I have no idea how to create pages but I'll figure it out eventually godammit

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I do not dislike these


When I first heard about the '61 Chase cards in 2010 Heritage, I must admit I was not at all happy. Oh Great, another mirror set. Now I get to dread pulling Babe Ruth cards, thanks Topps. I have to admit though, this is not a bad insert series. Here's why:

The set size is only 15 cards per player. We didn't need another home run tracker set with 56, 60 and 61 cards apiece. Cutting it down to 15 each gives you plenty of each player.

The sets are numbered individually. The Ruth Set is numbered 1 to 15 and so are the Maris and Mantle sets. This makes it easier for someone to focus on one player if they wish and not end up with an insert set numbered 16-30. This is important for us with OCD who feel the need for completeness in everything we do. It's also nice for the person stuck in the middle of nowhere with no hobby shops or Targets, but a massive Super Wal-Mart in the middle of a prairie with a fully stocked card aisle. Go for the Maris set, 1-15, you're done. It also is good for mad scientists like me who like to create FrankenSets. Muahaha! It's a small detail but it gives collectors more options when chasing this set. Options are good.

The backs are actually pretty good. Unlike the other mirror home run sets where you got the date, home run number and pitcher the homer was hit off of and not much else, here there is a paragraph on the back of these cards describing the home run chase. They are pretty well written too, this is another of those seemingly small details that make all the difference.

Here's the most important thing - all the photos are different. This is huge. Consider the collector psychology. When we open a pack the first thing we do is shuffle through the cards to see what we got. We register each one of those cards in our mental database. When we open more packs, we note right away if there is a card we have seen before. This is a Double and it is Bad. We have that card, we don't need another. When there is a huge insert set with the same photo on every card, then every time we pull that card we get that negative Doubles feeling. "Oh Christ, not another Mantle". Could you imagine a kid in the '50s saying those words? Topps has trained us to think that way now with their endless mirror sets. So sad. These cards are pretty easy to get at 1:4 packs, so if they were all the same photo then that's 1:4 packs with that negative Doubles feeling. And Lord knows that Heritage does not need any help at all with providing collectors with Doubles. If I pull one more John Russell Manager card I'm going to scream.

The design is a little iffy but at least it's colorful. Plus it's really difficult to hate a Babe Ruth card. I don't even mind the 1961 variations of these three fellows, at least Topps announced them in the wrapper odds. The color variations is entirely different, but that's a subject for another post.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Joy of a Completed Page - Back View


Split Kit, indeed...

The Official Cardboard Junkie 2010 Topps Heritage Blaster Fantasy League Rules Page

Here are the rules I came up with. I am the Creator and Commish of this league, my words are Law. Don't like it, start your own league with your own rules. Now for the rules. I'm going to try to make this as uncomplicated as possible, but for people who haven't played rotisserie league baseball, it might seem pretty foreign. I'm gonna start simple and work up from there.

tl;dr rules:

1) rip a blaster
2) put together your team
3) wait six months
4) see if you won

It's that simple.

Basic rules:

Read these first. This is more or less basic rotisserie baseball plus opening and sorting cards. If this section totally bewilders you, this league may not be for you. Feel free to ask me any questions you wish after reading this post.  This section will detail what you need to do to set up your team. After this section I'll get into detail on some of the weird stuff.

Step One: Acquire your players

Buy one blaster of 2010 Heritage.  These are usually found at Wal-Mart or Target, but you knew that already. 

Rip the blaster thoroughly.  Document the ripping in some fashion. Video, scans, photos. At bare minimum you need to have a list of every card pulled from every pack.

Sort out the cards in the blaster into three piles:

Pile 1: all the base cards of individual players and chrome cards of players.  
Pile 2: All the subset cards (MVPs and All-Stars) and insert cards.
Pile 3: the managers, combo cards, highlight cards, team cards and checklists.

Take the pile of base cards (and Chrome) and sort them by position. 

Choose your team. The team consists of 20 players:
2 Catchers
1 First Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Shortstop
1 Third Baseman
3 Outfielders
1 Corner Infielder (1B or 3B)
1 Middle Infielder (2B or SS)
1 Outfielder
1 Utility (Any position player or DH)
7 Pitchers (Starters or relievers)

That equals 13 position players and 7 pitchers. The pitchers part is open for discussion, more on that later.

Part Two: Scoring

Like I said, this is pure rotisserie baseball, no head to head combat here. This is a low key league for fantasy players who want to be lazy. If you want to tally up 14 scores a week, feel free to start your own league and warm up that calculator.

Here are the categories:

Batters:
Home Runs
RBIs
Stolen Bases
On Base Percentage

Pitchers:
Wins
Saves 
Strikeouts
ERA

These are basically the original rotisserie categories except for two changes:
Batting average is replaced with OBP because batting average is a useless overrated stat.
WHIP is replaced with strikeouts because WHIP is a pain in the ass to calculate. Also: strikeouts are fascist.

