Thursday, May 31, 2018

2018 Bowman Retail


Hope everyone is doing well.  2018 Bowman...the set that has set the hobby ablaze.  Why's that?  Because of this.  The May 11 deadline has come and gone and I didn't read about an update, so I don't know if anyone cashed in on the $100K offer...but that hasn't stopped collectors from buying boxes and boxes of the stuff.  My Target has yet to stock any of it, but this past weekend I was making a final Toys R Us run and decided to try out the nearby Target.  They had no boxes but they did have a full gravity feed box, so hey why not?  It's a pack of 2018 Bowman!

10 cards per pack, here's the checklist.  Did I snag the prized Ohtani?  Of course's what I got:

#79 - Buster Posey
#86 - Rougned Odor

Standard clean Bowman design.  I'm not a prospector so I don't usually get Bowman unless it's in a discount box. 

#49 - Shohei Ohtani (RC)
#3 - Corey Kluber

Hooray!  Got the base card in my pack, making my kid real jealous.  Kinda quells the urge to keep buying packs of Opening Day to try to get the Ohtani RC there.

#BCP33 - James Nelson
##-AP - A.J. Puk (Bowman Trending)

Here's where the pack starts to get uninteresting.  The Bowman Trending set comes 1 in 6 packs.

#BP116 - Khalil Lee
#BCP26 - Alfredo Rodriguez

I'm surprised the two Chrome cards didn't come next to each other.

#BP148 - Trevor Rogers
#BP95 - Jorge Mateo

Mateo was traded to the A's in the Sonny Gray deal.  I wonder if the Bowmaners had to do the quick photoshop job of the A's jersey after just finishing up the photoshop job of the Yankees jersey.

Here's some backs because Ohtani:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy the Stanley Cup Final (something unnatural about a first year expansion team in the Final) and the NBA Finals (I say Golden State wins Warriors / Cavs IV in 6).  Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 25, 2018

2017 Honus Bonus Fantasy Baseball

I bought a repack box recently (I know, I know.. I'm addicted, okay. I swore of repacks a hundred times, and 101 times, they suck me back in.), and inside the box were two packs of "Honus Bonus Fantasy Baseball" trading cards. I had never heard of these before. I present one of the packs here.

The cards are nice glossy stock and feature an interesting design: colored frames with greyscale player images. The cards are NOT licensed by the MLB, so we won't see any official team logos, names, etc. On the front in the upper right corner, we have the HBP logo. The player is greyscale, but the background itself is in color. It's an interesting take on design for sure. The "frames" on the cards extend in something of a diagonal from the upper outer corners downward and feature the primary color of the team depicted (so far as I can tell). The player's last name is printed in all-caps in a slight arc near the bottom as is the phrase "Official Game Card."

The card backs feature much more detail: Card number, player name, uniform number, position, and city of ball club. Remember, these are not MLB licensed, so no actual team names here, folks. There is a section with 2016 stats and a plea to play online to win prizes. Below the plea, a unique bar code (er, I assume unique and I assume each individual player has the same code - ex: all Tanner Roarks have the same bar code, I assume). Under the bar code is a scratch-off area with a code that you can, er could, enter into the HonusBonus website as your entry (more on that in a bit). Below the secret code, there are instructions as to what to do with said code plus infor related to MLBPA, Honus Bonus LLC, etc.

I have to say, I actually like the card design. I didn't at first, but it has kinda grown on me. Which is a bummer... Because is defunct. In fact, these cards seem to have come out sometime around April 2017 and the whole things was shut down in August 2017. Yikes!

The Trading Card Database has a full checklist of the set. There was a brief discussion about the shut down on Blowout Cards, but that convo lasted about as long as the HBP company... An eBay search (at the time of this writing, May 2018) reveals a lot of cards available in addition to loose packs and a hobby box or two.

