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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baseball Card Tournament: Second Round -East Regional

First round's over, time for these cards to prove they belong in the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure you vote for the best cards, you will decide which ones make it to the Finals.

East Regional


#16 1972 Topps Checklist
Whoever filled out this checklist was very similar to myself - meticulously filling in the squares completely, messing up on a couple and putting a little scribble next to the name to note the goof and having mostly lousy cards. The guy even had the Chris Chambliss rookie card.
Seriously guys, you're killing me. The reason this was a #16 seed was that I had nothing to say about it and I thought it would get beat by the Jeter card. Of course I'm the one who went on a rant condemning Moments and Milestones, so I guess I made this bed. I do know one thing from looking at this checklist, if you ever get a chance to open a 1972 Topps second series pack, don't bother. There's nothin' good on this checklist. Orlando Cepeda is the big star in the series, the rookies include Charlie Hough, Darrell Porter, Dave Kingman and the aforementioned Chambliss and the best card by far is a World Series subset card with Clemente. Trust me, I know we all love to rip wax, but stay away from '72 second series.
#8 2002 Topps American Pie Statue of Liberty
This is one of the nicer non-sports cards in the now utterly forgotten American Pie sets.
I bought a bunch of American Pie when it came out and I really wish I could go back and trade every five packs I bought for one pack of Heritage. It's a nice set, good player selection, some interesting non-sports items and an odd but appealing design, but it doesn't do much for me today. I pulled one of the JFK Berlin Wall cards and the wall dust has now worked its way in between the two halves of the card and can't be seen. The whole thing is kind of a Baby Boomer love fest, I wonder in 10 years if us GenXers will get our own 80's themed retro/entertainment card set. Full of New Kids on the Block and Gordon Gecko and Ollie North... Oh my God, that sounds horrible. Forget I said anything.


#5 2007-2008 Topps Chrome Larry Bird
Larry Bird absolutely ruined my Hawks on many occasions, but for some reason the thing I most associate with him is an episode of Night Court where Judge Stone heaves a basketball at the end of the show and says "Thank God for Larry Bird!"
For some reason I fell in love with the 2007-2008 Topps Basketball set and got pretty close to a complete set. Unfortunately, Basketball cards are dead this year and no one seems to have commons. Blasters are 25% off at Target though, thankfully I haven't been tempted by them yet. As much as I love the main set, I completely ignored the Chrome. It doesn't look nearly as good to me as they used silver borders instead of black. I found this card in a dollar grab bag though and decided it was worth it. Larry Legend on a chrome '58 design (that wasn't in the base set) was too good to pass up. There was a Bob Cousy base card on the other side of the pack too which really sealed the deal. Gotta have my retro.
#4 1978 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
Yaz? Yaz. Yaz?? Yaz... Yaz!
Battle for Boston right here... Who wins, Bird or Yaz? Bird has the rings, but baseball seems to be king around these parts. I really like the '78 set for a lot of reasons. The simple design, the game on the back, a pretty good player selection, it's a pretty kick-ass set. This card here was traded for a spare Bob Horner rookie card back when Bob was still slugging homers in Fulton County. Considering I can get Horner rookies for a song nowadays, I think I did pretty well.


#6 2005 Upper Deck Origins Travis Hafner Old Judge
It amazes me how Pronk always manages to look Pronky on his cards. One of these days I am going to find a cheap set of UD Origins on eBay, pull out a sharp pair of scissors, and cut off all those ugly green borders so the set can be enjoyed the way it was supposed to be.
This set was the catalyst for my anti-Upper Deck feelings a couple of years ago. I've never been a huge fan of the company, the cards were too expensive and we now know in retrospect horribly overproduced. I still collected 'em though but in the mid-nineties, my card buying habits had to change. There were more and more super premium products out (more products period, actually) and it was getting harder and harder to keep up with it all. I started focusing in the stuff I really liked, which was mostly base brands and retro crap. I went nuts over the first Play Ball set, even though it was a bit pricey. The art cards looked great, the mini reprints were cool and I liked the DiMaggio and Williams hero worship cards. The next years set was a nightmare and the less said about it the better. I heard about Origins in 2005 and really looked forward to it. Playball (actual Play Ball, not that psychedelic junk from 2004) and Old Judge designs in the same set? Sign me up! Then the tins came out. $90 a pop. Yeah, I was a little pissed about that.
#14 2001 Upper Deck Rafael Soriano
I found this card out of nowhere looking for Steve's St. Patty's day contest prize. I still can't believe we got him for Horacio Ramirez.
It's funny, I bought Topps Traded and Bowman packs like they were going out of style in 2001 and the dang Pujols card still eluded me. I couldn't pull that sucker at all. The Upper Deck packs I ripped out of habit? Bang - got both of them almost immediately. I even pulled a second Ichiro out of a pack in the bargain bin from Target a few years back. Can you imagine 2001 Series Two Upper Deck in the dollar bin nowadays? Rafael's Star Rookie card was mixed in among the two heavyweights in that series two set. I'm hoping he has a good enough year to maybe make it into Beckett by this time next year. Assuming that this is his actual rookie of course...