Here is how the scoring will work:

Basically standard rotisserie league scoring.
Each team will have their totals added up for each category. 
For each category, all teams will be ranked from highest to lowest. 
The team with the highest ranking gets 14 points. The next highest, 13 points and so on. 
This is repeated for each category, and the points added up. 
The team with the most points at the end of the season wins.

Substitutions and roster changes:

None. I'm not dealing with that crap. I'm not making this any more complicated than I have to. 

That's basically it. Now to the bizarre nuances that will turn this fun exercise into a nightmarish complicated horror.

Advanced rules:

You can't Tell ME What to Do Rule:

These rules are specifically designed for 2010 Topps Heritage. If you want to form a league for another product, you will want to tweak them to your needs.  As mentioned before, 2010 Upper Deck would be another good product for this game. 2007 Upper Deck Black, not so much.If you want to deviate from the Heritage the perfect product will have three qualities:

A large player selection (Upper Deck base GOOD - UD Ultimate BAD)
A single series (Topps Heritage GOOD - Heritage High Numbers BAD)
Between 60-80 cards in the box (64 card blaster GOOD - 192 card hobby box BAD)

This league will use 2010 Topps Heritage blasters (or equivalent 8 packs)

NO CHEECH Rule:

Before this guy permanently appropriated the word, CHEECH was a term used by  my mom's great aunt while playing cards. If she caught you in the act of shenanigans, she would point to you and scream  "YOU CHEECH!!!" From then on it became the default term in our family to point out a dirty cheater at cards.

Most of us probably have at least half a set of this stuff already so we need some proof that your blaster actually has the cards you claimed are in it. Do this by:

Videoing the box rip.
Take pictures of the rip.
Scan all the cards from the rip.
Type out a pack by pack, card by card listing of the rip. 

Post this to your blog. If you don't have one get the evidence to me so I can post it on mine. 

While it would be extraordinarily easy to sneak a few good cards into the box break or to palm a Ryan Howard in a video rip or to buy 5 blasters, video 'em all and pick the best one, you would never do that because you are all wonderfully good people. Besides, doing so will give you bad karma and you don't want that on opening week, do you?


Team building rules:

When first building your team, remember to use only base cards and chrome cards. No subsets or combos or leaders cards or inserts. For simplicity's sake, a base card will be defined thusly:
A base card is any card that features one player and has a career line of stats on the back.

Subsets and insert rule:
 
Each team can include one SP subset or insert card in their lineup. 
The card has to be of a single player (No Then & Nows).
If you want to put Carl Yastrzemski in your outfield, you may, but he may not hit many home runs this year. 
I am limiting this to one card per team because it would get a bit ridiculous if everyone sported an All-Star team full of inserts. 

Missing position rules: 

Even though there are 64 cards in a blaster there is a decent chance that you may be missing a position player. 
There are two ways to fill in that spot:

Combo Halvsies rule:

If you have a combo card with a player from a position you are missing on it, you can use that player in your lineup, BUT all stats from that player are divided by the number of players on the combo card. 

Example because this is confusing:


You end up not having a starting third baseman on your team, but you pull the Royals Bashers combo card with Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, the NL Home Run Leaders card with Mark Reynolds and three other players and the Atlanta Braves team card. You can fill that empty third base spot with one of these cards.
1) You can use Alex Gordon for your starting third baseman, but all his stats are reduced by half. 
2) You can use the League Leaders card, but Mark Reynolds' stats are divided by four. 
3) You can make Chipper Jones your third baseman, but all his stats are divided by however many players are in the team photo. Yes you have to count.

Yes, you get reduced points, but reduced is better than a goose egg.

The 1981 Topps Rule: 

If you are missing a position player you may take any base card in the box, scratch out the position with a writing utensil, and write in the position you need. There are limits to this immense power, however.

This can only be done for one player per team and ONLY if you are actually missing a position player. I know of a few players who would customize their entire team if given the chance. ONLY ONE DO YOU HEAR ME. I HAVE SPOKEN.


No SPs, Chrome or inserts, only base cards # 1-425.
  
You have to scratch out the position on the front and the back. 

I need a scan or picture of the card sent to me so I can post it in all its scribbly glory. 

While it is not necessary to further embellish the card, it is also not prohibited.

To repeat. ONLY ONE CARD. ONLY IF YOU ARE MISSING A POSITION PLAYER. I WILL BANNINATE TRANSGRESSORS. 

No pitchers for obvious reasons. I'm not taking the time to calculate an American League pitcher's interleague at bats just so you can have a second baseman.

Ok, here's a rule designed to thwart Murphy, or at least make a contingency for his inevitable appearance.


Mulligan rule: 

If a player gets a mutant blaster with all relief pitchers and outfielders with no possible chance of building a team, The player may try again with a second blaster with the approval of half the league. This is to be used only if you have no possible player at several positions, NOT if all your players suck. These situations will be judged on a case by case basis.

If it happens a second time, you have incredibly bad luck and we'll figure something out. 


