Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice: Pack #13: In Which I Find the Best Pack of the Box (so far at least)

I'm still slowly working my way through my box of 1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice.  I hope that all of you are enjoying this retro break as much as I am!

Pack 13:
71.  Jim Edmonds
111.  Eddie Taubensee

A cool photograph if you ask me, certainly doesn't hurt any that he's a Red!
124.  Eddie Murray
305.  Glenallen Hill
313.  Mike Blowers
363.  Ken Caminiti - Checklist
Silver Signatures:
296.  Trevor Hoffman

A posed shot (obviously) but I still like it for some reason.
314.  Darren Bragg
Gold Signature:
You Make the Play:  8.  Barry Bonds (strikeout)

This is my first You Make the Play signature parallel - and it's a nice gold signature of Barry Bonds.  As for our game, it's not such good news as Bonds strikes out to make the final out of the second inning.  Heading into the third now, our score is 4-2 us.
Cal Ripken Collection:  2 of 22:  Cal Ripken, Jr.

The Cal Ripken Collection insert set is seeded 1:12 packs...and with 22 total cards in the set this is one tough cookie to complete!  I can tell you right now that I have no plans of trying for this set, though this is a pretty nice card.

That was an awesome pack - a nice Cincinnati Reds card, three parallels, and a Ripken insert.  Hard to complain.

Monday, January 23, 2017

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice: Pack #12: In Which I Pull Card #1 in the Set!

Today's pack is number 12 in the box...which means we have officially hit the one-third mark.  Don't you miss boxes that crammed 36 packs in them (and with 10 cards per pack to boot)?  I know I do.  Simply holding the box makes me feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of the experience!

Pack 12:
1.  Cal Ripken, Jr.

I don't usually have the best luck at pulling card #1 from a set.  It seems like that number is often lurking on my initial want list when I post it!  As such, I'm happy to nab the #1 card from this set...and I'm even happier to report that it is a sweet Ripken card!
7.  Stat Leaders:  Hideo Nomo & Randy Johnson
15.  John Wasdin
191.  Mike Fetters
239.  Scott Brosius
283.  Allen Battle
306. Deion Sanders

I totally forgot that Deion went from the Reds to the Giants in 1995.  
You Make the Play:  44.  Rondell White (flyout)
In our ongoing game, White's flyout gives us two outs in the top of the second inning with our team currently leading 4-1 (and a runner still on first base).
Silver Signatures:
339.  Roberto Alomar

I like the International Flavor subset cards quite a bit - and the silver signature actually adds to the card in my opinion.
347.  Bob Tewksbury

Not a bad way to end the first third of the box.  I'm super happy with the Cal Ripken, Jr. card most of all.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 500: 2004 Skybox Autographics - #BL/KM - Prospects Endorsed Dual Relic (#/500)

Barry Larkin & Kaz Matsui
Year:  2004
Brand:  Skybox Autographics
Insert set:  Prospects Endorsed Dual Relic
Card number:  PEJ-BL/KM (#448/500)

I bought this card off of eBay last summer but I decided to hold on to it in terms of showing it off on the blog until my 500th Barry Larkin post!  This is my first dual relic involving Barry Larkin and I happen to like it quite a bit.

The 2004 Skybox Autographics set was a set that I had never heard of.  According to baseballcardpedia, Larkin actually has quite a few cards in the set (many of which I would like to track down some day) but, strangely, he does not have a regular base card in the set.

Instead, Larkin has a Prospects Endorsed insert (paired with Edwin Encarnacion rather than Matsui for some reason) as well as a Prospects Endorsed Dual Patch parallel (#/50) where he is paired with Matsui like he is on today's featured card.  Finally, Larkin shows up in the Signatures insert set with four different autograph versions (blue, silver #/100, gold #/25, and purple #/1).  I don't think I'll ever track down the purple auto (one-of-ones aren't my thing to chase, mostly for monetary reasons) but I should have a decent shot at acquiring the other remaining Barry Larkin cards from the set.

Returning back to the card at hand, this happens to be an instance where the monochromatic colors work for me.  In fact, given that Fleer paired a Cincinnati Reds player (colors black and red) with a New York Mets player (colors blue and orange), I think a full color baseball card would have been a bit too busy!  I also like the fact that the card is numbered...I think all relics ought to be numbered so that the collector knows exactly how common/rare that particular card is.

On a personal note, this card marks a major milestone in my Barry Larkin Collection (500 unique cards now)!  I actually still have way more than that to scan and write about...probably at least 200+ more cards.  That said, I know that that the second 500 cards in my collection will be much tougher to track down as compared to the first 500 (both because Larkin has been retired for awhile and because I have most of the easy-to-find, i.e. junk wax, cards)!  As always, if you have any Barry Larkins available, I'd love to work out a trade!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice: Pack #11: In Which I See Larkin's Name on a League Leader Card

This is the 11th pack out of my 1996 Collector's Choice box - and the second pack that I've been able to rip today (I should be writing more lesson plans but baseball cards only take a few minutes, right)?!

Pack 11:
2.  Stat Leaders:  Tony Gwynn & Edgar Martinez

Barry Larkin finished 6th in average in 1995.  That was Larkin's MVP year as well.
97.  Lance Johnson

Here's to you, Lance.
120.  Jim Thome

Some of the big name players (i.e. the All-Stars) got borderless cards that are quite awesome.  The Thome is a perfect example.
212.  Carlos Perez
234.  Andy Pettitte
262.  Jon Lieber
308.  Robby Thompson
You Make the Play
41.  Greg Vaughn (Strikeout)
Vaughn's strikeout is only the first out of the second inning.  We still have a 4-1 lead and a runner on first base.  
Silver Signatures:
31.  Doug Johns
37.  Orlando Palmeiro

Not a bad pack - I like the League Leaders cards in the set quite a bit.  I also really like that Thome card...I don't think I had seen that one before!

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice: Pack #10: In Which I (Re)Learn About a 12 Player MLB Trade

I finished the first quarter of my 1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice box a couple of days ago.  Today, I begin the next quarter - and to do so I'm going to go through the bottom left stack of packs in the box.

Pack 10:
40.  Greg Maddux
85.  Randy Myers
116.  Benito Santiago
256.  Dave Stewart
302.  Mark Carreon

Peace?
343.  Otis Nixon
358.  Checklist: Astros & Padres Trade 12 Players

This is a pretty cool piece of baseball trivia.  12 players were involved in a trade between the Astros and Padres (11 of which were Major League players).  You don't see a lot of deals like that.
You Make the Play:  38.  Ozzie Smith (Single)
We are now in the top of the second inning.  As I said in pack 3 (when I started the game up), we are assuming that the opposing team scores one run per inning.  Thus, at the end of 1 inning it was 4-1 us.  Ozzie gets us going right away with a lead off single to start the second inning of play.
Silver Signatures:
329.  Manny Ramirez
365.  Randy Johnson (Checklist)

Admittedly, not the most exciting pack but I had completely forgotten about the 12 man trade.  That in and of itself makes this pack worthwhile to me!