At the time of writing this, I have reached out to Mr. Charendoff for a possible interview to talk about the project. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

1992 Legends of Indy

Indy 500 is on this Sunday and here's another Indy 500 related pack. This one from Legends of Indy set produced in 1992. According to the box about 3000 cases produced. You can easily finish a set with one box. It feature drivers who drove 1991 race along history highlights. The artwork on the pack featuring Rick Mears passing Michael Andretti on the outside of turn 1. It was final pass for the lead as Mears went on to win his 4th Indy 500. On to the pack....
You can buy a binder from them along with $10 off coupon to get the previous year binder. Also entry form to win a trip to 1992 Indy 500. To this cards....
59 - Hall of Fame Museum - The Hall of Fame museum located at the track featuring the history of track and the cars driven on it.
37 - Special Visitor - Vice President Dan Quayle appeared a spectator who is a lifelong fan. He's pictured with 1990 Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk
45 - 1991 Start - Action photo from the race as pole sitter Rick Mears leads the field along with legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti that made up the first row.
65 - Yellow Flag - I think the picture is from 1988 race.
9 - Stan Fox - he took the checkered flag in 8th driving for Ron Hemelgarn/Jonathan Byrd. It was last time he finished the race. Will be known for surviving a big accident in 1995 race ending his career. He would die in 2000 in road accident in New Zealand. Jonathan Byrd Cafeteria sponsor been hit with death as previous drivers (Rich Vogler and Billy Vukovich III) died in accidents. Jonathan Byrd would pass away in 2009. It continued on when Bryan Clauson (drove in 2015 and 2016) would perish in accident in 2016.

22 - Pancho Carter - replaced Mark Dismore in the car after Dismore had serious accident during practice. Engine failure ended his race. It was final Indy 500 for him. His only win was a 500 miler at Michigan International Speedway.
97 - Famous Smokestack - the smokestack no longer exists as it torn down in 1990
17 - Hiro Matsushita - first Japanese driver to qualify the race finishing 16th. He broke his leg the following year in practice forcing him to miss the race. Made the race three more times afterward with his best finish 14th. Got the nickname "King Hiro" from two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi who radio his team about having hard time lapping him and meant to say "F***ing Hiro!"
48 - 1981 Pace Car - the pace car was Buick Regal
29 - A.J. Foyt - the legendary driver won Indy 500 four times (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977). He's the only driver to win Indy, Daytona 500, 24 of Hours of Daytona, and 24 Hours of Lemans. Making his 34th consecutive start at the race he qualified 2nd, but debris from a crash broke his suspension knocking him out at 28th. Thought to be final Indy 500 race he came back the following year to make his 35th consecutive start and finish 9th. It was final Indycar race he drove as he retired before qualifying in 1993. He returned to driving, this time, in NASCAR qualifying for inagural Brickyard 400. Running his team in Indycar since the 80s he experienced victories in the late 90s during CART/IRL split with Kenny Brack winning Indy 500 in 1998. He got three drivers in the field this year with 2013 Indy 500 Tony Kanaan, rookie Matheus Leist, and James Davison.

I'm ready for Indy 500 this Sunday.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

1998 Pinnacle Team Snapshots (Indians)

In the mid-/late- 90's, Pinnacle and Pacific tried to outdo each other with crazy, unique offerings to get collectors interested in the hobby. One such venture from Pinnacle includes these little gems, "Team Snapshots."

The packs of "cards" were presented as if they were photos you were getting from the development store (for those old enough, think Kodak Photo Huts; and for those who have watched the original "Back to the Future," we're talking about the little booth that gets obliterated by the Libyans when they come for Doc).

Even the back of the "pack" has the sealed envelope fold like we used to get when pictures were actually physical things you could hold:

There were 15 teams used for these Snapshots sets. Each pack holds 8 photos. Each team has 18 photos total. The snapshots were sold in boxes of 25, essentially guaranteeing a buyer that s/he would get at least one complete set. It took me 7 packs to get a full set. The "box topper" (as we would call it now) was the team checklist:

The snapshots themselves are 5x7 borderless photos which appear to have been taken during Spring Training. The scans do not do these things justice at all!  They are high-gloss photos that look like something anyone with a mid-/high-range film camera would have taken back in the day.

