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Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot Box Hits: Part 1 - Boxtoppers

Time to show off the shinies from the Obak box. First up is the cabinet cards. These are supposed to be one per box, but I got two somehow. I'm not sure if I'm just exceedingly lucky of if that is a hallmark of a hot box.

These cards are based on the T4 Cabinet premiums from Obak. It took 50 coupons form Obak cigarettes to get one of these The original Obak T212s aren't all that common to begin with, so these are extremely scarce. The newfangled cabinets differ from the originals in that there was no logo or text on the fronts and the back was blank. These are some of the better looking retro style cards put out recently.

T4-28 Calvin Griffith - Minnesota

I'm assuming the kid on the card is Calvin Griffith, Owner of the Washington Senators when they moved to Minnesota to become the Twins. He was the nephew of long time player, owner and manager Clark Griffith, and Calvin did work as a bat boy for his uncle.

Even though the card is for the Minnesota Franchise, the back of the card shows the Senators' first park in Washington. I guess a picture of the old Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis did fit the theme of the set. The old timey pictures on these cabinets are fantastic.

T4-29 Charles Comiskey - Chicago

Good 'ol Chuck Comiskey, the real ringleader behind the Black Sox Scandal. Pay your players properly and they won't have to throw games to afford your laundry fees! A stadium is named after him and he's in the original Allen & Ginter N28 set so I'll give him a pass for now. I can't stay mad at a man with such a mighty fine hat, can I?

The two cabinets are a slightly different color on the front. I don't know if this is normal design of the set or if there is some sort of parallel going on. Neither are serial numbered or marked differently at all so I'll assume they are just part of the base set.

Man, check out the cigar ads on the wall at South Side park! I wonder if I got out a magnifying glass I could figure out who some of those players were.  I was originally thinking about flipping these cards for the Atlanta T4, but they look so damn good I might just try to chase the set.

Here's the checklist - these are one per box.

One nice thing about the checklist is that unlike some companies, TriStar actually notes which cards have variations. One star for a slogan variation on the back and two stars for an image variation. If I counted right, there are 13 slogan variations and 3 image variations. Here's the checklist of variations so you don't have to squint.

Slogan Variations:
4 Starlin Castro
6 Austin Jackson
17 Roger Clemens
19 Hank Greenberg
20 Dale Murphy
21 Cal Ripken Jr.
40 Johnny Bench
41 Jose Canseco
44 Jason Heyward
52 Jim Abbott
89 Luthor "Dummy" Taylor
108 Tinker to Evers To Chance
109 Sherry Magee

Image Variations:
19 Hank Greenberg
44 Jason Heyward
52 Jim Abbott

Minis have variations too, 8 slogan variations and 1 image variation.

Mini Slogan Variations:

3 Starlin Castro
4 Austin Jackson
9 Roger Clemens
10 Hank Greenberg
11 Dale Murphy
12 Cal Ripken Jr.
18 Jason Heyward
37 Sherry Magee

Mini Image Variation:

18 Jason Heyward

The T4 also has an image variation on the Washington cabinet.  If anyone is trying to build a master set including the variations, you'll be looking at 136 cards (27 short prints and variations) for the base set and 54 cards (9 variations) for the mini set. That's actually a very obtainable goal. If you want a complete master set with all the parallels, variations and autographs, well, that's insane. Someone will try it though.

Next up: Veteran autographs.


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Todd Uncommon said...

I'm a-gettin' mighty impressed with these here Tristar Obak sets. I thought last year's was a pretty noble effort, but what I have seen of this one so far, I like even better.

Tristar's done a good job of managing and developing this product. They stay within their license boundaries, but get creative within them. I like A&G from Topps well enough (though I find T206 a little dull). I think Tristar Obak exceeds A&G in historical baseball relevance which I find interesting, mixed with just enough gimmickry as to not be annoying.

A&G is great, and I know the original A&G had other subjects than baseball and sports, but the sheer variety does get a little wearisome.

I have a fear that we'll see an A&G subset of 'virtues' before too long, with easy-to-illustrate samples like "Honesty", "Perseverance", and "Punctuality".

It's refreshing to see a creative set like Obak. I'll have to pick up some for this year's set, too.

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