Sunday, December 30, 2012

1989 Score Traded #100T Rookie & Young Superstar Set 2 #18

1989 Score Traded #100T


In my collection: 2 Traded, one Young Superstar

Griffey looks: about to run

Is this a good Griffey card?: Yes.  Here is Junior's first Score card, and it it the first of his cards to designate him as a center fielder and not an outfielder.  This card is not as easy to come by as many of his other '89 cards and under-appreciated as his rookie cards go.

The set: As much as I hate admitting it, '89 Score was pretty forgettable.  I looked through my binders for other players I could post cards of from this set and found none.  NONE.  My binders are huge, too.

I think it's the front.  Not very much going on.  Not dynamic, bold or unique.  And it's a shame, because look: color photography on the back!  Upper Deck was the only other company doing that, and their set from '89 is lauded as one of the most important ever made.

On the back you've got a nice big block of blurb, all his minor league stats, vitals, a great color photo that rivals many of his other rookie card photos.  The layout doesn't come across as clunky or claustrophobic.  It's actually very feng shui. 

Admit it: this card is great.

Not crazy about the teal/pink/magenta on the front; but remember, it's the late 80's.  I bet you had some funky Jordache and Esprit shirts in your closet at the time.

Let's look again:

It looks like Griffey just smashed a looper into right-center field and is about to run.  You can see the blurry on-deck batter watching it fly.  Go, Junior, go!

Score also made two Young Superstar sets of 42 players each.

I know it says 47, but that is because they include these:

These came one-per-pack in the regular set.  They are lame.

Little cards with lenticular fronts that don't show the awesome things described on the back, but instead transition between "A Year to Remember" and a baseball showing the year the thing happened. Had there been a picture of the event described, these would be very cool and highly collectible.  But instead, they are kind of lame and easy to forget.

Enough of these - let's get to the players:

Set 1
Set 2
These cards have glossy fronts and some solid action photography.  And that's my favorite Biggio RC other than the '88 Fleer.

Here's the Griffey:

Young Superstar Set 2 #18

On the front you have the follow-through, a ball having just popped off the bat.  On the back, a direct quote from his scouting report.  That is cool.  And another great picture of the Kid. 

Score did a great job in '89, a fact I completely forgot until I wrote this post.

The regular card can be got for less that 5 bucks.  The Young Superstar card, while valued much higher, you can get for under ten bucks.  For the same price as the single card was going on the Bay, I was able to get both complete sets and keep the Biggio, Sheffield and Maddux cards.  Good deal.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I spent Christmas money on packs and packs and packs....


I bought a bunch of packs of baseball cards today with Christmas cash.  Wanna hear about it?  Here it goes.....

Got a box of 2012 Topps for ya here:

Lots of horizontal cards, which I like.  Check out the ball on that Josh Hamilton for example.....

Erick looks to be turning a double-play.  And that Kyle Blanks is a beautiful card I saw on another blog just yesterday I was very excited to pull.

Also some sparklies:

I don't actually know who any of these guys is.  Trade fodder, I guess, but they look really cool.  I also got some AMAZING inserts:

My second Koufax insert in so many days.  And some other guy who apparently played for the, wait lemme check.....ah, Yankees apparently and was quite good at baseball.


Who doesn't love Barry Larkin?


I think Paul Molitor doesn't get enough respect.  Possibly because he is Canadian.  Well, that is anti-Canuckism, and I won't stand for it.

Also, this was a Mr. October-heavy day because you only get one patch card per box, and mine was:

with a young picture of the man himself.  Really enjoyed this one.

I bought a repack box too.  It yielded:

Another card of that Mackey Mintle guy.  According to Beckett he was very popular at some point.  And a sweet double-play pic on the other card.

That Rirruto is tiny, and flippin' sweet.  And the Harmon Killebrew will also find a spot in the binders.

Have I mentioned that I've been amassing quite the collection of presidential cards?  Well......

This beast will make a nice addition.  And it's #16 - isn't that cute?

I also got 3 older packs, one of '88 Fleer:

Can't argue with a Kittle.  And here's the back of that sticker:

I've seen a lot of sticker cards in my time, and they're usually just trivia or even a blank back.  This one is like a real card.