Bonus Points:

Everyone is likely to get stuck with a handful of useless team and manager cards. You may choose one team and one manager if you wish. Everyone choosing a team or manager card will be ranked as normal on the following categories:

Team: Most Wins
Manager: Least losses

I chose the least losses for the manager card to add strategy. A lousy manager who gets fired in May will likely have less losses than the great one who wins his division by twenty games. 

You don't have to choose a team or manager if you don't want to. Points are added to the total at the end of the year.

Points:
1st place - points equal to the number of entries
2nd place - points equal to half the number of entries rounded down
3rd place - 1 bonus point
everyone else - bupkis

Example because this is confusing:

7 out of 14 players enter the Team bonus points category. First place gets 7 bonus points, second place gets 3, third place gets 1.

Again, this is not mandatory.  If you get mediocre teams and managers where you have no chance of winning, you can skip this and screw the eventual winner out of a point. That point may make the difference...

SUPAR MOJO BONUS:

If you are lucky enough to pull a nifty mojo hit, you get extra bonus points because life isn't fair for all the rest of us who bought a crummy box. Here are the points:

Relic : 2 points

Dice Game: 4 points

Stamp card: 6 points

Autograph: 8 points

Two caveats to this:
1) if you can't find blasters and end up getting 8 hobby packs instead (yes this is legal) all MOJOs are worth half as many points. Hobby hits are not as satisfying as retail hits.
2) if you pull something completely insane you'll get nothing and like it. By insane I mean:
Base '61 Chase variation (whatever the hell that is)
Black Refractor

MLB Logo Patch
Dual or Triple Anything
Autograph + Relic Anything
Cut signature

If you pull a cut sig out of a goddamn blaster and then complain that you don't get 8 bonus points in a stupid fantasy game I will personally drive to your house and smack you repeatedly. 

Ok, that's about it  for the rules. If I forgot anything I'll let you know.

There are three things open for discussion:

1) Seven pitchers
I chose seven because 20 is a round number and I have seen blasters before with very few pitchers in them. If you're missing a shortstop, you can scribble on an Alex Rodriguez double and move him back there. If you're missing a pitcher or two, you're likely SOL. If you want more pitchers, complain in the comments and I'll take it into consideration.

2) Monthly winners
Right now this league is basically rip a blaster and wait 6 months. If you want I can declare a monthly or bi-monthly winner. This would be more work for me though and would really only be necessary if we had...

3) Prizes
I haven't worked out the logistics yet, but if everyone antes up a few good cards we don't want we can build a pretty good prize pool for the winners of the league. Basically first place would get the lion's share of the prize pool, second place gets less and the 3rd place winner gets the scraps. Monthly winners could get a card or two if we have enough donations. If you truly have nothing like this to ante up, then I'll work something out.  If you don't want to be in a contest for prizes, you can just skip the ante and do a team anyway.

If you're interested in doing this I require two things: You have to pledge your cards before the April 18th deadline, and you have to send your cards before the end of the season. If you don't, then no prize for you. If you pledge cards and then back out when you find out your team is crummy than you are a fink and shall be recognized as such.

Discuss this in the comments, You can e-mail me with any questions. If you already have your blaster and can't wait to rip it, then go ahead and send me the results.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Cardboard Junkie 2010 Heritage Blaster Fantasy League Tentative Owners Page

Ok at this time we have the following readers/bloggers interested in the Blaster league:

DavidJ (pretty sure this is his blog)

Play at the Plate

Chris Mays

Peterson

Thorzul

Punk Rock Paint

Jeffrey Wolfe

Cardsplitter - (reminder to me: link this)

Deal

Madding

McCann Can Triple

Tunguska

Wax Wombat

Add me and that makes 14. That's probably the limit for a funtional fantasy league, especially one where I'll have to tally up the stats by hand. If there are stragglers desperate to do this bit of silliness I can see these options available.

1) We can add 6 more teams and split the group into an American and National League.

1a) We can split up the group and do one league with 2010 Heritage and one with  2010 Upper Deck blasters.

2) One of the more enterprising players can split off and form your own league on your blog.


Everyone on this page is in as far as I'm concerned, and I won't dismiss any stragglers out of hand, but I'm not doing more than 20 teams here.  Rules will be posted within the hour for all you people on the edge of your seats.

Two more things: This is the blaster you are looking for. You can get it online if you can't find one near you. However THERE IS NO RUSH. You have until April 18th to get, rip and post your lineup. It's not your fault that I just thought up this harebrained scheme a week before Opening Day.

Blaster Box Fantasy Team

I'm pretty old school when it comes to cards. One of the things I used to do with the very first 1981 Topps cards I had as a kid was to rip open the packs I got on a trip to Matthew's Super Market with my grandparents and to sort out the cards into teams. One player at each position. If I didn't have a second baseman, then one of the 7 outfielders I pulled would end up becoming one with the aid of a well placed scribble over the OF and 2B written beside it. Don't give me that look, I was nine and 1981 Topps looks better with some slight embellishments. 

