Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pack Two

Pack 2 +15

342 Mel Hall - Child molester extraordinaire!

209 Craig Reynolds - Gordon.

75 Mike Moore - There's a typical late 80s, shoulder pad wearing, empowered woman sitting right behind Mike that makes him look like he has two puffs of blue hair coming out the back of his cap.

66 Kevin Mitchell - Alleged cat decapitator.

28 Mackey Sasser – Rated Rookie - I don't know if I've ever written about Mackey Sasser before or not.

Yes, I did. Here, about a year ago in pack 27 of my 1988 Score box.

Mackey stuck around until 1995, but did he really live up to that Rated Rookie name?

We see him here as a Pirate, but he played in only 12 games for Pittsburgh in 1987 before being traded to the Mets for Scott Henion and Randy Milligan in March of 1988.

Mackey never really got a chance to play much, only appearing in 100 games once in 1990. Offensively he was pretty average for a catcher and defensively he was at or just a bit below league average.

His numbers in the minors were pretty good, including a .338 average at High-A Fresno in 1985 and .313 combined between Phoenix and Vancouver of the PCL in '87.

In the minors he got regular playing time and did well. But in the Majors his role was one of backup behind Gary Carter and a young Todd Hundley with the Mets, and Dave Valle in Seattle.

Rated Rookie? Judging by his numbers in the minors alone, I'd say so. But as a Major Leaguer, no.

39 Kirt Manwaring – Rated Rookie - Giants catcher of the future? I don't know about that. He never really got a lot of playing time until 1993. But he did hang around with the Giants until the 1996 season when he was traded to Houston for Rick Wilkins and cash.

Rated Rookie? Not really. His offensive numbers in the minor leagues were poor, but he was an above average defensive catcher, winning the NL Gold Glove in 1993. In the end, any offensive production you get out of the catcher's position is an added bonus but Kirt really didn't produce much aside from his 1993 season (5 home runs, 49RBI).

398 Willie Hernandez - I think that's OJ Simpson on the left side of the card behind Willie.

389 Rick Mahler - There's old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium behind Rick. In all the years I've been a Braves fan, I never saw a Braves game a Fulton County. I did a young Kosuke Fukudome playing in a game against Nicaragua at the '96 Olympics. But all my Braves experience has been a Turner Field.

133 Gene Nelson - Wayland.

15 Jack Clark – Diamond King - The horror!

606 Jim Gott - Mr. Gott was traded from the Giants to the Pirates along with Mackey Sasser. I love it when two cards in a pack are related like this. As poorly made as these cards are, the little bits of information are a nice addition. They're not as in depth as Score, but Fleer didn't give us anything to work with. So it's a nice compromise.

475 Dave Anderson - Here's the Texas Rangers' third base coach. I have absolutely no recollection of this guy playing for the Dodgers in '88. Granted I was only seven years old, but I'm surprised how many of these names ring a bell. This one doesn't.

Anderson got one at bat in the '88 World Series and struck out.

343 Jim Eisenreich - I had planned on poking fun at Jim for having Tourette's, but that would be cruel. Instead I'll just point out Donruss' horrible photograph.

The photographer must have said something to the effect of "Jim, I want you to look as displeased as possible to be having your picture taken... no, a little more... little more... perfect!"

And here we have the end result.

210 Gary Pettis - There's a lot to like about this card... nice reflection in his helmet, you can see the entire front of his jersey, and he's clearly using Bill Buckner's bat.

76 Ron Darling - Darling majored in French and Southeast Asian history at Yale and was one of the top players in the history of the school. These days he's broadcasting for the Mets.

Now it's time to choose the best card from the bunch...

Clearly it comes down to a battle between Mel Hall and Gary Pettis. Despite being a convicted child molestor, I think Hall gets the slight nod here because the photo is a bit sharper and there's a little bit more action than the Gary Pettis. But I'm open to arguments either way, both are great looking cards.

And the puzzle. So far I'm lucky to have gotten border pieces from both packs, so let's see how the progress is going...

At this point I'm just guessing as to location... soooooo.

And there's pack two. I hope you enjoy scans of the full pack.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pack One

Pack one can be found here.

But here's the stats...

Pack 1 +13 (with 2 MVP inserts)
499 Tracy Woodson
367 Lloyd Moseby
235 Bill Doran
103 Mickey Tettleton
93 Dave Righetti
83 Shane Rawley
414 Damaso Garcia
158 Terry Steinbach
149 Frank Viola
BC-4 Mike Schmidt
498 Sam Horn
BC-6 Tony Gwynn
501 Ken Schrom
368 Kirby Puckett
236 Milt Thompson

Best Card

Here's the puzzle pieces for the first pack. Tomorrow I'm going to clean off a spot to lay out the puzzle so I can add to it every day.


