Saturday, November 28, 2009

Basketball Showdown

While in Target the other day, I decided to pick up a few packs of basketball cards. These are the first packs I've gotten in a few years. I picked one each of what they had that was 09-10. UD First Edition and Flagship, Topps, Panini and Panini Prestige are what I walked away with. Let's compare, shall we? I'll present them in the order of "cheapness" or at least how I perceive it.

First up we have UD First Edition. These cards really are cheap. 10 cards in a pack for 99 cents, so basically 10 cents a card. You get an insert in every pack, I pulled a Mav (yeah) in a Raptor jersey. The cards are by far the thinnest in the group, but they have great photography, the same in fact as the UD Flagship set. They also have a silver or gold stripe up the left side that tells you they are first edition. What they don't have is any foil or much gloss. The design is the same we've seen for baseball and football already this year, so it's very familiar, but I still like it fine. Overall, a very nice product especially for the price.

The second pack is from Topps and like UD, this will be their last NBA licensed set for a while. The Topps cards are a little thicker and glossier, so they feel better quality, but I don't like the look as much. They have a little foil logo and player name, but also a fairly thick white border all the way around. Topps does use action shots, but they aren't as dynamic as UD. Most of their cards show the featured player with only bits and pieces of opponents making it into the frame. (I do really like that they caught Pau guarding his brother on Marc's card though.) Topps come 12 cards a pack for $1.99, which is about 16 cents a card. Not a bad deal at all.

The next pack up is Upper Decks flagship set. The more sophisticated version of First Edition. These cards are even thicker than the Topps and feature foil logos and player names. They also really make UD's superior photography stand out with full bleed photos. The thing I like about these is that unlike Topps, you usually see a lot of action with the featured player as well as opposing players. It makes for some nice unique shots. The UD cards came 18 in a pack for $2.99, which like Topps, is around 16 cents per card. So far, I'd say this is the best value.

Here we have the first "Flagship" set from new exclusive license holders Panini. Surprisingly, these cards were the thickest of them all. Somehow though, they appear cheaper than the UD set. I suppose it's the lack of foil and the somewhat matte finish. Overall , I like the design, especially the full bleed photos, much better than most Panini/Donruss stuff that is filled with odd criss crossing geometric shaped backgrounds behind a cutout player. What is odd about the Panini set though is, while they are all "in action" shots, there is almost no action. Check it out, you don't see any opposing players anywhere. It's almost like they are all playing one on one in a packed arena and the other guy is the one with the camera. Weird. I do like that you get an insert card and a sticker in every pack, which adds some variety. These were priced 12 (11 cards, 1 sticker) for $1.99 also, so they too cost about 16 cents each.

Lastly, we have Panini Prestige. These were the most expensive at $2.99 for 5 cards, which is 60 cents apiece. Yikes! They are no thicker than their plain Panini counterparts and also feature no foil, though they are quite glossy. The photography is also basically the same as the cheaper set, but features a white faded edge at the top that I don't really like. I'd rather they just run the photo to the top edge and make the portion at the bottom a lot smaller. For the price, this set seems to be a rip off. I don't have any idea why they cost so much more. No foil, no guaranteed insert per pack and no stickers! Give me the base set any day. So there you have it. If I rank them in order of best bang for the buck, I'd say UD has a slight advantage over Panini because of better photography, First Edition third, Topps fourth and Prestige last. I just can't see what is so great about any of the more expensive Panini/Donruss stuff and that goes for the football offerings as well. Anyway, that's my opinion, like it or not. Later.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ebay finds

I'd been looking around a little for a Michael Young rookie card and when I saw his 2000 Topps Chrome one, I decided that was one that I needed to get. They had one at my local shop, but it was more than I wanted to pay so I decided to go the ebay route. I'm glad I did, because for just a couple bucks more I also got 2 other neat Young cards.

In addition to "Mike" Young's rookie card (that's kind of funny that it just says Mike Young, I don't know why really, it just is) I also got 2 Bowman Sterling game used bat cards. Sterling is way out of my price range as far as packs or boxes go, so it's cool to grab a single here and there. I really like the one with the bat cutout in the shape of a crown. The other card I picked up was this one...