I still do this. I am not ashamed to admit this. Part of the reason I head up the BRING BACK TOPPS TOTAL!!!!1 movement is because I used to buy $10 blasters of that stuff frequently so I could build teams out of the packs on those long boring nights at work. Hey, there was a baseball game on the back, you were supposed to make teams out of them. I'll still do it with normal packs too. Topps and Upper deck aren't great for this anymore since they are broken up into series, but it's doable. For optimal team building pleasure, you need a fairly large set all in one series. Right now, Heritage is one of the better sets for this although 2010 Upper Deck is pretty good too. I've picked up a few Heritage packs here and there and I went through them this morning seeing if I could build a good team out of them. Out of 9 packs, I put together a pretty formidable fantasy lineup:

C Jorge Posada
1B Ryan Howard
2B Brandon Phillips
SS Miguel Tejada
3B Evan Longoria
OF Ryan Braun
OF Adam Lind
OF Andre Ethier
DH Prince Fielder
RHP Justin Verlander
LHP Cole Hamels
Manager Ozzie Guillen

Now that's a nifty little lineup right there with a feisty skipper to lead them to the promised land. The only way you could get that lineup in a fantasy league is if over half the owners in the league slept through the draft. I've got fantasy baseball on the brain right now because I'm in the middle of an e-mail draft that's been dragging out for a while. So far I have Braun, Tulowitzki, McCann, Sizemore and Zobrist in that draft which ain't too bad. Too bad there isn't a way to combine a fantasy league with ripping packs... Or is there?

Presenting Dayf's Most Recent Ridiculous Excuse To Rip Packs

What if we could combine a fantasy draft with ripping a blaster? We could open that puppy up and build a team to compete with other weirdos who like to do this sort of thing. You got your blaster in my fantasy draft! You got your fantasy draft in my blaster! Let's do this! 

If you are interested in

  1. buying a blaster of 2010 Heritage
  2. ripping it open with no hesitation or remorse
  3. sorting out the cards by players and building a fantasy lineup
  4. competing against a few other whacko people doing this
  5. anteing up a few cards to use as prizes

Then leave me a comment expressing your interest.
Full details tonight if people actually want to do this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tournament of Gimmicks - Olbermann Region Sweet Sixteen

Three out of four left in this region are from 2008. That was the Golden Age of Gimmickry.


Game #1



1) 2008 Topps #661 Johan Santana "No-Hitter"

I hereby give each and every one of you permission to print out this image, glue it to the back of a 2008 Updates and Highlights Johan #UH330 card, and stick it in your now-completed set. No one will ever know care.

VS



4) 2007 Topps #40 Jeter/Bush/Mantle

It is impossible to overstate the massive collateral damage this card has done to the hobby. Gimmick? Check. Mickey Mantle Madness? Check. President where he doesn't belong? Check. Yet another overpriced Yankee card shoved down the hobby's throat? Check. Not short printed for maximum exposure? Check. This is the perfect storm of gimmicks.

Game #2


2) 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
I honestly have nothing to say about this dreadful, dreadful set. I think you can get hobby packs for about a quarter nowadays. They are still overpriced.


VS



6) 2008 Upper Deck Presidential Predictors #PP7 Hillary Clinton (Morgana)

The Cinderella of the region. I'm desperately trying to think of a suitable joke here that isn't sexist. Aw screw it, the card was pulled for just that reason anyway. Hillgana may not be able to squeeze those feets into a glass slipper, but she sure as hell has a nicer rack than Cindy. Bippety Boppity Boobs! Ok, so I'm a pig. Oink.


Vote for the worst and may the lousiest gimmick win!

Tournament of Gimmicks - Olbermann Region Second Round Results

Results courtesy Jeffrey Wolfe who is actually paying attention unlike my slack azz.

1) 2008 Topps #661 Johan Santana "No-Hitter" 34 votes (52%)
8) 2005-08 Topps Barry Bonds Home Run History 31 votes (47%)

2) 2008 Upper Deck Documentary 36 votes (56%)
10) 2007 Topps Generation Now 28 votes (43%)

3) 2009 Topps Heritage #83 Derek Jeter "Red Sox" 28 votes (44%)
6) 2008 Upper Deck Predictors #PP7 Hillary Clinton (Morgana) 35 votes (55%)

4) 2007 Topps #40 Jeter/Bush/Mantle 40 votes (64%)
12) 2001 Pacific Manny Ramirez "Corked Bat" 22 (35%)

Friday, March 26, 2010

The future is now

I said this on January 24, 2008:

Heyward is going to be a beast in 2013 or so.


While that is very likely true, J-Hey will be the Starting Right Fielder For Your Atlanta Braves on Opening Day 2010 against the Cubs. 


Trust me, this shall not be the last card you will see of #22 on this blog. Ooooooh no.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tournament of Gimmicks - Olbermann Region Round Two

Round two is upon us. Be sure to vote in the BergerBurdick and Beckett brackets.

Game #1



1) 2008 Topps #661 Johan Santana "No-Hitter"

The 2008 Set Killer completely rolled over John Littlefield as expected. How many of you had even heard of that card before anyway?

