid but a little disappointing. Meanwhile, Rollins swapped his wood bat for a wiffle bat last year and somehow couldn't hit the ball past anyone.

470 - J.D. Drew Season Highlights - Drew retired after the 2011 season. Last year, his younger brother arrived in Boston just to confuse everyone.

41 - Dallas Cowboys 20th Anniversary - The Cowboys are currently in 2nd place in the NFC West, where they will hopefully stay.

417 - George Kottaras - Kottaras was traded by the Royals to the Cubs today.

449 - Brian Roberts / Aubrey Huff / Jeremy Guthrie - Roberts hasn't played a full season since the year this card was issued, but he has never played for anyone but the Orioles. He's nearing the end of his career and is currently a free agent. Huff didn't play at all last year but doesn't technically appear to be retired, while Guthrie signed a lucrative late career deal with the Royals.

284 - Frank Thomas - Thomas had seen his last action by 2009 and was just included on the most recent Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

237 - Pat Neshek - Neshek is a free agent, having last pitched with Oakland just this past summer.

254 - Brian Schneider - Schneider was a part time catcher for much of his career and retired after the 2012 season.

303 - Nate McLouth - McLouth resurrected his once promising career (2008 All-Star!) in Baltimore and is currently a free agent.

388 - Vernon Wells - Wells is swimming around in a room full of money, Scrooge McDuck style, while possibly wearing a Yankees uniform.

331 - Erik Bedard - Bedard is currently a free agent after spending the season with the Lil' Astros as wise old man who can't pitch very well anymore.

365 - Jonny Gomes - Gomes was Boston's so-called good luck charm in the playoffs and had a really dirty looking beard.

Also, Jose Valverde isn't actually a toothpaste designer.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

When did they make Bowman Draft a "Hobby Exclusive" product? This is just overpriced regular Bowman with slightly younger players, basically. Bowman can be really confusing. This is the one that includes cards of players from the current year draft, which also means the whole "look at the last line of stats to determine the card year" method totally fails.

6 - Gerrit Cole Chrome - Cole is going to be really good.

25 - Tony Cingrani - Cingrani was a 3rd round pick just two years ago and is coming off a strong rookie season.

37 - Evan Gattis - Letting McCann walk seems like a brassy move by the Braves. They are counting on this guy to step in be productive (and cheap), but his story seems a little too weird for his production to be sustainable.

BDPP93 - Steven Negron Draft Picks - Negron was a 17th rounder. Topps managed to get ahold of a photo of him in action.

BDPP90 - Blake Higgins Draft Picks - There's something in this pack for me, after all. Higgins was taken in the 16th round, about 14 rounds after I stopped paying attention to the draft.

BDPP81 - John Costa Draft Picks - Costa was a 13th rounder.

33 - Sean Nolin Chrome - Nolin had one appearance with the Blue Jays (I'm guessing it wasn't the one in the photo) where he retired four batters in a spot start in May. He was promptly returned to AA.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Character Building Doctor Who Micro Figures Series 2

Over on Heartbreaking Cards I'm doing a little tribute to the Day of the Doctor and posting some Doctor Who related breaks. In this one I'm opening a pack of Doctor Who Micro Figures put out by Character Building.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

2011 BBC Doctor Who Monster Invasion Extreme


Hope you all are enjoying your weekend.  If I got the Blogger scheduler down right, this post is going up the same time as the world-wide premiere of "The Day of The Doctor", the 50th anniversary episode of the longest running sci-fi show in history, Doctor Who.  The BBC is airing the episode at 7:50PM their time, and since it's a simultaneous release, we here in Chicago get to see it at 1:50 PM Central time.  I guess in Australia, it airs at 3:50 AM Sunday morning...yikes!  They are even screening the episode in theaters in a 3-D format.  As you can tell, it's a pretty big deal for fans of the show.

Anyway, to commemorate this occasion, here's a pack of 2011 BBC Doctor Who Monster Invasion Extreme!

When it's EXTREME, you gotta have lightning bolts!

I got a pack of this and a pack of the debut release last year at the 2012 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2).  I don't think there has been many Doctor Who card sets released since the show's return back in 2005.  Not sure why either.

The magazine the cards are derived from appears to be cancelled, as is the website devoted to the game.  Therefore, all you need to do is gaze with wide-eyed wonder at the cards from the pack.  Geronimo!

#228 – Jimmy
#175 – Footie Doctor
#292 – Nano Recorder

There's 180 cards in the set:  150 commons, 18 rares (1 in every pack), 6 super rares (3 in every 10 packs), 5 ultra rares (1 in every 10 packs), and 1 Infinite card (1 in every 1,000 packs).  You can see the checklist for both releases here.

#336 – Monstrous Mouth
#319 – Sea Devils Rising
#298 – Auton Attack

Here's three of the "adventure cards."  Again, it appears you need to use the stats on the character cards to see who will win the face off.  Just like in the last set, you get the nod to the classic Who with the Sea Devils card (the episode aired back in 1972, when Jon Pertwee played the 3rd Doctor).

