End of year clearance – 2008 Topps Allen and Ginter

13 12 2008

With only a few weeks left in the year, it’s the perfect time to close out those 2008 wantlists.  No need to have them looming over your head as we head into the new year.  So the plan is to post my wantlists one at a time and use it as a forum to help you, too.

As you can tell by the title, Allen and Ginter’s up next.  Here’s my wantlist:

5, 40, 47, 54, 86, 90, 97, 111, 113, 142, 165, 184, 187, 188, 195, 201, 215, 218, 219, 220, 222, 226, 235, 236, 241, 242, 248, 249, 267, 282, 283, 305, 307, 308, 309, 310, 318, 320, 321, 324, 330, 331, 333, 335, 336, 346

Here’s what to do:  Post your wantlists in the comments below along with an email address (use the *accountname at host dot com* format to avoid spam bots).  As new people add comments, check out their wantlists as well as mine, and together, we can eradicate Allen and Ginter wants before the new year.

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2 Random Packs: 2008 Topps Heritage

13 12 2008

I need something to clear the palate, so here’s a couple random retail packs of this year’s Topps Heritage.

I bought these on a whim a few weeks ago, and as I was pulling them out of their box at my local big box store, a girl came up to me (I suck at age guessing, but she’s at least a teenager) and asked, “Don’t you think they’ve been picked through?”

“Yeah, probably.”  I replied.   “I’m not looking for anything special, though.”

“At least they can’t feel out the autographs.”

“That’s true.”

“Good luck,” she offered as I walked away.

“Thanks.”

I found the whole exchange a little depressing at the time, demonstrating this girl’s disillusionment with her fellow man and her faith in fair play. At least she was willing to try and save me from the perilous pack searchers, so there’s still hope.

Did her luck help? Here we go…

Pack 1

51 Chad Cordero
273 Josh Barfield
256 Rich Aurilia
277 Mark Teahen
320 Casey Kotchman
90 Hideki Matsui
434 Scott Kazmir
David Wright Filler
335 Brandon Phillips Black back

phillipsheritage

Anyone remember the guy the Reds gave up for Brandon without looking?  Me either.  It was Jeff Stevens, who’s still pitching in the minors.  Quite a deal for the Tribe.

Pack 2

239 Zack Greinke
63 Eric Chavez
140 Bronson Sardinha
419 The Atlanta Braves team hiding behind a fence
412 Jason Bartlett
224 David Wright
HTCP5 Alex Rodriguez T205 mini

arodt205mini

437 Johnny Peralta

You go out and try something new like Upper Deck Timeline, and it doesn’t work, so you run back to the safety of Topps.  The black back’s a nice hit for a Reds fan, and Rodriguez’ dopey stare gave me a chuckle.  I believe Madonna’s off card left shaving a cow or something.

Anyhow, nothing wrong with these packs.  I like the cards, though they don’t really feel like ’59 Topps for some reason.  Maybe it’s because they aren’t well handled like the real ’59 Topps that I have.   I can see me chasing a set of these if the price is right.





2008 Upper Deck Timelines blaster

13 12 2008

I’ve had one of these in the closet to be an interlude for all the hockey that was coming your way.  So far, the hockey boxes have been a slow go.  So I bought another one because I really like the 92 Upper Deck Minor League Votto card.  Stupid to bust a blaster for one card, I know. But I’ve seen some praise on other blogs for this stuff, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. My gut told me to turn away, but I plunked down the cash and brought it home anyway.

I should have gone with the gut.

Before I get started, though, I have to ask this up front: Are the base cards supposed to have a little splotch on the left side? Is that part of the design? I’ll reference it again later, but I want to know and don’t want the question passed over mid break.

Pack 1

3 Carlos Beltran
TM-AB A.J. Burnett game used bat (there goes the suspense)
117 Greg Smith (92 UD Minor League design)
218 Mark Teixeira (04 Timeless Teams)

teixeiratimeline

dayf oddly has a post featuring the bat card I pulled. What are the odds? So instead, there’s Tex in an Angels uni. I have a feeling next year he’ll be in another new uni. Call him well travelled.

Pack 2

27 Alex Rodriguez (with scuff mark)
18 Ryan Braun (scuff mark)
45 Vladimir Guerrero (scuff mark)
118 Hernan Iribarren (92 Minor League design)
182 Brain Bocock (95 SP Top Prospects design) with a printers crease
245 Miguel Cabrera (’04 Timeless Teams)

iribarrentimeline1

From all the pics I’ve seen, the 92 Minor League set is the one I liked best. Those Timeless Team cards are nice, too. I like this set better already, with the exception of the damaged cards.

