Sunday, January 30, 2022

1990 Score Football Series 2

More than 11 years after Series 1 made its APTBNL debut, we're back with 1990 Score Series 2, the junkiest of junk football wax. While there still are probably millions of 1990 Pro Set boxes in a warehouse somewhere, at least those cards have their fans with the piles of variations to be found in each set. Score has all of the overproduction with none of the fun. Nostalgia is fun, though!

361 - Pepper Johnson - The Giants are always a solid choice for your Tecmo Super Bowl team.

362 - Ravin Caldwell - One thing you can't knock about Score is that they did card back better than anyone else.

363 - Chris Mohr - You don't see a lot of punters in current football sets.

453 - John Teltschik - I liked choosing the Eagles when I played Tecmo, which is how I started following the team. Teltschik wasn't their punter (the game came out in 1991), though. That honor went to Jeff Feagles.

454 - Vestee Jackson - Jackson is ready for action.

455 - Bruce Reimers - The last time the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl, Bruce Reimers was a starting O-lineman.

562 - Ottis Anderson - The best thing about the 1990 Score set are the silly subsets, like this Ground Force card. Nothing is quite as good as the Warren Moon Hot Guns card, but these come close.

572 - Tim Harris All Pro - Nothing in professional sports is as unimportant and inconsequential as the Pro Bowl, but there were a lot of Pro Bowl themed cards back in the junk wax era. Score calls these "All Pro" cards, possibly for legal reasons.

582 - Joe Montana All Pro - Unlike the Harris card, this just appears to be from a regular season game.

409 - Perry Kemp - Pre-Brett Favre, the Packers were actually kind of likeable. They weren't very good, though.

395 - Harris Barton - Here's another stealth Joe Montana card.

400 - Gary Zimmerman - A Hall of Famer and Oregon Ducks alum.

630 - Andre Collins - Rookie cards always showed the players in their college uniforms, although in Series 2 the team that drafted the player was mentioned in fine print on the back.

640 - Dennis Brown

650 - Greg McMurtry - This guy appears to be on his way to some sort of end zone appearance.

535 - Doug Flutie - We end things with a little Flutie magic.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

2021 Panini Contenders

Panini changed up the design of their annual Contenders set a bit this year by adding a border... and a fake QR code? That seems weird. I guess it's trying to fit with its game ticket-inspired theme and the fact that tickets to most events are becoming more digital and less physical these days. Here's a pack from a blaster box.

25 - Adolis Garcia - The former Cardinals farmhand suddenly became an All-Star last season. Odds might not be great that he'll continue on that path, but we'll see.

90 - Tim Anderson - I don't know why the first thing I think of when I see Tim Anderson is "bat flip", because that shouldn't be career-defining or anything.

44 - Giancarlo Stanton Green - Green foil parallels are a common retail occurrence. They don't scan well, though.

TTS-JB - Javier Baez Ticket to Stardom - I think this is my first card of Javy Baez on the Mets, or... well, we're not allowed to call them that on Panini cards. The New York team. Yeah.

64 - Miguel Rojas Optic Red Wave - Blasters come with a few Optic "wave" parallels. I'm guessing this is a red one, based on the background.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

1997 Donruss VXP 1.0 CD-ROM and Cards

This is the 1997 Donruss VXP 1.0 CD-ROM with Base Set Cards. In this specific case, we have the Cal Ripken Jr package. These were released in 1997 and touted as the "First-Ever CD ROM Trading Card." I would, however, debate that claim, as CyberAction's so-called "Digibles" were released before these. (An interview I had with one of the founders is here.) In any case, the package comes with a square-cut CD-ROM shown through the window of the package. There are also 10 "base cards" that come with each player. There are SIX total CD-ROMs and 50 total base set cards. Link to a checklist is at the end of this post.
The package is wrapped in "Donruss" cello. While the front features the player, VXP insignia, etc, the back (above) lists out the features contained on the CD: Player Profile, Art of the Game, Cardography, Statistics, and Trivia Game.

