Friday, September 22, 2017

1999 Pacific: What Makes for a Good Pack of Baseball Cards?

There's something fun, and old school, about opening up pack after pack of cards without expecting autographs, relics, parallels, or even inserts...  If that sort of thing sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend you pick up a box of 1999 Pacific for yourself - more base cards than the eye can see (and at 36 packs, it's a hefty box to open...and sort)!  We've made it through 21 packs so far, here's the 22nd.

Pack 22:
37.  Marty Malloy

Lots of rookies in the set - and many of them get a head shot variation.  

79.  Manny Alexander
123.  Sandy Alomar, Jr.
204.  Jeremy Giambi
213.  Larry Sutton
305.  Bernie Williams

It seems like each pack has one or two recognizable stars and then a whole lot of has beens and never was.  Still, with solid (though mostly unspectacular) photography, packs are a quick, fun rip.

338.  Francisco Cordova
341.  Jason Kendall
360.  Donovan Osborne
440.  Tom Evans

Solid, but unspectacular is probably a good way to describe the majority of the 1999 Pacific packs.  Still, with just enough inserts in the box, this is a fun rip (at least so far).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 553: 1995 Topps Stadium Club - #24 - Virtual Reality

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Topps Stadium Club
Insert set:  Virtual Reality
Card number:  24

The Virtual Reality cards made up a partial parallel set in the 1995 Stadium Club set.  Each Virtual Reality card has computer generated statistics which were meant to show what might have happened had the 1994 MLB season not been cancelled due to the strike.  The front of the card is the same as Larkin's regular base card (other than the Virtual Reality stamping).  The back of the card has the modified statistics (and a new card number) but otherwise that remains the same as well.

Looking back at the set, I'm not sure how I feel about partial parallels.  I think that it worked fine for the 1995 Stadium Club set (given the "weirdness" of the strike the year before) but I don't think I want to see any partial parallel sets in modern card releases.  The OCD set collector in me actually cringes a little bit thinking about the chaos that might unleash.

1999 Pacific: A Fun (?) Jog Down Memory Lane

Another day, another pack of 1999 Pacific.  Today's pack features a few players that should give you definite flashbacks of the late 90s if you were a baseball card collector back then.

Pack 21:
25.  Devon White
40.  Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod as a Mariner seems less annoying to me than A-Rod as a Yankee.  To be fair to A-Rod, I did kind of like his announcing abilities in last years (I think?) playoffs.

57.  Rafael Palmeiro

Headshot variation.

82.  Mark Clark
210.  Dean Palmer
Palmer is one of those guys who I seemed to pull a lot of cards of despite him not ever really doing all that much to warrant having so many cards.
248.  Matt Lawton
326.  Doug Glanville
415.  Quinton McCracken
Another late 90s name that brought back memories for me.  Pulling Rays has never been an ideal thing in packs...and McCracken is the perfect Ray in that nobody knows who he is and nobody really knows why he is in the pack.
421.  Will Clark
449.  Shannon Stewart

Well, that does it for that pack.  A fun jog down memory lane...or at least, it was a jog.  I don't think there is any such thing as a "fun jog" now that I think about it.  #runningsucks  #itriedtorunthissummer

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1999 Pacific: When Does Spring Training Start?

It's hard to believe that we are nearing the end of September already.  Before you know it, spring training will be here.  Oh, too soon?

Well, speaking of baseball, I'm still working my way through my old school box of 1999 Pacific.  This is the 20th pack out of the box.

Pack 20:
12. Chipper Jones

The head shot variation of the pack shows up immediately.

69.  Darren Lewis
121.  Pat Watkins

Watkins was the Reds' top draft pick in 1993.  He never really did all that much for the team, however, which makes him a "bust" to Reds' fans.

211.  Jose Rosado
247.  Denny Hocking
263.  Vladimir Guerrero

Nice, albeit standard, photo of Vlad.

321.  Alex Arias
417.  Bryan Rekar
423.  Juan Gonzalez
439.  Carlos Delgado

Another pack down, I'm still making some solid progress toward completing the set.  Time will tell how close, exactly, I get to the finished set.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

1999 Pacific: I Was Hoping for One of Those Die-Cuts (and I Got It)!

As I have mentioned previously, I started ripping my box of 1999 Pacific back in July...but with 36 packs in the box (and not a lot of inserts), my attention ended up drifting away to current releases at the time (such as Allen & Ginter) and I kind of forgot about the second half of the Pacific box (especially since each pack opened meant I needed to write a blog post).

Well, no fear for those that wanted me to keep going - I'm back and ready to rip the 19th pack out of the box.

Pack 19:

73.  Bret Saberhagen
105.  Mike Sirotka
110.  Bret Boone

I actually have enjoyed listening to Boone's brother Aaron on the ESPN baseball telecasts.  He is able to offer some nice insights and information to the game (especially when he's not forced to talk specifically about either the Dodgers or Yankees).

186.  Jeff Bagwell
190. Carl Everett
245.  Ron Coomer
293.  Hideki Irabu

One of the coolest "head shot" variations I've seen - look at that sky in the background.  This is an awesome looking card!

328.  Mark Leiter
375.  Greg Vaughn
Gold Crown Die-Cuts:  34.  Mark McGwire

The Gold Crown Die-Cuts are seeded 1:37 packs so there wasn't a 100% guarantee that we'd pull one in our box.  Amazingly, the Gold Crown set contains 36 cards...which means you'd need to rip a LOT of wax in order to complete the entire set (think cases of the product).  That's crazy.  I'm happy to simply have one of the die-cut cards, even if it is a freakin' Cardinal.

That does it for today's pack - and it was definitely one of the best packs out of the box.  I guess good things come to those who wait!