Pack 3

46 Torii Hunter (scuff mark)
10 Chase Utley
36 Jim Thome
9 Mark Teixeira
82 J.R. Towles
159 Jimmy Rollins (94 All Time Heroes design)

rollinstimeline

Here’s a subset I like more in person than I did in pictures. Initial photos just made me think it was a goofy design, but it works in person for some reason. Two Reds are featured in this part of the set (Votto and Volquez), so I’ll add them to my “hope to pull” list.

Pack 4

37 Grady Sizemore printer’s creased
19 Prince Fielder scuff marked
28 Derek Jeter scuffed marked
55 Edison Volquez with a printer’s crease
168 Daisuke Matsuzaka (94 All Time Heroes design)
190 Homer Bailey (95 SP Top Prospects design) with printer’s crease

volquez

AAAARRGHHH! Why don’t I listen to myself and avoid Upper Deck stuff. This is absolutely ridiculous. Bent corners, I can understand. It’s people at the store treating them less than gingerly. But printer’s creases? You’ve got to be frickin’ kidding me. This better not happen in another pack.

Pack 5

26 Randy Johnson with slight printer’s crease
35 Roy Halladay
17 Ken Griffey Jr
1 Jose Reyes
109 David Murphy (92 Minor league design)
231 Derek Lee (04 Timeless Teams) slight printer’s crease

griffeytimeline

The Griffey and the ’92 design cancel out the printer’s creases. But now I’m begining to notice an odd blotch on the borders of the base cards. As if they were hit with a single shot of spray paint. Is this part of the design, or are things going worse than I thought?

Pack 6

38 Travis Hafner with slight printer’s crease
8 Chipper Jones, printer’s creased
44 Frank Thomas, printer’s creased
30 David Ortiz, printer’s creased
73 Alexei Ramirez, printer’s creased
135 Ryan Braun (94 All Time Heroes design)

This is where I get the feeling I should stand up, toss this in the trash, and go to bed. It would be much better for my soul.

Pack 7

47 Josh Hamilton
20 Albert Pujols
11 Ryan Howard, printer’s creased
128 Russell Martin (92 Minor League design) printer’s crease
208 Seth Smith (95 SP Top Prospects design) printer’s crease
217 Chipper Jones (04 Timeless Teams) pritner’s crease

If this were a baseball game, Upper Deck would be batting .333 in this pack, and I’d be happy. But it’s not a baseball game. Guess what I’m not.

Pack 8

3 Carlos Beltran (again)
29 Chien-Ming Wang
2 David Wright
YSL6245 Roger Clemens, with abscess
79 Josh Banks, printer’s crease
153 Hanley Ramirez (94 All Time Heroes design)

I should have guessed one of those YSL cards would be here. It just feels like salt in an open wound.

Pack 9

12 Jimmy Rollins
48 Ichiro
21 Tim Lincecum
39 C.C. Sabathia
110 Edison Volquez (92 Minor League) printer’s crease
297 Erik Bedard (04 Timeless Teams)

lincecumtimeline

Nice. The one card I’d really want, and it’s damaged. So here’s the Lincecum instead. I like this card, too.

Mercifully, Pack 10

49 Felix Hernandez
4 Pedro Martinez
31 Manny Ramirez
88 Burke Badenhop printer’s creased
144 Josh Beckett (94 All Time Heroes design)
181 Brandon Boggs (95 SP Top Prospects design), printer’s creased

So there you go. Almost half the cards I pulled from this blaster are damaged in one way or another. The other half of the base cards (the first 100) have that odd splotch on the side. Please tell me that’s part of the design and not another flaw. Please.

Either way, I’m afraid to touch the other blaster I have of this stuff.

I will say that I remember those printer creases mostly from 93/94 Upper Deck hockey. I guess in a sense, Upper Deck really captured the flavor of those earlier releases in these cards for me. Plus there’s a flippin’ duplicate in the 56 cards I actually pull when the set is 360 cards long.

It’s too bad. I still don’t get the point of this set, but the cards look nicer than I gave them credit for and I can see how this would have been a fun break were it not for all the carnage. Upper Deck made some wise choices to mimic from their past.

Would I chase the set, though? No. I don’t see the point of this release. I’m wondering if this set is benefitting from the fact that Topps latest release is the almost boring U & H, and they have nothing else coming that isn’t high end. If you want something new to break, this is one of your only options that’s cheap and widely available.

For what it’s worth, here’s the breakdown of the box:

37 base
5 1992 UD Minor League Card Design
5 1994 UD All-Time Heroes Card Design
4 1995 SP Top Prospects Card Design
5 2004 UD Timeless Teams Card Design
0 93, 94, 95 SP Rookie Card Designs
1 Yankee Stadium Legacy card
1 Game Used bat from a pitcher

I saw earlier a hobby box of this stuff for around $40 dollars. If you are interested in this one, save up for the hobby box instead. The hit ratios are better for the subsets, and you’ll get a ton more cards then you will be cobbling together two blasters.