And here's the last pack.  It was '89 Fleer:

WHAAAAAA!?!  The second pack-fresh Griffey in so many days!  This hasn't happened since high school!  And a rookie no less, in mint condish,  I am one happy camper.  Plus you have Will the Thrill who graduated from my high school (many years before me, of course), and Smoltz who I pulled from a 2012 pack just yesterday.

These were my favorite cards in the lot.  The Mantles, Koufax and Reggies were also pretty sweet.  And I was crazy excited over that Kyle Blanks.  All in all, a great pack break.

Practically all these are up for trade as per usual when a card doesn't have Griffey on it.  I have lots of others too.  Maybe I should make a list.

Happy Friday!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The OTHER Donruss Rookies

The OTHER Donruss Rookies: Baseball's Best #192 & The Rookies #3

Baseball's Best #192

The Rookies #3


In my collection: 1 Baseball's Best, 2 The Rookies

Griffey looks: better than he did on his regular Donruss rookie

Are these good Griffey cards?: Yes.  They are significantly rarer than their regular set counterpart.  Also, both cards show Griffey's minor league records while the regular version shows nada.  And both have much better pictures of the Kid.

The sets: The Baseball's Best set is a 336-card factory-exclusive set sold specially through mass-market retailers such as K-mart.  This set contained the first major Sammy Sosa card as well as a Randy Johnson card.

Being that they were all stars among rookies, I suppose it made some sense to include them among "Baseball's Best," but really I think it was just Donruss telling Topps, "Look, we already have 3 Griffey cards out and you only have one!  Ha!  We'll print anything!  In yo' face, Topps!"  Didn't really work out in the end for Donruss, but at least we have these cool albeit unnecessary cards.

All the cards in this set are green, even those for the Reds, Blue Jays, and both color Sox.  Yes, that is weird.

The Rookies set also stuck with green.  There are 56 cards in this set, including Omar Vizquel, the Big Unit, Kenny Rogers, Edgar Martinez, Jefferies, Sheffield and Neon Deion.  Having just re-read what I typed, now I want this set.  That's a solid rookie checklist right there.

Hey, let's spot the differences between the two images, Highlights Magazine-style:

Regular back vs. The Rookies back

We have minor league stats, verification of his successful jump to the bigs, glaring error on the time frame that wasn't there before, and they added "Is" to the last sentence which makes it seem more complete, but it's still not.  Also, the orange-green combo makes me feel like we're on a Nickelodeon game show from the 80's.

All in all the Rookies set makes sense, but Baseball's Best seems like a money-grab.  Except for the Sosa card, it has no real purpose in the collecting mix.  And the green-only is just silly.  Here's all 3:

See?  In both cases Griffey looks better than he did on his regular card.  It's crazy town, I tell ya.

The greenies are valued at ten bucks each.  And if you think these are too much of one color, wait til you see next year's Donruss set......

1990 Topps #336 All-Star Rookie & Traded #46

 1990 Topps #336 All-Star Rookie & Traded #46

In my collection: 18 reg, 1 Canadian, 1 traded, 1 tiffany reg, 1 tiffany traded

Griffey looks: threatening

Is this a good Griffey card?: Yes.  A widely available 2nd year card featuring a young Griffey on the brink of super-stardom.  And with all those colors the Tiffany version really pops.

The set: This set was clearly designed under the influence of amphetamines.  It’s just so dynamic and exciting and retina-fryingly colorful (check out my new adverb).  1990 Topps is to every other Topps design what Joey Buttafuoco pants are to regular pants.

Here's the back of the Tiffany vs. the regular:

And here's the regular back vs. the Canadian version:

Zut alors!  Le fromage est dans la bibliotheque!  Tres bien, non?

The Canadian card looks to be printed on a lighter paper stock, which I like.

Topps stuck with the massive card count of 792.  Why this number?  The set is printed on 6 sheets lettered A-F.  So, 6 sheets that total 792 cards = 132 cards per sheet, the exact number in the Traded sets.  Hence, one traded set per sheet.  Isn’t that neat?

Funny story: halfway through the run, the workers at the Topps printing facility who printed/inspected sheet F (the 6th of 6 sheets printed to make the set) got so keyed up on Surge energy drink and Hypercolor t-shirts that they decided if you didn’t know the name of the guy on the card then you’re not a real fan, and you can suck it - we're done putting names on the cards.  It's too easy....

