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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2008 Goudey Blaster rip and review

It's time for a brief respite from Olympics stuff to rip some packs. This set isn't perfect, but it's pretty dang good. I'll detail my praise and pans for the set in the individual pack rips. This blaster pretty much had a little of everything in it.

Pack 1:
31 Pee-Wee Reese
161 Aaron Rowand
33 Alfonso Soriano
163 Juan Marichal
34 Derrek Lee
126 Mariano Rivera
74 Andrew Miller
232 Thomas Jefferson SP

There are too many short prints in this set and pulling a card of a President just seems like a complete waste. Even pulling a really good president like Jefferson is frustrating. The guy's face is on currency, I don't need him eating up a card that could have been an athlete. I wasn't crazy about the 60 card Sport Royalty subset at first, but now that I have a couple in my hands they're actually pretty neat. The fact that Chipper Jones was deemed worthy to be in the set makes it a little more special in my mind. Presidents? Meh. There have been President cards all over the place for years. It's time to give them a rest and I wish one of my 4 short prints per box would have been of a baseball player and not a statesmen.

Pack 2:
111 Delmon Young
59 Grady Sizemore
7 Mark Tei$eira
298 Jack Nicklaus Sport Royalty mini blue back
22 David Ortiz
152 Tom Gorzelanny
100 Chin-Lung Hu RC
48 Joe Morgan

The Sport Royalty cards are sweet, but the original sized mini versions are doubly so. They just have that little difference to them that makes me feel like I'm holding an original card from the '30s. Jack Nicklaus is a damn good card too, the man won eleven minus five (that's six) Green Jackets. Another cool thing about this card is the little "Golden Bear" logo on the back mixed in amongst the legalese. The color variations on the back are a little unnecessary, but not as annoying as the fact that the minis are not one per pack. I have a near set of the T205 minis and I never paid much attention to the back advertising variations. A mini's a mini. I just wish they were a little easier to get.

Pack 3:
189 Vernon Wells
137 Catfish Hunter
85 J.R. Towles RC
87 Luke Hochevar RC
178 Carlos Pena
140 Ryan Howard
36 Kosuke Fukudome RC
267 Prince Fielder '36 Goudey

A note on the Fukudome rookie card: So far, Kosuke has exactly one actual rookie card in a Topps product and it's a severely short printed card. The rookie I pulled out of this pack is my sixth one out of various Upper Deck packs. If you're a Cubs fan, why on earth would you rip a pack of Topps right now? Right now I am seriously debating on whether I should bite the bullet and go all out on building the '36 subset in all mini cards. I know my '36 Goudeys and the standard size cards don't look right. Hell, I'm kind of puzzled that UD didn't have the foresight to insert premium sized '36 Goudey cards as box toppers. The originals were printed on photo paper, it wouldn't have been too much trouble to throw a sheet of paper on the top of every box and it would have been a fun reason to buy a hobby box. Hell, they could have thrown one of the cards on the copier, set it to 200% and just let it run. Whammo! Instant box toppers! Right now there is zero incentive to buy Hobby packs as they are identical to these retail packs except for the 1:18 shot you have at an autograph. You're paying a 40 dollar premium on a hobby box for one autograph. Set builders: buy retail. Seriously.

Pack 4:
165 Ichiro
113 Glen Perkins
61 Victor Martinez
67 Jeff Francis red back mini
166 Felix Hernandez
114 Justin Morneau
62 Brad Hawpe
YSL3131 Whitey Ford

I knew it would happen eventually. 2008 Goudey is the official moment when the Yankee Stadium Legacy cards became completely tedious. First off, pulling a glossy, foil stamped card out of a pack of old-school cardboard cards is jarring. It's the exact same feeling as pulling an A-Rod Bullshit Waste of Space card out of a pack of Allen & Ginter or Heritage last year. It's also the last card in the pack, which is where the short prints live, so when you pull a Yankee card there it's as if a short print was taken away from you. Thankfully there was a mini card in this pack to soften the blow, but that's not the case in every pack. To add insult to injury, I already have a Whitey Ford insert with this very photo on it, card 3132 to be exact.

Pack 5:
181 James Shields
129 Derek Jeter
77 Hanley Ramirez
25 Dustin Pedroia
12 Kelly Johnson
142 Chase Utley
86 Brian Bannister
164 Noah Lowry

Of course the flip side of the Yankee Stadium Legacy hate is the fact that ripping a pack with no inserts whatsoever feels even worse. I feel a little hypocritical complaining about pulling only base cards when I am an advocate for building sets and collecting cards for cards sake. The thing is, Goudey's main rival is Allen & Ginter. They have short prints in their set at the same odds as in Goudey. However, there are eighty less of them. So if you don't get a SP, it doesn't hurt hat bad. Plus, even if you don't pull an SP, there's going to be a mini card in the pack. So ripping a pack of A&G will net you something, even if you have the entire set filed away in a binder. This pack is great right now, as I need all 8 cards for my set. In a couple of months when I have the complete base set and a bunch of SP's this pack is a complete waste of three bucks. Packs like this are why a few months from now I'll still be buying all the A&G I can find on the shelves while I let the Goudey collect dust because I don't want to get 8 more doubles. On the other hand, who wouldn't want multiple copies of Hanley Ramirez activating his Wonder Twin Powers?

