Saturday, February 20, 2010

Target binge - leads to a couple of Topps Million Card Giveaway redemptions

I picked up a 2010 Topps 'Honus Wagner' cereal box [$9.99 each at Target], a 2010 Topps jumbo pack [$4.99 each at Target] and a 2010 Upper Deck Fat Pack [$4.99 each at Target] - I thought I'd impusively pick up one of the Topps cereal boxes, since it is a half the price of a blaster and I've never busted one of these before.

I will concede, I was also looking for a Topps Million Card Giveaway redemption code card - even though the contest seems like an exercise in futility for a baseball card collector looking for what I may consider a historically valuable Topps card.

Much to my wallet's detriment however, the Topps' Million Card Giveaway promotion will probably make me - pick up one more pack, one more jumbo pack or perhaps cereal box of 2010 Topps baseball cards that I may have otherwise ignored [since the cards are plentiful and found everywhere].

Out of the cereal box - I pulled the following in addition to the typical base cards / inserts.
Legends Chrome Refractor pack
#GC-6 Tom Seaver
#TMC-3 Bob Gibson - Million Card Giveaway redemption / redeemed online for a 1971 Topps Oscar Gamble

From the jumbo pack - I pulled a Topps Million Card Giveaway redemption code card.
#TMC-4 Ichiro - Million Card Giveaway redemption / redeemed online for a 1972 Topps Ivan Murrell.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Topps Million Card Giveaway redemption - a 1985 Topps Bob Forsch

I finally was able to redeem my lone Topps Million Card Giveaway redemption card and landed this beaut - I think the redeemed redemption card is worth more [TMC-3, picturing a 1963 Topps Bob Gibson], than the 'original' Topps card of Forsch.

I think it is going to be a tough decision, whether or not I'll actually want the card in hand - hah!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Upper Deck retail pack break #3

2010 Upper Deck retail [$1.50 each / $4 for three packs from a booth at a card show] - you can't see his face, the front of his uniform or the logo on the cap he is wearing, but Aaron Rowand's card [#427] is a pretty damn good looking card. 

The ball looks like it is going to sail into one of the gloves reaching for it from the stands, but it shows Rowand at his finest - going all out, regardless of the result.

Pack three
290 Jody Gerut

444 Franklin Gutierrez - he isn't an all-star yet, but the player referred to as 'Death to Flying Things' has quietly developed into one of the top outfielders in the American League.

539 Mike MacDougal
277 James Loney

44 Augie Ojeda
305 Todd Coffey
78 Lou Montanez

391 Delwyn Young
SB-21 Dave Bush / April 23rd

CP-15/CP-16 Kristen Stewart / Robert Pattinson - Celebrity Predictor insert / I don't know what to make of this card or the insert set. It isn't like middle age baseball card collectors are buying flagship Upper Deck for 'pop culture' insert cards, nor are tweens/teenyboppers looking to bust baseball card packs to find cards like the Celebrity Predictor inserts.
381 Jack Taschner

287 Hong-Chih Kuo
386 Carlos Ruiz
112 Bobby Scales
427 Aaron Rowand

599 Toronto team checklist - featuring Roy Halladay and Aaron Hill
275 Randy Wolf
544 Ballparks - the one in Boston, Massachusetts where the Big Papi lurks.

2010 Upper Deck retail pack break #2

2010 Upper Deck retail [$1.50 each / $4 for three packs from a booth at a card show] - I think Upper Deck messed up on Carlos Pena's card [#481], because it seems like Carl Crawford pictured and not the slugger who hit 39 home runs and shared the American League home run title in 2010 with Mark Teixeira.

Pack two  
15 Michael Dunn Star Rookie

192 Edwin Jackson
257 Chone Figgins
332 Brian Schneider

304 Seth McLung
353 Phil Coke
173 Jensen Lewis
481 Carlos Pena
SB-111 Ted Lilly / July 5th

228 Darin Erstad - his status as an active player seems to be in jeopardy. He represents one of the last links to the Angels I grew up watching through the mid 1990s, hounding at the ballpark, et al.
533 Livan Hernandez
271 Jose Arredondo
199 Miguel Cabrera
503 Darren O' Day
335 Tim Redding
375 Raul Ibanez
596 Seattle team checklist - featuring Ichiro and Felix Hernandez
258 Kevin Jepsen

2010 Upper Deck retail pack break #1

2010 Upper Deck retail [$1.50 each / $4 for three packs from a booth at a card show] - I wasn't looking for any particular hits [like I've read and heard, flagship products are all about 'set building' and this product is UD's flagship baseball brand, not Ultimate Collection].