Below, we see the opened package. The CD floats freely in a cardboard-backed recess at the bottom. A CD "sleeve," pack of cards, and instructions fit into another recess at the top:
If one were to collect all 6 CDs, a special screensaver would be unlocked. Instructions for those and for the CD itself are contained on this card:
The CD "sleeve" is a cardboard fold-over with required PC/Mac specs and other information. The problem is that the CD doesn't actually FIT in the sleeve. Well, it does, but the fit is so tight, the CD would be scratched beyond usage should one try to forcefully put it in there:
And now we come to the cards themselves! I assume that each pack features the player on the CD. So, for our pack, we have Cal Ripken Jr. The cards are actually nicely done. We have the Donruss logo in the upper left and the VXP 1.0 insignia on the right. The full-color player is arranged such that the actual background is removed from about the shoulders up. The bottom portion still has the photo's background. Behind the player's upper body, a sketch of a generic ballfield appears. I say generic, but it's probably Wrigley or Fenway. I dunno. The player's name in an almost "pirate-style" font appears at the bottom along with the player's team name:
Nest up, we have Chuck Knoblauch:
Alex Rodriguez is the third card in the pack:
The fourth card features Tony Gwynn:
Jeff Bagwell meets us at the halfway point in the pack:
Our sixth card is Roberto Alomar, fellow teammate of Ripken Jr:
Number 7 in our pack is Bernie Williams:
Up next, Reds' superstar Barry Larkin:
The ninth card comes to us by way of Ken Caminiti:
And rounding out the pack, Cubs' great Ryne Sandberg:
The backs feature the player in a different pose than on the front. There is also position, bio, and handedness information. The majority of the back is filled with stats:
The CD-ROM runs on Windows 3.x and Windows 95. Pretty far back by today's standards. I loaded the disc into the drive, but did not attempt to install the program. Instead, I dug through the folders and found some neat images, videos, and sound files. For this post, here are some of the images:

As for the actual content, I plan to fire up an emulator to run old Windows and install the CD there, capturing the experience and posting to my YouTube channel. That will be awhile, sorry.

The checklist of 50 base cards and 6 CDs can be found here:

2021 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Hobby


Hope everyone is doing well and have properly recovered from the holidays.  Wow, we're already halfway through January!

Last year, my sister told us they were planning to go to the Sandals resort in Jamaica (not the one where Michael Scott went) in mid-January (her 40th birthday gift) and invited us along.  I promptly turned her down, thinking "they" meant her whole family, and we were already saving for the big family trip to Cancun; the four of us can't go to two exotic locations so close to each other!  

Anyway, we were eating and drinking in Cancun back in November, and she and my brother asked again, and I again gave my reason, only to stupidly find out only the adults were going.  The Wifey jumped at the opportunity, so after some dicey Virus-related concerns with my sister's family, babysitters were secured for the 3 couples, and off we went to our second country in 3 months.

As I typed before, all-inclusive is good times.  I am very thankful we were able to go there and back without a snag, and that all the kids and babysitters were able to survive without us.  

Anywho, this isn't a travel blog, so here's a pack of cards from the LCS from the last time I was there to pick up FaceBook auction winnings ($1 for the 1990 Score Cubs team set!).

Yes, everyone's favorite Buddha posted a pack a month ago, but I paid 10 bucks for this pack so it's going up anyway.

#24 - Tony Gwynn

Always good to start off with a legend.

#330 - Cedric Mullins
#110 - Sixto Sanchez (RC)

There are 400 cards in the set, along with inserts and those pesky parallels.  There are image variations in the set too; Sixto has one, but it's not this one.

#225 - Luis Campusano (RC)
#62 - Andrew McCutchen

Turns out I paid less for this pack than last year's release, but still I should learn to stay away.  The things I do for the site!

#26 - Trevor Rogers (RC) (Refractor)

A refractor of Trevor Rogers ends the pack.  I'm curious as to why the insert card is at the end of the pack since other releases have them in the middle.  Anyway, it's good to get something.  Here are the backs:

Anyway, that's the pack.  Stadium Club is universally accepted by the blogosphere, and Chroming it up isn't a bad thing.  Too bad it's not more readily available though.

Hope you all have a great new year...thanks for reading!