Pack 6:
81 Roy Oswalt
29 Jonathan Papelbon
107 Ben Sheets
514 Aaron Harang
168 Jose Vidro
116 Jose Reyes
64 Garrett Atkins
279 Cynthia Cooper Sport Royalty SP

Ah, much better. A real SP of a two time MVP. No WNBA logos on the back though. Don't they do licensing? I guess they'll take any publicity they can get.

Pack 7:
155 Chris Young
103 Warren Spahn
57 CC. Cabathia
119 Tom Seaver red back mini
112 Johan Santana
60 Fausto Carmona
8 John Smoltz
218 Gaylord Perry

Best pack in the box by orders of magnitude. See A Pack A Day for more details on this one.

Pack 8:
5 Chris Young
187 Marlon Byrd
135 Dennis Eckersley
83 Hunter Pence
190 Roy Halladay
138 Daric Barton
34 Derrek Lee
YSL3156 Yogi Berra

Ok I just can't complain about pulling any Yogi card from any pack. If I spent a couple grand on an original unopened Piedmont cigarette pack from 1909, and I opened it up and pulled out a gem mint Topps206 Yogi Berra mini card, I'd consider that money well spent. Ok, so I spent thousands of dollars on a card that's worth maybe a buck, but on the bright side I would have had the most epic Bipping of all time. This pack also shows off the absolute best aspect of this set, the base set retired legends. I don't know about you, but pulling a Hall of Famer like Pee Wee Reese or Warren Spahn out of a 2008 set is like pulling an insert to me.

Ok, that's the break. Here are the totals:

Base cards - 54/200
Base SP - 1 (Gaylord Perry)
President SP - 1 (Thomas Jefferson)
'36 Goudey SP - 1 (Prince Fielder)
Sport Royalty SP - 1 (Cynthia Cooper)

Doubles - 1

Mini Red - 2 ( Jeff Francis, Tom Seaver)
Mini Blue - 1 (Jack Nicklaus)
Mini Black - 0
Mini Green - 0
Mini Taupe - 0

Berk Ross - 0
Yankee Stadium - 2 (Ford, Berra)

Here's the good news: One blaster got me just over one quarter of the 200 card base set. Here's the bad news: Let's say due to atrocious collation it take eight of the blasters to fill out my 200 cards non short card base set. Now let's say the 4 per box SP ratio holds and and you're lucky enough not to get any doubles of short prints (and it happens too, my first two blasters of '07 Goudey both had the A-Rod SP and both Ortiz Heads Up cards in them) that means you're looking at 32 short prints. Out of 130. Not even a quarter of the set. That's some rough odds for a poor set builder. Making things more difficult is that since there is not an SP or mini guaranteed in a pack, buying a retail pack is a total crapshoot. Blasters aren't much better, you're dropping twenty bucks on four short prints that you may or may not need and three or four mini cards. And mini cards, man, if you try building a set of mini cards through ripping wax you are just asking for pain.

That's the thing Upper Deck hasn't figured out about Goudey yet. After buying a certain amount of packs, there are seriously declining returns on your investment. This is why a year later, Allen & Ginter packs are rarely found in repack boxes while nearly full boxes of Goudey still litter Targets from coast to coast. I just found over 30 packs of Goudey in a $1.50 el Cheapo box at Target last week and I bought... one pack. Just to see if I could get lucky and nab a short print. I didn't. If I'd bought the whole lot of them, I probably would have gotten about 15 short prints, seven or eight that I actually needed, and I would have blown almost 50 bucks. I'm pretty sure I can get more than seven 2007 Goudey short prints on eBay for well under 50 bucks. Now, if I had found A&G packs in the cheapo bin, I would have bought the lot of them even though I had completed the set months ago. Why? Because I could pull mini flag cards, Emperors, Bazooka backs, maybe even a jersey card the cherry pickers missed. At the very least I would have a small pile of minis for my trouble and a big pile of doubles to trade or flip.

This is still a great looking set though and there's no shame in chucking the SP's out the window and building only the 200 card base set. In many ways it's better than last year's set. No red/green parallels to worry about, Hall of Famers in the base set, full sized cards for those who like that sort of thing. This is simply a terrible set for anyone trying to build it through wax. Dave over at Fielder's Choice is breaking a case, and with three boxes to go it looks like he'll need a miracle box in order to come close to a short print set. My advice to anyone who wants to rix wax and build a set of Goudey: Rip just enough to build your 200 card base set, then start hitting the trading boards and eBay for the SP's. And remember, there's no rule that says you have to collect all 130 SPs. If you want to just collect the 30 base SPs or the Sport Royalty cards (or heck, the Presidents if you like) than go ahead. You are the one collecting, you are in charge.


Anonymous said...

dayf, I totally agree with you. After ripping a whole case (just need to post about the last two boxes) I'm still well short of having a set of SPs, though I do have a bunch of SP doubles that I'll try to trade.

My advice to anyone who wants to build a 2008 Goudey set would be to buy 2 hobby boxes. That should leave you about 25 cards short of a non-SP set, and you're better off just buying or trading for the 25 base cards and the SPs that you need. Which is pretty much what you said :)

Anonymous said...

dayf, I just want to correct you on one thing. Jack Nicklaus won six green jackets, not eleven.

dayf said...

I was, uh... notating in base 5. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Lonestarr Lonelystarr said...

Six Fukudomes?! I'm looking through my cards as we speak. We must do business sometime.