Is anyone interested in seeing every card from the pack? I'm thinking it would be nice to scan the entire pack, and if I do it every day, it woudln't take that much time.

I think starting tomorrow, and until I get tired of doing it, you'll get to see every card. I may not comment on all of them, but I'll post them all.

The time has come...

to begin viewing one of the worst sets in the history of baseball cards.

We see Dale Murphy's smiling face. Little did he know that he and his Braves were on their way to losing 106 games in 1988.

Pack number one will be posted on A Pack to be Named Later pretty soon, but I've got a few format changes for this break.

In a comment Andy made a few days ago, he said he had tried to find nice photographs in this set and couldn't come up with anything. So what I'm going to do is choose and post what I think is the best looking card from each pack, and at the end of the box, we'll vote for the best card.

Also, I want to see how much of the puzzle I can put together from this one box. So at the end of every day's pack, there will be a photo of the puzzle progress.

This should be a fun one...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

1988 Donruss Coming Soon...

New banner is up, some different paint on the walls.

As I'm watching the Braves and Red Sox, I'll be digging out all the '88 Donruss I can find and decide how I want to go about this. I've got a pretty good sized stack of cards, maybe as much as a third of the set, so maybe I can get a complete set with the box. We'll see.

Even though I do have a substantial chunk of the set, I'm going to treat this box as starting from scratch and then fill in the holes with cards I already had.

Hopefully the box will show up Monday or Tuesday and we'll get started.

Maybe I'll even be able to put together the whole puzzle!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The break won't be a long one...

Ok... so I said I was gonna take a month, but I really like having something to open every day. And being the lucky (contingent on a drug test that I can't possibly fail) recipient of a new job today, I figured I'd celebrate with a $5 box of 1988 Donruss.

I realize most people hate this set, but please, please keep reading. I'm sure it'll be an enjoyable break as I belittle every aspect of a horrible, horrible set.

Also, for anyone interested in 1988 Fleer, here's a list of doubles I have for trade:

9, 40, 50, 51, 88, 115, 128, 141, 148, 153, 158, 196, 208, 246, 251(x 2), 267, 278, 341, 363, 365, 375, 380, 394, 404, 433, 445, 448, 449, 468, 473, 487, 492, 515, 558, 590, 607, 612, 622

I've also done a small post on my wants list site about what I'm looking for in trades, so have a quick read over that.

Anyhoo... I guess I'll start working on banners for 1988 Donruss and I'll post a few different possibilities.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pack Thirty Six

Pack 36 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
193 Tim Raines
268 Bret Saberhagen
248 Kurt Stillwell
463 Steve Buechele
148 Jesse Orosco
507 Mike Witt
316 Rick Schu
102 Jesse Barfield
168 Rick Manning
217 Dan Pasqua
323 Bobby Bonilla
14 Gene Larkin
AS4 Roger Clemens
659 Checklist
113 Garth Iorg

Last pack.

Before we look at the cards today, I have a few words to say about this box and this set.

I know sometimes I point out the bad aspects of these cards, and the same with the Bowman set, but I really do love these cards. Sometimes it's hard to see the good in cards from this era when the older cards and the modern cards are so much nicer. But this set is pretty nice for the time.

None of them are up to the standards that Score set in 1988, but Fleer is a cut above both Topps and Donruss in terms of photography and cardstock quality.

There are some printing issues with these cards, especially the coloring of the backs and I'm sure from some of my scans you've noticed that. Some of the cards are pretty washed out and some a very vibrant.

As for this box itself, as I've said a few tiems over the course of the break that this was the most successful box I've opened. The collation here was vastly superior to the both Topps and Score, and a bit better than the Bowman box.

With what few cards I didn't replace and this box I've ended up with 509 of the 660 cards. Pretty good.

My want list should be up pretty soon, and then I'll put together a doubles list. One of the doubles is going in the mailbox to Jeff at Card Junkie in the morning.

I'm still debating taking a break or not. I'll probably get home tomorrow and want something to open... so knowing me I'll probably have a box of 88 Donruss pretty soon, then we'll move on to Topps.

Now that that's out of the way, here's some cards.

The blurry pitching hand looks strange. I think it's interesting that Fleer wrote about how Clemens held out until opening day of 1987 because of contract issues.