I was hoping to get a smattering of base cards - particularly some of the 40 Star Rookies featured, even though they are part of the set and I assume are not anymore special, other than they feature rookies who made their debut in 2009 and feature UD's own version of the Rookie Card logo.

The fact these cards are not licensed by Major League Baseball is something to think about - but I'm not a baseball card traditionalist/snob and was more intrigued, than put off by the idea these cards are only licensed by MLBPA.

Like previous UD flagship releases, the images on the cards are generally sharp - the images are not as distorted as other collectors would like to assume.

Perhaps choosing suitable images [i.e. team names/logos on jerseys either obscured or not visible at all] to use on cards made the people at Upper Deck take a closer look - rather than just plopping any old photo on a card.

Pack one  
93 J.D. Drew - Dustin Pedroia cameo

407 Chase Headley
5 Brian Matusz Star Rookie - pronounced 'Mattis,' probably the best lefty pitching prospect in all of baseball.

269 Ervin Santana
315 Glen Perkins
363 Daric Barton
501 C.J. Wilson

242 Willie Bloomquist

SB-191 Sonia Sotomayor / Sept. 26
400 Zach Duke
131 Josh Fields
443 Ian Snell
449 Taylor Teagarden
96 Clay Buchholz
415 Luis Perdomo

577 Reds team checklist - featuring Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto
478 Evan Longoria
555 Ballparks - not identified by name, it is the one in Los Angeles, where Kirk Gibson hit his iconic home run in the 1988 World Series.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Officially retired - Frank Thomas was considered one of the best in his era

Frank Thomas announced his retirement on Friday - I remember him going neck-and-neck with Ken Griffey Jr. as the two players considered the biggest hobby stars through much of the 1990s.

A possible blemishes holding 'The Big Hurt' back from first-ballot Hall of Fame status is the designated hitter issue, which should be a somewhat relevant issue for evaluating Thomas as a player - but shouldn't otherwise overshadow his accomplishments [including being two-time MVP in 1993 and 1994, hitting 521 home runs, having .301 lifetime batting average while generating a .419 on-base percentage ].

In his career, 'The Big Hurt' was always selfish about his stats and outspoken about his contract and his perceived value in the early 2000s - he kind of soured on people as his all-world hitting skills somewhat declined.

However, when he was hitting the ball in his peak during the 1990s - the man was considered to be what Albert Pujols is today and every baseball fan / baseball card collector wanted a piece of him. 

His best mainstream rookie card was probably from the 1990 Leaf set [card #300] - as Thomas' popularity waned over the last part of his career and the Leaf's value decreased [maybe around $10 these days, a little more if professionally graded], his 1990 Topps 'no-name on front' was still a well sought-after card by dedicated Thomas collectors.   

Friday, February 05, 2010

2010 Topps Series 1 blaster box break - packs nine and ten, Target Throwback packs

Pack nine - Throwback pack #1
#215 Max Scherzer
#295 Kevin Youkilis
#20 Tommy Hanson

#171 AL Wins Leaders - Hernandez, Verlander, Sabathia
#CMT 56 Dustin Pedroia - The Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert; 2007 Topps.
#WTWY RM Russell Martin - When They Were Young insert; damaged.
#TTT 18 Vladimir Guerrero - Topps Town insert
#117 David DeJesus
Topps Attax code card

Pack 10 - Throwback pack #2
#121 Brett Anderson
#21 Cristian Guzman
#39 Jeff Baker
#120 Jorge Posada

#CMT 46 Pedro Martinez - The Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert; 1997 Topps.
#LL 20 Frank Thomas/Prince Fielder - Legendary Lineage insert
#TTT 7 Josh Hamilton - Topps Town insert
#70 Cole Hamels

