Thursday, March 30, 2017

2015 Topps Mini Chrome Football

Well, I started to write up a post for my own blog over here, so I figured I'd stick around and add a quick post.  You've already seen a pack of this once before, but mine came from an odd little repack from Walmart that contained three of these and a bonus pack of multicolor Prizm refractors.  This was the best pack of the bunch in a walk.
The coates is a camo refractor #'ed /99.  He started last season crazy hot, culminating in a six catch, 139 yard, two TD effort in week five... and then promptly fell off a cliff, catching only two passes (on 18 targets) for 14 yards the rest of the way.  I believe I pulled this in during week four or five, so you can probably blame me for his season jumping the rails almost immediately after.
Here's the back.  And dat be dat.  The Antonio Gates is soon to be Gavin-bound, but hit me up if you like any of the others.  Seeya!

Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Topps Opening Day (Fat Pack)

I don't know if there are non-fate pack versions of Opening Day, but at my local Walmart, it was either this or a multipack box. Truth be told, for the price, it probably would have been better to get the 8-pack box. Ah well, I chose this one.

I don't know what the general consensus is on the like/dislike of the 2017 Topps card designs. I'm a bit torn, personally. I think the design has cool potential, but the weird 3d design of the card's elements make it look like a stretched Photoshop job versus the cool effect Topps was probably hoping for. They're not "bad" to me, just not... eye-popping, I guess.  FWIW, I do like the borderless graphics.

 The cards themselves feature a full-length (or width) image, the Topps logo in an upper corner, the position, team logo, player name, team, and OD insignia. Everything but the main image and the Topps logo are skewed to appear as though they are a 3d "plate" (for lack of a better word) that has been laid on top of the image.

This pack has three inserts. Mine include Incredible Eats "Popcorn," ODB (Opening Day Ballparks?) Progressive Field, and Superstar Celebrations. My pack also included a foil version of the Kendrys Morales card with "April 3, 2017" stamped on it.

The backs of the cards are colored in the team's primary color (or so it seems to me) with various 3d-looking bits (player name, team, card number, position) at the top. The card features bio info, the #toppsbaseball hashtag (welcome to the modern era), a short tidbit about the player, and a box full of stats. The inserts have information related to the insert image depicted on the front.

I have to say, the images on the front are very high quality (at least in my eyes). They are crisp and clean pictures of the player with a nice blurred background. With Opening Day just around the corner, it seems fitting to be busting open a pack of these to get those first day butterflies flitting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

1995 (?) Redemption (by Cactus Game Design)

While in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a family "staycay" this year, we stopped by Family Christian Stores because they are going out of business nationwide and are selling everything at a discount. I picked up a booster pack of something called "Redemption." I know nothing about the game.

I have no idea why these cards are dated 1995, but that's the only date I have to go on, so...

The wrapper is blue and purple, featuring a priest (hence, this turns out to be an expansion called "The Priests") standing at an altar with a couple of angels (Forgive the photos, I am doing these from the hotel room where we are staying):

Each pack has 10 "Limited Edition" cards. The card backs feature the "Redemption" game insignia. It has a red border with a fancy sword being held up by a hand that appears to be coming out of the clouds. I believe the sword has a flame (or is surrounded by flames or something).

The first card in the pack explains just what these new-fangled "Priest" cards are all about. On the back of this card, there is a rules clarification. I find it interesting that back in 1995, evidently they weren't Internet savvy enough to have a site for such things. Granted, not many folks did in '95... I digress.

The text on the cards is VERY hard to read. Each card features artwork done by various artists. Each card features artwork, the card name, what the card does, and a bible verse. There is also credit on each card to the illustrator of the featured image.

Having never played the game, I have no idea what the various icons and #/# in the upper left corner mean. Likewise, some of these cards are supposed to be common, uncommon, rare, and ultra-rare. I have no idea what's what, as my pack doesn't seem to have anything that jumps out to indicate such things.

