Monday, May 20, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 673: 2001 Upper Deck SPx - #86

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Upper Deck SPx
Card number:  86

The 2001 Upper Deck SPx set is a strange set with a number of different tiers in it.  Luckily for me, I'm only interested in the Barry Larkin cards in the set which means I only need to find two different cards - the base card you see above which I obviously already own and the parallel of the card (called Spectrum and numbered out of 50) which I don't yet own.

For whatever reason, it sure seems like Upper Deck wasn't as enamored with Larkin as some other brands since Barry rarely seemed to make it into Upper Deck insert sets after the year 2000.  That's just as well though because Upper Deck cranked out way too many sets (most of which are too boring for me to even consider looking into let alone collecting).  That said, I admit that I kind of like the design of the 2001 SPx set.  There's angled lines, strange colors (not team friendly), and too much foil and yet I still kind of dig it.  What can I say, sometimes you can't explain art? (or at least baseball cards)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Vintage Logos are the Best Logos

It's been a number of days since I've dug into my box of 1992 Upper Deck.  Lately, I've found that I get much more enjoyment out of opening a box of cards if I spread out the pack ripping across many days.  That's probably due to the fact that A) I don't buy much new product to rip these days and B) the stuff that I do buy generally is base card driven rather than hit driven.  All that said, I am starting to get a bit anxious to sort the entire box and then marry it with my collection to see exactly how close I end up getting to the full 1992 UD set.  Still nine packs remain in the box waiting to be opened, let's do one-third of those now.

Pack 28:

There were two choices to scan in this pack, either the Astros hologram you see above or a Mike Mussina base card.  Mussina is a "local guy" so I actually have a small personal collection of him but that wasn't quite enough to eek out a scan over the always awesome (and now vintage) Astros logo.

Pack 29:

I think I've said this a few times throughout the process of ripping my box but I love, love, love the 1992 Upper Deck team checklists.  This Indians' one is even better than most - I love all the extra imagery in addition to Greg Swindell (sort of an odd choice for the Indians' poster child for the year but who am I to judge)?

Pack 30:

I found another hologram sticker in this pack (Blue Jays) but I went with a scan of Brian Downing looking...well....rather down in this photo (pun very much, painfully even intended).  You don't get a ton of images of dejected baseball players on cards, and while that's probably a good thing, seeing one every once in a while does add a bit of variety to a set.

That does it for today's post.  Only six more packs remain and then I can start the sorting process (which is kind of overwhelming given how many packs and cards are in a single box of 1992 Upper Deck)! 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 672: 2001 Upper Deck SP Authentic - #86

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  SP Authentic
Card number:  86

Here we go again, another pointless set from Upper Deck in 2001.  This is yet another example of the laziness and dumb designs that Upper Deck showcased throughout most of their offerings that year.  For SP Authentic, we get the same photo on the front and back of the card (lazy) as well as one of the dumbest design gimmicks that I can remember seeing in the "position growth chart" along the front left side of the card (stupid).  If that weren't all bad enough, there is a parallel of the base set as well that is numbered out of 50 (of which I don't yet own Larkin's card).  I hate the fact that I feel compelled to track down another card from a set that I definitely don't care for - but that's the life of a player collector I suppose.  At least this card is now scanned and tucked away in my Larkin Collection binder so that I don't have to look at it nearly as often as compared to when it was sitting on my desk waiting to be written about.  Small victories.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Flashback Friday! A Hanger Pack of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter

Happy Friday, everyone!  Today, we are flashing back to the year 2009 and taking a look at the contents of a hanger pack of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter (or, more precisely, Allen & Ginter's as Topps called the set back then). 

The pack contains 12 cards (unless we get a framed card) and there are a bunch of cards that I still am looking for in the set.  Here's my full want list of what I am still attempting to acquire:
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter Wants:
Inventions of the Future (minis):
Extinct Creatures (minis):   EA1
Creatures of Legend, Myth, &Terror (minis): 5, 7, 14, 15
Cabinet Boxloader: CB6, CB10
Regular back mini: 134, 159, 176, 205, 277
As you can see, there is a chance I could pull something I need here - I believe everything but the Boxloaders are in play!

Let's see what the pack contains starting with the nine base cards:

This would have been a terrible start to a Gint-a-Cuffs pack since there are two Yankees in there.  I believe the final 50 cards in the set were all short prints - and if that's true then the Dominique Wilkins (Slam Dunk Champion) card is a short print since it's number 346 in the set.

I completed my base set years ago so all of the base cards are up for trade.  I knew going in to this pack that I wouldn't need the base cards - it's the minis that matter to me nowadays!  Before I get to the pack's lone mini card, let's look at the two inserts we found.

First up, one of the National Pride cards.

That's Scott Hairston representing his home country of Mexico (not really true actually, Hairston was born in Arizona but his mother is Mexican and Hairston did play for the Mexican team in the '09 World Baseball Classic.

My other insert is from the rather nice Baseball Highlights sketch insert.

That's the third Yankee of the pack so you better believe I'm glad this isn't a Gint-a-Cuffs competition.  I would have lost for sure.

Like the base cards, both of the inserts are also for trade since I've already completed each set for myself! 

Finally, we get to the main event of the pack:  the mini card. 

Drum roll......


Ta da!
Bummer, not a needed mini.  Oh well, the anticipation was still kind of fun even if I didn't end up needing the card.

In the end, I didn't get anything that I needed out of the pack but it was still fun to rip it.  I enjoy Allen & Ginter quite a bit and I enjoy opening baseball card packs so altogether it was still a fun activity to do on a Friday!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Barry Larkin Collection 671: 2001 Upper Deck Ovation - #58

Barry Larkin
Year:  2001
Brand:  Upper Deck Ovation
Card number:  58

Nowadays, people are once again clamoring for a second brand (such as Upper Deck) to start making licensed baseball cards.  While that sounds like a good idea at first blush, a quick look at some of the dreadfully dull sets from the early 2000s should temper one's enthusiasm for what Upper Deck can do.

The 2001 Upper Deck Ovation set basically is a Fleer-knockoff in my mind.  The design looks to be straight out of Fleer's playbook, but without the interesting inserts and relics to round out the set.  While I'm happy to have another Barry Larkin card in my collection, I'm even happier to report that Barry only appeared once in this stupid set and so I'm done with the set in terms of my collecting goals!