In this pack, we have:

Enrique Wilson:

Brian Giles:

Chad Ogea:

Travis Fryman:

Jim Thome:

Geronimo Berroa:

Sandy Alomar Jr:

David Justice:

The backs carry the "photomat" concept through with a repeating diagonal Pinnacle logo, copyright info, and the item number (# of 18). Nowhere, however, is the player's name, etc listed. These are meant to resemble photos as if you had them developed yourself.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

1993 Hi-Tech Indy 500

The greatest auto racing spectacle coming in week and half. Been huge fan of the Indy 500 since I was a kid. This is one of few card sets dedicated to the race. The set consist of 81 cards based from 1992 Indy 500 race. I remember the race as one of worse ones with numerous accidents resulting multiple drivers getting sent to the hospital. It was already grim month of May prior to the race with big crashes (Rick Mears sliding down the track sideways) and injuries (3-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet, attempting make his first ever Indy 500, broke both his legs) and a death (Jovy Marcelo) during practice and qualifying. The race ended in only high note with a duel to the finish. This post will include links to the race. On to the cards.
20 - Jeff Andretti - first 33 cards feature drivers' starting position from 1992 Indy 500 race. Front listed driver's finishing position. Back of the card feature picture of the driver and the car when they qualified along with speed and team they drove for. Strange how Jeff is driving for legendary A.J. Foyt after Foyt blasted him the previous year. The youngest son of legendary Mario Andretti broke both of his legs in one of most violent crashes at the speedway. To his day I still wince when I watch the clip.
1 - Roberto Guerrero - pole sitter with, at the time, fastest qualifying speed of 232.482. He didn't make it to the green flag as he crashed it during the pace laps. That audible laugh from a fan will live on.

24 - Buddy Lazier - his race ended when his Buick V-6 engine expired. He would win Indy 500 in 1996, the year Indycar and CART split.
2 - Eddie Cheever - he lead the field to green flag by default after Guerrero crashed only to get split by Mario and Michael Andretti going into turn 1. He's the lone Ford engine to see the checker flag at the end. He was driving for Chip Ganassi that year. Driving his own team he would win Indy 500 in 1998. Currently Indycar commentator for ABC; most likely announcing his final Indy 500 race this year as NBC Sports got Indycar TV rights starting next year.
28 - Jimmy Vasser - a rookie at the race he got bit hard breaking his femur in a crash. He came back and became CART champion in 1996 driving for Chip Ganassi. After his driving career ended he become a team owner with KV Racing who won 2013 Indy 500 with Tony Kanaan driving. The team shut down before start 2017 season and sold their equipment to Juncos Racing. He's back this year at Indy in partnership with Dale Coyne Racing.

36 - Al Unser, Jr. - winner of 1992 Indy 500 in a thrilling duel with Scott Goodyear driving for Rick Galles in Galmer chassis. It was final victory for the Galmer chassis. He joined his father Al Sr and uncle Bobby as winners of the race. He won his second Indy in 1994 driving for Roger Penske. The following year the entire Penske team failed qualify for the race marking first time defending champion did not qualify for the race. The years within next decade haven't been kind to him afterwards dealing personal issues along with drug and alcohol abuse. Good news he's been sober for 7 years.

51 - Ted Prappas - after multiple crashes during practice in 1991 he finally made the field in 1992. Dropped out of the race with gearbox problem finishing in 16th. It's his only time he raced at Indy 500.
41 - Bobby Rahal - 1986 Indy 500 winner finished 6th in the race a lap down. 1992 was his first year driving for his own team which continues to this day with his son, Graham, and last year Indy 500 winner, Takuma Sato, racing. Team won 2004 Indy 500 with driver Buddy Rice in a rain shorten race. Danica Patrick started out with Rahal team before going to Andretti Racing.
 47 - Dominic Dobson - last driver to see the checkered flag finishing 12th, his best finish at the race.
35 - Roberto Guerrero - getting his qualifying pose done before the bad luck hit on race day. Card glossed over his teammate in the race, the late Jim Crawford, was the first to hit unofficial 230 MPH lap at practice.

Let the field of 33 be filled and be ready on Memorial Day Sunday.