2010 Topps Series 1 blaster box break - packs five through eight

Pack five
#18 Tim Stauffer

#79 Francisco Cordero
#298 Baltimore Orioles team card
#294 Adam Dunn

#PP 41 David Wright - Peak Performance insert
#TT3 Hanley Ramirez - Topps Town insert
#262 Homer Bailey
#173 Kendry Morales

Pack six
#57 CC Sabathia
#9 Tim Lincecum
#302 Bean Town Backhand checklist
#WTWY BR Brian Roberts
- When They Were Young insert
#TTT 24 Ryan Braun - Topps Town insert
#264 Arizona Diamondbacks Franchise History - featuring Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson
#85 Ken Griffey Jr.
#308 Robinzon Diaz
Topps Attax code card

Pack seven
#127 Hank Blalock
# 46 Chad Tracy
# 328 Chicago Cubs team card

# CMT 9 Carl Yastrzemski - The Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert; 1960 Topps.
# LL 23 Jackie Robinson/Matt Kemp - Legendary Lineage insert
# TT 11 Brian McCann - Topps Town insert
# 180 Jayson Nix
# 251 John Lannan

Pack eight
#160 Miguel Tejada
#98 Cesar Ramos
#227 Josh Thole

#HOTG 12 History of the Game - First Night Game
#TR 11 Cole Hamels - Turkey Red insert
#TTT 21 Adam Dunn - Topps Town insert
#132 Cliff Lee
#258 Edwin Encarnacion

2010 Topps Series 1 blaster box break - packs one through four

2010 Topps Series 1 blaster box [eight packs plus two Throwback packs with an old-school Topps logo and non-color grey stock backs] - I like the fact there is at least one insert in each pack, though it is merely a small consolation prize, like something out of a Cracker Jack box. 

Pack one
#278 Carlos Delgado
#255 Chris Davis
#54 John Lacknuts [Lackey]

#296 Braves team card
#CMT 53 Alfonso Soriano - The Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert; 2004 Topps.
#PP-15 Alex Rodriguez - Peak Performance insert
#FCTT3 Hanley Ramirez - Topps Town insert [gold]
#320 Brian McCann

Pack two
#52 Billy Butler
#122 Carlos Ruiz

#137 Oakland Athletics franchise history - featuring Rickey Henderson
#33 Adam Moore
#HOTG 14 History of the Game - First Hall of Fame Class Inducted
#TMC-3 Million Card Giveaway - I assume this is a redemption card and not just an information card, though I could be wrong.

Here is how I see this promotion - I redeem the card online to find a 1986 Topps Brett Saberhagen, 1988 Topps Mark Gubicza or a 1991 Topps Jerry Don Gleaton. It is not actually going to be in-hand, though for a fee, the actual card will be shipped to me.

#TT8 Zack Greinke - Topps Town insert
#239 Juan Uribe

Pack three
#330 Brandon Allen
#191 Mat Latos

#TOG-23 Manny Ramirez - Tales of the Game insert
#LL 13 Reggie Jackson/Adam Dunn - Legendary Lineage insert
#TT22 Andrew McCutchen - Topps Town insert
#229 Daniel McCutchen
#166 Eric Byrnes
#285 Kurt Suzuki

Pack four
#109 Justin Masterson
#220 Randy Johnson

#106 NL ERA Leaders - Carpenter, Lincecum, Jurrjens
#CMT 32 Ryne Sandberg - The Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert; 1983 Topps.
#TR 27 Edwin Jackson - Turkey Red insert
#TT14 Albert Pujols - Topps Town insert
#47 Brad Penny
#125 Ichiro

2010 Topps Series 1 blaster box break - Commemorative Patch Card

2010 Topps Series 1 blaster box [$19.99 each] - I needed to satisfy my 2010 baseball card fix and eagerly wanted to get to a local Target once I got back to the U.S., after I'd spent three weeks abroad in the island nation of Philippines for a sort of a homecoming / vacation.

Commemorative Patch Card
MCP 21 Orlando Cepeda - 1967 World Series Commemorative patch; two dinged corners, a pin-sized tear on the right hand side of the card. The card looks cheap because the area where the manufactured patch glued on is just grey stock cardboard.

A manufactured patch glued onto faux cloth material would look better than one left the way it is on these patch cards - the manufactured patch already looks shabby and now the rest of this year's cards looks homemade and produced to get a lot of the cards out into circulation.