Friday, September 18, 2009

My 6 in 30

As was the norm in high school I am wayyyyyyyy behind on my homework. I finally found the time to get to a post I have been wanting to put up for a while. I have read many submissions to the challenge posted on 'Dinged Corners'. So I figured I would pull down the binder I keep of players attempting to bunt and see what happens.....

#1 - Dave Lopes looking awkward in the batting cage.

#2 - Johnny Damon in his K.C. days. I love this set and I'm sure this is not a familiar task for J.D.

#3 - Andy Benes looking incredibly determined to move that runner over. Look at his steel-jawed concentration.

#4 - Robin Yount showing us all that even All-Star HOfers bunt.

#5 - Brett Butler showing perfect form and just an awesome baseball card. Definitely one of my Top 10 of all time. This should be a logo for some sportswear company.

#6 - Curtis Granderson. This one I posted probably because I have been reading 'Grand Cards' lately and had it on my mind.

This was a fun little exercise and an excuse to thumb through some cards I haven't visited in some time. Thanks once again to 'Dinged Corners' for the impetus and if you don't have yours done yet, what are you waiting for???


UD Goodwin Packs - Brought to you by Codine & Amoxocillin

Greeting everyone, hope your afternoon is faring better than mine. Let me explain the title of this entry. Yesterday morning I started to develop a slight pain in one of my molars. Being the bull-headed mule that I am I ignored it and went about my day. By 4:30pm I was experiencing the third increasingly fierce wave of pain from said tooth.

The kind of pain that actually makes you sweat.

I left work around 5:30 and drove the 40 minutes home. I decided to stop by my dentist and see if anyone could tend to an "emergency" situation. Rightly so, the dentist had left for the day but I managed to snare an appointment the next morning. As the night went on the waves of pain grew more and more frequent and equally increasing in intensity.

Long story short I have an appointment for a week from Monday to have the tooth extracted. I get to live with an abscess for a week. The dentist was kind enough to prescribe a suitable painkiller and something to fight the infection.

To help with the pain I prescribed for myself a quick trip to the Card Store before I fill my prescription. Priority sorting problems?? YOU BET!!!

I decided to try my luck with a brand spanking new unopened, fresh out of the card shop owners trunk, box of Upper Deck Goodwin Champions. I grabbed 5 packs to be precise, figuring that a lump of coal from the Titanic or some weird bug encased in card would help ease the pain. What I got I was extremely happy and pleased with. What the other customer opening packs with me got I was jealous of too, that later.

Pack #1, card number one was a sign of things to come for me. I like to think "omens" are real and actually control the chaos of the universe. However, I KNOW that it was just a random happenstance that was favorable to me. I pulled my namesake right off the hop.

Great looking card and a very decent way to start off a product that has appeared to disappoint most everyone who has broken it so far. I received a couple of Phillies in the pack in the form of Chase Utley (#100) and 7-time All Star Robin Roberts (#112). The Utley card appears to have a production flaw in it. I spent 30 seconds trying to wipe off a white hair to the right of Chase before I realised it was part of the photo. The mini card from the pack was Stephen Drew of the D'backs (#120).

The other card from the pack is going straight to my father, he was a fan of his movies. This is a cool looking card and I may try to pick another one up for myself.

#CD-7 Will Rogers

Pack #2 brought me a box-hit and a cool mini card. I got my first annoying '20th Anniversary' insert card #2120 Chien-Ming Wang. Card #76 Joe Mauer and card #190 Alex Hinshaw.

The first autograph pull is of Josh Willingham of the Nats, card #A-JW.

The min card is of N.H.L. rookie Jonathan Towes, card #90.

Pack #3 had another '20th Anniversary' insert #2150 featuring Chris Paul and a trophy...woo. Mini parallel insert is of Koji Uehara #139, Felix Hernandez (card #134) and some skier, Jeremy Bloom (card #161), who apparently played for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. Must have been good.

The show-off card of this pack is another hockey card but one which I am happy to get. Card #81 belongs to Wayne Gretzky, in an Oilers uniform even.

It was at this point that the guy opening packs beside me pulled a 1/1. He got the Mike Schmidt printing plate, red was the colour I do believe. Nice looking plate too.

Pack #4 started off with another '20th Anniversary' insert, this time however it hit an all-time low. David Eckstein??!!??Of all the Cards to feature on a card that marks their first World Series win in 24 years they pick him? Whatever. Oh, it is card #2155 for those keeping score at home.

Pack #4 was also a pack of stark contrasts. I first pulled this majestic, cool looking card of Ichiro, card #69. The Japanese flag waving in the background adds to the coolness of this card. Then I pull this card (#179) of a guy who appears to be the Champion of stepping in dog crap?? I dunno. Check those shoes Marty. Also, nice headband!! In all seriousness though. Anyone who has the attention span to kick anything over 60,000 times and for over 8 hours straight deserves a card.