Eventually the sober day shift guys came back on and put a stop to that, but a few sheets got through into the market with no player names printed on the cards, including <oops!> arguably the best card from the regular set.  Here it is, direct from sheet F (for fail), the Holy Grail of Frank Thomas rookie cards:

1990 Topps Baseball Frank Thomas No Name on Front Image
Blurry much?  This scan is accurate - the photo really is that blurry.

Here’s some cards from the set:

There's also some pretty solid rookies from this year, including Bernie Williams, Larry Walker, Juan Gon, the Big Hurt, and the Bidge.

Have $7000 and a fierce, unyielding patriotism?
#USA1 - less than 200 were made
No postseason dingers?  Come on, H.W.!

Here’s a fun trivia question: what strikeout milestone did Nolan Ryan hit in 1990?


And, of course, some herp-derps:

Now, to the Griffey:

Griffey is threatening to hit the crap out of something with that bat.  Look how he’s holding it.  I’m thinking he’s in the hole at this point, about to be on deck.  The pitcher is probably pissing his pinstripes at the sight of this All-Star Rookie just frickin’ eyeing him down something fierce.  Think The Waterboy when he got real angry, like a tearful rage, already full of regret for the harm about to be caused at his hands but utterly out of his control.  Something is about to happen.  I hope one of those other batters was on base when it did.

From the back of the card: “Ken graduated from Moeller (Cincinnati) High School in 1987.  He played 3 years of football and 4 years of baseball.”  Three years of football and four years of baseball?  So Griffey went to high school for seven years.  Which means he started high school in 1980……when he was 10.  Well, we all know what this means: GENIUS, baby.  Do the math....

Now, we need to talk about that little trophy.  In 1990, Griffey is very much still a rookie in every sense of the word.  No arguments there.  He’s even an All-Star Rookie, and frankly, deserving of a trophy.  I get that, but that trophy on this card is misleading.  And this card is not the last time Topps would pull said stunt.

We all know a kid (or adult, God help him) who is so proud of their Griffey rookie card that they’re just dying to show it to you.  “Oh, you collect baseball cards?” they ask you, “Well check this baby out….” Then when they show it to you, you just don’t have it in your heart to tell them,

”Well, technically (Not technically. Actually.), his rookie year was the year before this, so while he is still a rookie at this point, the card is not a rookie per se.  But nice card, bro!  Here’s a penny sleeve for it.” 

Or, you can get mean:

“Oh my God.  You stupid idiot.  This is his second-year card.  I can’t believe how dumb you are.  Wasting my valuable pack-ripping time looking at a card I have 30 of at home.  Look at you - you don’t even keep it in a top loader.  Edges all frayed, and did you fold this in half?  AND write a dollar sign on it in sharpie?  You’re sick, dude, you know that?  You know, I wipe my ass with this card.  This and your Darryl Strawberry and your Ron Kittle and your completely worthless ’91 Score Billy Ripken.  Yeah, I know he’s Cal’s brother – that means nothing.  Your collection is a joke, and your life is pointless and devoid of value, just like your stupid cards.  Die in a fire.” 

For the record, I like the Ripkens, and have many Darryl Strawberry cards.  And Ron Kittle?  Well, let’s just say he’s alright with me.

Here's the traded card from that same year:

Griffey looks easy-breezy, playing some warm-up catch before a game.  The Tiffany looks exactly like this as it is printed on the same paper, but with a glossy front. 

All these cards are hella cheap.  Go get 'em.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I bought packs today! Now, who are these guys?

Wanna see a noob open packs of cards?

I was a heavy collector in the mid-90's, but I haven't bought many packs in the last 13 years.  Maybe one a year, just to see how the card designs evolve.

However, I've been reading a lot of baseball card blogs recently, so I decided to try my hand.  I picked up 2 repack boxes of 10 packs each, some other mixed packs, and a Beckett (Lord help me, yes, I bought a Beckett).  Both the boxes looked pretty much like this:

Junior's face on the front made me feel at ease to pull the trigger on this purchase.  I was also very excited to see 2 packs of '89 Donruss:

Oh my God Oh my God Oh my God.....!

Oof!  That hurt my heart.

