Friday, June 13, 2008

Adventures in Cheap Cards

Originally Published on my LiveJournal account June 6, 2008

On the way to pick up my mother-in-law Pat at the airport yesterday, I stopped at a Blockbuster which is located only a few minutes away from the airport. I found two very nifty, very cheap repack items, one had four different "vintage" packs (1996 Stadium Club I, 1991 Upper Deck, 2006 Fleer Ultra, and 2007 Topps Series 1. The second item had two packs each of Topps Jumbos from 2006 and 2007. Each item was $4.95, which is a steal. 8 packs of cards numbering well over 100 actual specimens for $1.25 per pack!

Would I actually pull $10 worth of cards? More importantly, would I pull any Angels? I've already opened the packs, but I flipped through them so quickly, I forgot what I pulled. Here's a pack by pack breakout of the three more interesting packs, the pre-2006 non-jumbos

1991 Upper Deck "High Numbers Included" 15 Cards + 1 3D Hologram Team Sticker

  • 139 Mike Scioscia - Dodgers C
  • 162 Ozzie Smith - Cardinals SS
  • 181 Don Slaught - Pirates C
  • 263 Robin Ventura - White Sox 3B
  • 321 Scott Fletcher - White Sox 2B
  • 395 Mike Fielder - Brewers OF
  • 417 Jeff Parent - Braves P
  • 545 Bo Jackson - Royals OF
  • 694 Mike Walker - Indians P
  • 702 "Rookie Threats" - Gonzalez, Rhodes & Bagwell
  • 735 Jack Clark - Red Sox 1B
  • 739 Candy Maldonaldo - Brewers OF
  • 743 Deion Sanders - Braves OF
  • 759 Zane Smith - Pirates P
  • 760 Vance Law - A's 3B
  • 774 Darryl Kile - Astroes P

First off, there was no 3D Hologram Sticker in my pack! Darn it, I wanted one too, I was ROBBED. I believe that this was the year that UD switched to the full card size holos, and they were darn nice. I remember that I stuck the appropriate one on the end of the 800 count box in which I kept my Angels team sets. Sigh. No Angels in this pack either, though how can you be unhappy with two two-sport super-stars and a HOFer? Plus there's that nifty "Rookie Threats" card with a very young Bagwell. The Sciosca is great, and will still go in my Angels binder, but the pic isn't that spectacular, well, see for yourself:

I also don't remember this set as being cut quite as rough as this pack had been. Each card still has several scoring marks on the edges. My recollections of the first few sets from UD were that the cards were cut so sharply they could give you paper cuts.

So not a fantastic pack, given that there are still several high dollar, very rare inserts in that set (Autographed Ted Williams and Hank Aaron cards), but a solid pack nonetheless.

Moving On...
1996 Topps Stadium Club Series 1

  • 17 Len Dykstra - Phillies OF
  • 81 Benji Gil - Rangers SS
  • 3 Garrett Anderson - OF ANGELS!
  • 101 Luis Gonzales - OF Cubs
  • 110 Shane Reynolds - P Astros
  • 44 Randy Velarde - OF-SS Yankees
  • 20 David Wells - P Reds
  • 162 Mike Greenwell - OF Red Sox
  • 36 Gary DiSarcina - SS - ANGELS!
  • TSC-188 Carlos Baerga - 2B Indians
  • Checklist 1

Notes: First off, I like the bottom of the fronts of these cards that show off the player name with some unobtrusive foil that was so ubiquitous in that era of baseball cards. The Stadium Club logo is awful though, hated it then and I still hate it now. The backs of the cards are also atrocious with a very badly done "TSC Skills Matrix" that takes up far too much room. You get 1995 year stats and a career line, which to me is the bare minimum as far as stats on a baseball card go. At least this pack had two Angels in it, one of whom is still with the team! GA is a baseball god!

2006 Fleer Ultra Hobby

  • 5 Chone Figgins - 3B ANGELS!
  • 183 Craig Hansen GOLD - P Red Sox
  • HRK9 Adam Dunn - Reds
  • 76 Grady Sizemore - OF Indians
  • 20 Roy Halladay - P Rays
  • 212 Trot Nixon LUCKY 13 OF Red Sox
  • DP1 Derek Jeter Diamond Producers - Yankees
  • 61 Jeff Kent - P Dodgers

First slot in the pack and we're already getting FIGGY with it! Sweet! Then there's the Hansen Gold which is an RC, and despite his 4.91 ERA in 14 IP this season, it still doesn't have any sold copies on the Bay, so this one goes in the Rookie pile. Third slot Home Run King insert (one of several 1 per pack inserts), that would look so much better as a jersey card - oh wait...

Sizemore, Halladay and Kent are unremarkable, but then we have a 2 per box parallel and another 1 per pack insert, though at least it's Jeter. I can trade for a Vladdy card for that one. So out of 8 cards in one pack only half of them are regular base cards, two parallels and two inserts. Now that's not bad.

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