VS



8) 2005-08 Topps Barry Bonds Home Run History


Ok, so I screwed up last time and said the Mickey Mantle cards pre-dated the Bonds atrocities. Can you blame me for purging this set from my mind?

Game #2



2) 2008 Upper Deck Documentary


Yep, I'm recycling the images because I'm lazy. I've got a pack of this crap around somewhere but I don't have a clue where the hell it is.

VS




10) 2007 Topps Generation Now


The only positive thing I have to say about this set is that its extreme awfulness seemed to shock Topps out of the mirror mentality they were stuck in. Now they're in earth friendly recycle mode.

Game #3


3) 2009 Topps Heritage #83 Derek Jeter "Red Sox"


I don't really have anything more to say about this card so I'll just say this: Why the hell is is so difficult to create a Blogger post in Chrome when they are both part of Google?? Seriously, I've had root canals less painful than trying to copy and paste a dang image in Chrome.

Eh, it's still less crashy than Firefox lately.

VS



6) 2008 Upper Deck Presidential Predictors #PP7 Hillary Clinton (Morgana)


I'm gonna come right out and say it now, Hillgana is my pick to make the Final Four. This is such a perfect friggin card (epic badonkadonk on the Secretary of State) that got screwed up so badly. I still get a tear in my eye thinking about it. *sniff*

Game #4



4) 2007 Topps #40 Jeter/Bush/Mantle


Ok, fine. The man was president. He can be on a card if he wants to. But why that picture?? Why make him look like a total doof? Like a rube jumping up and waving to the camera while the poor saps behind him miss Derek's wild flailing at a breaking ball. If Topps was trying to make the president look like a fool, they just should have went with this picture and done it right.

VS



12) 2000 Pacific Manny Ramirez "Corked Bat"


From a view ruiner (you thought I was gonna say something else, but nuh uh) to a company ruiner. Fake or no, this would have been a pretty funny card had relic cards not been so new. We were already skeptical of these newfangled lumber scraps back in the day and a bat that wasn't genuine without a shadow of a doubt was just not acceptable. We're all completely used to all the shenanigans nowadays, sadly.

Go out and vote! May the worst gimmick win!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tournament of Gimmicks - Olbermann Region First Round Results

Every year a twelve seed beats a five. Time to play for the Sweet Sixteen.

1) 2008 Topps #661 Johan Santana "No-Hitter" 61
16) 1982 Fleer #576 John Littlefield RevNeg 15

8) 2005-08 Topps Barry Bonds Home Run History 57
9) Allen & Ginter Rip Cards 22



2) 2008 Upper Deck Documentary 45
15) 1995 Stadium Club Ring Leader Phone Cards 28

7) 1998-2000 Topps TEK 34
10) 2007 Topps Generation Now 45


3) 2009 Topps Heritage #83 Derek Jeter "Red Sox" 39
14) 1997 Pinnacle Inside (Cards in a can) 38

6) 2008 Upper Deck Predictors #PP7 Hillary Clinton (Morgana) 57
11) Pacific Card-supials 20


4) 2007 Topps #40 Jeter/Bush/Mantle 41
13) 2008 Topps #234 Red Sox "Rudy Giuliani" 36

5) 1998 Zenith "Dare-to-Tear" 31
12) 2001 Pacific Manny Ramirez "Corked Bat" 46


I'm not 100% sure if I'm even doing this right, I think the first round ended prematurely... No matter, second round match up polls will be up sometime tonight.

Go Vote for Gimmicks

But only the bad ones. My second round polls will be up tonight. In the meantime go vote for

Berger

Burdick

and Beckett


Video courtesy the other Card Junkie...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Ghost of Zombie Pacific Returns!

The big news today is that Finest is Live. That's the news that everyone cares about. As far as I'm concerned if the base cards look half as good as the refractors I may have to knock over a liquor store and pick up a case of these puppies. Actually, maybe saving up for a minibox is a better plan than committing a felony. Gimmie Gimmie I want, etc. at any rate.

The real news came in my inbox today though. I got on Panini's mailing list and they sent me something interesting. Some promo material on 2010 Pacific Crown Royale Basketball. Wait, Pacific is gone! They don't exist anymore! This is Panini Crown Royale Basketball.



Same foil pattern and everything! How can this be? I guess somewhere in the middle of Score gobbling up Donruss and then Playoff gobbling up Score and then Playoff deciding to be Donruss again and then Panini gobbling up Donscorayoff, one of 'em gobbled up the corpse of Pacific and Panini just found the million dollar Crown die-cutter in a warehouse somewhere and decided to take advantage of it. And I, for one, welcome our new Zombie Pacific overlords.

Here's a .PNG of the hobby box. It was originally a huge .GIF but I took a screenshot and squnched it down. You aren't going to see any of the product detail sell sheet because it is in PowerPoint format and eff that noise. Adobe is annoying but .PDFs are there for a reason, people. Here's what I can gather from the .GIF of the box.

