Thursday, March 06, 2014

Delivery Time! More from Johnny's Trading Spot!

This morning, I posted the first part of a gigantic trade package that recently showed up in my mailbox courtesy of John over at Johnny's Trading Spot.  As I mentioned then, the trade box was a priority mail box filled with Reds cards and Pacific cards.  The first (of four) brown wrapped stack of cards ended up being all Reds.  For the second brown wrapped stack, I ended up choosing a stack that was about half Reds and half assorted Pacific cards!

We'll begin with the Reds of note, then move on to the great selection of Pacific cards.

First, I have to begin with the Larkins in the pile.  I only half-actively collect random Reds cards...but I'm always full tilt in terms of collecting Barry Larkin cards!  This stack held five Barry Larkin cards - one of which was totally new to me!

This is a 1993 Colla Collection card - a set that I know nothing about.  I do know that The Colla Collection also put out a set of bookmark-like cards in 1993 (of which I do have the Larkin from that set).  I will have to do a bit of research before featuring this Larkin in my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection...but that's fine since I have another 200 (or more) cards waiting to be added to that series.

The rest of the Reds in the stack were also appreciated (even if many were Bowman, haha).  My two non-Larkin favorites though were this Hal Morris card from the 1997 Upper Deck Collector's Choice set (a set that I'm still working on completing)...

...and this Charlie Leibrandt card from the 1981 Topps set.

I sometimes wish I were born in 1981 rather than 1982 because the '81 Topps set is soooooooooo much better than the '82 set!

As I mentioned already, the priority mail box held both Reds and assorted Pacific cards.  At the moment, I'm actively trading for pretty much anything (and everything) related to turn-of-the-century Pacific stuff (mostly 1998 - 2001).  It is my hope to actually complete a bunch of Pacific sets because I find them to be quite fun.  For now though, I'm taking anything related to Pacific from that era so that I can make a better decision in terms of what sets to collect and which to avoid.

Let's take a tour through the Pacific sets in this portion of the trade package - and maybe make some brief comments as to my feelings about the potential collectibility of the set!

First, some 1998 Pacific Crown Collection cards.

Right away I noticed something that you have to be careful about in terms of Pacific cards - some have gold foil, some have silver foil (in this case Hamilton is silver and Ordaz gold).  I'm not sure if they were parallels or simply hobby vs. retail.  Pacific liked to do both!  In terms of the set design, I kind of like it.  The team logo could have been emphasized a bit more but otherwise this is a solid set.  John sent me 11 cards from this set (some silver, some gold) so I have a bit of a start of a possible set collection.  The downside is that I don't think I own many (if any) from this set in my own collection.

Next, a pair of sets with only one representative in the package.  One is 1998 Pacific Omega and the other 1998 Pacific Online.

I know you can get boxes of Pacific Online for pretty darn cheap - I've seen that set featured more than once in various group breaks over the past couple of years.  I don't know all that much about the Omega set - but I think it's safe to say that will be one of the last Pacific sets I try for (if I do at all) because it has way too much ugly silver foil!

Sticking with 1998 Pacific sets (remember this was the era of hundreds of sets from various manufacturers), we move to Pacific Paramount.  Of the four cards that John sent me from this set, three had different color foil (2 silver, 1 gold, and 1 red).

I'm pretty sure the gold and red are parallels but again, I'd have to verify that.  I suppose a better blogger would have done that while writing this post...but not me.  I'm too busy scanning and staring at super cool Pacific sets!  In terms of collecting the '98 Paramount set, I would definitely do it if I could read the player's names better at the bottom of the card...with all that foil, it can be tough to read as it is.  This set is borderline in terms of whether or not I'll chase it.

Another 1998 Pacific set sent my way was the Aurora set.  This set was printed on heavier stock (and all the foil in the four cards that John sent me were of the gold variety).  This set is alright I suppose but I can't say it's overly inspiring.

Finally, we move away from 1998 to take a look at some 1999 Pacific sets.  One of my favorites from 1999 is the Pacific Invincible set.

The little plastic player insert at the bottom of the card may be a gimmick...but it's a gimmick that I happen to like a lot.  I would love to bust a full box of this set and collect the whole thing.  So far, this set ranks #1 on my list of sets I want to complete (I'll put my full list below once I get through the entire stack of Pacific goodies)!

John sent me a single example of the 1999 Pacific flagship set.

It's simple, but I like it!  I could do without the foil behind the player name but at least I can read the player name in this set (unlike the '98 Paramount set).  This is another set that I think I'll add to my "want to collect" page.  Sometimes simple is a good thing!

Continuing the theme of only 1 card to judge a full set on - here's the one 2000 Pacific Prism card in the stack.

This card is super duper shiny...and there's not much else to say about that!  I like it a lot better than the Upper Deck Spectrum line from a few years ago - and I was crazy enough to collect two year's worth of Spectrum so this set certainly has a shot to be collected by me as well!