Next up is some min Cub-goodness courtesy of Rich Harden (card #233)

And my first black-border Gypsy Queen backed mini is of an apparently good basketball player with an unfortunate set of initials, O.J. Mayo, card #24. Does anyone know if these cards come with different colored printing on the back? Just curious.

I left a certain pack for last because it felt thicker than the others when I pulled it. Having seen no dummy cards I felt a little more confidant with my last pack. Hopefully it was something decent. As I stated earlier, Titanic coal or a bug would make it worth it.
Pack 5 as it went was..............

Card #87 featuring Andy Pettitte, card #120 featuring Stephen Drew....

Mini-Philly-ness to match with his regular size card from pack #1, Robin Roberts.

Lastly, the card that I was hoping to hit with and make all the aching in my tooth go away. The thick card that teased me. Card #CGM-CF......

A little bit of airport-tarmac-arm-waving-god-willing-world-series-goodness from Pudge!! Nice card indeed!!

While I am impressed with the design of Goodwin and the selection of subjects for the cards I still have to give the nod to Allen & Ginter. The biggest drawback here was the "5-cards-per-pack" delivery. I would expect that from a product that is considered "upper-tier" or "high-end". I don't see Goodwin as such a product and therefore I feel a bit ripped-off with getting only 5 cards. As with A&G if it were not for my anticipation (read as saving my money) for the Topps T-206 release I may have grabbed a few boxes of Goodwin. They price out here at my local Hobby store to $95 per box. If UD had increased the number of cards per pack they may have had their winning product for 2009.

My head hurts and Tylenol-3's are calling my name.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Impulse Buy #5 (Part II)

Seeing as it is 'Labour Day' I figured I should drag my sorry carcass off the couch for a spell and finish the post I started on Saturday. Three packs remain from my trip into the land of 2006 Bowman Heritage and so far I have been fairly pleased with the rips. Let's get right to it.

Pack #4

Mini Parallel - #90 Roy Halladay (Hot damn!!! My first Blue Jay!!)

Prospects - #BHP29 Welinson Baez (Currently in High Class A Clearwater for the Philles)
Prospects - #BHP69 Lou Santangelo (Currently in AAA Round Rock for the Astros)
Rainbow Parallel - #227 James Loney

Base Cards - #294 Angel Guzman (RC) (gotta love those Cubs), #99 Jon Lieber, #132 John Lackey, #249 Bobby Livingston (RC)

Pack #5

Mini Parallel - #248 Chad Billingsley (RC)

Prospects - #BHP32 Corey Wimberly (Currently in AA Midland for the A's)
Prospects - #BHP85 Clayton Kershaw (Currently the #4 starter for the Dodgers and 8-8 on the season)

Rainbow Parallel - #18 Mark Mulder

Base Cards - #21 Marcus Giles, #84 Lyle Overbay ({insert YAY!! here}), #118 Eric Byrnes, #233 Casey Janssen (RC) (favorite pack so far...2 BJs)

Pack #6

Mini Parallel - #114 Bill Hall

Prospects - #BHP26 Steve Garrabrants (Currently in High Class A Lancaster for the Red Sox)
Prospects - BHP20 Mark Holliman (Currently in AA Huntsville for Milwaukee, looks better in a Cubs uniform though)

Rainbow Parallel - #164 Craig Biggio

Autograph Insert - #SG-AG Alex Gordon

This pull I was VERY happy with. Not only is the autograph on the card it is practically perfectly placed on the card making it look superb. It is also nice to pull one of the top listed cards from any insert set regardless of who it is. Especially from this pile of packs when I believe autos were 1 per box.

Base Cards - #99 Jon Lieber, #116 David Eckstein (classic retro pose goodness), #293 Zach Miner (RC)

I really do like the look of this set and from some of the prices I have seen online it seems to me to be a great bargain to get some nice on-card autos as well as some other decent possible hits. I have a feeling this will be one of the projects that will get me through the cold winter months in The Great White North.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Impulse Buy #5 (Part I)

While waiting for the Topps T206 release to hit the stores I found myself itching to open some packs. I stopped by one of the Hobby stores I frequent occasionally because they have moved locations and I wanted to check out the new digs.

There is nothing like walking into a brand new freshly renovated store. Everything is bright and shiny and smells new. Another bonus is when the space that they move into is twice the size of their previous space things tend to be easier to find than they were before. Knowing I needed to "scratch the itch", so to speak, I was looking for something retro/vintage themed. Would it be a box of 2007 Goudy? Hmmmm....gotta reserve funds for the aforementioned T206. I chose to limit myself to some packs instead.

I have received a few of the cards from this set in trades and I like the look of the cards. There were six packs left in the dusty box so I decided to give them a good home. Today's impulse buy was..........