I like this shot of Ranies, not much is going on and it's very over-exposed, but it's still a nice looking shot. There's a very blurry person on the field behind Rock, It looks like the blurry person is wearing a yellow shirt and white pants, so it could be a Pirate. Because of the over-exposure it's almost hard to tell if Tim is wearing a home or away jersey. I'm pretty sure it's a blue away jersey because that's not Olympic Stadium.

Another good looking card.

The biggest mistakes the Pirates made were not holding onto Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla.

Bobby-Bo was the first go in 1991 followed by Bonds in '92, and the Pirates haven't had a winning season since.

There you have it.

Check in sometime later tonight for my want list, and I'll probably put a post up here in the next several days with a final run down of what I have and what I'm missing.

Thanks for reading, and look out of 1988 Donruss before too long.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pack Thirty-Five

Pack 35 +0
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
394 Ivan Calderon
515 Jeff Hamilton
622 Slugging Sophomores (Wally Joyner/Cory Snyder)
547 Gerald Perry
558 Jim Dwyer
445 Glenn Davis
380 Mike Morgan
647 Major League Prospects (Chris Gwynn/Peter Smith)
51 Doyle Alexander
492 Ruppert Jones
468 Greg Harris
88 Jeff Leonard
278 Storm Davis
590 Shane Mack
363 Kevin Romine


Ok. I can accept this. Two packs of doubles out of the whole box (assuming the final pack isn't full of doubles). That's not so bad, really. Yes I've lost two full packs, which is annoying as hell, but that's only 30 cards.

Here's hoping the last pack isn't a big let down.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pack Thirty-Four

Pack 34 +14
215 Bobby Meacham
322 Barry Bonds
13 Kent Hrbek
AS11 Jack Clark
658 Checklist
126 Ernie Whitt
262 Ross Jones
45 Tony Pena
351 Dwight Evans
189 Bob McClure
616 Sammy Stewart
436 Manny Trillo
394 Ivan Calderon
515 Jeff Hamilton
622 Slugging Sophomores (Wally Joyner/Cory Snyder)

Where should we start...

Sammy's from my neck of the woods and now he's in prison.

The look on his face says "Hey baby, Sammy's gonna rock your world..."

Hey look! Barry Bonds doesn't look like an asshole.

I know it's the Pirates' logo, but Bonds' wristbands look kinda like the Triforce from Zelda.

Well after seeing three of these in the first nine packs, this is first one I've seen since. Now I'm not sure if I'll bother trying to complete this insert set. I'll throw them in my want list when the box is finished, but I don't think it'll be a priority.

This particular card looks really strange because of the way the bat is cut off.

They really could have done so much better with the All Star inserts. But you can't always get what you want.

Both Snyder of Joyner put up some great numbers in their rookie season and followed suit and did well in their second seasons.

Looking at him standing next to Cory Snyder, Wally really looks like a Wally. He looks like he's about 12 years old.

Two more. So far so good.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pack Thirty-Three

Pack 33 +15
294 Terry Steinbach
580 Joey Cora
358 Al Nipper
136 Keith Hernandez
222 Tim Stoddard
152 Tim Teufel
11 Greg Gagne
309 Mike Maddux
605 Joe Carter
239 Barry Larkin
636 Tried and True Sluggers (Mike Schmidt/Gary Carter)
453 Dave Meads
406 Fred Manrique
415 Andre Dawson
163 Rob Deer

Here's another pretty good pack nearing the end of the box.

Well well well... Gary Carter looks like he's taken too much ecstasy and Schmidt's face says "please get me away from him... he's touching me."

Even if it is an awkward, at best, card, it's always nice to see two Hall of Famers on one card.

And here's a guy that will be in the Hall:

Does anyone know if Larkin ever signs TTM? He's one that I'd really like to have an autograph of, and since he's working with MLB Network there should be a good address for me.

This is a great looking card with the red jersey and red in the border.

And here's one that probably should be in the Hall:

This is a great shot at Wrigley. Dawson is taking off out of the box and I really like how in focus the clumps of dirt are.

Three to go.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pack Thirty Two

Pack 32 +15
454 Craig Reynolds
381 John Moses
32 Curt Ford
63 Bill Madlock
495 Gary Lucas
479 Ruben Sierra
82 Scott Garrelts
276 Jose Canseco
576 Shawn Abner
366 Jeff Sellers
130 Gary Carter
218 Willie Randolph
332 Bob Kipper
16 Tim Laudner
297 Luis Aguayo

Here I am back after a few days off to finish the box. This pack gets us back on track after that pack full of doubles.