Another single example to judge a full set - here's Edgar Martinez representing all of 2000 Pacific Aurora.

I actually opened a box of 2000 Pacific Aurora not all that long ago for a group break and loved the set.  This is an easy addition to the "want to collect" portion of the list.

One more set that I now have a single representative from thanks to John - 2000 Pacific Vanguard.

This card is printed on thicker card stock which makes me assume it was meant to be a higher end offering from Pacific.  The front is suitably shiny and fancy looking (and yet simple which I actually appreciate).  Of all the sets, this one is the hardest to judge based on a single card - for now I'll put it on my definitely want to collect list but it could move down depending how the rest of the set looks (and how much it might cost me to track down a box of this stuff).

We end today's post with one more Pacific set from John.  This being 2001 Pacific Private Stock.  John sent me eight cards from this set - and I happen to like them quite a bit (though again there's the issue of silver foil and gold foil)!

The set seems like it's designed to be a competitor to something like Topps Gallery.  I think it's pretty nice though I am sure that plenty of people don't care for the set at all.  I also don't think I've ever gotten one of these cards in a trade before which makes me fear that collecting this set will be nearly impossible.  However, I like the set enough that I'll add it to my "probably collect" list.  If I can find a box for a cheap enough price, I could easily bump this set up to the top tier.

Now, it's time for my rankings so far (remember, this is only based on sets that John sent me).  There are plenty more Pacific sets out there - including some that I already own some cards from!  There's also another two brown paper wrapped stacks of cards from John, so maybe we'll find some more Pacific sets to add to the list before all is said and done!

Initial Pacific set rankings ( in order of desire - subject to change though!)
Definitely want to collect:
1999 Pacific Invincible
2000 Pacific Aurora
1999 Pacific
2000 Pacific Vanguard
Probably want to collect:
2001 Pacific Private Stock
2000 Pacific Prism
1998 Pacific Crown Collection
1998 Pacific Paramount
Take 'em or Leave 'em:
1998 Pacific Aurora
1998 Pacific Online
1998 Pacific Omega

Thanks (again) for the great trade John.  There's more to come too - we've only gone through half the box at this point!  As always, if anyone else would like to trade (or if you have a pile of turn of the century Pacific cards to get rid of), I'd love to trade!  Check out my want list and make an offer!


Stubby said...

The different color foils were definitely parallels. I don't recall the odds of any of them, but I really wasn't paying attention because, by then, I already hated parallels and, with Pacific, they were easy to ignore (foil is foil, right?) and didn't seem to carry a premium on the aftermarket anyway. There was also blue foil, in addition to gold, red, and bronze, IIRC.

I was probably the biggest Pacific fan in my collecting neck of the woods. Their entre to a card license was cards in Spanish, which I loved. Of course, once they had the license, they ditched that pretty quickly. Their cards, though, were always innovative--pushing the other companies to up their game--and generally attractive. I think they had the earliest die-cuts (and, with Pacific Crown, certainly the first full set of nothing but die-cuts). And the Invincible line--with the plastic insert--were some of the most gorgeous cards I've ever seen. Unfortunately, Invincible was a high-end product and, since, Pacific didn't sell as well as Topps, Fleer, Donruss, UD, and Score, dealers didn't stock them and they were impossible to find...even at shows. They were also the first to sell cards in packs of just one card--an attempt, I guess, to keep their high end cards "affordable" by the pack.

For my money, the greatest thing about Pacific was player selection. Pacific was consistently the place to go for players who, otherwise, never got a card--middle inning relievers and third string catchers and the like. At least it sure as heck seemed that way. They were kinda Topps Total before there was Topps Total and they were much better at it, honestly. As someone who likes to build team sets, I found Pacific indispensable...especially in football where, with the large rosters, so many players never get cards. Pacific even had an insert set in some of their high end products. Oh, they did lots of inserts but the ones I'm talking about, themselves, weren't much to look at--far more plain looking than the base cards--but they had tons of obscure players and players on teams they otherwise never got cards for. Who had Roberto Pentagine as a Met? Only Pacific and only in that insert set. It was an impossible set to put together, too. And, of course, Pacific did the Legends set and the Senior League set and other specialty sets.

The difference with Pacific, I think, was that Michael Cramer was a collector and fan himself. You don't see that at most card companies. I mean, I like some of the things Panini has done and I think they've earned an MLB license, but they've totally missed the point on their Pacific issues and it shows. Sadly, for Mr. Cramer, it was the time of investors and not so much of collectors.

I probably have tons of 800 count boxes of Pacific cards you could use. Not much of the high-end stuff, but certainly their flagship (and Online--which was one of the ugliest sets ever but, again, lots of players you didn't see on cards otherwise), but they'd be buried in my attic somewhere. If I ever dig them out, I'll certainly send you some.

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