That's right, another Kurt for the collection. Autographed, too, though it is on a sticker. It's a nice action shot of Kurt about to gun down a runner at second, or maybe, he's just throwing back to the mound. Whatever. I like it. My buddy Mojo sent me a Kurt auto a few weeks ago, so now this makes 3 total in the Kurt pages. Well, that's all for now, hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Later.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 Topps 206

I made another trip to the card shop to hit the quarter boxes to scratch my recent basketball itch. If you grab 100 they sell 'em to you for $15, so that's only 15 cents a card, I'll post some of those in a few days. As I was checking out I saw they had just gotten in 09 Topps 206, so I grabbed a pack.

They were selling for $6 a pack, which gives you 9 cards. Here is what we got.

Well, yeah. Not a lot here in my opinion. We didn't get one Ranger or any of my or Nobie's binder players. The Johnson mini is alright, it's a Piedmont back, which isn't listed in the odds rundown on the wrapper, so I'm assuming it's the normal back, no parallel or anything. There are some good players, just no one we really collect. The cards themselves are pretty unspectacular, just another retro set that uses a photoshop filter on the player's photos to give it an old tyme look. Personally, I think Topps could do without another retro set, as I find Heritage and Allen & Ginter to be more to my liking. What I do like about the 206 cards are the framed relics & autos, though we didn't get any, I like what I have seen on ebay so far. Anyway, there you go. See anything you want, let me know. Later.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I was at the card shop the other day with nothing in particular on my mind to buy when I had a revelation of sorts. Well actually, I just had to ask myself a question. Why aren't I collecting basketball cards? Since I returned to collecting I've focused on baseball & football only. I haven't bought basketball cards since around 1992 when I built almost complete sets of Fleer and Skybox. That was when I gave up collecting altogether. Basketball is (to quote Kurtis Blow) my favorite sport. It's the one sport I'm decent at and played in high school and in rec leagues since the 5th grade. I'm 6'6'', hence the nickname Big D. I LOVE the Dallas Mavericks and have followed them closely since the early '8os, even though I didn't live anywhere near Dallas at the time. All of these are reasons I decided I should collect basketball again, so I bought some cards, right then and there. Here are some of the cards I picked up.

A couple of Topps Finest from the '90s. Lo Williams was one of my favorite players from the really bad Mavs years. I mean they stunk back then, but I loved them just the same. Lorenzo was waaay undersized to play center in the NBA, but he worked his tail off. Derek Harper was around seemingly forever, in fact he is still featured on the Mavs tv broadcasts today. He and Ro Blackman were the guards in the Mavs late '80s heydays when the went to the Western Conference Finals for the first time against the Lakers. That was when the Mavs were great, right before I moved to Texas. I was so excited to finally be able to see the Mavericks from up close after following them from Illinois and Indiana for so many years. Of course, right after I moved here is when they began to fall apart and then spend a decade of so as a really bad team. Figures.

Here are a couple of my favorite ex-Mavericks. Yes, that is Steve Nash, long before his now famous shaggy hair. I still can't believe Mark Cuban thought Nash was basically a year or 2 from being done and decided not to resign him. That was like what, 6 years ago. Nice one! Michael Finley had many good years in Dallas and it kills me to have to watch him play for the hated Spurs now, but I still like him.

Jason Terry, Jason Kidd & Josh Howard are three of the current Mavs. "Jet" has been here for several years now and had to play a lot of point guard before Kidd returned to the club. Josh Howard has been kind of up and down over the years, hampered by injuries often. He's also had a few boneheaded off the court mishaps, but when he's healthy he is a great player, at least for the first 3 quarters of the game.

Lastly, we have my 2 all time favorite Mavericks. Mark Aguirre is the whole reason I became a Mavs fan in the first place. I lived in Illinois during his time in college at DePaul and became a big fan of his as a Blue Demon. I didn't follow the NBA a whole bunch at that time, so when the Mavericks drafted my favorite player, guess who became my favorite team? Since then I've stuck with them through thick and thin, even after I moved to Texas and they began to wallow around in their own futility. Then came Dirk and things began look up. Since Dirk arrived they have steadily stayed near the upper echelon of teams and even made an appearance in the NBA Finals, which unfortunately didn't go so well. Dirk is definitely the greatest Mavericks ever and even though he gets ripped a lot for being soft, not playing D or whatever, the truth is, we most likely will never see another guy do what he's done in a Mavs uni. I'm just glad I've been around to see it all. So there you go, my first basketball post. I have updated my header picture at the top to better represent what I plan to collect from here on. I've also updated my "What I Collect" list to include some non-Mavs as well. If you've got tons 'o Mavs taking up space, send them my way! Later.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Don't You Hate It When...

a pack fails to live up to your expectations? I'm not a pack searcher. Really, I'm not. Sometimes though, you can see through the wrapper what the top card is.

