Wednesday, October 13, 2021

2020-21 Panini Contenders Basketball


After not being able to afford to buy unopened basketball cards for more than a year, I decided to take the plunge and buy a slightly overpriced blaster of the latest Panini Contenders set. I instantly regretted it the purchase. Year after year, this is one of the most boring sets that Panini puts out if you're interested in base cards. The core base set is devoid of rookies, so you really need to cross your fingers that you'll get some interesting parallel card or that your guaranteed "hit" card is someone you care about. In any case, here's one of the packs of that blaster.

61 - Rudy Gobert - No matter what he does for the rest of his career, I'm always going to associate Rudy Gobert with the scary beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic.

19 - Marvin Bagley - The backs of the cards are pretty standard Panini stuff. The photo is pretty huge and well-placed, even if it's just a copy of what's on the front.

42 - Kristaps Porzingis - History won't look back too kindly on these Mavericks unis.

99 - Giannis Antetokounmpo - The small base checklist does mean that there's a good amount of star power in these otherwise fairly boring looking cards.

57 - Myles Turner - Turner is a good example of someone who doesn't put up eye-popping numbers but would be a great asset to pretty much any team out there.

15 - Zach LaVine - LaVine is probably best known for his dunk contest performances, but he made the leap to an All-Star level player in the games that actually matter.

54 - Miles Bridges - He thinks he's a rapper?

1 - Aron Baynes International Ticket - Here's an insert card to finish things off. It has nearly the same design, but shows off the player's country instead of the game number that the bio on the back refers to.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

1996 Topps Hercules: The Legendary Journeys


Hope everyone is doing well.  Today is a momentous day at APTBNL.  10 years ago today Ol' Jafronius published his first post here.  Unfortunately, there's still no one in the APTBNL offices to celebrate this occasion.  Thanks, Covid.

Anyway, since my anniversary post always veers away from sports, here's a pack from the LCS big green bin:

You younger readers may know Kevin Sorbo as that guy who appears in Christian faith-based movies, but kids my age will fondly remember Sorbo as a syndicated sci-fi hero, appearing as the titular Hercules in the mid-90's and then moving onto Andromeda in the early 2000's.  These shows weren't the greatest in quality, and the effects used then would be laughable now, but he was a solid weekend presence on a couple of overall fun shows for over a decade, and that's not shabby.

I saw a pack of this in the big green bin and grabbed it for the site.  9 cards in a pack, here's what I got:

#19 - Cheiron The Satyr
#35 - Ares

Hercules aired from 1995 through 1999, lasting 6 seasons and 111 episodes.  5 made for TV movies aired in 1994, before the series began.  Sam Raimi was one of the executive producers, meaning this fantasy series didn't always take itself too seriously, and his buddy Bruce Campbell ("Hail to the King, baby!") made guest appearances throughout the show's run.

#43 - Gladiator
#47 - A Warrior's Journey: Xena

Woo, Xena-Mojo!  Xena: Warrior Princess was spun off from Hercules when the character was proven to be very popular with viewers.  Lucy Lawless's show then turned out to be more popular than Sorbo's, which upset the actor, according to some accounts.

#55 - Hercules and the Circle of Fire
#70 - Eye of the Beholder

Yes, that's Anthony Quinn on a Hercules card...Anthony Quinn Rookie Card?  He played Zeus in the 5 TV movies.  

The skeleton is an example of the (now) cheesy special effects, but back then, it was, um, kinda cheesy?  It was passable for 90's syndication.

#9 - The Seer
#73 - Hercules vs. The Hydra
#85 - Rose morphing to The Hydra

Don't mess with that kid!

The 90 card set covered the TV movie and Season 1 episodes, as well as character info.  If you want to see the checklist, go here.

Here's some backs including that Anthony Quinn RC!

Anyway, that's the pack.  There's no intention to try to complete the set, but it was worth the nostalgia getting the pack to show you all.  Hope some of you had some fun too.  Thanks for tolerating my 229 posts and for reading these past 10 years!

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

2001-2002 Upper Deck Basketball Series 1


Hope everyone is doing well.  Ol' Jafronius got married 20 years ago today.  Lots of ups and downs, but The Wifey and I are still together.  If all goes as planned we should be dining at a fine steakhouse in the area this evening (20 years ago my last meal as a single guy included SPAM).  But now, let us feast on a pack released the year of the wedding:

I wasn't buying Upper Deck at the time of it's release (Hoops and Topps packs were cheaper), but I had no issues grabbing as many packs of this when they starting appearing in the old Target $1.49 clearance box.  8 cards per pack, let's see what I got...

#112 - Allan Houston
#120 - Grant Hill

Pack starts off with 2 big-time guys at the turn of the century.  It was too bad Grant suffered from too many injuries during his career (he only played 4 games with Orlando his first year there).

#44 - Jerry Stackhouse
#68 - Darius Miles

Big fan of Stackhouse...the Pistons logo, not so much.

Want a checklist?  Go here.

#83 - Jason Williams
#45 - Corliss Williamson

There were 450 cards in the set, split between 2 Series.  Tony Parker and Pau Gasol were the big rookies.  Here in Chicago, our post-Jordan hopes lied with rookies Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler.  Yeah, you know how that went.

#176 - Courtney Alexander
#SC8 - Latrell Sprewell (Slam Center)  

The Slam Center insert came 1 in 12 packs, so that's cool.

Here are the backs, because "I do":

Anyway, that's the pack.  This is the first of back-to-back anniversary posts.  The next one should be my anniversary post here at APTBNL!  Happy anniversary to my Beloved, and thanks for reading!