The cards are about the same size as any other TCG/CCG out there, but the stock is a little weird. As my son put it, "It's like they's grainy or something." The cards stick together and are difficult to shuffle. But, they are definitely not something you see everyday (or at least I haven't).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

1975 Topps Baseball

The 1975 Topps baseball card set is the first set I ever tried to complete through pack-purchasing.  I fell just a handful of cards short (Danny Cater and Mario Mendoza come to mind).  The set consists of 660 cards and includes subsets of milestone cards, four-player rookie cards, MVPs, League Leaders, and Playoff and World Series Highlights.  The cards were standard size, although there was a mini-set version that measure 2 ¼" by 3 1/8".
Backup catcher Rick Stelmaszek is airbrushed into the Chicago Cubs uniform.  His MLB career was over by the time this card was issued, but he went on to a very long career as a coach for the Minnesota Twins.
Bart Johnson was coming off of his best year, but unfortunately would miss the 1975 season.
Catcher (and future manager) Johnny Oates assumes the old school catcher stance.
Catcher (and future pitching coach Dave Duncan) is shown in a rare dugout shot.  Duncan also appears mistakenly on what should have been Larry Haney's card.
Topps used the up angle to hide the fact that the picture of Steve Arlin is from his time with the San Diego Padres.  After pitching eleven games for the 1974 Cleveland Incians, Arlin's career was over.
Veteran outfielder strikes a standard batting pose.
It's always great getting a Hall of Famer.  Tom Seaver was at the peak of his career when this card came out.  It is a great shot, featuring Seaver with the jersey over the windbreaker look popular back then.
Badly airbrushed into a St. Louis Cardinals cap, Claude Osteen was already with the White Sox by the time this card was released.
Joe Torre displays another badly airbrushed cap after his trade to the New York Mets.
I loved this Rudy Meoli action card.  It was only years later that I realized Meoli probably popped up to the catcher in this at bat.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

1992 Fleer Baseball (Jumbo)

A pack from 25 years ago. This is jumbo pack of Fleer baseball containing 35 cards. What's inside this pack?
264 - Gene Nelson - got action shot. After infamous 1991 yellow borders set they decide go with green fading to white that year. The last name is sideways using team colors. Green on green does not look good. On the back feature another picture with full stats.
423 - Ryan Sutko - his last time in the majors playing in the minors til 1995. He batted .091 in 11 career games.
28 - Roy Smith - after years with the Twins he played for the Orioles
683 - Dennis Martinez Perfect Game - El Presidente still have one of best smiles. This one highlights his perfect game on the road against the Dodgers.
386 - Greg Maddux - one of top pitchers in the 90s and 2000.
476 - Delino DeShields
5 - Mike Devereaux
120 - Steve Olin - career cut short when he was killed along with Tim Crews in a boating accident during spring training.
4 - Glenn Davis - big bust in Baltimore and Astros made out like bandits in a trade (and Astros end up screwing that up)
597 - Larry Andersen - after half season with Red Sox he spent next two seasons with Padres. Meanwhile Jeff Bagwell spent his entire Hall of Fame career with Astros.
515 - Mackey Sasser - case of the yips ended his career
415 - Paul O'Neill - would make his name as member of championship winning New York Yankees in the late 90s.
507 - Jeff Innis
138 - Mike Henneman
7 - Mike Flanagan - after his playing career ended worked for Orioles front office. He committed suicide few years ago.
119 - Rod Nichols - pitching coach for Iowa Cubs. Maybe I should get this card signed
243 - Scott Sanderson
516 - Pete Schourek
285 - Bill Krueger
640 - Greg Litton - remember him playing in 1989 World Series
714 - Checklist
521 - Andy Ashby
501 - David Cone - became Cy Young winner along World Series championships with Blue Jays and Yankees. He pitched a perfect game against Expos in 99.
613 - Mike Maddux
639 - Darren Lewis
315 - Kevin Reimer
612 - Jim Lewis - his only season in the majors
491 - Scott Ruskin
20 - Mike Mussina
228 - John Habyan
136 - Paul Gibson
387 - Derrick May
399 - Freddie Benavides - fifth card featuring Wrigley Field. Looks like Fleer got most of their shots at Cubs games.
696 - Bryan Harvey - led AL in saves in 1991 season
236 - Kevin Maas - started hot them flamed out

Ready for baseball?