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Monday, April 28, 2008

Rainy Day Box Break - 1991 Bowman

A couple of months ago I bought up most of a box of 1991 Bowman. I ripped a few packs and saved the rest for a rainy day. Well, this weekend was about as rainy as you can get metaphorically speaking so the box came out and plastic wrappers got shredded.

1991 Bowman is a really underrated set. Ok, it's not the greatest looking set out there. Blue, orange and purple isn't the greatest color combination around and this is the set that ushered in foil stamping on Topps products. The backs are a little unorthodox too, with split stats for each team instead of career stats. Of course a quarter of the set doesn't have any stats, just a "so and so made his professional debut" blurb. The photography isn't the finest around either, most of the pictures are cheesy posted mug shots from Spring Training. So why do I like this set so much? A) it's cheap B) it's just stuffed full of rookie cards.

Check out just the guys who Beckett deems worthy to list: Thome, Mussina, Everett, Bagwell, Salmon, Boone, I-Rod, Wickman, Sanders, Gonzalez, Lofton, Lopez, Karros and some dude named Chipper. It's also got a ton of other minor rookies, all the big names from the early nineties, a Rod Carew tribute subset, some foil stamped minor leaguers who didn't do squat in the big leagues, and a card of Colin Powell all in a decent sized 704 card set. Did I mention it's cheap as all get out? I like cheap underrated boxes. Stuff like '87 Donruss, '89 Fleer (everyone live chasing the Ripken), '93 Topps Series 1 and '93 UD series two. Cheap, decent looking cards with something to chase equals fun.

This wasn't a full box when I bought it, as I had already picked out a few packs to rip, but it's about three-quarters of one. The box is already open, but it's quicker to rip than to type, so I'll post it a few packs at a time. I dug out my half-completed set too so I'll note cards that actually end up sticking in my collection (numbers in bold are ones I needed). And of course, I'll be chasing that Chipper! Here's the first three packs:

Pack 1:
350 Sammy Sosa
656 Benny Santiago
353 Bob Wickman
190 Floyd Bannister
25 Rene Gonzalez
624 Mark Leonard
441 Stan Spencer
7 John Olerud
376 Eddie Murray foil
65 Charles Nagy
62 Tom Candiotti
169 Jesse Barfield
41 Greg Brock
216 Terry Steinbach

Future Hall of Famer Slammin' Sammy in a Sox uni is a nice way to start off. Just as Hall of Fame voters are slowly starting to realize that the deflated stats of the 70's and 80's were a product of the times and should be judged accordingly, the inflated stats of the 90's and 00's will also be judged for what they were. No, the juicers weren't trying to ruin the game and desecrate hot dogs apple pie and chevrolet and sell your momma to the communists. They were trying to get an edge at playing baseball. It may take thirty or forty years, but it'll happen.

Three cards in and I get the first Beckett 'hit' a Bob Wickman Rookie card. I didn't remember he was drafted by the Sox. The foil card in the pack is an Eddie Murray card commemorating his Silver Slugger award from his fantastic 1990 campaign. I'd list all his feats but it would take too long. I'll scan the back instead. I like Barfield's card, Jesse is stylin down in Tampa.

Pack two:
46 Willie Randolph
366 Frank Thomas
442 Larry Walker
363 Brian Drahman
208 Ruben Amaro
391 Jamie Moyer
160 Willie Smith
267 Jeff Russell
378 Matt Williams foil
101 Bob Milacki
658 Jerald Clark
173 Bernie Williams
192 Scott Lewis
479 Kevin McReynolds

A nice threesome to start the pack, Willie, Big Hurt and Larry. Then we get Brian Drahman looking like a toad with a mullet. Jamie Moyer is pitching for the Cardinals back when he was only 38 years old. Jeff Russel has a big black splotch embedded in the cardboard that shows up on the front as a big bump. You don't get cards like that anymore. Matt Williams gets a foil card for his silver slugger award. Best card in the pack is Bernie Williams and his amazing glasses.

Pack 3:
646 Jim Presley
261 Brett Boone
571 Otis Nixon
249 Dave Fleming
329 Paul Abbot
138 Mark Leiter
220 Curt Young
423 Jesse Hollins
4 Rod Carew Tribute
614 Eddie Murray
224 Don Peters
603 Jay Howell
41 Greg Brock
216 Terry Steinbach

Second rookie hit pops up in Brett Boone. The two cards that book so far are for players I don't like, but I don't mind 'cause I got OTIS MY MAN! This card of Otis Nixon probably came out the same time he got suspended for the booger sugar but even that can't bring me down off my early 90's high. After a few forgettable players we get Jessie Hollins giving me the same look a Tennesee prison guard tried to spook me with one time. He gave me this spiel "How does it FEEL goin' through a door where you go IN but you don't come OUT" which was ridiculous because I was only there to fix the Cisco router. Oh, that was a fun day I'll tell ya. ON a happier note, we get our first Rod Carew and another Eddie Murray card. Unfortunately we end up with another Jay Howell and his shit eating grin. Every single old set I've ripped a pack from lately nets me a Jay Howell card and I'm sick of it. Go 'way Jay! Terry Steinbach and Greg Brock are the first two doubles pulled which is slightly disconcerting. All told, 23 needed and 19 doubles in the first three packs.

I'll have the next four packs up soon unless Jesse locks me away for good.


White Sox Cards said...

Drahman may have looked like a toad with a mullet but his palmball was awesome!

Andy said...

that shot of Bernie Williams is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

GCA said...

Did you say booger sugar? BWAH Ha ha!!

ernest said...

those Williams glasses are nice. i think i am going to have to start a category within my collection of players wearing glasses. there's nothing quite like an obscure reason to collect.