#188 – Jennifer’s Ganger
#317 – River’s Secret (foil)
#243 – Regenerating Angels

The shiny card is the rare card in the pack.  Just like before, I have no idea if only the rare cards are foil.  The card backs are slightly different than the premiere set:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and happy 50th birthday to the good Doctor!

 Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2012 Topps Archives Retail


Hope everyone is doing well.  We've seen the Value Pack and the Hobby versions already, but how about a regular old retail pack?  No, you weren't interested because you've seen the cards already?  Well, too bad, because thanks to the Target discount bin, you get a pack of 2012 Topps Archives Retail!

The designs from the 1954, 1971, 1980, and 1984 sets are represented here.  Here's what I got:

#146 – Jarrod Parker (RC)
#193 – Lonnie Chisenhall
#15 – Madison Bumgarner

Players are grouped 50 per year, and the years are presented chronologically.   That's a 200-card base set for the numbers-impaired.

#73 – Shaun Marcum
#132 – Ben Zobrist
#635 – Robin Yount

It's a Zobrist sammich as Ben is flanked by two members of the Brew-crew.  The Yount is a reprint of his 1977 card.  Yay for inserts!

#29 – B.J. Upton
#79 – Ervin Santana
#131 – Elvis Andrus

And here's some backs for you:

Wait, what?  Why is Robin dancing on the back of his card?

Well, that's good to know.  He seemed to be an alright pitcher, based on his page.  Just don't send any TTM requests, OK?

Anyway, that's the pack.  More later...thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Topps Archives Baseball


Hope everyone is doing well.  I had most of last week off (standard use your time off or lose them scenario), so I was in full laziness mode by the time Sunday evening rolled around.  I dreaded going back to work because I was used to not having to go.  This makes me wonder how'd I feel if I was a baseball player...I'd be off from the end of October (if my team was lucky) through February.  That'd be a whole lot of lazy.  Anyway, here's a pack of 2013 Topps Archives Baseball!

I'm surprised no one has posted a pack of this yet.  Target had packs of this set on sale a while back, so I picked up a few.  Here's what I got:

#19 - Tyler Skaggs (RC)
#53 - Brandon Phillips
#132 - Bronson Arroyo
#MT-ON - Otis Nixon

I liked that Topps used a non-baseball card design in one of their insert sets.  And it's Otis Nixon as well!  When's the last time he was on a card?

#72 - Harmon Killebrew
#111 - Brandon Morrow
#190 - Tony Gwynn
#47 - Ryan Howard

The four Topps designs (1972, 1982, 1985, and 1990) are showcased in the next four cards.  What's the point in having Tony Gwynn on the 1990 design when he already has a card in the 1990 set?  Topps should have put him on another design.

Is it possible that eventually a player (for example, Babe Ruth, who's on the 1972 design for this set) could have a card for every Topps design?  Seems possible to me, seeing that Topps is all-in on reusing their old designs.  Ponder that while you look at some card backs:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy the rest of the week and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

2000 Fleer Tradition Football

 A sport card shop find. Tim Couch on the cover of 2000 Fleer Tradition. Could this be bad? Let's find out.

308 - Rashard Anderson - pack started out with a rookie. The rookie card got picture of the player and black strip with the name, team, and position that got lifted from 1988 Topps baseball. As for the player, the former 1st round pick played two seasons in NFL before getting banned for violating substance abuse policy.
281 - Mike McCrary - regular player's card have head shot of the player with/without helmet on, the name on top with team and position below along with team logo on the left, and Fleer logo near lower right corner. The back on the card showed stats and often small cartoon featuring tidbit of the player. McCrary played 10 years in NFL with two Pro Bowl selections and Super Bowl ring.

125 - Eddie Kennison - former first rounder played 14 years with his success coming as Kansas City Chief.

205 - LeRoy Hoard - a goal line beast this is his final card as 1999 was his last season in the NFL.

18 - Tony Gonzalez (Throwbacks) - insert card of Tony Gonzalez. Still playing in the league this time with Atlanta Falcons.

326 - Corey Simon - another rookie. Chosen 6th overall he played 8 seasons in the NFL with one Pro Bowl selection.
341 - Curtis Keaton/Ron Dugans - Both played three seasons in the NFL. Keaton spent first two years with the team then to New Orlenas in his final season. Dugans spent all three of his years with Cincinnati.

134 - Peyton Manning - finally a quarterback and a great one as well. Still going on strong as member of Denver Broncos.

295 - Jimmy Hitchcock - played 8 years in NFL despite having NO ACL on both of his knees. Talk about serious balls.

216 - Jamie Martin - journeyman who been spent years on the bench and in Europe. Started 8 out 53 games he played making the best out of his opportunities.

I got Peyton, few former Pro Bowlers, good and bad first round rookie busts.