There are 7 cards per pack.
There are 4 cards per box.
Autographs are on-card.
It's probably going to be a mid-high-end product.
By this I mean packs will likely cost Jacksons instead of Franklins.
Die-cuts will be prominently featured. 
Kobe is everywhere.
The packaging looks like it's straight from 1997.

Four out of eight of these things I approve of. Funny how a company known for stickers smartly isn't using them for autographs here. As long as they are bringing back Pacific designs, maybe they'll do some of Pacific's weirder designs and I can make a Royale With Cheese joke in a future post. Hopefully Panini can one day gobble up Upper Deck, get a baseball license and bring back Fleer. WITH STICKERS. I can dream, anyway.

First Round Matchups: 1 vs. 16 and 2 vs. 15

Abbreviated version since I don't have time to look anything up and I keep making mistakes.

Game #7


1) 2008 Topps #661 Johan Santana "No-Hitter"

Nope. At least by numbering the card 661, Topps ensured that we could never complete our 2006 and 2008 sets. 

VS


16) 1982 Fleer #576 John Littlefield RevNeg

Goofed up variations  worked for Fleer in 1981, why not try it again in 1982. Ok , that's not fair. Fleer was actually just sloppy.

Game #8


2) 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
BARF

VS



15) 1995 Stadium Club Ring Leader Phone Cards

Phone cards were kind of a fad in the mid '90s, you could use these to make a call to see if you won the ring featured on the card. No call to gramma for you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Round Matchups: 3 vs. 14 and 4 vs. 13

Game #5
3) 2009 Topps Heritage #83 Derek Jeter "Red Sox"

In 1960 Topps produced three "proof" cards of players who were traded in the offseason that had the player's previous team's logo on them. To commemorate these cards turn their history into a cynical money grab, Topps made some ultra-rare variations including this one of a player who has never played a single inning for the Red Sox and never ever will.

VS


14) 1997-8 Pinnacle Inside (Cards in a can)

When Pinnacle was getting really deep into the death throes of needless gimmickry, they came up with the ingenious idea of putting flat, rectangular baseball cards into a round, cylindrical can. The idea was that grocery stores could stack their baseball cards on an endcap, thus using about 10 times the space for an item that wasn't going to make them all that much money anyway. As an added bonus, the kiddos could all cut the crap out of their fingers on the jagged lid of the can when they opened it!

Game #6


4) 2007 Topps #40 Jeter/Bush/Mantle

One of the most insidious gimmicks ever. Take a wildly popular player, photoshop in one overused baseball legend, slap on a goofy picture of the President and voila! Instant collector madness. Remember, folks, this wasn't a short print, this was Jeter's base card. Not even a variation, this was it. The damn thing was still selling for big bucks.

VS

13) 2008 Topps #234 Red Sox "Rudy Giuliani"

Anyone sick of the goddamn Red Sox and Yankees yet? What does this even mean? Rudy's from New York. The Red Sox are from Boston. Manny has an albino squid eating his head. I think Lady Gaga is in the middle of the pile somewhere.  Add the wretched Topps photo-killing logo bump scraping Rudy's knuckles and you have an exercise in lunacy.

First Round Matchups: 5 vs. 12 and 6 vs. 11

Game #3


6) 2008 Upper Deck Presidential Predictors #PP7 Hillary Clinton (Morgana)

2008 was the year of politics invading every facet of pop culture, especially baseball cards. Topps kicked off the election year with some reserved portraits of Presidential contenders, while Upper Deck got illustrator Court Jones to do some humorous caricatures of the candidates using baseball themes. this card of Hillary Clinton as Morganna the Kissing Bandit was easily the funniest of the bunch, so of course Upper Deck pulled it from the set as too controversial. Even more controversial was that Upper Deck 'accidentally' let some of the cards sneak into packs, thus creating a super rare gimmick. Whoopsy!

VS

 
11) Pacific Card-supials

Pacific was well known for having the most whiggetywhack inserts around, but this one was strange even for them. The concept: An insert card of a star player. Ok, that's normal. The twist: There's also a teeny tiny miniature version of the insert card. Ok, still not too weird. The bizarre: The mini card was randomly inserted into a pouch on the back of the card like a card kangaroo complete with joey. And not always the same player, either. What were they smoking up there in Seattle??

Game #4


5) 1998 Zenith "Dare-to-Tear"

One of Pinnacle's last gasps in the card market was to take a once decent high end product and turn it into a gimmicky product that asked collectors to destroy the cards they just bought. Each pack of Zenith had three 5x7" cards that had a standard 2 1/2 x 3 1/2" embedded inside it. You could keep the card intact or rip the sucker in half (likely trashing the standard sized card in the process) to gamble that you got something better inside. Never mind that a well placed slit with an Xacto knife would get you your card while keeping the large one presentable, the instructions in the pack encouraged you to tear that sucka.