In this instance I was looking at a pack of 09 Topps Mayo and LT was looking back. Since he is Goose's favorite player, I had to pick it up. Since the top card was so good, the rest of the pack will surely be awesome too, right?

Wrong! Not only did the other five cards contain three non-football players, two of them are of the same guy! So we get a guy simply labeled athlete, 2 cards of an appliance mogul, a silver parallel of a rookie I've never heard of, and Jenkins. Meh! I guess in this case, beauty really was only skin deep. If for some reason, you disagree and think the rest of this pack was awesome, they are all up for trade. Let me know. Later.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trade with Ryan's Memorabilia Blog Part Deux

Okay, this is it, I'm finally caught up. To the best of my knowledge, I have no more trades to post. If I happened to have missed one, I'm sorry, but all the cards are long since mixed in with everything else, so they won't be posted. This trade was with Mike from Ryan's Memorabilia Blog. We traded awhile back, but then Mike dropped me a note to say he had the last 3 cards Nobie needed to complete his 07 Masterpieces set. He was kind enough to send those along with some other goodies.

Besides the 3 cards Nobie needed which are the 3 in the upper right corner, Mike sent several others, mostly Cubs. There was also a HanRam and a Tony Gwynn for me.

Here are a few more Cubs for Nobie, plus a very shiny Peavy.

What basically amounts to 3 packs of 09 Donruss Threads were included for Goose. I think I'll steal the Romo and Barber though, for my Cowboys binder.

Lastly, we have a nice little bunch of Ichiros all but one of which was new to me. Mike also included an old school Eddie Murray with the cap and Oriole logo, I've always loved the best. Mike thanks, a bunch for the cards. Technically, I guess, this isn't a trade yet since I haven't sent anything back. It's more like a donation, but I'll remedy that soon, don't worry! Later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Woo Hoo! Mail from Mojo!

I got a package from the great Mojo a few days ago. I contacted Mojo because I know he is a fellow Kurt collector and I thought he might have some doubles that needed a good home. Well, guess what, he did!

The question is, what would my reaction be? Would I be dumbfounded and in a state of confusion over what he sent? Would I be pissed off and regretful of contacting him in the first place? Or, would I blink wide-eyed and coo quietly and the awesomeness of what was inside? Needless to say, my reaction upon opening it was more like Marge than either Homer or Maggie, because inside the package was this...

a Kurt Suzuki Bowman Sterling Rookie Auto! Oooooooooh! Sweeeet! What a great card, much more than I expected to get. It may take me awhile to track down something of equal awesomeness, but I'll do my best. Now I'm on the hunt for something to repay the favor. Thanks a ton, Mojo! Later.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Don't believe him! The envelope was full, honest! Shang-Chi took them, I know he did!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another trade with the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame

We got another package from Tim at The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame with a little mix of football and baseball.

Goose got a bunch of older football, lots of Pro Set. Most of these guys are before his time, but he gets a kick out of checking out the "old" cards. Makes me feel really old, that he considers cards from the early 90's old. Oh well, there is a Peyton in there, and he is one of Goose's favorites.

Tim sent these 2 cards for Nobie. A very shiny Soriano and a Hanley he didn't have. These 2 guys make up the largest bulk of Nobie's ever growing player collection.

For me, Tim sent 3 cards for my catcher collection and three former and current Ranger greats. Thanks a lot for the cards Tim, I'll be on the lookout for more McGriffs and screwy named players to send your way. Later.

Trade with Roll Out the Barrell

A few weeks ago I was at a card show and ran across a few Robin Yount cards I thought Ed from Roll Out the Barrell might be interested in. We hadn't traded before, but I knew he was a Brewer fan, so I picked them up. I dropped him a note about swapping some Brewers for Rangers and the trade was on. Rangers weren't the only team we got, however.

As you can see, Nobie got a nice pile of Cubs. I know it must have been real hard for you to give these up, Ed ;) but you'll be glad to know they are very much appreciated in their new home!