Keep in mind I only want Griffeys, with a few exceptions.  Most of these cards are fluff to me, and I have no idea who the hot rookies (or most of the all-stars) are these days.  I'm a little embarrassed.

I must say that these Goodwin Champions packs are insane.  I want more.

Ozzie, Ripken, Ryan, Jeter all in the same 2 packs?  Frickin' A!   Then there's Peggy Fleming?  Bobby Orr?  And Michael Jordan?!  These must be worth a fortune

I was also intrigued by the surfer.  And I saw CC Sabathia pitch this past season on TV, so I was like "I know him!  Keeper!"  I also got a tiny Eli Manning card (we love the Mannings down here in New Orleans) and a tiny Steve Carlton, who I also know and like.

Oh, and this:

BOO-YAH!  That's it.  Emotionally, I'm done.  I can stop here.  But for the 2 people that may someday read this, here's the rest of what I got and my feelings towards it.  Most of this is up for trade.  In no particular order:

I don't know any of these guys.  But all of them are listed in the ol' Beckett.  By the way, I forgot how much I hate looking up cards in Beckett.

This is one of the coolest cards I've ever pulled from a pack.  I looked for a serial number, but there was none.  Still, very sparkly.

This guy I know.  And I was very pleased to see team photos back on baseball cards!  How you like that?  Too bad it's the Padres and not a Griffey-having team, but still.  Makes me optimistic about future packs.

I know who Ichiro is.  He's the guy with one name. Score!

This is a reproduction of a rookie card that is not particularly old and of a guy I've never heard of.  I was a bit let down here.  I'll be watching more baseball this season, so I'll get to know these characters.  Still, reprints.  Woo!

I still don't know what to think here.  And they were numbered like 2,432.  How many of these things are there?  And WHY?

These are from a pack of Panini Cooperstown.  I loved these cards, and I will probably buy another pack in the future.  Curious to see how modern they get.... Check out my Honus!

This pack was Bowman Platinum.  There are only 4 cards per pack, so this is the whole thing.  I have heard of two of these guys, and one I have many, many rookies of from 1993-94.  Neat cards, but dude, look at the inserts listed for this pack in Beckett.  I want those!

I found a lot of the 2011 Topps photography kind of blah, but I liked all the faces in the crowd in this picture.

This is a tiny little new card made to look like 1987 Topps,  I thought it may have been a cool insert.  It was not.  Still, look how tiny!  I want the Griffey!

I've never heard of this fellow either, but he seems like a nice guy.  I looked at the checklist on the back and all the amazing names that this card could have ended up being.  That's kind of a tease, dontcha think?  I had to be one of the Votto guys?  Anyway, Go Reds.

Great picture.  In 2005 we evacuated for Hurricane Katrina to Houston.  While we were up there my uncle got us club tickets on the 1st base line to an Astros game in this very park.  And wouldn't you know it?  They played the Reds!  Yep, I got to see Griffey play baseball one time.  He didn't do anything amazing, but it was incredible.  I shed tears.  This card made me happy.

This looked like an amazing insert and was very shiny indeed.  Plus I've heard of this guy's dad and think he's probably good, too.  I admit, I thought I had a few bucks worth of cardboard here for trade fodder.  Really, though, it's not much.  Still, cool card for the binder.

The card I got most excited about here is the Tiger, but I know I've seen the other guys' names floating around the blogsphere, so here ya go.  God, I suck.

These cards have little codes on the back that you enter on the Interwebs for.....getting things?  I'm not sure what.

I was shocked to see two of my favorite pitchers from back in the day still pitching.  And in glamour shots, no less.  I was also unimpressed with Upper Deck's photography.  They used to be amazing.  The card on the right, Beckett says, is a three dollar bill all day long.  



This is one of my favorite pulls from all these packs - Koufax's no-no. 

This experience reminded me just how little Beckett can dictate the value of something.  Still, I would trade pretty much anything I got tonight for a few sweet Griffeys.

P.S.  I didn't bother opening the '90 Donruss packs.  Just a waste of time.  I have a wax pack and 2 rack packs showing Gary Carter on the front of one.  Any suggestions for them?

[Note: since I posted this I ended up opening the '90 Donruss in search of the John Smoltz MVP with the picture of Tom Glavine.  No luck, but I did get 2 more Griffey DK's and a card of the baseball commish.  Not all bad....]