VS


12) 2000 Pacific Manny Ramirez "Corked Bat"

While Zenith was the final flailings of a doomed company, this card may have actually ruined Pacific brands. When this Manny Ramirez bat card surfaced out of a pack of 2000 Invicible (irony meter pegged) people were astounded that a real Manny Ramirez bat could have what appeared to be a piece of cork in it! Manny and the Players' union were astounded as well, and forced Pacific to admit that they had gotten the bat from a third party and could not prove the authenticity of the piece. Soon after, Pacific's baseball license went the way of the dodo.

Vote for the worst in the polls on the sidebar and may the lousiest gimmick win!

First Round Matchups: 8 vs. 9 and 7 vs. 10

I'll kick off the Olbermann bracket with some mid level matchups.

GAME #1



8) 2005-08 Topps Barry Bonds Home Run History

Fresh on the heels of the Mickey Mantle Mirror Monstrosity that no one wanted, Topps decides it would be a brilliant idea to make an even BIGGER set with a player who is more loathed than loved.

VS


9) Allen & Ginter Rip Cards

 Allen & Ginter hit the hobby in 2006 like a ton of bricks. Great looking cards, awesome inserts, autogamers galore... and these things. A rip off (pun intended) of 1998 Zenith "Dear To Tear" cards, these low numbered inserts could be left minty fresh or could be shredded to get what was most likely an extended series mini card. Don't count on an autograph or sketch card, dealers could pick those out quite easily with a flashlight before putting the rest on eBay. 

GAME #2


7) 1998-2000 Topps TEK

This super premium release from Topps was a 90 card set... with each card having 90 different variations. That's an 8100 card set for all you completists out there. But wait, there's more! Each card and variation had a Diffraction parallel version! The 1999 and 2000 versions had their checklists cut in half with less variations but were no less confusing.

VS


10) 2007 Topps Generation Now

Another entry into Topps Mirror-crazed inserts from the late '90s, Generation Now took a good idea (featuring young up-and-coming stars) and screwed it all up with a ton of cards that looked all alike.  Player collectors had to deal with tracking down a few dozen cards of David Wright or Curtis Granderson while people who just didn't care ended up with a bunch of cards that were all the same save the number of steals or doubles. To add insult to injury, Topps did the set the right way as bonus rookie cards in K-Mart blasters.

Vote for the worst over on the sidebar and may the lousiest  gimmick win!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Inaugural Tournament of Gimmicks

BURDICK REGION
To be hosted by:
Stale Gum

1) 2008 Topps #FS1 Kazuo Uzuki
2) Manufactured Letter Patches
3) 1989 Fleer #616 Billy Ripken "Fuck Face"
4) 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights "Upside-Down" Longoria, Bruce, and Fukudome
5) 2010 Topps Yankee Pie-in-the-Face
6) 1996-97 Pinnacle Mint
7) 2008 Topps Heritage #201 Johan Santana "Mets"
8) 2009 Upper Deck #855 Ken Griffey, Jr. "20X"
9) 2008 Topps Alex Rodriguez Road to 500
10) 1998 Pinnacle Multi-Stat-Backs
11) 2009 Topps Heritage #102 Adrian Gonzalez "Rangers"
12) 2001 Donruss "1999" & "2000" Retroactive
13) 1992-93 Triple Play
14) 1995-98 Leaf Materials inserts
15) 1994 Upper Deck Diamond Collection (Regional Distribution)
16) 1994 Score Rookie/Traded September Call-Up Redemption Card

OLBERMANN REGION
To be hosted by:
Cardboard Junkie

1) 2008 Topps #661 Johan Santana "No-Hitter"
2) 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
3) 2009 Topps Heritage #83 Derek Jeter "Red Sox"
4) 2007 Topps #40 Jeter/Bush/Mantle
5) 1998 Zenith "Dare-to-Tear"
6) 2008 Upper Deck Presidential Predictors #PP7 Hillary Clinton (Morgana)
7) 1998-2000 Topps TEK
8) 2005-08 Topps Barry Bonds Home Run History
9) Allen & Ginter Rip Cards
10) 2007 Topps Generation Now
11) Pacific Card-supials
12) 2001 Pacific Manny Ramirez "Corked Bat"
13) 2008 Topps #234 Red Sox "Rudy Giuliani"
14) 1997 Pinnacle Inside (Cards in a can)
15) 1995 Stadium Club Ring Leader Phone Cards
16) 1982 Fleer #576 John Littlefield RevNeg

BECKETT REGION
To be hosted by:
The Card Junkie Jeff Wolfe

1) 2008 Topps Heritage #440 "Jon" Smoltz
2) 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights #SQ1 Poley Walnuts
3) "Franken-Cuts"
4) 2006 Topps #297 Alex Gordon
5) 1933 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie
6) 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights #312 Joba Chamberlain "Astros"
7) 2010 Upper Deck Double-Take Variations
8) 1996 Finest (Fractured Base Sets)
9) 1998 Pacific Aurora Cubes
10) 1986-90, 1994-96 Sportflics
11) 1982 Fleer #438 "All" Hrabosky 5' 1"
12) 2001 Sweet Spot #JIS Ichiro "Game-Used" Jersey
13) 1995-99 Finest peel-off protectors.
14) 1999 Topps #220 & #461 Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa
15) eTopps
16) 1995 Topps D3