Ed also, sent a nice mix of Rangers old & new, including a Kinsler Icons we needed for the set and several Michael Youngs, who is my current favorite Ranger. The Canseco card is actually a Sportflix, though you can't really tell that in the photo. I didn't collect cards when these were new, so they are pretty neat to get. I'd like to see someone come out with a similar current set, but with Topps being exclusive, I doubt it will happen. Anyway, thanks for the great cards Ed. Later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trade with The Priceless Pursuit

This post covers our trade with a new partner Joe from The Priceless Pursuit. He collects Darryl Strawberry and Yankees and I happened to have had a Strawberry rookie card that he needed, so off it went along with a few random Yankees. He sent a nice package with a little something for all of us. Check it out.

I got a few Rangers, Ichiros and an assortment of catchers for my collection...

Nobie got a nice mix of Cubs and various other favorite players...

Goose got a handful of Broncos (though I stole the Elways for myself)...

and Baby Peas scored another Murphy and 2 Byrds. If you've got any spare Strawberrys send them Joe's way, he'll make it worth your while. Thanks again, Joe. Later.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trade with Baseball Dad

Okay, I'm going to try and get back on track with a trade post a day until I'm all caught up. This package came from Jack over at All Tribe Baseball. We've sent stuff back and forth a time or two and to be honest, I can't remember now if I owe cards or not. Anyway, Jack sent a nice package with something for all four of us.

For me he sent a big group of Rangers, 1 of the 3 remaining 09 UDX cards we needed and some cards for my PC, Ichiro, Pujols, Murray and Palmer.

Nobie received a nice stash of Cubs and, I think, a Peavy or two.

Goose got a huge stack of older football, mostly Broncos, along with roughly a pack of 09 UD Philadelphia.

Last, but not least, Jack even got Baby Peas in on the deal with 2 each of Marlon Byrd and David Murphy. It was very nice of Jack to really dig deep and find something for each of us. For me, half the fun of beginning collecting again is to share the fun with my kids and they all love it when they get a little something in the mail. Thanks again Jack! Hope your computer gets well soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2009 Topps Mayo Football

Wow, it seems like forever since I've posted, over a week I guess. I'm still behind on trade posts, but needed to get something new on here before my already sketchy following dwindles away to nothing. Seeing as how baseball appears to be a few outs away from being done as I sit here at the computer, it's time to officially move on to football. I was shopping at Wally World today, checked out the cards and lo and behold, new stuff. Now, I'm probably not the first person to post about this new release, but I haven't seen any others myself, so I'll stake a bold claim to first anyway. I picked up a blaster of 2009 Topps Mayo, so let's see what we've got here.

This is the wrapper. Notice it is now white. Last year was navy and gold I believe. Could this be a hint as to what is inside?

Well, what do you know? The cards are white this year too! Quite a change from the black background, we now have full color photos on a white background with a bunch of frilly gold flourishes. Each pack seems to contain 4 base cards, 1 thicker stock silver parallel and a mini. This minis feature B&W photos on an off white background, notice how it is a little darker than the base cards. Like most sets these days, especially the retro themed ones, there are non football cards included. We got Teddy in the first pack.

Pack 2 features all football dudes. This set dare I say, has a somewhat Allen & Gintery feel to it, I guess because of the white cardstock. I think I liked the black better, still undecided though.

For some reason pack 3 did not have a mini, though we did get a prominent rookie in Stafford.

Pack 4 was the jackpot. Check out Cowboy great Troy in the sharktooth cap, plus a hit!! Aaron Rodgers jersey card, green too, instead of boring old white. Oh yeah, we also got a mini of some inventor guy. I guess, since he invented the artificial heart, he's not too spare.

Pack 5 held another Cowboy and Shaun Hill sporting a cheesy 'stache. The John Bull Locomotive is kinda neat and is part of the World's Fair Attractions subset.

Not a lot here in pack 6, though we did get a mini Mayo Mayo.

Broadway Joe in pack 7. Hmm, who's the best QB in this bunch?

The last pack contains two of the greatest players ever in Marino and Peterson (at least I'm pretty sure when all is said and done Peterson will fit in that group). So that about wraps it up for this blaster. I like the overall look of this set, I guess it would have been a little boring to do the same black background thing again. Seems like this blaster lacked a little in star power overall, but pulling a jersey card was cool especially when it doesn't have white swatch. These of course, belong to Goose now, so if you see anything you are interested in, I'll have to run it by him. I can hear the damn Yankees celebrating in the other room, so I guess that's all the baseball for now. Later.