#7 1976 Topps Marvel Howard The Duck sticker
Ok, ok. HEAR ME OUT. I know what you're thinking, but Howard the Duck is GOOD. No, seriously. It's that idiot Lucas who screwed him up so badly. The moron should have stuck to Star Wars. The actual comic from the 70's is pure genius. Here's a cool interview from his creator, Steve Gerber, who recently passed away. Somebody please back me up on this... Thorzul? Anyone?
I'm so glad Howard made it. I picked up this card at the Braves Fan Fest this winter. There was a couple rows of memorabilia dealers there including this one guy who specialized in non-sports cards. I'm not sure how much he sold during the fan fest, he didn't seem to thrilled when I talked to him though. He had a bunch of neat old stuff from the 30's to the 80's including a bunch of Beatles and Elvis cards. I looked through his binders hoping for a stray Allen and Ginter card, but no luck. There was a card from the 30's that swiped the A&G Quadruped art (Peccary too, the one I was looking for) but I ended up passing on it. There were a few cards that sorely tempted me, but I didn't want to drop all my cash of oddball non-sports stuff and I only bought this one card. I saw Howard in the middle of a page full of second-tier Marvel superheroes and rescued him from the page of comic mediocrity. He has a good home now among my handful of original issues and my Essential reprint paperback now. I do wish now that I had bought the 1972 Topps Presidential Candidate Shirley Chisholm card now though.
#2 2005 Donruss Studio Portraits Mark Teixeira #22/30
I love love love these old retro inserts from Donruss, even though the byzantine serial numbering system that depends on the border color, color or sepia photo, ad back, phase of the moon and player's I Ching reading make the Moments and Milestones checklist look positively obvious. The design is ripped off from the Honest Cabinet series from Duke cigarettes, ACC designation N142. I probably shouldn't have told you that since you guys are killing my Nineteenth century cards.
These oddball serial numbered cards Donruss thieved from old obscure card designs are the one thing I really, really miss about Donruss. The whole serial numbering thing is a hokey gimmick, I know, but the designs themselves that they chose are fantastic. The cheesy 70's Sportscaster cards were a brilliant idea for a set. The 1914 Polo Grounds game design is another insanely obscure set to base a short numbered insert set on. A set of Exhibit style insert cards using every single oddball variety save the four-in-one design was just inspired. Donruss also ganked the T205 Ramly set for a Diamond Kings insert and the 1895 Mayo Cut Plug design for a football set. I don't even care that all these cards were weirdly serial numbered, I just love the designs. I do wish that these Duke Cabinet cards would have been made in cabinet size as well though, they are the best looking of them all and would look fantastic in the original 6" by 9" size.

Final Scores:

Checklist 5, Statue Of Liberty 0
Larry Bird 2, Carl Yastrzemski 3
Pronk 4, BMF 1
Howard the Duck 3, Mark Teixiera 2


suterb said...

Howard the Duck

MMayes said...

#16 Checklist. Think of the team from the front of this card: C, T.Simmons; 1B, C.Chambliss; 2B, C.Speier; SS, D.Kessinger; 3B, D.Evans; OF, V.Pinson, G.Clines, D.Kingman; DH, N.Cash; RHP, A.Messersmith; LHP, D.Gullett; RP, T.McGraw.

#4 Yaz in the battle of the Boston Hall of Famers. Yaz never went to coach a rival team.

#6 Pronk.

#2 Tex. The mention of Duke in this saves the day for Tex. Otherwise, Howard would win for having Lea Thompson in the movie. When I was in college I kind of liked her.

Rich said...


DaveH said...


ernest said...

Howard the Duck!