BERGER REGION
To be hosted by:
Hand Collated

1) 2008-09 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy
2) 2010 Topps Milton Bradley (Scoreboard Abe)
3) 2001 Donruss Elite Extra Edition $5.99 Redemption Cards
4) 2007-08 Topps Moments & Milestones
5) 2009 Topps Target Throwback/Wal-Mart All-Black Blasters
6) 1998-2000 Skybox "Gangsta" Text
7) 1989 Upper Deck #413 Dale Murphy RevNeg
8) 2008 Bowman Chrome #155 Kosuke Fukudome No AU
9) 2008 Topps Kosuke Fukudome "Japan"
10) 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights #100 Jacoby Ellsbury
11) 1997-98 Leaf Fractal Matrix
12) 2009 Topps Heritage #70 "Thom" Glavine
13) 2008 Topps #AS Arnold Schwarzenegger (2012?)
14) 2006 Topps #RC1 Alay Soler
15) 1969 Topps #653 Aurelio Rodriguez
16) 1988 Topps Bigs

Lazy Sunday

Friday, March 19, 2010

No more written posts until Monday so I can spend this weekend actually getting the mess I call my life organized instead of futzing around on the internet

Three-finger Jesus Demands It.

I must obey the haloed hurler.  

(also: someone host bracket 4 plz.)

The pluses and perils of Retail Heritage

I finally found a gravity feed box of 2010 Heritage at the local Wally World last night. I got two packs just for gits and shiggles. I did... rather well, except for an odd quirk. Here are the last four cards from the first pack:



Matt Kemp Chrome
Ty Cobb Flashback
Luke Hochevar
Derek Jeter All Star SP

That's a parallel, insert and short print in one retail pack. And not crummy ones either, those are all stars right there. Can't beat that with a stick. So how'd I do with the rest of the pack? Here they are, along with the first four cards from the other pack I got.


Rogers Hornsby Highlight
Bobby Crosby
Erick Aybar
Stephen Drew
Rogers Hornsby Highlight
Bobby Crosby
Erick Aybar
Stephen Drew

Either I'm drunk and seeing double or Topps needs to work out some collation issues. Some math nerd figure out the odds on this one. I'd do it myself but, you know, the drinking. Plus I suck at math. I need to stick to blasters.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Topps really does have it in for Abe...

Pulled from a pack of GPKFB today:


And I thought I was just kidding around.

A Mooss once Bipped My Sister - Part 3 Rumeal

You didn't expect this contest to go quickly did you? You poor deluded fools. I have projects from 2007 I still haven't finished. Here's part three of Spastik Mooss'ssess' Epic 4  Brick Bipping. Bricks one and two were brutal, how about number three? Actually there were a lot of very pleasant cards in there.



Like this Hoops Checklist art card of Dominique Wilkins dunking in the heavens. It's very transcendent... if it weren't for Nique staring at you this would be a great picture to gaze at while meditating. With Nique's glare not so much. EMPTY YOUR MIND OF WORLDLY CONCERNS! LET GO OF YOUR BODY AND FLY... BE FREE! TO TOMAHAWK JAM! BOOM!

Eh, there are weirder spiritual practices...



I like Dan Patrick, I like Dikembe Mutomobo, I just don't understand why a player known for blocking shots and dunking is in a subset called "From Way Downtown". I don't think Deke took a shot from outside the paint in his entire career.


I Friggin love Conlin Cards and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I don't even know who this guy is, but he's vintagey and black and white and in an old Braves uniform and Charles Conlin took the photo when the guy wasn't expecting it and I love it. MY LOVE HAS NO SHAME

A Braves Hall of Famer! On a crappy set when he was at the end of his career and the splitter had turned all the ligaments in his right arm into overcooked spaghetti. Angel hair at that. Holy crap, is that Ron Gant playing second behind Bruce?

Aside from teh ZOMG JASON HEYWARD stuff one of the big items for discussion is about Bobby's last year and who will be his replacement come 2011. This guy here is generally considered to be pretty high up on the short list. If we're going to replace #6 with a rookie with no managerial experience I have to say I'm rooting for Eddie Perez. That dude's going to be a manager somewhere eventually anyway, why net here?

There was dang near an entire Braves team set of 1996 Pacific in the package. Here's Lemmer as an example of the set. It's not a bad looking set even though the foil is a bit ridiculous.

Ah, the 1988 Fred McBip. A rare variation indeed. Extremely rare indeed:


1/1 Bip Card. Hmm... some other blogger uses that schtick in his Bips. the name escapes me for now. So here was the announcement of my doom, now to show you every third card in the package.

That's right, 27 1988 Fred McGriffs to go along with the 1/1 McBip. SERIAL NUMBERED EVEN. So many they wouldn't all fit on the scanner. Holy frijoles. If I ever do a custom set like Phungo, I'll have to include these as an insert. There's one more of these things to go. Hopefully it will be up before Opening Day...