Gary looks disappointed about something that happened. Maybe he let the game tying run cross the plate.

Here's a nice looking shot of Ruben Sierra taking off from home. He looks like he's stepping on his bat though.

But the real reason I'm showing this picture is the wrist bands. Who is that on the bands? I ask because way back in pack number 1 we saw another pair of similar wrist bands.

Any ideas?

And finally, Jose Canseco. This would have been one of the big pulls of the box back in 1988, and it's a good looking card. But look at his bat. It looks like it's bent in half... a little curvature is always natural, but...

That's it for tonight. We're almost there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pack Thirty-One

Pack 30 +0
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
141 Dave Magadan
487 DeWayne Buice
314 Juan Samuel
632 Pitching Magic (Mike Scott, Orel Hershiser)
40 Joe Magrane
208 Bill Gullickson
341 Andy Van Slyke
9 George Frazier
246 Dennis Rasmussen
115 Rick Leach
251 Steve Balboni
50 Todd Worrell
365 Calvin Schiraldi
196 Bryn Smith
607 Brian Dorsett

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. I guess I can make a for trade section for '88 Fleer now.

Hopefully this is the only bad pack of the box.

Pack Thirty

Pack 29 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
547 Gerald Perry
558 Jim Dwyer
445 Glenn Davis
380 Mike Morgan
647 Major League Prospects (Chris Gwynn/Peter Smith)
51 Doyle Alexander
492 Ruppert Jones
468 Greg Harris
88 Jeff Leonard
278 Storm Davis
590 Shane Mack
363 Kevin Romine
128 Wally Backman
223 Wayne Tolleson
150 Doug Sisk

This is yesterday's pack. I didn't get a post up yesterday because I was cooking all day. Not to brag, but I make amazing barbequed grilled chicken.

Anyhoo... this wasn't a great pack, but it'll do.

I'm hoping a Red Sox fan can help me make some sense out of this. I'm thinking this is a spring training shot because it doesn't look like Fenway and there's what looks like an old Angels hat on a fan on the right side of the picture.

Any ideas?

Chris Gwynn wasn't quite the hitter his older brother was, but he did provide the game winning hit in a 1996 game against the Dodgers that clinched the division for the Padres. Chris was a much better defensive player than offensive though, and made only four errors in 383 total chances for his career.

Pete Smith is best known for his time in Atlanta, where he pitched mostly as a fifth starter. Though he only pitched for the Braves during the later half of 1992, he went 7-0 with a 2.05 ERA with two complete games, but that was his only winning season.

Pete Smith last pitched in 1999 with Memphis of the Pacific Coast League.

Do not stare directly into the Dwyer.

Come back later for pack 30...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pack Twenty-Nine

Pack 28 +13
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
539 Tom Glavine
389 Dave Valle
90 Eddie Milner
55 Kirk Gibson
591 Carmelo Martinez
567 Eddie Murray
509 Tim Belcher
283 Reggie Jackson
195 Bob Sebra
267 Dan Quisenberry
651 Major League Prospects (Kirt Manwaring, John Burkett)
465 Cecil Espy
153 Gene Walter
491 Jack Howell
310 Lance Parrish

Pack Ripping Music: Bush: Sixteen Stone (1994)

At some point it stopped being cool to like Bush, but this is a remarkable album. I gave up on them after Razorblade Suitcase sucked. But Sixteen Stone is a record I still listen to from time to time. There was a lot of crap in the early 90s, but there were a few gems to be found. This is one of them.

Now, to the task at hand. This was a very good pack, and could be considered for best pack of the box (though my nod still goes to pack three that had both Ripken and Gwynn). Several Hall of Famers, one that will be a Hall of Famer, and a few rookies.

Since this has been a year of... controversy in Atlanta, this is a good card to start with.

Tom Glavine got the shaft on his rookie cards. Only the Score card is nice. Poor guy:

I'm still not exactly sure what to think about the Glavine situation. In the end, the Braves did what they felt was best for the team. The outfield is in trouble, that's no secret and needed attention, now. The Braves have an important stretch of games coming up and they're just not scoring runs. Picking up Nate McLouth was a good move.

As far as Tom Glavine is concerned, the McLouth move was poorly timed. The money that Glavine was guaranteed if and when he joined the 25-man roster would have been better spent somewhere else. But it does look bad to release a 22 year veteran, and a pretty popular player, and turn right around and spend that money somewhere else.