Pack #1

Mini Parallel - #163 David DeJesus

Prospects - #BHP94 Brad Furnish (Currently in AA Springfield for the Cards)
Prospects - #
BHP53 Andrew Kown (Currently in AAA Syracuse for the Nats)
Rainbow Parallel - #272 Brandon Webb

Base Cards - #73 Johnny Estrada, #135 Curtis Granderson, #184 Juan Encarnacion, #215 Anthony Reyes (RC)

Checklist #3

Pack #2

Mini Parallel - #40 Alfonso Soriano

Prospects - #BHP63 Michael Ekstrom (On Padres 40-man roster, currently assigned to Portland)

Prospects - BHP35 John Bannister (Currently in AAA Oklahoma City for Texas)
Rainbow Parallel - #96 Mark Prior (Yay!! The first Cub)

White Parallel(maybe) - #12 Jermaine Dye

The reason I say "maybe" here is that it is kinda hard to tell. From what I understand the "white" parallel set is not serial numbered and therefore the only way to tell is to look carefully at the border and not see any of the grey-ish flecks that appear to be on the base cards. "Boooo!" on ya Topps for not making it a bit more obvious.

Base Cards - #62 Gary Matthews Jr., #162 J.D. Drew, #217 Yusmeiro Petit(RC)

Mini Parallel - #14 Michael Cuddyer

Prospects - #BHP93 Brooks Brown (Currently in AAA Toledo for the Tigers)
Prospects - #BHP94 Brad Furnish (A double already?? A double sub-set card even??)
Rainbow Parallel - #34 Doug Davis

Autograph Insert - #SG-MM Matt Maloney (On the Reds 40-man roster, currently cooling his heels in AA Carolina)

The fact that these autographs are directly on card is the biggest appeal to me. Definitely a fine looking card.

Base Cards - #40 Alfonso Soriano, #96 Mark Prior (Yay!! The second Cub, who was also the first.) #79 Mark Loretta

I have 3 more packs to rip but I will save that for another post. Right now, breakfast calls!!!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mail Day (aka Benevolent Bearded Blogger Bonus Bounty)

A while ago I was reading about Beardy's quest for the Burke Kenny Nona-fecta. In the mix of the few scattered packs of 2009 Allen & Ginter I had purchased it turned out I was able to help him out with the mini A&G back version. Initially, I had been faithing and hoping that he would pull the Loch Ness Monster card in one of his Gint-A-Cuff's box breaks and we could swap. Such was not the case but he did contact me after the breaks and dangle another mini that I needed.

As you all know, very rarely if ever in this collective do envelopes show up without a little bit extra inside. Along with Mr. Hill there were a pile of Blue Jays and cards of my namesake. The first two out of the envelope were both numbered. A 2009 Topps Finest blue refractor of Vernon Wells and a 2008 UD Piece of History red parallel of David Wright.

More shiny refractored goodness featuring Vernon Wells 2009 Finest base card and Lyle Overbay from 2008 Bowman Chrome. Overbay's signature here looks like it was lifted from something he might have handed in in grade 2 or 3. Practice man, practice!! That gross looking smudge was on my scanner glass....yuck!! Must have been when I tried to scan a doughnut or something.

I have seen some posts of the Upper Deck Spectrum cards before and have never really been that impressed with them. However, I have come into possession of a few lately and they do look much better in-hand than they do scanned. The foil mixes well with the colours and the design is not all that offensive. Beardy sent me a few more including a numbered red parallel of David Wright.

Along with shiny goodness there was some retro goodness as well. I like the look of the 2007 Topps '52 set (who wouldn't) but apart from affordability and a different crop of stars, I fail to see the point behind it when the 2001 Topps Heritage set already exists. There was a bit of Goudy goodness as well. I have grabbed a few packs of these and have been toying with the idea of putting the set together.

Lastly, what would a package of cards from one of my favorite teams be without some honest-to-goodness flashback/remember whens? The bane of the Blue Jays fans existence in the 80's was that the team always seemed to be 1 or 2 pitchers away from putting it all together. It was a fun time to be a fan but frustrating every spring to see the holes in the pitching staff. Several players were positioned to help fill those gaps. One of the two most infamous players to do that was Bill Caudill, the other being Jim Acker. Caudill spent more time trying to get out of jams outside of the baseball diamond than he did inside on the mound, where he belonged.

This card I just had to post for so many reasons. Juan Guzman was one of the best fastball pitchers the Blue Jays ever had. When his control was on he was virtually unhittable. Juan used to drive the Jays broadcasters insane. When the game was going his way he would get the ball from the catcher and throw the pitch in less than 5 or 6 seconds. When he was off, boy was he off!!!! He would sometimes take almost a full minute between pitches. I like this card for the hat that doesn't seem to fit, the fact he is not even looking at the camera and the painfully forced smile on his face.

A big thanks once again to Beardy for the cards and rest assured once I get to the rest of what I have in storage there will be some more Orioles coming your way.