So I completely understand where Glavine's frustration comes from. But I still have to wonder if he would have been successful at the Major League level this year. Maybe so. We'll never know.

I do think that Tom Glavine could be a valuable addition somewhere. Especially for a struggling team with a young pitching staff. Glavine would be an excellent teacher for a young staff. So I wouldn't be surprised if he's picked up by a team like Baltimore or Oakland.

It's a pretty safe bet that Glavine will be the Hall of Fame, probably on his first ballot.

Speaking of first ballot Hall of Famers:

Eddie looks positively distressed by something that's happening off camera. I think he's about to throw that ball at whatever it is.

Another HoF'er. The back includes Reggie's full career statistics as 1987 was his final year.

A pitcher holding a bat on his baseball card!? What is this demonry!?

Tim Belcher did well enough for himself with a bat. Over all he hit .124 with two home runs and 25 RBIs.

I talked about Kirt Manwaring here, so we're going to talk about John Burkett today.

I know John Burkett had a pretty successful career, but I didn't realize just how good he really was.

He came up for a while in 1987, but went back to the minors until 1990. In 1993 he tied for the NL lead in wins, with the afore mentioned Tom Glavine, at 22. He placed fourth in Cy Young voting that year (behind Glavine, Bill Swift, and Greg Maddux). Burkett was also a two time All Star and finished fourth for the 1990 NL Rookie of the Year.

Over all he was 166-136 with a 4.31 and 1766 strikeouts in fifteen seasons.

Jack Howell is running for his life... from what?

Uh oh, it's back.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pack Twenty-Eight

Pack 28 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
604 Tom Candiotti
247 Ron Robinson
103 George Bell
459 Robbie Wine
395 Jose DeLeon
426 Jamie Moyer
160 Mark Clear
552 Ozzie Virgil
376 Mike Kingery
83 Atlee Hammaker
57 Mike Henneman
592 Lance McCullers
557 Ken Dixon
511 Tim Crews
289 Steve Ontiveros

No music again today, I've got the Braves and Pirates on.

I've for three pitchers for you today.

With the Braves sudden release of Tom Glavine last week, and Maddux retiring at the end of last season, Jamie Moyer is right off the top of my head the last active player in this set.

Jamie Moyer reminds me a bit of John Smoltz. No matter how old they get, they always look the same. Take a rookie card of either player and compare it to one from 2008 or 2009 and they haven't changed a bit. It's unsettling.

Moyer's having a rough season so far. He's a Phillie, but I'd still like to see him have a good year.

I'm not sure if I like this card or not. It's nice that you can almost see his grip on the ball. But I just can't tell if this is a practice shot or an in game shot. At the angle that the picture is taken, you'd expect to see a middle infielder, umpire or at least an outfielder back there, but it's oddly vacant. But there's a very, very black wall back there, so maybe everyone else was airbrushed out?

It's got a lot going for it, but a few strikes against it.

This card I do like. Not much is going on, but I never could figure out pitching, and seeing the grip on a ball is nice. I can throw an acceptable curve ball, but fancy pants stuff like change ups and sliders and all that jazz don't work.

We're in the home stretch, eight packs left. My goal is still 75%, I should be able to do it, maybe a bit more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pack Twenty Seven

Pack 27 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
417 Bob Dernier
401 Bob James
416 Mickey Hatcher
159 Juan Castillo
549 Ted Simmons
553 Don Aase
455 Nolan Ryan
369 Phil Bradley
39 Jim Lindeman
53 Tom Brookens
497 Mark McLemore
480 Mike Stanley
78 Will Clark
286 Mark McGwire
577 Greg Booker

No music tonight, it's too hot. And it's also going to be a short one, again, it's too hot to sit at the computer.

I just realized that I haven't seen any of the All Star inserts for a while. My one in three pack assumption didn't pan out. Oh well.

Here's three 1980s superstars.

This looks a lot like a cardboard cutout of Nolan Ryan advertising Nike Air shoes.

He really looks like constipated. There's some great photography in this set, but they made some bizarre choices for some of these cards... surfboard, gloves on both hands, shoes under the arm.

And this card I really like. It's not very exciting, but it's something you don't see too often on a baseball card. He's not posed (or at least no obviously), he's not in action, but he's intently working on a piece of baseball equipment.

I also really like those old Giants uniforms, very simple and classic.

Another card I really like. And at my count, it's the fourth card with McGwire that I've pulled. That should be all of them, well, at least all of them that directly depict McGwire - I'm sure he shows up in the background of some others.

Maybe if it's not blisteringly hot tomorrow, I'll have more to say.